CPQ Lowers the Cost of Expert-Level Salesmanship with 5 Big Wins
Achieving expert-level salesmanship is a challenge in the modern B2B environment. The speed of business has increased, and new suppliers, products, services and bundles create a dizzying amount of change. Meanwhile, customers are ordering products from Amazon, or toying with productivity apps on their smartphones, and they expect new levels of convenience in the purchase process — even in B2B.
The heightening expectations and pressures of today’s sales do not change the nature of selling; they distract from it. The sale still boils down to the same principles that worked 50 years ago, but it can be harder to apply those consistent principles amidst so much change. CPQ removes the distractions to help the Sales Rep focus on selling.
1. CPQ Guided Selling Is a Tireless Upseller
Every sales leader shakes his head about upselling. We know how little control we have in this department. If the Sales Rep doesn’t feel confident about the product, they don’t upsell. They can train all day long and still not feel the potential value of the product. Then, they walk into a meeting and neglect the upsell. They leave money on the table, and there is little we can do about it. Then the handful of expert salespeople who do upsell drive everyone nuts. Other Reps don’t want the bar to be that high, and managers pull their hair out because they know exactly how much the company could make - if only they could get the whole sales team to act like those few experts.
Well, CPQ Guided Selling allows managers to simplify the sales process, so that the Rep sees the upsell with any additional information they might have missed during training. Managers can apply best practices more quickly, and the Sales Rep does not need a photographic memory to do the job.
2. CPQ Engines Deliver More Deals
When you are selling a complex product, proposals can get in the way of selling. The Sales Rep can be on the verge of inking the most profitable package in the company’s history and think, “Man, this proposal will just take me an hour or two to put together, and I will earn that family vacation this year. But I don’t want to do that homework!”
CPQ Configuration engines reduce time-to-quote, but they also simplify the quoting process, so the Rep does not need to perform all of the annoying grunt-work. Complex configurations and business rules can be programmed once and then repeated automatically, generating quotes in record time. One ALTAVI client reduced their time-to-quote by over 85% by implementing Revvy CPQ.
3. CPQ Guided Selling Increases Proposal Accuracy
CPQ Implementation is like putting the bicycle away and buying a car. All the busy work in the configure-price-quote process is driven by the CPQ engine. The Sales Rep will see only the possible selections to be made at any given time. The rest will be greyed or hidden out to avoid confusion. Reps do not need to stress about making a wrong turn, and increased proposal accuracy results in significant reductions in rework. Even newer Sales Reps deliver consistent, expert-level proposals.
4. Automated Lookups Save Time and Drive Pricing Accuracy
Pricing can be a huge problem across the Sales process. Accounting expects all price changes to be executed immediately. Sales Reps, however, often use printed pricing sheets. This can become a serious problem as pricing changes occur more frequently and more dramatically because expert reps will rightfully distrust the pricing sheets and take extra steps to confirm the price has not changed. The most experienced professionals are the ones with the greatest time sinks. Less thorough reps who cling to the sheets will deliver inaccurate quotes, which either erode profitability or competitiveness of the quote.
The pricing function has been difficult for CPQ to solve, historically, but there are CPQs on the market now that will synchronize with back-end systems of record to automate pricing execution. No mistakes, no lookups.
5. Transparent Approvals Process
The last and probably most underestimated result of CPQ is transparent processes. Most companies know that misalignment within a team impacts performance, but the cost of misalignment is difficult to estimate because inefficiency occurs behind closed doors. The configure-price-quote function is particularly susceptible to misalignment because it is cross-functional: Operations, Sales, and Finance must work together without being on the same “team.” Each team has different goals and values, so disputes are bound to occur.
An objective system of record does not eliminate dispute, but it does ensure that everyone knows the facts. As a Sales Rep, I remember waiting for two weeks to deliver a quote because the CFO said he would not approve a discount. My boss had approved it! The CFO was holding my sale hostage to “send a message.” The message was not personally directed at me, but it impeded me from making the sale.
CPQ implementation gives ultimate control over the rule-making, which the CPQ automatically enforces and records. Either I would not have been allowed to make the discount, or the CFO would have disapproved, and I would have been required to revise the quote. The dispute would have been solved during the CPQ implementation.
Transparency is the hidden MVP of configure-price-quote. By linking separate functions together in one objective system, CPQ reduces the opportunities for miscommunication. More importantly, misalignments do not occur behind closed doors; they are “out in the open,” where passive aggression is exposed. That is just one example of how a good CPQ implementation will streamline process and align core functions around the sale.
Without CPQ, the price of Sales mastery is more than a pound of flesh. Obscure processes reduce morale; pricing mistakes erode profitability; configuration errors result in rework and inefficiency; lengthy quoting procedures lose customers and waste time; and inconsistent upselling leaves money on the table. Small wonder that CPQ is quickly becoming one of the most common differentiators of successful Sales teams.