How CRM Integrations Can Increase Sales Efficiency and Productivity

September 12, 2019 PROS, Inc.

Members of an organization working together to increase profits.

If your organization has made the investment to incorporate CRM into your tech stack, it is critical to determine how to get your sales reps to use it effectively in order to maximize its impact. One way to increase the adoption and effectiveness of your CRM is to integrate complimentary tools, such as CPQ and sales compensation solutions. These strategic integrations are designed not only to increase efficiency, but deliver tremendous value to your sales reps, thereby increasing their use of the CRM.

So, if CRM is so powerful, why isn’t your sales team using it to the fullest extent? According to Redspire, nearly 50% of CRM projects fail as a result of slow user adoption, and nearly 70% of project managers believe that their staff will not be open to trying a CRM solution at all.  So what can you do to change that?

CRM optimization can have a positive impact on your business, employees, and, of course, your bottom line. According to Salesforce, if used correctly CRM can increase those sales by as much as 29%, boost your sales productivity by 34%, and increase your sales forecast accuracy by 42%. A report from Nucleus Research cites that the average return on investment on CRM was $8.71 for each dollar spent – meaning big impact to your bottom line.

CRM can have a positive impact on your company’s sales. However, if you are like many other companies, many of your sales representatives have not fully adopted the platform and in some cases, may not be using it at all.

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Increase CRM Adoption Rates With CPQ

There are several reasons why CRM adoption can be low within sales teams and understanding these reasons can help you identify opportunities for powerful CRM integrations.

  • Inadequate training
  • CRM seen as more of a hassle than a help
  • Lack of transparency
  • Unclear expectations from above
  • Not enough support

Addressing these opportunities to increase the sales value of the CRM will result in accelerated sales adoption. Value added solutions like CPQ alleviate the stress of an overcomplicated CRM, allowing your sales team to reap the full benefit of the solution.

On average, sales reps spend 60-75% of their time on administrative tasks and prep work, including configuring products, generating accurate price quotes, and delivering the quotes to customers. This means that far less time is used to actually sell products. Think about how much more your company would be able to sell if your sales reps could devote more of their time to selling and less to administrative tasks! By integrating CPQ with CRM, you will not only increase CRM adoption rates but also increase your company’s bottom line.

CPQ (configure, price, quote) tools are one of the key CRM integrations that can have a drastic impact on your business. CPQ tools can help your sales teams quickly and accurately deliver quotes for products or services to your customers. CRM integrations with CPQ provide your sales team with a valuable tool right at their fingertips, allowing them to generate customized quotes for customers in a matter of minutes. The margin for human error is reduced, so your sales team can be confident that they are providing an accurate quote to the customer.

CPQ software vendors, such as PROS, work to help you customize quotes based on the different product options and configurations you offer to customers. When you utilize CRM integrations with CPQ, it will increase CRM adoption rates by the sales team, increasing sales productivity and driving ROI. Integrating CRM and CPQ can help your sales teams become more productive and profitable, provide quicker turnaround times for delivering quotes to customers, and increase sales.

All the benefits of CPQ will work together to lessen the load of administrative tasks and provide more time to sell products and find solutions for your customers. When your sales reps see the powerful impact of CPQ integration and realize how beneficial it is regarding the time it takes them to complete numerous tasks, they will be ready to jump in with both feet.

7 Benefits of a CPQ and CRM Integration

CPQ software offers a wide array of benefits for your sales team and your organization. According to Gartner, the global CPQ market is projected to grow at a 20% compound annual growth rate through 2020. So, if you aren’t already leveraging a CPQ tool, now could be the time.

Here are seven ways that integrating CPQ with your CRM will increase CRM adoption, sales team productivity, and your overall bottom line.

1. Identify Sales Opportunities

CRM integrations with CPQ can help your sales reps identify and pursue new sales opportunities. Let’s be real, finding sales leads is a difficult task for sales teams and many spend countless hours a week figuring out who to sell what products to.  Leveraging a CPQ solution can help streamline this process by providing sales people with leads they can sell to. Solutions with this integrated capability, like PROS Smart CPQ, leverage AI algorithms to uncover these leads in existing customer accounts.  Why is this important?  Existing customers are 5x more likely to buy additional products from you than new customers. This can lead to additional sales and revenue for your business, and a more positive customer experience.

2. Accelerate Responsiveness

The average sales representative spends 40.4 out of their 53.7 hours each week on administrative tasks and prep work. This leaves them only 13.3 hours to actually sell your products! By incorporating CPQ with the CRM, you can enable your sales team to accelerate their responsiveness using quoting automation. This will give them back a large portion of their work week to actually do what they’re good at –selling.

Leveraging quoting automation to accelerate the responsiveness of quoting is one thing, but sending an accurate quote to a customer is more difficult than you realize. Your sales reps need to make sure they consider any special promotions or customizations the customer requested. With PROS Smart CPQ, you can handle this time-consuming task much more quickly. The Smart CPQ software will help your sales reps customize product configurations and create a personalized quote in minutes. Since the software removes the concern for human error while calculating quotes, you won’t need to worry about misquoting a customer.

3. Use a Digital Catalog to Identify the Right Products for Customers

One rule that is commonly referenced in sales today is the 80/20 Rule, which states that 20% of your products account for 80% of your revenue. One reason for this large gap is that sales representatives often only sell the products they’re familiar with. With a seamless CPQ and CRM integration, your sales team will have access to a digital catalog of all your products and configuration options right at their fingertips, as well as intelligent techniques that will help make selling easier. They’ll be able to work closely with customers to make real-time modifications to the products to best meet the customers' wants and needs. They will also be able to find and recommend additional products that will be well-suited for specific customers.

All of this will provide your customers with a personalized end-to-end experience – ultimately improving customer satisfaction. When your employees are actively working to best meet the customers' needs, you will end up with satisfied customers who come back again and again.

4. Identify Rewarding Cross-Sell Opportunities

Anyone with any sales knowledge knows how beneficial cross-selling can be. It can turn a small purchase into a much larger one when customers add other products to an existing order. With CPQ software, cross-selling products will become easier for your sales reps, ensuring that it occurs more frequently.  Leading CPQ solutions go one step further by leveraging AI algorithms to personalize the product recommendations for each customer.

AI-based CPQ solutions will also learn from customer behaviors and tweak the product recommendations to be even more personalized resulting in a better customer experience and more sales. When sales people know they have a tool that can help them sell more, they’ll be more incentivized to use the CPQ software integrated into the CRM.

5. Close Deals Faster with Price Recommendations

HubSpot found that 28% of salespeople say closing a deal is the toughest part when making a sale. Help your sales team realize how CPQ price optimization can assist them to close deals more quickly.

CRM integrations with CPQ not only increase your sales rep’s chances of closing a deal, but they allow them to close deals much faster. Since the software recommends accurate pricing information, they will be able to present a quote with fair pricing to customers almost instantly. This will remove the opportunity for customers to have second thoughts about their purchase or look for alternatives, increasing the chances that they will purchase your product.

6. Reduce Training Time for New or Complex Products

Typically, when you introduce new or especially complex products, you need to spend a lot of time training your sales team. You must cover all the different functions and features of the products, the various ways of customizing them, the ways they will benefit customers, and which types of customers would be most likely to purchase the product. CPQ can drastically cut down on this training time. Since your sales reps will be able to easily access information relating to the product as well as customizations and pricing information, you won’t need to spend as much time providing training.

7. Receive Analytical Insights Related to Performance

PROS Smart CPQ will allow you to receive valuable insights into your sales team and the data relating to their product sales. You’ll be able to view their sales records and see which products they are selling the most. You’ll also be able to view the quotes for products that didn’t sell and look for trends. This can indicate whether you need to adjust your pricing strategy or marketing related to specific products or features.

Increase CRM Adoption by Choosing the Right CPQ Software

When you are looking to increase CRM adoption by integrating CPQ software, you will want to take the time to ensure you make the right decision. All CPQ software options are not created equally. You don’t want to choose a product that won’t meet your needs or have a positive impact on your business.

There are two main types of CPQ architecture: native and hybrid. While native CPQ is only compatible with the specific CRM for which it was built, a hybrid option can become integrated with almost any customer relationship management tool. This allows for flexibility in the event your organization ever decides to adopt a new CRM. If you have a global business, then your regional sales teams may be using different CRMs already. Choosing a hybrid CPQ will ensure compatibility with the various CRMs used by different parts of your organization.

Hybrid CPQs are also not tied to governor limitations of the CRM. They will be able to more seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM. Finally, your PM teams will see more benefits when you choose to integrate a hybrid CPQ.

If you are looking to increase the effectiveness and adoption of your CRM, consider integrating CPQ software with your customer relationship management tools. Smart CPQ can help make your sales reps more confident and efficient, boost sales, increase profits, and ensure customer satisfaction. Say goodbye to the days of long turnaround times for quotes, costly errors, and unproductive sales teams. CRM integration with PROS Smart CPQ can transform your business.

Want to learn more about how CPQ software can help your organization reduce pain points in the sales process and drive ROI? Read more about the top five things to consider when selecting CPQ vendor software so you can make the right decision.

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