How To Scale Complex Selling Strategies With Sales Integration

April 21, 2016

Everyday sales teams face the challenge of meeting and beating their quotas using a variety of strategies and systems to support their efforts. Even the most successful sales teams have to find workarounds to get the data they need to close more deals. Having to collect, analyze and prioritize data slows down sales cycles and acts as a constraint to closing deals. Sales integration has the potential to revolutionize sales cycles and deliver higher win rates than ever before.

Sales Integration Simplifies Complex Selling Strategies

Complex manufacturing and services companies often have long sales cycles and many decision-makers involved in the purchasing process.  Add to this the fact that these types of companies often customize their products and services to customers’ unique requirements, and the need for tighter sales integration to the company’s core systems becomes clear.  By integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ), marketing automation, pricing, and service systems together, complex manufacturers and service companies are successfully increasing win rates, driving up deal sizes and saving time across their organizations.

The following four sales integration approaches are used to successfully scale complex selling strategies today:

Automating proposal and quote process across all selling channels in real-time by integrating CPQ, contract management, and ordering systems.

Manufacturers are equipping their sales teams with mobile apps accessible from any device, anytime to increase their selling productivity. These cloud-based mobile apps are enabling sales teams to produce quotes, respond to contract, pricing and product queries and be more responsive to customers as well.  Companies following this strategy are getting the following results:

  • 71% of companies say that having a CPQ system enables them to respond to RFPs more rapidly. Also, the greater the integration of CPQ systems with other systems the faster quotes can be provided and pricing managed more effectively. Source: Aberdeen Study Configure-Price-Quote: Better, Faster Sales Deal Enabled. September, 2014. 
  • 28% reduction in sales cycles achieved by companies standardizing on a company-wide CPQ system. From Aberdeen Group’s “Breaking the Laws of Physics” (April 2013).
  • Reduction in proposal cycle times from 17 hours to 30 minutes by capturing and use product expertise in product configurators. A leading specialty vehicle manufacturer was able to accomplish this by integrating systems to streamline CPQ and product configuration first.
  • Sales productivity increased 26% when sales reps didn’t have to chase down product experts in engineering to get responses to their quoting questions.

Increasing quoting accuracy by having the latest pricing, services, and product options reflected in each proposal and quote delivered.

This makes it possible for your company only to commit to producing the most profitable and buildable products for your company. Companies following this strategy are getting the following results:

  • Demand to launch products quickly (42%), position and sell lower-cost products to produce through CPQ (46%) and manage demand for customized, complex products (42%) are three of the most significant pressures on companies today. From the Aberdeen study, Putting The C In CPQ: Configuration Management In High Tech.  June, 2015. 
  • 65% reduction in order cycles times due to a drastic reduction in order-rework that had been caused by inaccurate quotes.
  • 95% reduction in order completion costs when the initial quote is accurate and doesn’t lead to order-rework during production. From a custom study of specialty vehicle manufacturer that is part of Ford Motor Company.

Driving up win rates with prospects and existing customers by using real-time sales integration. to deliver proposals and quotes accurately

The highest performing CPQ systems deliver accurate product, pricing and service configurations quickly that don’t require rework. These CPQ systems are so well-tuned to their company’s manufacturing operations they also often lead to perfect orders being produced. It’s possible to get to this level of configuration, pricing and quoting performance, there are companies doing this today with single-digit order rework rates. Companies following this strategy are getting the following results:

Increasing average deal sizes in proposals and quotes by defining the most profitable services, product configurations.

Find the options that customers are most likely to buy based on data generated from integrated selling, pricing, and finance systems. Companies using CPQ systems and strategies to drive up-sell and cross-sell revenues across all channels measure outcomes in real-time thanks to analytics being a core part of their cloud platforms. Companies following this strategy are getting the following results:

  • 33% increase in cross-sells for add-on emergency vehicle options across all vehicle product lines. A specialty vehicle manufacturer was able to accomplish this using an enterprise-wide CPQ solution within a year of it being implemented.
  • A complex manufacturer was able to increase the revenue contribution of upselling and cross-sell strategies from 9% to 26% of total deal amounts. Transitioning from manual to automated upsell and cross-sell strategies, this manufacturer was able to leverage the Salesforce1 platform to attain higher sales performance than they ever had before.
  • Launching low-margin, high volume products through upselling and cross-selling strategies retain more gross margin and get volumes ramped faster than traditional means. Cross-sell and upsell strategies also reduce sales cycles, and increase their attach rates with success products by 55% or more. An AMR Research study on guided selling.