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What is Configure Price Quote Software?

How Digital Transformations Succeed with Configure Price Quote Solutions

If you manufacture products with multiple configurations or provide complex services, this guide is for you.


To maintain and gain market share, manufacturers and service providers need to offer the smoothest possible selling experience. Customers expect to be able to choose from a wide range of available configurations, and to receive a timely, accurate quote.

Salespeople are under increased pressure to refine and reissue quotes quickly to demonstrate the high level of service customers can expect from your company. However, outdated tools can make the quoting process cumbersome. Cloud-based Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions provide the tools that salespeople need to quickly provide quotes with accurate configurations and consistent, profitable pricing.

This article is for manufacturers and service providers who want to understand how they can use CPQ to:

  • Better serve customers
  • Equip sales teams with approved data and methods so they can spend more time selling
  • Close deals faster
  • Increase the return on existing enterprise application investments

What Is CPQ Cloud?

What CPQ Does


What is included in a CPQ system?


The product configurator is the powerhouse of the CPQ system. This is where the rules for model selection, product specifications, sizing, material selection and more are built into the system. The process that engineering would use to manually approve quotes is translated into rules that are applied automatically, making the quoting process significantly faster and more accessible.

With the CPQ product configurator, user selections drive the available choices so that incorrect configurations aren’t allowed. A salesperson can input the selections, or other sales channels such as a wholesaler or customer-facing website can be set up to use the same guidance and rules to generate quotes.

i-fq Faster quoting

Since product selection logic and intelligence are built into the configurator, most of the bottlenecks and roadblocks around scope and pricing are removed. With the product configurator in a CPQ solution, all sales channels have immediate access to consistent guidelines, eliminating the need for extra approval steps. Pricing models are maintained in a central location so sales reps don’t have to go searching for them when a prospect asks for a quote.

i-fo Faster onboarding and time to market

New salespeople can confidently recommend product configurations by relying on the guided selling prompts CPQ provides. With CPQ, new products and options can be deployed immediately, without requiring complex “how to configure” sessions.

i-rb Reduced burden on engineering and production

Special requests can be handled on an as-needed basis to reduce the amount of time engineering has to spend on reviewing and approving each configuration. Bills of material can also be produced for configurations in the sales pipeline, giving production and engineering advance notice of special configurations that may be coming their way.

With CPQ, even the most complex products can be quoted in minutes rather than days or weeks. Engineering does not have to approve every quote, production does not need to reject incorrect configurations, and customers receive exactly what they were quoted.


For companies that want to protect their profit margins and meet revenue goals, the CPQ pricing engine is invaluable. With CPQ, labor rates and raw materials costs can be set and shown in management’s view of each opportunity and stay hidden from the customer. Pricing guardrails prevent salespeople from making deals below set margins. Pricing strategies and options can be defined based on different criteria such as location, customer loyalty, or risk factors.

Profit visibility allows decision-makers to prioritize opportunities and prevent wasting resources on deals that don’t make sense financially.


The ability to automatically generate consistent, attractive proposals is game-changer for salespeople. A cumbersome quote generation process that forces salespeople to cut and paste pieces of other proposals often creates a cobbled-together unprofessional result that requires hours of polishing. With CPQ, sales can quickly prepare consistent, attractive proposals with an easy-to-use document generator.

With CPQ, salespeople spend their time selling, not manually preparing proposals.

Do CPQ systems integrate with our existing systems and data?

The right CPQ software can have a powerful impact on the success of a digital transformation initiative. Behind the scenes, CPQ integrations allow data to flow between different enterprise systems, breaking down the silos that compromise the efficiency and effectiveness of digital solutions. CPQ can connect to CRM and ERP data along with pricing and configuration rules and product availability to allow different sales channels to generate quotes autonomously.

The integration capabilities of a CPQ system are where the benefits of digital transformation take center stage. To realize the full benefits of an interconnected system and get the most out of robust CRM, ERP, PLM and other enterprise applications, data needs to flow between systems. CPQ breaks down silos and provides a framework for sharing information across departments, eliminating guesswork and inefficient, error-prone copy-and-paste steps.

CRM integration links customer information to quotes and orders, and can provide analytical insights such as buying cadence and upsell opportunities.

ERP integration provides pipeline visibility so that production knows what’s coming. Integration can also show sales which components are at risk for late delivery due to supply chain or other issues.

Other applications such as PLM and e-commerce can also be integrated for improved efficiency and channel expansion. The Cincom CPQ integration framework provides out-of-the-box connectors to many enterprise applications (e.g., Cincom CPQ, D365 CE, D365 F&O and Salesforce), along with the ability to easily extend and include connectors for other applications. Other out-of-the-box connectors include File, Email and SQL.

Cincom/SAP integration success

An industrial fan supplier was able to decrease their order entry staff workload by 50% by implementing a field to factory CPQ solution. Their service architecture takes output from Cincom CPQ, in XML format, to SAP XI. With this seamless and scalable integration, IT can process 1,000 orders a day.

Learn more about how CPQ provides a versatile framework for easy integration with enterprise applications.

SOURCE: How a CPQ Solution Simplifies Complex Sales Processes and Cuts Costs White Paper

How do you know you need CPQ?

Many companies start out with a spreadsheet system, other homegrown applications, and a piecemeal approach to configuring products and generating quotes. However, as businesses and product lines grow and become more complex, and more salespeople are added to the team, these ad hoc systems are no longer up to the task.

The following signs and symptoms often appear in companies that could benefit from the efficiency of a CPQ solution:

  • Quote generation takes days, hurting the probability of closing sales.
  • Inconsistent pricing causes internal disruption and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Incorrect configurations cause multiple change orders and rework.
  • Product and pricing information is trapped in silos.

Learn about enterprise CPQ software

A purpose-build CPQ solution offers many benefits compared to spreadsheet-based systems.

Compare how the alternatives perform

Product configuration

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Ranges from open-ended order forms that allow incorrect configurations to having basic configurations included in a system. Any customizations require approval.

CPQ solution

Rules-based options and guided selling eliminate incorrect configurations. Only special exceptions require approval.

Customer ability to drive product selection

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Customers are reliant on sales to provide configuration information.

CPQ solution

Customer selection-driven prompts are available through a web interface.

Access to product expertise

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Requires consultation with specific people.

CPQ solution

Captured in the product configurator, available to different sales channels.


Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Typically, pricing is in siloed systems that require manual updates and intervention by finance and other departments. Margins are not protected, pricing requires multiple approvals, and salespeople not always aware of bundle deals or which discounts to apply.

CPQ solution

Guardrails prevent non-profitable pricing; applicable bundles and discounts can be set up to guide salespeople. Approvals can be built in, leaving only special cases requiring extra sign-off.

Identification of cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system


CPQ solution

The CPQ knowledge engine offers guided selling prompts to identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Number of systems salespeople must access to create a quote

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Multiple systems are required to generate a quote, which takes hours of cutting and pasting and reformatting; errors and omissions are common.

CPQ solution

By consolidating legacy calculators and apps into one CPQ hub, sales personnel have all relevant data and product information available through one application.

Time required to generate a quote

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Days, sometimes weeks, depending on complexity and availability of approvers

CPQ solution

Hours, even minutes in many cases.

Rollout of new products and features

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Cumbersome, requires technical resources from IT; out-of-date product offerings are often used by sales due to necessity.

CPQ solution

CPQ keeps sales synchronized with current product and features. Standard updates can be done by non-technical personnel.

Quote revisions needed

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Frequent revisions needed to adjust invalid configurations; results in customer dissatisfaction and lost opportunities.

CPQ solution

Revisions are only needed for rare exceptions due to exceptional circumstances such as supply chain issues. Products are quoted to match configurations that can be produced.

Onboarding new sales reps

Spreadsheets, Homegrown/legacy system

Takes time to learn multiple systems and undocumented information, quotes require heavy supervision; steep learning curve.

CPQ solution

With CPQ, new salespeople can be onboarded quickly so that they’re productive and meeting quotas on target.

Learn how a die and punch manufacturer reduced order-to-shop processing time by 60% with Cincom CPQ.

It’s truly an excellent product. It has enabled us to do things that our previous system could not handle—and it makes a big difference in our ability to provide the best to our clients.

Donna Rendos, Contract Admin Analyst, HM Insurance Group

Source: Cincom IEM Customer Story compilation

Who benefits from CPQ?

Sales teams are often the first to recognize the benefits of a CPQ solution; however, multiple departments benefit from the efficiencies offered by CPQ:

Salespeople do not have to learn and use multiple systems to pull together the information they need.

New salespeople can be onboarded faster, so they can be spending their time selling rather than learning a complex quoting process.

Engineers only need to review special cases, not every single quote. For automated configurations, engineers can access configuration data at any time.

IT does not need to update multiple systems when costs or prices change; automated updates can be done quickly, giving Sales current information pulled directly from financial sources, ERP, CRM, etc.

Purchasing can get ahead of the curve by analyzing the types of products being quoted and trends with customers. For example, purchasing can view high-probability quotes with hard-to-order components with enough time to modify sourcing if needed.

Key stakeholders such as the C-Suite, finance and production have excellent visibility into the pipeline to support informed business decisions. Staffing can be ramped up or down with trends; machines can be ordered in anticipation of increased business.

Customers receive exactly what was quoted and ordered.

Every company has a suite of software that they use, and leveraging in another suite of software can be difficult. With Cincom, that wasn’t a problem. We were able to feed our ERP system, our reporting system, and our financial systems. It all meshed seamlessly, and again, Cincom was wonderful in helping us figure out those touch points.

Configuration Manager, E-ONE

Source: Cincom IEM Customer Story compilation

How does CPQ reduce risk and contribute to successful digital transformation?

The right CPQ solution can make a significant impact in solving business issues that result from using an inefficient system.

Risk CPQ solution
Low margins hurt profits. Pricing guardrails built into CPQ protect margins.
Out-of-date product and pricing information is presented to customers. CPQ integrations break down silos and synchronize sales with current pricing and correct product configurations.
Scalability is hindered. CPQ provides an infrastructure for guided selling that can be used by multiple sales channels such as dealers. CPQ systems also reduce the burden on IT.
Selling opportunities to existing customers are missed. CPQ can present recommendations for upselling and cross-selling opportunities that a salesperson may have been unaware of.
Inability to meet production deadlines. CPQ increases pipeline visibility so any potential supply chain issues can be addressed early.
Tribal knowledge of products is lost when experienced employees leave. CPQ can capture tribal knowledge and make it accessible.
Opportunities are lost to more responsive competitors. Many CPQ users cut quote times by 50% or more, increasing the likelihood of closing deals that would have been lost due to slow quoting.

Learn more about how CPQ simplifies complex sales processes and cuts costs.

One of the things I really like about Cincom CPQ is that it digitizes information we need at the point of sale. That allows us to do much more process automation throughout the pipeline.

Keith Brierley-Bowers, Director of Business Processes, BGE HOME

SOURCE: Cincom Simplify Costs white paper

What kind of CPQ system is best?

Available CPQ systems range from those that focus on streamlining quotes for basic products to those with a robust document generator, a complex product configurator, and the infrastructure to support integration to multiple enterprise applications.

Use the checklist below to help determine the type of CPQ system you need:

CPQ system feature Required?
Complex product configurator that can handle thousands of possible product configurations
Robust quote generator that integrates with CRM software
Integrations with enterprise applications such as ERP PLM, e-commerce, and others
Multichannel sales support
Infrastructure for a web sales interface
Guided selling prompts
Pricing guardrails
Product visualization
E-commerce capability

Cincom was one of a very few products that could even meet our criteria and is, by far, the most flexible and intuitive product we saw. The graphical method of programming allowed our staff to work with the product without a heavy programming background.

Randy Wissinger, Vice-President of Finance, Dayton Lamina

Source: Cincom IEM Customer Story compilation

Ideal for manufacturers with highly complex product configurations, Cincom CPQ is used by companies in a range of industries:

Industrial manufacturing

Electronics manufacturing


Specialty vehicles

Medical equipment and device manufacturing

Complex Services

Learn more about CPQ software for manufacturing

Helmer Logo

Helmer Scientific achieved a systematic digital approach to capturing tribal knowledge and removed manual processes from the quote cycle. They also connected systems from front-end Microsoft Dynamics CRM to back-end Fourth Shift ERP.

Learn about Microsoft Dynamics CRM CPQ Integration


What is Configure Price Quote?

Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software is a sales tool that enables companies to quickly and accurately generate quotes for complex and configurable products. This system takes into account the various options and customizations available for a product, along with pricing, discounts, and business rules to streamline the quoting process. CPQ solutions help enhance customer experiences and satisfaction by providing timely and precise pricing information.

Why do we need CPQ?

Manufacturers and service providers need CPQ systems to improve the accuracy and efficiency of their sales processes. With the ability to quickly generate accurate price quotes, sales teams can ensure that the prices offered to customers are both competitive and profitable for the company. CPQ systems also automate the quoting process, reducing errors and manual workload and ultimately accelerating the sales cycle.

Cincom CPQ

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