Pricing-and-quoting software delivers immediate, tangible benefits to customers who engage with your enterprise.
The costs associated with building the wrong product or building the right product incorrectly are huge and often non-recoverable.
It doesn’t matter if the prospect is a tire kicker, a primary strategic target or a highly valued returning customer, you will serve him or her more effectively and deliver a superior customer experience with the aid of this technology.
Here are four reasons this is true.
Automated Proposal Generation
Automated proposal generation and quotations are helpful to any selling conversation. The problem with standalone quotes is documenting what the quotation really includes. In longer selling cycles or selling cycles that have been interrupted and then resumed months later, quotations are frequently just remembered numbers.
For instance, both the seller and the buyer may have implicitly understood last October that the quote did not include installation. However, will they agree that was the case in January when they pick up their discussions following a holiday break?
Automating the process with quotation-management software means that any quote delivered will include a timestamp and detailed explanation of what is included.
Quote-and-proposal automation accomplishes that as well as other things. Automated proposal delivery provides consistent, high-quality proposals that include detailed discovery findings, options considered, justification documentation, user references and itemized pricing quoted to the customer.
All of this is accomplished without pulling Sales assets out of the field to craft elaborate proposals when they could be selling.
Why Automated Proposal Generation Is Important to Customers
Doubt and uncertainty are almost always present in the customer’s mind during the buy cycle. The job of the selling party is largely aimed at eliminating that doubt and uncertainty.
A quote-management system delivers highly documented quotes and detailed proposals that assure customers all of their concerns and needs have been addressed. Additionally, the quote-management system provides documentation that shows the “numbers involved” make sense and are justifiable and explainable to others who are not directly involved in the transaction.
The proposal should act as a selling tool. It should answer all potential questions, justify all costs and prices quoted and specifically show how the solution will address the pain points cited by the customer. The customer will most likely select the solution that addresses those three factors quickly and convincingly.
Customers need to be able to point to specific reasons they are choosing your product over others. The well-crafted proposal and quotation document will equip the customer to make the right decision and to explain why he or she chose you.
Guided-selling architecture is a marketing and sales approach that is based on the fact that prospects and customers prefer to self-educate during much of the buy cycle. Guided-selling quoting-and-ordering software supports this approach by designing processes, systems and resources that offer high-value content to early, mid- and late-stage prospects to reinforce the self-education process.
Rather than setting up a website that only features detailed product pages that are oriented toward features and benefits, the website will offer material of real value to the visitor. This would include white papers, videos, industry-expert commentary, user stories and interactive demonstrations. The information is made available via an analysis of the visitor’s online behavior that is used to contextually select material offered and made available to the visiting prospect.
Why Guided Selling Is Important to Customers
When prospects set out to mitigate some pain point or issue that confronts their enterprise, time is of the essence. Prospects want to be sure the time and effort they are investing in looking at an offering is going to provide some payback in terms of knowledge or progress toward their solution.
Guided-selling processes provide constant feedback to the prospect in terms of the options presented in response to queries, subjects selected and interest displayed during visits. The visitor is quickly able to discover if time spent onsite is worth the choices offered and materials presented.
This interactive, customer-driven communication extends throughout the sales cycle, into the actual configuration process, where customer inputs drive the options offered.
The customer’s confidence in the ultimate solution is high because the customers have been heard throughout the sales cycles and buying phase of the transaction.
Customer-Driven Requirements Interview
Complex problems solved with complex solutions require full disclosure by both parties involved in the buying transaction. Sellers and buyers both have an obligation to fully disclose the nature of the problems and pain points they are attempting to address.
The problem is that neither party may fully understand the problem, which makes selecting or designing a solution impossible.
A CPQ solution enabled with an interactive interviewing capability engages the customer with a series of questions and other inputs that in turn drive additional, more-specific questions related to needs and requirements. As this informational exchange process is executed, choices and options are offered, accepted, rejected and replaced by others.
In the end, the customer has, through input, created its own solution. The input the customer provided during the interviewing process has enabled the expert, knowledge-based configurator to craft a solution perfectly aligned with the customer’s needs.
Why Driving Product Requirements Is Important to Customers
The interview process is the prospect’s assurance that the product offered is the right product for the customer’s requirements.
A CPQ solution enabled with an interactive interviewing capability assures both the buyer and the seller that needs and requirements will be fully explored and understood before a product recommendation is made.
Customers know a product has not simply been “sold” to them; rather, they are confident in knowing they are buying a solution that they, themselves, created.
Automation of Order Entry
Once the configure-price-quote system has fully configured the product according to the customer’s requirements, the system will seamlessly communicate all of the data necessary to fulfill the order via the order-entry system, as well as to the production-scheduling, inventory-control and requirements-planning systems.
Automation of this process in the context of an enterprise invoice-and-quote software solution eliminates input errors in terms of pricing, SKUs and other encoded data that is prone to transposition and “fat-fingering” problems when the data is re-keyed.
Additionally, large or complex sales may well have involved many iterations of proposed solutions. Automation reduces or eliminates the chance that the “wrong” solution is ordered or delivered to the customer.
The cost associated with building the wrong product or building the right product incorrectly are huge and often non-recoverable.
Why Automated Order Entry Is Important to Customers
Automated order entry ensures that the customer gets the right product on time and at the right price. Invoices are error-free, and the solution delivered is perfectly aligned with the customer’s needs.
Invoices received will match up with purchasing, ordering and shipping documentation. Benefits gained by the acquired solution are realized as quickly as possible.
Make Customer Success the Driving Goal
The benefits of putting the customer first and making customer-success outcomes the driving goal of your enterprise are increasingly accepted as the best way to ensure success.
Anything that increases the level of communication and input from your customer is beneficial to you, the seller.
Automating the quotation and proposal process, especially when the solution configuration process is guided by customer input, will greatly benefit both seller and buyer.
Customers Must Make Informed Decisions when Buying Software
Customers should carefully evaluate the alternatives available and pick the best CPQ software for their enterprise