CPQ(Configure Price Quote) or sales quoting program is a software solution that helps businesses correctly quote products and services to customers and prospects, often involving complex or customized products. A well implemented CPQ/Sales quoting program can help businesses streamline steps, expedite quotes, consolidate opportunities and improve overall customer service. But a CPQ system isn’t necessarily required by all sales organizations and whether you need a solution depends on the issues and needs of your organization. A good place to start is to ask your sales team if they are having any trouble generating and issuing quotes.
Here are a few questions to help you decide if a CPQ/Sales Quoting solution is right for your business.
- Is quoting an important part of your sales process? For many businesses sales quoting is crucial to generating sales. This is true in the equipment and commercial supply, industrial automation, distribution, machinery, transportation equipment and many other business to business sectors. If your business issues quotes for most sales, then a sales quoting program should be a serious consideration.
- Is your current process a series of disconnected steps (e.g. Word and Excel files)? When a business is small and the number of people involved in the quoting process is limited to one or two, then using Word and Excel can get the job done. But once the quote volume begins to grow and the number of individuals involved expands as well, then the manual process begins to break down, data maintenance falls apart, duplication becomes widespread and errors and inefficiencies begin to appear.
- Is tracking quotes a tedious process or even non-existent in your business? When quotes are stored on individual Word documents and Excel files located on multiple laptops, desktops or mobile devices, it can be an enormous task to consolidate this data into a usable form for tracking and reporting on sales opportunities at an organization level. Very often its just not done! The ability to easily track quotes and analyze market trends is a fundamental part of a good quoting/CPQ solution.
- Do you send out quotes, not knowing the expected profit? You would think that every quote is issued with a reasonable margin. But competitive pressures, time constraints and diverse quoting practices can lead to quotes being issued that do not have sufficient profit built-in. Often the profit or even loss isn’t known until the order is processed. If knowing the profit before a sale is made is important to your business, then implementing a sales quoting solution should be a priority.
- Do quoted errors cause you significant headaches? Errors in quotes can be very costly in manpower and rework and a flag that a different approach is needed to avoid further mistakes. A key advantage of a purpose-built quote solution is to eliminate errors by improving data accuracy, simplifying the quoting process and removing duplication.
- Is there a lack of standards or consistency in your quoting process? Word and Excel templates are the most common tools for quoting, however, it can be difficult to enforce best practices as these types of documents are easily modified. What’s more, older versions continue to be used even though a revised template has been issued. The result is a patch work of quoting forms and worksheets that are susceptible to errors and present an inconsistent brand to your customers.
If you answer yes to some or all of these questions, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to explore a CPQ/Sales quoting program for your business. To learn more, feel free to contact us a ProQuoteInfo@ProQuote-Solutions.com or call 905-403-1198.