Table of Contents
What is Quote Syncing?
Quote syncing is a dynamic function of CPQ (configure, price, quote) that lets you connect a sales quote to its corresponding Opportunity and synchronize updates between them. Each Opportunity can have multiple quotes, but only one quote can be synced at a time.
When either the quote or the Opportunity is updated with new products, changes to existing products, or adjustments in product quantities, these changes are automatically reflected in the other record. For example, if a product is added to or removed from a quote, the corresponding Opportunity’s product list is updated to match, and vice versa.
Your software will continue the sync until it’s manually stopped or you delete one of the records. Even when there are no products initially listed in either the quote or the Opportunity, adding a product to one will automatically add it to the other.
This feature is crucial for maintaining accuracy and consistency in sales data. It ensures your sales team and the customer are always in agreement on the products and services they’re discussing. It also guarantees consistency in pricing and product configurations and alignment with business rules (assuming you’ve set these up in your CPQ system).
- Quote syncing in CPQ
Key Concepts in Quote Syncing
Quotes in CPQ Software
A sales quote is a document that lists the products or services a customer is interested in purchasing, along with their prices (or estimated prices). Sales reps prepare and present them to potential or existing customers during the sales process.
There are several types of sales quotes. Depending on the nature of your product/service, yours will contain some or all of the following key components:
- Product and service details — This includes a list of all the products and services. Each quote line item will have specifications or configurations, which are particularly important for complex, customizable products.
- Product price — Next to product details, your quote will detail the price for each item, including base prices and any adjustments such as discounts, surcharges, or special offers. It may also show the breakdown of one-time versus recurring costs, especially in cases of subscription-based services.
- Quantities — This specifies the number of units for each product or service being purchased.
- Total cost — At the bottom, the quote calculates and presents the total cost for the entire set of products and services, including all applicable taxes, fees, and discounts.
- Terms and conditions — The seller presents payment terms (e.g., monthly payments of $X) during the quoting stage. Quotes usually also have a validity period, that indicates how long the company can guarantee pricing and terms.
- Customer information — The customer’s name, contact information, and billing address.
- Seller information — The seller’s contact info, or that of the company providing the quote, plus their signature.
- Customizable fields — Many CPQ solutions offer customizable fields for additional information that might be relevant to the specific business or industry.
In a CPQ system, the sales quote is usually generated automatically based on a product configurator’s output. The configurator takes into account various factors, including customer preferences, product availability, and pricing rules, to generate accurate quotes quickly.
Opportunities in CRM Software
An Opportunity in CRM software is a record of a potential sale, which is associated with an account and sales rep. It provides a structured, visual way to track and manage the progress of each deal in your sales pipeline.
The relationship between the Opportunity record and the Quote record is one-to-many — each Opportunity can have multiple Quotes associated with it, but each Quote can only be synced to one Opportunity at a time.
A prospect becomes an Opportunity in your CRM once they’ve expressed interest in your product or service (after the sales rep has qualified them as a potential buyer). The Opportunity stage in the deal pipeline is where you’ll deliver your first quote.
Although CPQ has its own Opportunity field as well, it needs bidirectional integration with CRM because the two platforms need to update one another in real time. When a sales quote is created or modified in CPQ, the corresponding Opportunity record in CRM has to reflect that (and vice versa).
Basically, CRM integration is what enables quote syncing.
Syncing is especially important for opportunity management processes in dynamic sales environments where product offerings, pricing, and availability change frequently.
In many CPQ systems, it also aligns approval workflows. Changes in a quote that might require additional approvals are automatically flagged in the opportunity, so higher-level team members will see the action items right away.
The Process of Quote Syncing
Initiating Quote Sync
There are two ways you can carry out a quote sync: manual and automatic syncing.
- Manual syncing is initiated by a user in either CPQ or CRM. You click a sync button (with a name like “Synchronize with Opportunity”) on the Quote record when you want to push changes from one system to the other.
- Automatic syncing is triggered by specific events or rules in your system. Once you activate this feature, CPQ will auto-update the corresponding Opportunity every time you finalize the shopping cart, if someone accepts a quote, or based on other pre-configured triggers.
Since each Opportunity can only have one synced Quote at a time, make sure to set the current one to ‘Primary’ in your CPQ to establish the active synchronization.
Once a Quote is synced with an Opportunity, the Opportunity’s value and product details are replaced with those from the Quote. Consequently, the Opportunity’s value field becomes non-editable and will update automatically based on the synced Quote.
Replacing a synced Quote with a new one leads to the replacement of the existing Opportunity Products with those from the new Quote. You can easily check which Quote is currently synced in your CPQ platform and verify data conflicts or data mapping issues.
In terms of field synchronization, standard and custom fields that have the exact same name and data type are automatically synced. This includes Custom Opportunity Product fields and Custom Quote Product fields.
However, custom fields on the Quote Product that don’t have a matching field on the Opportunity Products will not be copied over unless they have a corresponding field. This ensures your data remains consistent across Quotes and Opportunities.
As previously mentioned, bidirectional integration between CRM and CPQ is what enables an accurate quote sync, whether you do it manually or automate the process.
Here’s a rundown on how the two work together:
- Quote generation — Once an opportunity reaches a certain stage in the sales cycle, a quote is generated. This quote is tailored to the specific needs and interests identified in the opportunity.
- Data synchronization — In your CRM, changes in the quote, such as modifications in product selection or pricing, are synchronized with the corresponding Opportunity. This ensures that the Opportunity record always reflects the most current details of your potential deal.
- Sales conversion — If the customer accepts the quote, the opportunity is then typically moved to a later stage in the sales cycle (usually ‘Negotiation’ or ‘Closed Won‘). This indicates progress towards finalizing the sale.
- Tracking and reporting — The interconnection between quotes and sales opportunities makes it easy to track and report on sales activities. Insights you gain from this data help you refine your sales motion and forecast future performance.
Benefits of Quote Syncing
Quote syncing reduces (and, in some instances, eliminates) manual data entry. This saves your sales team tons of time they’d otherwise spend on clerical work. Since the average sales rep only spends 28% of their day selling (according to Salesforce research), increasing your team’s productivity through automation is the best way to become more profitable.
When an Opportunity record is synced with a Quote, the information on that Opportunity reflects the most current state of that specific deal. This ensures everyone involved in getting the deal across the finish line is working with identical data, and they’re aware of action items that concern them.
Data discrepancies are costly and time-consuming. By syncing your quotes with opportunities, you avoid manual data entry errors and ensure consistency between the two records. With quote syncing, your data and forecasts are more reliable. Plus, you have greater credibility when dealing with customers because you’re giving them a consistent experience.
Challenges and Solutions
Potential Issues in Quote Syncing
Although quote syncing is designed to handle data conflicts and eliminate the potential for them to arise, you might have an issue if:
- Your user doesn’t have the correct permissions in CPQ or CRM.
- Changes were made to either a synced Quote or Opportunity while one of them was en route to being synced.
- Your team member is syncing the wrong quote or Opportunity.
- You set your quote to manual sync and forgot to update it after an important milestone.
- An approval contingency doesn’t exist in the CPQ rules engine, so it doesn’t escalate the quote to the proper team member for sign-off.
Integration challenges are another huge problem. If you don’t select a CPQ software vendor that integrates readily with your CRM system, it’ll end up missing data (or you simply won’t be able to use quote syncing).
Strategies for Overcoming Challenges
Since clerical errors sometimes pop up, it’s always a good ideal to audit your data regularly across all the deals you’re working. Also take care to manage user permissions carefully.
When selecting a CPQ vendor, make sure it integrates seamlessly with your CRM. If you’re already using a CPQ system and are now integrating it with CRM, ensure the integration doesn’t cause any data losses. Most of the time, automation features in your CRM can handle the solution to these issues.
Quote Syncing Best Practices
When it comes to managing the quoting process (really, the sales process as a whole), it’s up to the sales manager to align team members.
Follow these best practices to get the most out of your quote syncing:
- Audit every deal in your pipeline. On sales meetings, have each team member walk you through the status of their deals and action items. Double-check quote accuracy for deals in Quote, Negotiation, and Closed Won stages.
- Train sales team members on using CPQ and CRM. Although this sounds like a given, training shouldn’t stop at onboarding. Continual training and reinforcement are crucial for maintaining data integrity and minimizing the risk of clerical errors.
- Investigate integration solutions. Any time you’re making a change to your tech stack, consider how it affects your operations as a whole.
- Create processes first, automate them next. Ultimately, software isn’t a cure-all for organizational inefficiency. Establish and streamline your sales workflow, then define how CPQ and CRM fit into it.
- Regularly audit CPQ rules. If pricing, product, or approval rules aren’t aligned with your company’s current offerings, it’s no longer the sales rep’s fault when they can’t configure an accurate quote or escalate it to the right team member.
Key Takeaways on Quote Syncing
Quote syncing is one of the most valuable features in CPQ in terms of driving quote-to-cash efficiency. It automates data entry and guarantees quoting accuracy for every deal your sales reps are working.
That said, integration challenges and human error can still lead to potential issues when syncing quotes if your team isn’t well-trained on when/how to use it or you’ve forgotten to add product/pricing/approval rules to the system.
By regularly auditing deals, training team members on software use, streamlining your internal sales processes, and routinely reviewing the pipeline during 1:1s and team meetings, you can minimize potential challenges and get the most out of quote syncing.
People Also Ask
What is the purpose of syncing an Opportunity with a Quote?
Quote syncing significantly reduces the amount of time sales reps have to spend on clerical work. It also eliminates much of the risk associated with data entry errors and guarantees the most accurate and up-to-date representation of each prospect’s pipeline status.
Can only one Quote be synced with an Opportunity?
While each Opportunity in CRM can have multiple Quotes, team members can only synchronize one Quote with an Opportunity at a time. This limitation is meant to prevent data discrepancies and potential confusion between multiple versions of a quote.