The value of using Customer Management Software (CRM) has become ‘common sense’ – 91% of companies with more than 11 employees are using a CRM. With a revenue forecast of over $40 billion in 2018, CRM is the fastest growing software market.
Yet, the CRM alone cannot serve all the aspects of the sales process. There are also different expectations by different stakeholders: while managers go to the CRM for the reporting and accountability functionalities, Salespeople, on the other hand, want tools that will help them do their jobs faster and easier. But those salespeople expectations are not always met. This problem becomes more critical to the company’s performance when it comes down to the bottom of the sales funnel: the configuration, pricing, and negotiation phase. Many deals are lost dues to slow response rates and inefficient processes.
In many of the companies we speak with, sales teams still use manual, stand-alone tools. Even though these companies are fully integrated with Salesforce or other CRMs – when it comes down to quotes and proposals, they still rely on ‘good old’ MS Excel and Word.
All the effort expended to improve efficiency with a CRM solution is simply wasted when companies have a quoting process that’s totally unconnected, bottlenecks the sales cycle and loses them business. In these cases – A CPQ solution can be the game-changer.
Inefficient Quoting Processes are Harming Your Business
Inefficient workflows can hamper sales teams of all sizes. The problem is so pervasive that the Aberdeen Group conducted a research study on the subject, looking at the efficiencies gained when companies deploy CPQ solutions. To start they found that companies with best-in-class workflows create 10% fewer iterations of the typical sales proposal, which saves a tremendous amount of time while reducing proposal errors and delays. Aberdeen also determined that companies using a CPQ solution saw their customer renewal rate increase by 3.9% and their lead conversion rate improves by 3.6% annually whereas non-users saw slight declines in both categories.
On top of the efficiency-related benefits, the Aberdeen report found that companies that use CPQ are seeing year over year improvement in their business performance vs. companies that are not using CPQ:
- CPQ users are able to grow their revenue at a 48% greater rate, year over year, than companies that don’t use CPQ.
- CPQ users are able to grow their profit margins at a 57% greater rate, year over year, compared to non- users.
- CPQ users shorten the length of their sales cycle at a 13 times greater rate than the degree to which non-users lengthen their sales cycle year over year.
- CPQ users increase sales rep retention at a 3 times greater than non-users decrease sales rep turnover.
Understanding the Sales Effectiveness Benefits of CPQ Solutions
When companies take too long to deliver a quote or send out a disorganized sales proposal, not to mention quotes with configuration or pricing errors, it hinders their ability to win business. CPQ solutions help companies avoid this problem. In short, they improve the way in which proposals are generated by offering key features to guide the process: configuration wizards, proposal templates, automatic pricing updates, automated approval workflows, real-time collaboration and more.
According to the Aberdeen Group, optimizing sales workflows with a CPQ solution provides tremendous efficiencies:
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By integrating a CPQ solution directly into known CRM processes, companies can ensure that all customer or prospect interactions are top notch – especially at the final step in the sales cycle when they are the most important.
Improving Adoption Rates with CPQ Integration
In one of our previous blog posts, we questioned why some sales enablement projects fail. In that post, we looked at the fact that it all comes down to adoption rates – designing and implementing solutions that your sales team will actually use. Any of you that have tried – and failed – to force a new piece of software on their reps know how well that usually goes.
Instead, integrate your CPQ solution into a piece of software they already use (and you probably worked hard to make that happen) – your CRM system. Rather than bouncing from tool to tool – which decreases productivity, salespeople can leverage powerful quoting capabilities from right inside the CRM system, without changing any corporate business processes.
Clearly, companies that invest in CRM solutions understand the value of using software tools to optimize sales team efficiency. Integrating a CPQ solution is the next step towards reaching peak efficiency.
DealHub + Salesforce
At DealHub, we recognize the value of a smooth experience for the sales reps– that’s why we provide out-of-the-box integrations for Salesforce and other leading CRM solutions. After all, if your workflow isn’t streamlined and seamless, your sales process won’t be either. When the two are fully integrated, sales teams become more efficient – a benefit that directly impacts revenue generation across all product lines, geographies and individual sales contributors.
Originally published April 30, 2015, Updated August 2, 2018