CPQ market demand is strong and growing, especially among businesses that sell complex products and services. Here are 3 reasons configure-price-quote software helps businesses become more efficient and productive.

Companies are changing the way they buy. B2B sales and marketing efforts look more like B2C.

CPQ software sits in the middle of this strategic realignment. Companies that sell B2B are increasingly benchmarking themselves against B2C counterparts.

According to Forrester: “This means they need solutions with a best-in-class foundation of B2C features such as robust marketing, merchandising and experience management tools upon which unique B2B capabilities such as contract pricing, quotes pricing lists, eProcurement, product configuration and customisation, guided selling, bulk order entry, dealer management and account, contract and budget management are then layered on top.”

Combine that with the other necessary functionality to keep up with this evolutionary shift in B2B sales and marketing, and it’s easy to see how the marriage between CPQ and CRM will grow even tighter (and become more critical).

1. CPQ Helps Businesses Implement a Self-Service Buying Culture

Customers, as a whole, want to cut out middlemen. This is increasingly true in B2B sales. In a survey that investigates the self-service economy, 56 percent of the respondents prefer self-service solutions when researching a company, compared to 26 percent who would prefer to jump on a phone call.

Companies are recognising this need, as customer self-service was listed as one of the top CRM priorities in Gartner’s “Why You Need to Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy” report.

While not a first-degree connection to CPQ in most cases, this makes a statement about how people buy and sell, and that is one of the big reasons for CPQ’s growing popularity. CPQ empowers the customer to buy and sell the way they want.

2. CPQ is a Powerful Back-End Solution

It’s easy to think of CPQ as just a front-end sales tool. However, as many businesses and manufacturers have learned, CPQ is a powerful back-end solution. It plugs the gaps where process breaks down between sales, engineering and delivery.

Enterprise Irregulars explains: “While mostly front-office salespeople use CPQ, the data they access has a strong back-office flavor. It includes the product catalog, price lists and existing customer information that can drive things like cross-selling.”

In addition to helping salespeople to be more productive, CPQ software also:

3. CPQ Enhances Revenue Generation and Profitability

If businesses hope to maximise the value of their systems beyond sales functionality, they’ll need to re-examine implementation processes to make sure they’re affecting both front- and back-end processes in a positive manner.

CPQ allows new product features to be more easily introduced across all sales channels in a controlled manner to ensure that business policies around “best options”, up-selling, cross-selling and pricing are automated and enforced.

There’s a Great Business Case for CPQ

For years, analyst firms have been analysing the business impact of CPQ. The numbers comparing CPQ users with non-users make a very good business case for enterprise CPQ software.