How a CPQ Solution Helps You Become A Trusted Partner

January 9, 2015 Russ Chadinha

Today’s customers are looking for ways to streamline their business and increase purchasing power by reducing the number of suppliers and working with a few trusted partners.

To start positioning yourself as a trusted partner, instead of a commodity provider, you need to create offers that are relevant, comprehensive and accurate, and deliver them in a way that demonstrates your professionalism.

Here’s how each element of a configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution helps your sales team deliver these superior offers and reinforce your role as a key, trusted partner.

1) Configure: In the configuration stage, CPQ tools use a recommendation engine to support guided selling. Let’s say you have a sales rep who’s trying to put together a solution for a customer, drawing from their portfolio of products and services with 10,000 SKUs. That task is far too complex without some kind of assistance. Here’s where the CPQ software with guided selling capabilities helps them configure a complete offer. By walking the sales rep through a series of questions, the CPQ software will then provide a recommended set of products and services designed to meet the specific requirements of that customer.

In addition to guided selling capabilities, a CPQ solution can make cross-sell recommendations, ensuring the sales rep creates a solution containing all of the products that the customer could potentially purchase.

CPQ also helps to improve the accuracy of product configurations by ensuring only valid configurations can be created.

Being able to present your solution in a complete and accurate way helps you demonstrate your ability to be more than a commodity supplier. It shows you’re able to help the customer reduce the number of suppliers they deal with and positions you as a trusted partner.

2) Price: In order to win and keep your customers’ business for the long haul, your reps need the ability to develop pricing that profitably wins the opportunities. CPQ with integrated pricing guidance provides your reps with fact-based pricing recommendations so your sales team can negotiate from an informed position.

Since sales reps know that they’re standing on a defensible price point, they are able to focus on communicating the value and building the customer relationship, instead of trying to figure out their negotiation strategy.

Price optimization also helps to streamline workflows, resulting in a faster turnaround and improved customer experience. Reps know that if they follow the business rules that have been established within the CPQ toolset, their automated quote approval workflow is going to be fast and efficient. When they stick to a price within the pricing guidance, there’s no need for manual approval and no need to track down a manager to explain their position. The right price means the quote goes straight to “Approved”.

3) Quote: The quoting stage ensures the proposal demonstratesprofessionalism to your customers. Creating quotes as another touch point in which to support your brand and create a positive impression with the customer. Delivering a customized, professional-looking document reinforces the perception that the customer is dealing with a company worthy of being a trusted partner.

And because your CPQ tools are integrated with your CRM system, it improves your reps’ ability to manage sales opportunities and customer relationships. When these systems are seamlessly integrated, they provide asingle tool for managing all the activities with all of their accounts. Managing engagements more effectively gives you a greater opportunity to take action and make decisions that help reinforce your position as a trusted partner.

To sum it up, CPQ combines three tools that enable your sales team to demonstrate their value to today’s sophisticated B2B customers. Configure helps you provide comprehensive, accurate offers. Price provides fact-based, data-driven pricing and efficient negotiations. Quote delivers professional looking proposals. When you have all that in your sales process, who wouldn’t trust you with their business?

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