Many sales organizations are facing a common problem in producing accurate and professional sales quotes for prospects quickly while eliminating errors and inefficiencies. CPQ is a growing software category that tacks this challenge head-on. While there are several available packages on the market or you could even custom built your own CPQ, Salesforce CPQ is the easiest to configure declaratively. That’s why I like it so much.
What is CPQ?
To start, let’s look at what the CPQ stands for –
Every business’s offerings are different and vary in complexity. When selling a bundle, you may not forget to add a specific option for a specific country, you have to keep in mind that you can’t sell product Y together with product X, oh… and this specific customer has an agreement to get 10% reduction in all products of a specific category!
Memorizing all those exceptions, rules, and dependencies between product options, you almost have to be a genius to create a quote!
Salesforce CPQ can enable your sales team to configure your offerings, following your business rules, and meeting your customers’ needs. It will guide your sales reps through the quote creation process and all it takes is some time to configure those products correctly!
Few businesses sell their products at full list price to all customers in all situations. Perhaps you offer special pricing, bundled pricing, or volume pricing. And maybe your sales reps like to apply extra discounts to “sweeten the deal”.
Keeping track of current pricing, discount rules, and bundled pricing can give you a headache. You might want to implement some advanced approval flow to keep discounting in check because it can be disastrous to the bottom line when discounts are applied incorrectly or inconsistently. And it can be embarrassing when you misquote prices to a customer, it can even cause you to lose the deal.
I help customers manage pricing and discounts for all their products and services by implementing Salesforce CPQ. It enables your sales team to generate quotes with consistent pricing, including available discounts, quickly and accurately.
Advanced pricing rules can be set to handle volume discounts, percent-of-total subscriptions, pre-negotiated contract pricing, and channel or partner pricing. Using Salesforce CPQ you can be sure that your pricing is accurate and optimized. And if exceptions should be made, you can enable advanced approval flows to make sure you can close that deal anyway giving an exceptional discount.
You can’t close a deal until you present a quote or proposal. Sales reps spend a lot of time and effort to earn the opportunity to present a quote to a customer, so they need to create the quote correctly and quickly. And it needs to represent the business in a carefully crafted, professional manner. Once again, Salesforce CPQ provides the solution.
With just a few clicks, a sales rep can create a quote, send it in an e-mail, and even include an e-signature to close the deal. Salesforce CPQ automatically pulls in the configured products and pricing, tying the whole process together and ensuring consistency.
To create such a dynamic quote template the package offers me an out-of-the-box making my life as an implementation consultant and admin very easy.
I just have to type some text, select it to change colors or make it bold, add a few images, and add in some specific tags and voilà.
Sales reps have a new quote template including product names, prices, discounts, terms & conditions at a click of a button. I can assure you, it’s things like these that make your life another smidge easier.
If you have worked with Salesforce development for a couple of years like me, you would know you can trust the stability of the platform and the whole team behind it!
They’re always looking to improve their features based on the needs of their customers and partners.
From CPQ to full-fledged QTC Solution-
CPQ is just fitted perfectly with their Quote-to-Cash strategy and further development and integration within the Salesforce platform are ongoing.
Now, I have even more features in my toolbox to help customers all the way through their contracting, billing, and collections processes.
What is Quote-to-Cash and how can it help your business?
Quote-to-Cash is the integration and automated management of end-to-end business processes on the sales side containing the following processes:
- Product (or Service) Configuration
- Quote creation
- Contract lifecycle and order management
- Bill & Collect.
The next step to a better sales cycle is finding opportunities to increase speed, accuracy, and productivity within that process. Figure out where improvements can be made by mapping out your QTC!
Quote-to-Cash is the last mile of your sales cycle, starting the moment, a customer asks for a quote. It begins with a configuration of the quote, includes pricing and development of terms and conditions, and continues through the creation and delivery of a proposal.
Map today’s Quote-to-Cash process in order to find an opportunity for improvement. Begin as though a customer asked for a completely new quote. Consider completing this mapping activity for a typical quote as well as a few one-offs (custom quotes, competitor-driven quotes, etc.). Don’t forget to include service offerings in your map, as those can often complicate a quote.
Start mapping your Quote-to-Cash process by covering the basic steps: select, configure, price, quote, propose, contract, order, renew, bill, collect, recognize, and analyze. You can fill in the details and expand the map as you go.
Work with your sales, sales operations, legal, and finance departments to understand the granular steps involved in each stage of the process.
By following a real deal through the cycle and consulting with your colleagues who have experience with each stage, you will get a good picture of what goes into your Quote-to-Cash process.
For everything you look and identify who, what, where, why, and time.
These are just some of the many ways that efficient billing and invoicing software can greatly improve the efficiency of your business, which can, in turn, create substantial savings in administrative costs, as well as improving cash flow.
Share with me what do you think about CPQ software in the comment box and what is your experience of using it.