The difference between achieving sales quotas and closing more deals often begins at the start of sales cycles. Creating a quick sales cycle cadence supported by quotes and proposals that meet and exceed customers’ expectations brings a sense of urgency to prospect relationships. Deals close faster and customers are on to accomplishing the goals they had in mind when first initiating a sales engagement and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) strategies succeed.
Looking to improve the accuracy and speed of quote turn-around times, improving quote-to-order response times and improving order capture accuracy can keep the momentum and sense of urgency going in sales cycles. Fighting the inertia that slows sales cycles down with better integration across legacy on-premise, SAP, Salesforce and 3rd party cloud platforms delivers accurate quotes faster, improving deal win rates.
Bringing simplicity and scale to CPQ selling, with greater speeds.
Integration has to go beyond just integrating systems; it has to provide a means by which everyone involved in responding to customers’ requests can see how they are making a contribution. With real-time integration, providing immediate feedback on which quotes turned into orders and why is now possible. Integration creates teams internally across departments who have the potential to excel with real-time feedback and the opportunity to contribute.
With any organizations’ reputation on the line with every quote and proposal they generate, it’s important always to be looking at how the CPQ and QTC strategies can be improved.
Here are 5 ways to improve CPQ selling with integration:
1. Remove as many manually-based steps as possible from quoting and proposal workflows.
This allows you to create an integration roadmap that captures how connecting systems can turn quoting speed into a measurable feature. The more competitive the sales cycles, the more important speed is. Often it is the first complete quote that wins a deal as prospects have a high sense of urgency for solving a major problem or accomplishing a goal. Build a roadmap of how systems can be integrated together to provide real-time responses to quotes and proposals and start measuring win rates after doing this.
2. Use a single system, updated in real-time to get pricing under control.
You can forget about those outdated Excel file updates that live on every sales rep’s computer. One of the greatest roadblocks to selling faster is the inconsistency in pricing Too often companies will rely on Microsoft Excel files being sent to sales reps who may or may not be using the most current one. Save hours and days by removing this roadblock with an integrated pricing system that ideally is cloud-based and can deliver real-time, accurate pricing to any rep, anytime on any device.
3. Win deals over competitors on speed and accuracy alone.
Integrating ERP, production scheduling, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Salesforce systems to deliver Available-to-Promise, Capable-to-Promise, and delivery dates in real-time will place you miles ahead of competitors. Having this level of data integration has a direct impact on the accuracy and speed of a sales cycle. It also enables companies to scale selling strategies across all product lines supported by the integrated systems. Best of all, taking this approach makes winning deals faster by getting competitors out of contention quicker than using manually-based methods of quoting and proposal production.
4. Only quote products that can be profitably produced.
Only upsell and cross-sell accessories, add-ons, components, and services that are in stock by integrating an ERP instance, with catalog management and quoting systems. By integrating production scheduling, product catalogs, ERP scheduling systems and quoting, sales reps can focus on selling product combinations that meet minimum pricing thresholds. Also, having real-time integration across these systems will enable the most accurate upsell and cross-sell strategies possible.
5. When quotes are approved, work instructions, bill of materials (BOM) and production-scheduling need to start immediately.
This makes real-time ERP and quoting system integration a must-have capability. Too often organizations rely on manually-driven workflows that cause delays, scheduling errors and issues with Bills of materials. By integrating quoting, production scheduling, MES, and CRM systems everyone involved with the customer from the first order through fulfillment will know what’s going on with the order. Having this level of insight is invaluable in managing customer relationships well and keeping expectations met and exceeded.