How Can CPQ Help with Sales Effectiveness?
We’re all looking to deliver the right product or offer to the right person at the right time, and improve Sales Effectiveness. That, along with making a profit, is the whole point of sales. To make this easier, some best-in-class businesses have chosen to use Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) applications to help within their sales processes. But what can CPQ do to make your sales process more effective? This is an examination of how adopters of CPQ are leveraging the technology and showcasing the strategic actions that CPQ users take in order to improve overall sales effectiveness as opposed to non-users.
- Better understanding the customer’s needs to improve Sales Effectiveness – No one can argue with this approach as a best business practice, but quantifying exactly how one’s buyer should be presented with the “right offer at the right time” is a complex value proposition that is well-supported by the use of CPQ. Properly deployed, CPQ applications can be used by sales operations leaders and also individual sales reps to plug in a variety of statistics that are specific to their account (such as past purchasing behavior, legal requirements, shipment histories and even competitive intelligence) that will help them to seamlessly create a proposal or quote that is is far more likely to be buyer-friendly than a generic, one-size-fits-all template that doesn’t speak to the specific needs of the prospect or customer. CPQ users are 38 percent more likely than other firms to take this strategic action, and their business results as reported above show how they accrue valuable benefits.
- Replicating the “A” players on the sales team – This is a time-honored goal among sales leaders. It can, though, be an elusive one for their operational support team when not provided with the proper tools to objectively evaluate which winning behaviors are worth cut-and-pasting onto others.
Much like the focus on customers’ needs immediately above, replicating the “A” players is a strategic action that is a top-three choice among best-in-class companies within this research data set. Incorporating a CPQ solution within your organization captures the most effective documentation, processes, marketing assets, pricing construction and , of course, proposals that can be easily identified and distributed as best practices throughout the sales team.
- Employ the “KISS” rule for better Sales Effectiveness – It’s all about respecting the customer’s time. While engaging one’s prospects or customers in substantive conversations is obviously a positive activity, making it easy for them to buy is even more valuable. Best-in-class companies actually deliver fewer versions of the average quote or proposal than all other firms, which supports the value of keeping it simple and straightforward for all stakeholders in the process.
Bottom Line: Those that deploy a CPQ strategy as part of their overall sales effectiveness strategy have a better understanding of their customers’ needs, have utilized and replicated the actions and strategies of those top players on the sales team and know how to keep the sales process simple and straightforward for all those who are involved in the sales effectiveness process.
To learn more about how other best-in-class companies are using CPQ and the results they’ve seen, read What a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Solution Can Do for You.
This information was excerpted from Aberdeen Group research brief Configure-Price-Quote: Best-in-Class Deployments that Speed the Sale; July 2013.
Source: Smart Selling