In the rapidly shifting and intensely competitive landscape of modern business, maximizing the precision of your sales operations is vital to securing a competitive advantage. But how to supercharge your company’s sales processes to make them as “powerful” as possible?
The answer lies in three letters: CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote). CPQ is a software solution that streamlines and automates the sales process, leading to faster quotes, improved accuracy, increased efficiency, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of CPQ, how it functions, and the edge it can give your sales department.
What Is CPQ? The Sales Automation Powerhouse
CPQ is fundamentally a sales automation software that turbocharges your sales processes. It automates complex product configuration, pricing, and quote generation, letting you sell tailor-made products that match specific customer needs.
CPQ can be used by sales reps or customers themselves. All sellers have to do is embed their configurator into their website to enable a global customer base to design and purchase products through a highly-visual drag-and-drop interface.
It’s important to note that we’re not just talking about selling a sofa or a pair of shoes here. We’re talking about selling a block of apartments, a complex biotech assembly, or high-tech heavy machinery. Whatever the use case, a solution like Epicor CPQ can handle its scale and complexity.
CPQ Processes: The Triple Threat
At the heart of CPQ software, you’ll find three main components.
This component allows businesses to craft and configure products based on their customers’ unique needs. This includes choosing product options, features, dimensions, and add-ons and ensuring compatibility.
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Advanced CPQs empower users to design products visually using an intuitive 3D interface (configurator). As users configure products, CPQ calculates costs and generates sales and engineering documents in real-time.
Visual configurators are a game-changer for sales reps who struggle under the weight of complex products with thousands of different configuration options. Instead of learning how each product should be assembled to maximize customer satisfaction, they can follow CPQ’s guidance and prompts. If they make a mistake or select an option that’s not viable, CPQ won’t let them move on to the next stage.
Visual product configurators are so “safe” and user-friendly that customers can self-serve. Customers can configure products independently through your website. You can provide the full configurator your sales team uses or a stripped-back version showing only the information you want your customer to see.
3 Biggest Benefits of Visual Product Configuration:
1. Boosting Customer Engagement:
Customers can enjoy a more interactive, immersive buying experience. They can see and tweak products in real-time, transforming the buying journey from a passive activity into a more engaging, personalized process.
2. Supercharging Sales Efficiency:
Visual product configuration reduces the need for constant sales guidance which, in turn, frees up your sales team to focus on closing deals. It’s a win-win situation and the key to an optimized, streamlined sales process.
3. Ensuring Precision and Accuracy:
Gone are the days of miscommunications and misunderstandings about product specifications. With its real-time updates, visual product configuration guarantees the highest levels of accuracy, keeping everything transparent, precise, and error-free.
Pricing Management and Automation:
This essential component lets you establish pricing rules and logic, considering factors like volume discounts, customer segments, and market conditions. This enables you to optimize your pricing strategies for peak profitability.
3 Biggest Benefits of Pricing Management and Automation
1. Strategic Pricing Optimization:
With CPQ’s pricing management, businesses can consider multiple factors to develop profitable pricing strategies, maintaining a competitive advantage in their market.
2. Reduced Errors and Consistency:
Automated pricing through CPQ minimizes human error, ensuring each quote is accurate and consistent, enhancing brand trust.
3. Increased Efficiency and Sales Velocity
Pricing automation saves time and resources, allowing sales teams to focus on selling, shortening deal cycles, and ultimately, boosting revenue.
CPQ lets you generate quotes and proposals instantly and accurately based on the system’s configuration and pricing rules. This automation eliminates the time and effort that would otherwise be needed.
Your quotes can be as basic or intricate as you want. With Epicor CPQ, you can include auto-generated CAD files, 3D renderings, and more.
3 Biggest Benefits of Quote Generation
1. Accelerated Sales Process:
Automatic quote generation speeds up sales cycles from days to seconds. You can quickly respond to customer inquiries and iterate on quotes without wasted hours and pent-up frustration.
2. Granular Information
You can auto-generate and include quotes with thousands of lines, tech specs, visuals, and more, impressing your customers with your rigorous approach. This level of detail adds clarity, reduces purchase anxiety, and boosts your win rate as a result.
3. Consistent Branding
Each quote document is uniformly formatted and aligned with your brand guidelines, projecting a professional image to customers and strengthening brand identity.
How to Choose the CPQ Configurator Software of Your Dreams
Identifying your business’s needs is the first step in selecting a CPQ solution. Consider the complexity of your product offerings, the size of your sales team, and the level of integration you need with other systems.
- If your product offerings are multifaceted, you need a CPQ solution that can handle a multitude of product configurations and pricing options.
- If you manage a huge sales team and a rapidly growing product range, you need a scalable solution.
- If your products are highly “visual,” you need a 3D visual product configurator, ideally with AR and VR capabilities.
- If your business relies on CRM, ERP, MES, and other systems, your CPQ solution needs to harmonize seamlessly to ensure uniformity across all sales channels and eliminate the need for manual data entry.
After pinpointing your business needs, your next move is to scrutinize CPQ vendors. Look beyond just the software’s features. Assess the level of support the vendor provides, including comprehensive training to ensure your team can harness the full power of the software. Have they worked with a business in your industry? How long did implementation take? How many people had to be involved?
Implementing CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software can transform your sales process from a labor-intensive, bewildering, sluggish procedure to a quick, accurate, low-touch, and–if you want–entirely self-service system. Your sales process gets a much-needed efficiency boost, enabling you to automate each step from the shopping cart to the shop floor logistics.
Self-service CPQ features modernize your sales cycle and broaden your customer base. By harnessing the power of the internet, you can tap into the global market and reach a growing demographic of buyers who prefer a direct, sales-rep-free experience.
With CPQ, you’ll see a notable increase in customer satisfaction as buyers appreciate the ease, speed, and accuracy of the automated and self-serve processes. Financially, the benefits materialize through increased revenue and cost savings, given the efficiency and accuracy improvements. Moreover, your sales process is now scalable, setting a solid foundation for your business’s future success.