3 Ways You Can Turbocharge CPQ Selling

 

When new CPQ apps first launch they often get adopted fast, because they make selling easier by removing roadblocks to greater revenue. The first phase of a CPQ launch is focused on getting the app up and running, tailoring screens and workflows to how sales reps work.

This is a vital phase of changing how sales teams work on a permanent basis. With CPQ up and running, tailored to specific ways a company works, it’s time to take on the challenging task of increasing win rates for new deals.

Moving Beyond Adoption To Accelerating Sales Cycles

Any CPQ strategy can only stay so long in an adoption phase. For the CPQ app to deliver its full potential value, sales management must push beyond adoption to accelerating sales cycles. One of the main reasons why CPQ continues to be one of the hottest CRM and enterprise software apps today is that its impact on customer engagement, satisfaction, salesforce productivity and revenue growth. Tracking the key metrics of Quote Cycle Time, Quote Conversion Rate, Average Quote Revenue Value, Average Monthly Quote Per Sales Rep and Percent Quote-to-Order Accuracy provide a baseline to measure CPQ improvements. The following three ways of turbocharging CPQ selling improve those metrics, making it possible to track progress over time.

The three ways companies can turbocharge CPQ selling include the following:

  1. Move beyond batch- and ETL-based integration to real-time integration links between ERP and CRM apps. Too often CPQ apps are launched and stay in an integration silo, not connecting with any other systems. It’s important to get ERP data into CPQ workflows as quickly as possible. Real-time integration fuels faster Quote Cycle Times and improve customer engagement by giving sales reps a chance to be responsive. Quoting speed wins deals and real-time integration is the catalyst for making that happen.
  2. Take on the challenge of automating special pricing approvals so at least 30% are approved using constraint- and rules-based workflows. A great way to break out of the adoption phase and turbocharge CPQ is to automate special pricing approvals. Often companies can get to 20% automation relatively Set the goal of 30% and use real-time integration combined with rules- or constraint-based workflows in your CPQ apps. In addition to freeing up valuable time in Sales Operations and potentially with VPs who may have to sign off on all special pricing requests, this provides a great way to accelerate sales cycles. For sales reps pricing within the constraint boundaries of a deal, they get approval in seconds and go on to make the sale.
  3. Making mobile selling a reality complete with real-time ERP to CRM integration on Web-enabled apps. The majority of B2B buyers shop for products they need on their mobile devices first, often moving on to purchase supplies entirely on their smartphones.  Sales teams need the flexibility of being able to close deals from their smartphones or tablets immediately. With the increased network speeds and continually improving user interfaces on CPQ apps, providing sales teams with this also will turbocharge sales. Having real-time integration to SAP data in Salesforce and accessible 24/7 from anywhere, anytime via a mobile app means sales cycles can accelerate even faster.  The future of mobile selling is based on real-time integration.

Bottom line: Turbocharging CPQ selling starts with a clear roadmap focused on integrating ERP and CRM systems together, creating real-time integration links to the data level in CPQ apps. Next, creating specific workflows that automate special pricing can significantly accelerate selling cycles, followed by mobile support. Taken together, all three strategies can turbocharge CPQ selling and move beyond adoption to closing more deals faster than competitors.

 

 

About the Author:

I am a Forbes contributing columnist, industry analyst and blogger, and serve as Director, Global Cloud Product Management at Ingram Cloud. Previous positions include product marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, senior analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at Cincom Systems, Ingram Micro, a SaaS start-up and at hardware companies.

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