Imagine this: You’re in charge of a manufacturing business that happens to have a fast-paced environment and also offers a complex variety of products to its customers.
On the outside, all seems well and good, and it looks like you’ve managed to create a system in place to run your business smoothly.
But, in reality, you know your salespeople can’t keep up with the rising demand of the environment and want to cut their time spent on repetitive tasks like creating proposals, configuring prices, and sending quotes.
Enter CPQ for manufacturing. If you don’t know what it is, this guide is here to help you out!
What are CPQ and CPQM?
Configure, price, quote, also known as CPQ, is a solution used by sales teams when they have massive catalogs and complex products to deal with.
These solutions allow sales reps to generate accurate quotes, configure products, and improve the quoting process.
CPQM (configure, price, quote for manufacturing), on the other hand, not only does the same tasks as CPQ software but also goes one step forward and helps you prepare the documents needed to manage manufacturing operations.
For example, while a CPQ tool might be able to pull out quotes and data about complex configurations, CPQM tools are adaptable in the sense that they’ll pull quotes for product configurations and will also help you develop proposals you can ship to your clients.
Moreover, some CPQM solutions also assist in managing contracts with suppliers and clients, sending invoices after a project has been delivered, collecting e-signatures to show client consent, generating bills of material, and editing documents to custom brand them according to your requirements and/or style guide.
Why does the manufacturing industry need it?
Since manufacturers often produce a variety of products for different sets of clients, they also often have different price lists for the base value of each product and different costs for product configuration.
If you rely on your salesperson to use Excel spreadsheets to pull all this data, it might get time-consuming, and there might often be space for manual errors due to confusion about customer needs and requirements.
But, if you use CPQ software, you can streamline your sales process by just searching for your products, getting custom quotes, and creating automatic proposals.
Aside from the improved customer experience, also imagine the time you save in your sales cycle.
For example, if it would take your sales teams 30 minutes to an hour to create custom quotes and proposals, this time can now be cut down by half if you use CPQ software that can use automation every step of the way.
Moreover, manufacturing companies can even use CPQ tools to set pricing rules, discounts, currency, pricing methods (fixed vs. volume-based), and timelines (one-time vs. recurring).
Benefits of using Configure Price Quote software
- Sales teams can easily get accurate pricing, configure products, and create and edit proposals in a matter of minutes.
- You can integrate your CPQ solutions with payment partners to facilitate payments.
- With CPQ, your leads will go through a quicker sales cycle, which also means they’d have an enhanced buying experience.
- Since all sales reps need to do is click and add products, there’s no room for manual error when it comes to providing the right price and setting customizations.
- CPQ tools often provide users with analytics that can help them track their business operations and profit margins more closely, all of which lead to increased ROI.
- Some CPQ solutions (like PandaDoc) allow users to custom-brand their quotes and proposals and create legally valid e-signatures.
Examples of types of industries that require CPQ software
While almost every industry will benefit from CPQ solutions, the ones that might most often need them are the ones with multiple products and product configurations to deal with, such as healthcare, electronics, automobile, plumbing, electronic manufacturing, furniture, machinery manufacturing, and more.
What to look for in CPQ solutions
If you’re on the hunt for CPQ solutions, ideally look for options that can help you:
- Quickly get accurate pricing
- Create proposals and quotes in a matter of minutes
- Collaborate with team members effortlessly
- Optimize your sales team’s productivity
- Upsell and cross-sell products (through your proposals)
- Meet the specific needs of your manufacturing business
How PandaDoc helps manufacturers?
On an admin level, PandaDoc’s CPQ offering allows you to set pricing rules, add products to your brand catalog, and integrate with your favorite ERP (enterprise resource planning) software tool to scale your business.
But that’s just the start of it.
Once your products are added to the catalog, your sales teams can easily generate accurate quotes in real-time, even when dealing with the most complex product configurations (which is something that’s bound to happen, especially when dealing with large-scale manufacturing products).
They can also create pricing bundles, set discounts, generate bills of material (which might be required depending on the conversions you have with your clients), and do lots more with just a few clicks.
If you have multiple partners, clients, and suppliers to deal with, you can also leverage PandaDoc’s collaboration capabilities to get approvals from different team members and departments to ensure the supply chain won’t be disrupted by your incoming orders.
For example, if a client has requested a product customization which seems tricky, you can get in touch with your engineering teams to hear their thoughts on the matter.
Plus, if you have recurring manufacturing orders to deal with, you can create contracts on PandaDoc and e-sign them, even when you’re collaborating with clients/suppliers who operate in different parts of the world.
Having all your order details, contracts, proposals, quotes, and interactions in one place will help you manage your orders with ease and gain insights into industry trends, client requirements, and common bottlenecks. (Not to mention how much this can help you with audit trails, too.)
Plus, PandaDoc itself will provide you analytics on how customers interact with your documents — so you can leverage those insights to make data-driven decisions for your business, too.
Moreover, once you’ve shipped your manufacturing orders and need to collect payment for them, that’s another area where PandaDoc’s CPQ can help you, as it can integrate with multiple payment partners and accounting services to collect and bookmark payments.
Your next steps
We know we’re on the topic of CPQ solutions here, but if you’re a manufacturing business, it goes without saying you have plenty of documents, and not just proposals and quotes, to deal with.
And that’s where PandaDoc comes in.
We happen to be an all-in-one document management solution that can help you take care of all documents, including proposals and quotes, and extending to contracts, forms, invoices, and more.
To understand the full potential of what PandaDoc can do for you and your business, avail a free 14-day trial and check out the impact we can make in your organization.