SIMPLIFY CUSTOMER QUOTES WITH CPQ
For those distributors looking to eliminate the layers of quoting complexity for their customers, Configure-Price-Quote software has become a viable solution. Commonly known as CPQ, this application does more than just provide automated quotes for potential buyers; it brings efficiency and consistency to an organization’s entire sales cycle.
Studies have found that CPQ software can actually shorten the sales cycle by a third with capabilities such as built-in review and approval workflows, guided selling, and a quote tracking system. It eliminates the need for manual, error-prone quotes and provides custom rules-based quoting for better accuracy and reliability.
This white paper breaks down the various features of CPQ software, as well as the benefits businesses – and their customers – can experience when CPQ is integrated into their eCommerce platform.
The U.S. Navy developed the principle of KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid – back in 1960. Their belief was that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. Straightforward, yet effective, this concept has been adopted as a best practice not only by the military, but also by businesses and individuals. With changing technology, customers, and sales channels, wholesale distributors could use some simplicity on the job, and a configure, price, and quote (CPQ) solution could be the answer. CPQ embraces the KISS concept by taking the tedious and time-consuming process of creating quotes and streamlining it into an automated, efficient method to acquire sales.
CPQ software consolidates and manages all the rules and pricing around a B2B’s product catalog so that salespeople can generate quotes and configure product solutions for customers quickly, easily, and accurately. Additionally, built-in workflows keep reviews and approvals on track, instead of sitting in someone’s Inbox. CPQ allows businesses to work smarter, not harder, so they can focus on their customers’ needs. While relatively new technology, B2Bs are realizing the competitive edge CPQ software can offer…so much so that Gartner anticipates 40% of B2B digital commerce sites will utilize configure-price-quote tools to calculate and deliver product pricing by 2018.
By eliminating the manual quote process, businesses can shed the problematic layers that can cause errors, decrease profit margins, and bog down overall efficiency.
Consider the multiple efficiencies and benefits a CPQ application can provide an organization:
- Quicker, more professional quotes: Many companies that employ a manual quoting practice do the bulk of their work in individual spreadsheets while referring to multiple documents and reports for product and price information. This traditional practice is not only time-consuming, it’s also not designed for enterprise-wide use and visibility. CPQ software cuts quoting time down dramatically, giving salespeople time to quote more, as well as larger, product solutions. As an added plus, quotes made with CPQ software tools are uniformly formatted and branded to better represent – and sell – a company and its offerings.
- Consistent pricing with less room for errors: CPQ decreases the potential for quoting errors considerably. When all of sales are working from the same system, quotes are consistently priced and structured to eliminate rogue pricing and incorrect estimations. While CPQ brings structure and accuracy to quotes, it is still flexible enough to allow for price adjustments for discounts and markups. The big win here is that CPQ protects profit margins and controls over-discounting by providing the most up-to-date pricing and data.
- Built-in workflows for quicker reviews and approvals: One of the bigger pain points businesses encounter with quotes is the typical bottlenecking and delay of internal reviews and approvals. CPQ tools eliminate the frustration of stalled quotes by incorporating specific review cycles so that all participating departments, whether they be sales operations, purchasing, or engineering, review and approve quotes in a timely manner.
- Complex product configurations and selling opportunities: Many B2Bs have a broad line of product offerings, with multiple configurations and customer-specific pricing. CPQ lets companies better configure and customize products to the individual needs of their customers, and even provide engineer-to-order and assemble-to-order options. Its automated features also make it easier to identify and propose product options and solutions through product bundling and up-selling. The versatility and intuitiveness of CPQ tools can provide a great boost in sales effectiveness.
- Quotes that can be better tracked and measured: Automated quoting tools offer the advantage of built-in analytics and reporting to keep everyone in the organization aligned and up-to-date on quotes and proposals. Management can use the reporting to determine future product demands and pricing, while sales can track customer behavior as well as their own KPIs. CPQ tracking also keeps quotes from falling through the cracks so a potential sale is never missed.
CPQ tools are opening new doors for B2B organizations. By eliminating the manual quote process, businesses can shed the problematic layers that can cause errors, decrease profit margins, and bog down overall efficiency. From manufacturers and distributors to service providers, configure-price-quote tools provide an easier and better way for many B2B industries to serve their current customers and gain new business.
With a variety of CPQ tools and solutions available, businesses can find the right product or products to fit their business needs and integrate with their eCommerce platforms, as well as CRM and ERP systems. Unilog integrates CPQ capabilities in its enterprise eCommerce solution, CIMM2, including custom and real-time pricing rules, product configurators, and a quoting engine with notifications. If you want to automate your quoting process, just keep it simple and contact Unilog to learn how they can help you eliminate the complexity.
Unilog is a global technology company that delivers powerful, affordable eCommerce solutions for the B2B marketplace. Our cloud-based eCommerce platform and product data enrichment services help distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers increase online sales, reduce cost to serve, and enhance their digital channel. Unilog is an ISO 9001:2008- and ISO 8000-certified company with North American headquarters outside of Philadelphia, PA and international headquarters in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.unilogcorp.com.