What is CPQ?
CPQ stands for Configure Price Quote, which is the process salespeople follow when configuring products, determining the price of the products, and producing a quote. CPQ is important because it simplifies the quoting process for configurable products.
What is CPQ Software?
CPQ software helps businesses manage the complex pricing of their products and services. This technology helps sales organizations configure product offerings, set up pricing rules and discounts, and generate error-free quotes and professional proposals customized to buyers’ needs.
This type of software is often used by companies that sell customized or made-to-order products, as it can help simplify the quoting and pricing process. CPQ software can also be used to streamline order management and help ensure accuracy and compliance with pricing rules. When configuring products and services, CPQ software provides users with a graphical interface that allows them to easily select the options and variations they desire. The CPQ software then calculates the appropriate pricing based on the options selected. This can help save time and reduce errors when creating quotes and orders.
CPQ software can also help manage discounts and promotions, as well as create pricing reports. This type of software can be used by businesses of all sizes, but is often essential for companies that sell complex products or services. CPQ software can help make the quoting and ordering process more efficient and accurate, leading to happier customers and increased sales.
CPQ streamlines the sales process, reduces administrative tasks, and ensures the delivery of accurate quotes to buyers, which enhances the customer experience. Some advanced CPQ software solutions also track buyer engagement with the quote, monitor deal progress, and provide analytics on the sales process.
What does CPQ allow organizations to do?
The key functionality of CPQ is the ability to configure the right products to sell to your customer, whether you offer simple or very complex products. CPQ software solutions automate the quote generation process, taking into account product dependencies, pricing models, and discount policies. Professional proposals are then generated to send to the prospective customer.
Configure Price Quote software encompasses a range of solutions: from very simple tools that allow salespeople to enter a product, select a discount, and generate a quote, to the other extreme which integrates with ERP systems such as shipping and inventory.
Using CPQ software simplifies selling and improves sales efficiency by guiding sales reps through the quote process using a sales playbook. The Sales Playbook tool within the CPQ guides selling workflows to keep deals focused on buyer needs and drive deals forward. Sales reps can select the right configurations for each customer to ensure pricing consistency, error-free quoting, and faster approvals.
A product rules CPQ template that simplifies multiple SKU variations into a guided question and answer process eliminates complexities and produces quotes that are easy for buyers to understand. Cross and upsell advice is built into the workflow, offering relevant, rules-based sales recommendations, so deals can be tailored to each buyer’s needs.
A CPQ with guided selling enables sales reps to create automatic pricing quotes complete with visual product comparisons, online visual aids, and audit trails. Sales managers can track all changes and actions taken as they happen.
Instant, high-quality professional quotes enable sales teams to expedite the quoting process, typically reducing it from days and weeks to minutes and hours. Sales reps and channel partner reps will be quoting like pros – with minimal training – and the personalized quote templates will help sales organizations maintain a standardized, professional company message.
How does CPQ ensure pricing quotes are validated and approved?
CPQ solutions also address the issues of valid product configurations, pricing consistency, and quote approvals. Integrated approval workflows ensure key stakeholders are in the loop on quotes before they’re sent, which is crucial when special pricing or customized product offerings are involved. Once approved, CPQ solutions can also make sure sales quotes can’t be changed, whether by accident or intent after they’ve received approval. Sales reps can be certain that quotes sent to customers are fully validated and orders based on these quotes will not be rejected.
Benefits of CPQ
How does a CPQ solution positively impact Sales Operations?
In 2013, Aberdeen Group surveyed 159 organizations to determine the sales processes and technologies that the top-performing organizations used to close deals. They learned that optimizing sales workflows with a CPQ solution provides tremendous efficiencies and advantages over manual processes. The benefits of using this sales tool to send quotes to customers are:
More Accurate Quotes
With CPQ software, you can be confident that the quotes you’re sending to your customers are accurate. This is because CPQ software takes into account all of the necessary data points, such as product configuration rules, pricing, product availability, and discounts.
Increased Lead Conversion Rate
Prospects don’t want to have to chase after the salesperson while they’re waiting for a bid. Prospects expect to be able to move the buying process forward without delay. Custom quotations may be generated in minutes using a CPQ solution, significantly increasing the likelihood of qualifying the lead by 21 times!
Increased Quote Generation
In the past, generating a quote could take days or even weeks. With CPQ software, you can generate a quote in minutes. This means you can close deals faster and improve your customer experience.
Shortened Sales Cycle
CPQ software can reduce the length of the sales cycle by making it easier to generate quotes and close deals. With accurate quotes and faster turnaround times, you’ll be able to win more business.
Increased Deal Size
Automated pricing mechanisms protect profit margins and limit rogue discounting. Discounts that fall under a fixed threshold can be triggered to be automatically approved, while discounts above that threshold can be routed to the appropriate approver. In addition, CPQ software guides sales reps through upsells and cross-sells to ensure buyers are presented with the best possible deal, which increases the deal size in many cases.
CPQ for Industries
CPQ software can be used in a number of industries but is especially beneficial for companies that sell complex products or services. It is most commonly used in the manufacturing, software, and IT industries. In the manufacturing industry, CPQ can help companies manage large numbers of product configurations. In software and IT, CPQ can help companies manage large numbers of software licenses, subscription models, and product configurations. CPQ helps companies in the following industries grow revenue.
- Software & IT
- Computer & Networking Security
- Food and Beverage
- Logistics and Supply Chain
- Marketing and Advertising
- Human Resources
- Business Services
- Waste Management
CRM with CPQ Integration
How does CPQ complement CRM?
Using a CRM has become standard practice among organizations of all sizes to keep customer information organized and track sales opportunities. But, integrating a CPQ tool with a CRM helps organizations become more efficient and streamlines the sales process.
Seamless Proposals, Quotes, and Contracts
Many sales teams use optimal CRM solutions like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar, HubSpot, and Freshworks, to assess leads and follow up with them, but then use stand-alone tools for things like sales quoting, price optimization, proposal generation, contract management, and playbooks.
Instead of having to use Microsoft Excel and Word for these sales solutions, a CPQ can turn them into a seamless part of the sales process.
CPQ essentially does the same thing as a CRM, just for different elements within the sales cycle. With a CPQ integrated natively within the CRM, sales reps can communicate with potential customers and send proposals in record time. When all sales processes are connected, the sales cycle never becomes bottlenecked, which increases the likelihood of a successful deal.
Faster Sales Cycles
Studies show that companies that use CPQ solutions enjoy faster sales cycles. Reps can generate complex quotes promptly, respond rapidly to proposal requests, and avoid “indecision” sales losses.
A streamlined workflow results in faster quotes. A CPQ combined with the power of efficient CRM solutions makes a rep’s job much easier and reduces sales cycle time.
Fewer Errors & Delays
When reps are using CRM solutions and disconnected sales tools, the chance of errors occurring increases exponentially. Reps tend to waste time searching for pricing policies and sales materials because they aren’t part of the workflow.
Manual price quoting is inherently error-prone. When reps have to search through Excel sheets, price lists, and product documents to configure a quote, mistakes are bound to happen.
When the CPQ process is integrated with CRM solutions, everything meshes. Prices are updated in real-time, and the CPQ acts as a single source of truth about products, inventory levels, pricing, and discounting rules. Quote generation is part of a workflow that reduces errors and allows reps to create accurate price quotes and proposals and include supporting content assets with ease.
This impresses prospects, wows customers, and makes it more likely that reps will get an emphatic “yes” when it comes time to close the deal.
An often-overlooked benefit of CRM-CPQ integration is that it eases user adoption. There’s little to no learning curve when integrating a CPQ with the CRM platform sales teams already use. The CPQ process becomes part of the sales workflow. Even new reps with little experience will easily learn how to CPQ and will quickly realize that it makes their job easier and helps them close deals faster.
Does your sales organization need Configure-Price-Quote software?
There are many reasons why organizations need to implement CPQ. Among them are:
- Sales process inefficiencies
- Burdensome administrative tasks
- Complex product configurations
- Inaccurate sales quotes
- Frequent rework of quotes
- Rogue discounting
- Quotes sent without approvals
- Poor response time to customers’ requests for quotes
- Missed upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Missed renewals
- Poor customer buying experience and low satisfaction with the sales process
When justifying the need for CPQ, consider the needs of the organization, the sales operations department, the sales team, and customers.
Sales Operations needs CPQ to ensure sales productivity and efficiency in the sales process, including quote and proposal generation, as well as sales rep training.
A CPQ ensures that each step in the sales process is carried out according to a standard playbook and that pricing and configurations are accurate.
Team members always have updated accurate pricing and discounting built into the software, so the quote generation process is error-free.
Organizations need CPQ for pricing standardization, quote accuracy, and corporate branding. CPQ enables sales teams to represent the company in a standardized manner in pricing, messaging, and the look and branding of the proposal. CPQ shortens the sales cycle by ensuring sales reps respond quickly to customers, produce quotes fast, and generate proposals that get noticed by decision-makers.
CPQ solutions include tracking and analytics to measure customer response to quotes and determine where quotes are stuck in the sales pipeline. Analyzing the value of quotes and the acceptance and rejection of deals helps improve revenue operations.
Further reading: 5 CPQ Features that Matter Most to Sales Operations Leaders
CPQ benefits sales teams by reducing the amount of time they spend on non-sales activities. A CPQ helps them respond faster to their customers with the right pricing, messaging, and marketing documentation while eliminating time-consuming administrative tasks.
CPQ ultimately benefits customers when they receive a quick response to their requests for quotes. They enjoy greater satisfaction with the sales process, and a greater sense of trust as well. Quotes are accurate and have gone through an approval workflow before being sent to the customer. Proposals include personalized content to help customers make sound business decisions. These factors are essential to a customer-centric sales process.
Further Reading: Why Your CRM Needs a CPQ Integration
Sales Operations Efficiencies
How does CPQ help sales organizations achieve their goals?
CPQ streamlines the sales process, which increases the efficiency and productivity of sales teams. Guided selling reduces new hire training time, decreasing time to value. When sales reps spend less time on administrative tasks and follow an intuitive workflow, they have more time to focus on building relationships with customers and selling.
Take a look at the positive impact of CPQ on Sales Operations:
When is the right time for CPQ?
There are preconceptions about the right time for organizations to consider CPQ. Organizations don’t need a certain number of salespeople before looking at CPQ or very complex pricing or configurations to see the value from a CPQ solution. There are more relevant factors to consider when determining the right time to implement CPQ.
Consider these questions:
How much time are your salespeople spending on generating quotes?
If your sales team spends a great deal of time on administrative tasks and manually generating quotes, it may be the right time for CPQ.
Is the size of your sales team increasing?
If new salespeople spend weeks learning your sales process and how to use your sales tech, you’re losing value from your new hires. CPQ can speed up the training process, so new reps provide value quickly.
How fast are you able to get back to your customers?
Customers expect and appreciate a fast response to their requests for quotes. They are deep into the buying process before they ever reach out to you. A quick response shows your customers that you are prepared to meet their needs and helps build trust.
Is generating quotes a tedious process that requires sales reps to pull information from several sources?
If your quote generation process encumbers your sales cycle, it’s the right time to consider CPQ software.
Are quotes going into your CRM, and is everyone using the same playbook?
If your reps are entering their own discounts or you are unable to track quotes because they aren’t synced with your CRM software, it’s time to take a look at a CPQ that integrates with your CRM.
What are the costs of errors from incorrect configurations or incorrect pricing?
If you are losing revenue due to inaccurate quotes and/or your products require complex configurations, your organization should consider CPQ.
“DealHub gives us excellent value for the money. The platform is very agile and easy to configure.”— Yuval Zilberman, Global Director of IT, AVT
CPQ Selection Process
How to find the right CPQ for your needs.
CPQ is cross-organizational, so consider the needs of the different groups within the organization, including Sales Management and Operations, Finance, and Legal.
Determine what Sales Management and Sales Operations are trying to achieve. List the pains they are experiencing and the features that a CPQ solution must have to address those issues.
Sales Management and Operations will be concerned with issues such as:
- Price quote control
- Version control
- Quotes synced with CRM
- Standardizing product configuration rules
- Advanced approvals
- Margin approval accuracy
- Sales process standardization
- Improved buyer experience
- Sales rep administrative tasks vs. active selling time
- Reduction in error rates and inaccuracies
- Response time to requests for quotes
What needs do Finance and Legal have that the CPQ solution will address? Consider how a lack of standardized pricing, advanced configurations, inconsistent discounting, and non-compliant contracts may be causing issues within your current sales processes. The CPQ should be able to solve those problems so every sales quote that is sent to buyers is accurate and compliant.
Further reading: 15 Tips for Choosing the Right CPQ Software
How to Select a CPQ Vendor
Selecting the right CPQ solution for an organization’s needs can be confusing. There are solutions of varying complexity on the market.
When evaluating CPQ vendors, consider your organization’s growth and the scalability of their solution. Ask yourself, “What is the functionality that I need today? What is the functionality that I will need in the next 9, 12, 18 months?”
Look at the functionality of the CPQ solutions you’re assessing. Are they going to offer the capabilities that you need as you grow, as your team grows, and as your needs expand?
When you make the final selection of your CPQ, take a look at any hidden considerations that may be involved, paying particular attention to the time required to implement the solution. CPQ implementation projects can range from three to six weeks, up to 12 to 15 months, depending on the solution. Every project involves disruption and defocus within the organization, so implementation time should be a main consideration.
Select a CPQ that is going to minimize the disruption within the organization. There is also a cost involved in implementation time; not only the cost of physically implementing the solution but the time to value. How long is it going to take your sales team to see value from that solution? That’s a cost that you must consider.
An often overlooked consideration when selecting a CPQ vendor is determining how dedicated they are to CPQ. Are they committed to enhancing that CPQ functionality, to taking that solution to where you need to go in the next 6 to 12 months and beyond? Will it scale with your business? Make sure to take into account these hidden considerations when selecting your CPQ.
How to Create CPQ Requirements Documentation
Once you’ve evaluated the needs of different stakeholders, and have gathered the requirements from each group, prepare a requirements document. When you speak with CPQ vendors, use this document as a checklist or score sheet to ensure the software addresses the needs of each group. Document your evaluations so you can compare vendors based on your specific needs – your must-haves and your nice-to-haves.
Why is it Important to Evaluate a CPQ Vendor?
Once you’ve interviewed your stakeholders and you’ve built out your requirements document, then examine how each vendor matches your requirements. Bring those vendors in and have them demonstrate, in a live environment, their capabilities, and how they meet your specifications.
It’s not enough for vendors to promise that their solution offers certain capabilities. It’s crucial to see that functionality operating. Then, short-list the vendors that match your capabilities or requirements and bring the stakeholders back into the process for the final evaluations and decision-making. You want their consensus. You’re going to need their buy-in. Get them involved in the final decision.
“We selected DealHub because of the people, product, and process… It’s really fast to get to value. It’s one of the easiest integrations we’ve had to do.”— Rebecca Crum, Director of Alliances Program Manager, Lastline
Using CPQ Software to Evolve Your Sales Operations
The great engineer and management consultant W. Edwards Deming said, “Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.” Utilizing a best-in-class CPQ, integrated with a CRM, allows sales operations to change their processes and achieve better results for their organization, their team, and their customers.
Aberdeen reported that by using a CPQ, best-in-class sales teams were better able to realize efficiencies in the following areas:
- Minimizing the number of people, functions, etc, required to develop and deliver quotes to buyers
- Managing by exception with pricing/discounting “guardrails” in place
- Generating complex quotes in a timely manner
- Providing sellers with marketing tools to develop, send, and track response to messaging (Source: HubSpot and Aberdeen Group Report)
When choosing a CPQ platform for your organization, look for CPQ vendors that perform well in these areas. These guidelines will help you find a CPQ that will make a positive impact and help you meet your sales operations goals.
- configure price quote
- configure, price, quote
People Also Ask
Is CPQ part of CRM?
No, CPQ is not part of CRM. CPQ stands for Configure, Price, and Quote, and is a software application that helps businesses generate quotes for configurable products and services. While CPQ can be used in conjunction with CRM software, it is not technically part of CRM.
Some businesses may choose to use CPQ as part of their CRM software suite in order to streamline the quote generation process. However, CPQ can also be used as a standalone application.
What is the difference between CRM and CPQ?
CRM (customer relationship management) and CPQ (configure, price, quote) are two popular software solutions for businesses. Both CRM and CPQ software help businesses manage customer data and communication, but they have different functions.
CRM software is designed to help businesses manage their customer relationships. It includes features such as contact management, customer service, and sales automation. CRM software helps businesses keep track of their customers’ contact information, communication history, and purchase history. It can also help businesses automate sales and customer service processes.
CPQ software is designed to help businesses with the quoting and ordering process. CPQ software includes features such as product and pricing configuration, quote generation, and order management. CPQ software helps businesses create accurate quotes quickly and efficiently. It can also help businesses manage orders and keep track of product configurations.
Is CPQ part of ERP?
CPQ software is not part of an ERP system. CPQ stands for Configure, Price, and Quote. It is a software application that helps businesses generate accurate sales quotes for their products and services. CPQ software typically integrates with CRM and accounting systems, but it is not part of an ERP system.
What is the CPQ process?
The CPQ process is a set of steps that helps sales organizations streamline their quoting and pricing sales processes. It can help companies improve accuracy and efficiency while also reducing costs.
The CPQ process typically includes the following steps:
1. Define the products and services that will be offered.
2. Create pricing models for each product and service.
3. Configure the products and services to meet customer specifications.
4. Generate quotes based on customer specifications.
5. Review and approval of quotes.
6. Sending the approved quote to the customer.
The CPQ process can be customized to fit the needs of each organization, but these are the general steps that are typically followed. By following a CPQ process, companies can improve their quoting accuracy and efficiency while also reducing costs.
Why is CPQ used?
CPQ, or Configure Price Quote, is a tool that allows sales teams to automate the creation of quotes and pricing for their products and services. This can save time and money by eliminating the need for manual quote creation and also ensures that prices are always accurate.
In addition, CPQ can help to improve customer satisfaction by providing accurate quotes quickly and easily.
By using CPQ, businesses can streamline their quoting process and provide their customers with the information they need in a timely manner.