The customer is a technological industrial manufacturing conglomerate focused on providing smart and sustainable tech for businesses around the world. The division supported by PROS manufacturers supplies, including lights, electrical items, wires, and fire extinguishers. They also provide installation services, building management systems, automation, energy efficiency, and safety solutions.
Operating in 24 countries in EMEA, the manufacturing branch employs 70,000 people and reported a revenue of €15 billion in 2021. Of those 70,000 employees, more than 1,300 are responsible for sales throughout the region. Before PROS, the sales team could only produce a few offers a day. The company saw an opportunity to improve their sales process, which would boost revenues and help them serve more customers faster.
3 challenges blocking revenue growth
The organization had 3 key challenges—slow quote turnaround time, poor quote accuracy and consistency, and slow, error-prone manual workflows—preventing them from achieving the quote volumes they required in order to increase sales and margins.
- Slow quote turnaround time
In each location, salespeople had been using spreadsheets, past proposals, and historical information retained on hard drives to compile complex custom quotes for customers. These methods drew out the quoting process, reduced sales opportunities, and caused customers to sometimes wait days for a quote on the products or services they were looking to buy.
- Poor quote accuracy and consistency
The business operates in 24 European and Middle Eastern/Asian countries, and each country handled quoting a little differently. It was a manual and disjointed process that left a lot of room for human error. One country was digging through spreadsheets while another was digging through past proposals. For example, a customer could query 2 facilities and get 2 completely different offers. Since there was no real visibility into pricing and what the sales team was putting in the quotes, this resulted in inconsistent pricing and profit loss.
- Slow and error-prone manual workflows
As prices for products and services fluctuated, pricing changes needed to be entered manually, meaning that the method of entry introduced a significant potential for human error. In addition, employees were spending a lot of time updating spreadsheets and other sources of information at each location that could be better spent elsewhere, like building relationships with customers.
The organization wanted to ensure the solution had a simple interface and enabled them to “bring their own science,” which means this company could use their own internally developed pricing algorithms with our software. They knew they would need an extensible solution to streamline quoting and pricing to better serve customers and eliminate revenue leakage.
PROS Smart Configure Price Quote (CPQ)
The company set out to resolve all 3 challenges in 2014, hoping to move from disparate tools and manual processes to a modern digital sales process that would be easy and user-friendly. Usability was at the top of the list. The fewer clicks the better for salespeople, who want to be as fast and efficient as possible to better serve their customers.
This industrial manufacturer knew that to improve sales processes, they needed a technology provider that could solve all their current challenges. The company chose PROS Smart CPQ to automate and accelerate their lead-to-revenue process.
Innovation and implementation
In 2014, the partnership began with back-and-forth consultations, during which PROS helped the company resolve their IT and sales challenges via the implementation of PROS Smart CPQ. This was the beginning of a long-term partnership of innovation with PROS and this customer.
In 2016, this client deployed the SaaS version of PROS Smart CPQ throughout 24 countries in Europe and replaced 50 legacy systems. But the innovations weren’t done. Following the transition to SaaS, the industrial manufacturing branch employed PROS in several more projects, including secondary CPQ workstreams and the development of customized, AI-driven pricing algorithms that integrate customer technology, referred to as “Bring Your Own Science.”
The secondary CPQ workstream covered the services that were purchased after the products. By inserting this workstream, the customer was able to keep all processes in one place—which streamlined the quoting process even more. PROS “Bring Your Own Science”, also known as extensible AI, allows customers to bring their own pricing and science systems to integrate with PROS Smart CPQ. This service is offered to PROS customers because while we specialize in pricing science to help companies deliver profitable growth, we also provide for companies to use their own homegrown algorithms if they chose. With so many innovations and expansions, the customer and PROS team turned to Accenture to help speed up the time to value during implementation.
The partnership with Accenture
Accenture was brought in to work with this manufacturer as part of their Salesforce integration. In order for this partnership to work, PROS trained Accenture employees on the PROS platform, and both PROS and Accenture worked together with the industrial manufacturing branch to implement the PROS Smart CPQ solution across the EMEA region. This “partner together” delivery model means that PROS provides the solution, expertise, and partners to help complete and execute the task to increase time to value for the customer.
Substantial improvements in margin and quote efficiency
This company realized substantial benefits in the areas of increased margins, accelerated lead-to-revenue process, and profit optimization. After implementing PROS Smart CPQ, the manufacturer realized a 50-basis-point margin increase, and they expect another 0.2% increase once the performance quoting advancement is fully implemented and in use.
The manufacturing branch also reduced quote configuration times for services by 98%, or from an average of 2 days to 30 minutes, and by 65% when quoting products. The time savings has allowed the company to create 50,000 more offers per year than before, taking the sales team from a handful of offers a day to over 100.
In addition, the automated quoting software provided by PROS reduced the amount of human error found in offers sent to customers by 80%. PROS continues working with the manufacturer on pricing and quoting strategies through “Bring Your Own Science” and other supplemental projects.