In today’s fast-moving business world, providing quick, accurate pricing and quotes is just the beginning–customers want a slick end-to-end process. They expect to receive their products promptly with zero friction, even when choosing non-standard configurations that have never been made before.
Industry-leading configure price quote software like Epicor CPQ make this possible. They streamline and automate the engineer-to-order process from start to finish, enhancing customer experience through personalized product configurations and lightning-fast lead times.
In this article, we’ll explore all the tangible benefits of CPQ at every stage–from initial customer interaction to the final product. Prepare to discover the remarkable potential of CPQ and determine if it’s the right solution for your business needs.
What Is Configure Price Quote Software?
Configure price quote software (CPQ) is an interactive software solution that automates, streamlines and accelerates product configuration, pricing, and quote generation.
Leveraging CPQ is easy. Users enter customer information and preferences into an interface called a configurator, and the software configures the product and automatically calculates a price and quote. This saves time and removes the potential for human error.
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The Difference Between Configure Price Quote Software and Quoting Software
The terms “quoting software” and “configure price quote software” are often used interchangeably but differ in scope and functionality. Quoting software focuses on generating quotes and proposals, whereas CPQ has a broader set of capabilities. These capabilities include complex product configuration, dynamic pricing, visual product configuration, and engineering automation in the case of superior solutions.
Visual Product Configuration Maximizes Profit and Engagement
Legacy configure price quote software is text-heavy. Users (almost always sales reps) configure products by following prompts on-screen, reading and conveying long, boring product descriptions, and checking endless boxes.
Legacy CPQ solutions often operate as a black box—inputting information generates configurations, prices, and quotes. But while this approach streamlines the process and enhances accuracy, it leaves sales reps and customers in the dark regarding a) the rationale behind the chosen configuration and b) the appearance and functionality of the final product once it’s shipped.
Advanced CPQ solutions, such as Epicor CPQ, distinguish themselves from their legacy counterparts through their visually engaging, immersive, and transparent configurators. Rather than merely adjusting textual descriptions, users interact with 3D models of the products, selecting various options and instantly viewing the resulting changes on screen. With the ability to rotate, zoom in, and zoom out, users can ensure complete satisfaction with both the product and its price before placing an order.
The Tangible Benefits of Visual Configure Price Quote Software
3D product visualization and configuration sound impressive. But how can these advanced functionalities drive business growth?
- Improved Customer Experience: Providing visual representations of products simplifies the decision-making process for customers, enabling them to confidently select options. Greater choice and clarity increase satisfaction, which improves customer retention and engagement.
- Fewer Returns: Customer returns and chargebacks are among the most costly and frustrating aspects of selling any product. But if you sell engineer-to-order products, they can be particularly devastating. Enabling customers to see what their final product will look like before it’s produced reduces the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction and refund requests.
- More Knowledgeable Employees: Sales reps and customer support specialists can interact with visual configurators and see final designs, increasing their understanding of products and configuration possibilities. This also allows companies to accelerate the onboarding process for new hires.
- Accelerated Sales Cycles: Customers can access prices and quotes automatically. They don’t have to wait for a sales rep to “get back to you once I’ve had a word with engineering.” The faster your sales cycle, the more customers you can serve with available resources.
- Self-Serve: Visual product configurators offer a highly interactive and user-friendly experience, empowering even novice customers to independently configure products with minimal understanding of the intricacies of engineering constraints involved. By seamlessly integrating visual configurators into their websites, sellers can facilitate self-service capabilities, catering to the modern buyer’s preference for convenient, low-touch sales interactions over more traditional, high-touch approaches.
- Enhanced Brand Differentiation: Visual product configuration is a marked differentiator that helps you stand out from the crowd. The more immersive you can make the customer journey–without adding unnecessary complexity–the better. Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, which Epicor CPQ provides, are the pinnacle of immersive experiences.
- Increased Revenue and Profit: By utilizing configure, price, quote (CPQ) software, companies can deliver captivating, customized experiences that significantly boost conversion rates and deal sizes. In fact, businesses employing Epicor CPQ witness remarkable increases of 40% and 105% in these metrics, respectively.
CPQ Initiates and Orchestrates a Seamless Chain of Automated Processes and Workflows
Modern configure price quote software doesn’t only benefit sales; it orchestrates the entire engineer-to-order process, helping the engineering department and production team equally.
When considering the role of configure, price, quote (CPQ) software in driving business growth, it can be helpful to explore its impact on each stage of the process. By understanding the value CPQ adds at every step, we can fully appreciate its overall contribution.
So far, we’ve touched on product configuration, pricing, and quotes. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once an order is submitted, CPQ triggers a cascade of automated workflows that increase efficiency, speed, and collaboration between disparate departments and get better products to customers faster.
Pricing Approval Loops
Traditionally, seeking pricing approvals takes time and effort. It involves making calls, sending emails, and waiting for responses. If emails are missed or get buried or a sales manager takes their eye off the ball, this can take days, in which time the customer might change their mind or buy from a more responsive supplier.
CPQ streamlines pricing approvals by routing requests automatically, providing notifications, and enabling single-click sign-off (no need for emails.) The workflow status is visible on the back end, which keeps everyone accountable and in sync.
Creating CAD models is a massive drain on engineering resources, especially in businesses where customers require multiple drawings before they can approve a quote. This is where a CPQ solution comes in.
CPQ software can dramatically increase engineering efficiency by automatically generating all engineering drawings and 3D models based on the configured product. CPQ updates CAD models in real-time as customers select options, minimizing errors, driving consistency, and freeing up the engineering department to focus on more valuable tasks.
In addition to creating CAD files, CPQ software can automatically generate various essential manufacturing documents, such as Bills of Materials (BOMs), assembly instructions, production orders, CNC files, and additive manufacturing files. These resources are swiftly routed to the appropriate personnel or machinery, streamlining the production process and minimizing lead times.
Most companies want to integrate CPQ with their other back-office systems like ERP, CRM, PLM, and eCommerce platforms. Once integrated, these systems can exchange data and automate tasks across various systems and functions, from pricing to production. Leading CPQ solutions make integration easy, using flexible and easy-to-use APIs.
Configure price quote software has changed the game when it comes to handling complex configurable products. The software enhances customer satisfaction through visual product configuration, improves employee knowledge, accelerates sales cycles, and simplifies self-service.
CPQ solutions integrate seamlessly with other business systems to optimize workflows and increase efficiency from pricing to production. Fast, accurate, and frictionless experiences for both employees and customers enable businesses to thrive and grow in today’s fiercely competitive market.