If your sales team is expanding, that’s great! However, significant growth comes with increased complexity.
And if your CPQ process is not optimized and simply trying to keep up, then pain points will become a barrier sooner or later.
By properly integrating configure, price, quote (CPQ) software into your sales cycle, you will drastically reduce the time it takes to fulfill customer requests and avoid costly quoting errors.
That’s what we are going to learn today. We’ll cover the challenges in today’s business that sales reps face, how CPQ software can help overcome them, and discuss real examples of successful implementation.
Why your company needs CPQ solutions
If you think that configure price quote software is yet another additional cost for the company and that the CRM you use is sufficient to control your entire sales cycle, you are almost certainly missing out on realizing your full potential.
CRM systems are powerful tools to manage your sales cycles and customer relationships, but they are not a silver bullet.
Your sales teams still likely face sales challenges despite using a CRM, such as lengthy sales cycles, lower win rates, missed quotas, less time spent with customers, and lower margins.
Let’s take a closer look at these sales obstacles and discover how a combination of CRM and CPQ software can help you overcome them.
1. Your sales cycle is too long
Picture this: a potential customer asks for a quote, but your sales team spends hours manually configuring and pricing a product, only to make a mistake in the quoting process that wastes even more time.
In the end, your sales reps have spent considerable time troubleshooting, and that time is not spent selling.
And this kind of situation is far from being exclusive to sales teams. In fact, sales reps spend only 36% of their time on pure sales, the rest being spent on technical and administrative tasks.
How CPQ helps
In these situations, CPQ software improves the efficiency of your sales cycle by streamlining administrative tasks and limiting errors.
CPQ software like Salesforce CPQ or PandaDoc CPQ offers options to automate configuration, pricing, and quoting on a single platform.
Your sales teams no longer need to manually enter data but simply upload spreadsheets to the CPQ software.
As a result, it is much easier for sales reps to quickly provide an accurate quote without errors and close deals faster.
2. Product configuration is complex
Another challenge facing sales teams is the increasing complexity of customers’ needs.
Today’s customers expect a wide variety of choices to meet very specific needs.
As a result, your company is likely to offer many different combinations of the same product, whether it’s a variation in the color or size of a model.
The problem here is to provide consistency with your offers to customers to properly satisfy their requests.
How CPQ helps
With CPQ software, you can generate customized quotes for all your customers.
Most CPQ platforms offer pre-configured bundles with the ability for salespeople to tailor them to the customer’s needs.
Also, CPQ software allows you to create catalogs and line items, giving sales teams a clear overview of product availability.
As a result, sales teams can easily navigate through product catalogs to create customized offers and maintain control over product configuration.
3. Lack of profitability
Another major challenge for sales representatives is meeting profitability targets.
This seems obvious when it comes to sales departments, but meeting quotas is sometimes difficult. According to studies, only six out of ten sales representatives reach their sales targets.
Looking at it the other way around, this means that 40% of salespeople are missing the mark.
There are several reasons for this, including separate sales channels, pricing rules that are not updated, and excessive discounts that lead to poor profitability.
Thus, the challenge for sales teams is maintaining and increasing profitability to meet customer needs and exceed expectations for all stakeholders involved.
How CPQ helps
CPQ software such as Salesforce has advanced price calculation options based on predefined parameters such as time of use, number of users, functionality, or quality.
This allows for clear estimates to be given to the customer while ensuring profitability.
Other CPQ systems like PandaDoc offer advanced product catalog options.
Sellers can choose different pricing structures (fixed, recurring, or volume-based) and easily create quotes for customers.
4. Multiple sources across the company
Customer data is a valuable resource for your business, so you should have access to it in real-time to maximize your sales.
Yet, you probably use many cloud-based applications in addition to your CRM and ERP, which tends to spread customer data across the enterprise.
This problem is due to a lack of integration between different software.
So your sales teams have to juggle between different sources, which is time-consuming.
How CPQ helps
A good CPQ system must be compatible with other applications in your company, like your CRM.
This will allow your sales team to have access to the customer information available in your enterprise software and thus save time in the quotation process.
If, for example, you use Salesforce as a CRM, you can integrate it with PandaDoc CPQ to generate your quotes.
The difference with Salesforce CPQ is that you have a content library with prefabricated and fully customizable quote templates.
With PandaDoc CPQ, you control the entire sales process, from the creation of the quote to the signing of the offer by the customer.
- Slow approval process
Another issue that arises in the sales process is the lack of collaboration between teams.
This problem is most visible when it comes to approving quotes. Indeed, salespeople sometimes have to wait a long time for the person evaluating to validate the quotes before sending them to the customers.
The risk is that your sales teams take the initiative and validate the quotes at the risk of losing maximum profit margin.
How CPQ helps
Most companies use email to validate quotes.
Unfortunately, this type of process is not optimized because the different teams have no way to see the status of each quote and the comments left by the collaborators.
With a CPQ system, you have the option of tracking the progress of each quote in real time between the different teams.
Most CPQ software offers notification features available on desktop and mobile devices, which allows you to optimize your sales process and avoid bottlenecks.
To sum up, a CPQ platform is a powerful solution for sales teams facing common challenges such as lengthy sales cycles, inaccurate quotes, and complex product configurations.
By streamlining the sales process and ensuring pricing and quote accuracy, the CPQ system can help sales teams focus on high-value tasks and improve customer satisfaction.
Keep in mind that using your CPQ with your enterprise CRM will greatly increase the quality of your service and thus enhance the customer experience.
PandaDoc is also compatible with most CRMs, such as Salesforce. Contact our representative and start your trial period.