Al Ramirez, Senior Director, Salesforce Practice at Synthesis Systems
10 Business Symptoms Indicating Your Organization Needs a CPQ Solution
We live in the customer experience driven world of subscriptions, recurring revenues, renewals, complex deals, personalization and perpetual promotions. How can your business manage all of these and still be more efficient than ever? Salesforce CPQ (Configure Price Quote) is popular amongst various industries because of its high functionality and integration with CRM and ERP systems, as well as its ability to configure complex, personalized and accurately priced offers to customers. Within the subscription economy, we’ve seen it grow into a highly valuable tool. Many businesses would benefit immensely from Salesforce CPQ, but are simply not aware of their need for it.
Here are some business symptoms that suggest Salesforce CPQ could be right for your business:
#1 Sales representatives cannot keep up with product and pricing complexity
Expanding and customizing product offerings and dynamic pricing structures require a thorough, yet easy-to-use catalog that provides flexibility in product and feature bundling as well as pricing customization. If sales representatives cannot keep track of these complexities, it will lead to mistakes, confusion, and frustrated customers. Additionally, dynamic pricing structures, including complex discount offerings, bundles and renewals, often rely on complex formulas. If pricing is variable and applies to various product structures, Salesforce CPQ will allow sales representatives to automatically create and send quotes quickly by using pre-set rules for pricing and discounts for any product item.
- Complex product bundling and dynamic pricing
- Delays in processing and sending quotes
- Several errors in quote configuration across different deals
#2 Still using outdated or manual input systems for quoting and contracting
If you are using paper or systems like Microsoft Word and Excel to manually provide quoting or contracting to customers, it is time to consider Salesforce CPQ. Not only will it save several hours and reduce quoting errors, Salesforce CPQ can help you scale your quoting process. Your sales representatives will work efficiently and in sync with one another using one system, minimizing frustration and instances of feeling overwhelmed.
- Manual errors leading to quote errors
- Delays in configuring the quote
- Drop in closure rates
#3 Difficulties tracking cataloged products for guided selling
Guided selling done manually takes experience, time and effort since you must know each customer well, on top of all your offerings. Salesforce CPQ’s guided selling tool prompts sales representatives with questions about the needs of your customers and creates optimal product solutions based on those needs. It highlights cross-selling and up-selling opportunities while representatives configure product offerings and quotes. Instead of searching through cataloged products manually, sales representatives with varied levels of experience can all undergo this now automated process. By creating more optimized and customized solutions, you can give customers what they truly want and need.
- Significant drop in renewals and sales closures
- Complex product bundling and pricing leading to manual errors and quoting delays
- Drop in cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
#4 Sales team is spending too much time building quotes rather than making sales
You want a sales team, not a quoting team. Quoting can be a tedious process if done without a software solution to increase your efficiency. Speed of sales cycles matter. If your sales team spends too much time quoting and not enough time closing deals, it could lead to decreased revenue margins. Salesforce CPQ quoting automation processes helps businesses automatically take product grouping and pricing structures, like discounts and bundles, and produced optimized quotes. With analytics-driven algorithms, product offerings can be sent across multiple channels and is automatically updated in Salesforce, where the entire team can access the information.
- Sales spending too much time on administrative work and less time on conversions
- Drop in sales team efficiency and productivity
- Drop in sales closures
#5 Long and complicated proposal approval and legal review processes
Long approval processes can kill deals. Approval processes can be scaled and streamlined with solutions like Salesforce CPQ Advanced Approvals, that can be customized for your approval workflow and business needs. It allows for multiple approval chains to work simultaneously and introduces smart approval processes. These are able to reject approvals at their appropriate stage instead of at the beginning of the process. Additionally, rules can be set to shorten the process, such as removing the need for the approval group to reapprove when a quote is resubmitted, as well as providing sales representatives with full visibility of what approvals they require as they work on a quote.
- Unusually long and tedious quote approval processes
- Delays in approvals leading to drop in conversion rates
- Inconsistency in approvals leading to revenue leakages
#6 Sending out inaccurate sales quotes
For clients, inaccurate sales quotes show a lack of professionalism and awareness of product or service offerings. Salesforce CPQ closes any gap between CRM and Quote-to-Cash processes. For a rushed sales team, an inaccurate sales quote can ruin many sale opportunities. Take advantage of the opportunity Salesforce CPQ offers to decrease your sales cycle and focus on developing relationships with customers and potential leads.
- Under quoted deals leading to revenue leakage and losses
- Brand value erosion
- Rapid drop in conversion rates
#7 Sales representatives offering discounts too often to close deals
Over-discounting your products to close deals is not sustainable in boosting revenue margins and ROI. Salesforce CPQ helps in streamlining revenue by tracking close rates, up-sell and cross-sell opportunities with guided selling, and the optimal pricing package to maximize order sizes. This provides customers with bundles, volume-based discounts, and subscriptions, while also benefiting your ROI.
- Reduction in order deal sizes
- Increased pressure on margins and profitability
#8 Data is not standardized across sales units
Effective collaboration amongst departments and sales teams require a single source for all CRM, quoting and contracting data. Salesforce CPQ can integrate with ERP and CRM systems. Standardizing your data so all the necessary departments have access to updated data improves decision-making, approvals, quoting, contracting, and review processes. This will also reduce errors and miscommunications as the sales team all has access to the same information.
- Inconsistent customer data leading to decline in customer experience
- Errors and miscommunications with the customer leading to brand erosion
- Longer decision-making cycles
#9 Your mistakes are costing you more and more money
Salesforce CPQ helps sales teams eliminate common mistakes that cause problems throughout the entire sales process. From automatic compliance to business rules, processes, product offering and pricing, to communicating information optimally and promptly amongst various departments, Salesforce CPQ can reduce the money wasted on quoting and contracting errors and boost your revenue margins.
- Avoidable high sales and operational costs
- Low adherence to company policy and compliances
- Overloaded processes slowing down the entire sales and marketing organization
#10 Difficulties tracking renewal processes
For contract management or subscriptions, renewal processes can be difficult to track manually across a growing customer base. With Salesforce CPQ, businesses can customize their renewal model based on their use case and offerings. Whether your renewal model is contract-based or asset-based, Salesforce CPQ can record and manage these renewals by creating a contract record for all subscription or renewal products sold. Renewal values can be set to speed up the process.
- No auto renewals leading to a drop in customer retention
- Revenue leakage without proper contract renewal process
Salesforce CPQ has the power to transform your business processes, and can be customized and integrated into your specific business use case. As a Salesforce Service Cloud Partner, our Salesforce.com experts can help evaluate your business needs, develop a strategy and implement your Salesfore.com solution. Talk to our Salesforce.com experts about how Synthesis can be your partner in this process. You can learn more about our Salesforce practice, areas of expertise and services here on our website or on our Salesforce.com AppExchange page.