A CPQ (Configure Price Quote) solution can help your sales force win more (substantial) deals, accelerate sales cycles and improve ROI efficiencies across your business model. But you can’t just throw a solution into the mix and hope for the best. You need to streamline your CPQ to get the maximum results from this valuable sales technology.
The platform you use must be implemented team-wide. Now, this isn’t going to be easy, especially at first. You’ll have salespeople who are used to doing things their own way, and bad habits – as you know – are difficult to break.
Then there are those who will feel that implementing a new solution will slow things down in the short term and make everything more convoluted in the long term.
It’s only after you’ve succeeded in putting the solution in place that your team will realize that CPQ just makes life – and sales – easier.
Your sales force will become much more powerful and will be able to leap over obstacles with ease. Without full adoption by every team member, however, you’ll never get the most out of this revolutionary technology.
How to Streamline Your CPQ Solution
Here are three ways to streamline your CPQ and make it part of your day-to-day business process, unleashing the platform’s fullest potential.
1. Adopt a Winning Strategy
World-Class sales forces know the benefit of forming and sticking to a winning strategy. In fact, 88% of sales reps with successful sales enablement initiatives who were interviewed by HubSpot classified themselves as being very strategic; as opposed to the 5% who classified themselves as more operational.
CPQ can help you plan effective sales strategies due to the availability of past and current (real-time) sales data – but I’ll get to that soon
First, you need to set a plan in motion for complete adoption of the CPQ platform. Each team member should be trained in the basics as well as its more advanced usage.
From providing quotes to prospects to creating contracts for customers, as well as updating the platform database in real time, usage of the CPQ platform should become second nature to the entire team. This can only come about with a thorough strategy that is easy to implement and maintain.
2. Use Intelligent Guided Selling
Once you have a clear and well-defined sales strategy, it’s time to get your sales reps to actually follow it. That doesn’t mean printing out a 50-page sales playbook and plopping it on everyone’s desk.
Instead, use your CPQ to help define and structure your sales strategy. With intelligent guided selling you can lead your reps through the proper steps of the sales process. This helps them create quotes and proposals in minutes which is good for them. It also ensures those quotes are created in your templates and that they match your strategy.
3. Combine CPQ with Other Tech Solutions
Adopting and working to streamline your CPQ solution doesn’t mean you should do away with your other software platforms. In fact, CPQ complements CRM and other tech solutions quite nicely. The CPQ provides the sales collateral your team needs, while the CRM helps to keep customers organized and satisfied from the pitch to the close and beyond.
Once combined, your reps can use the tools and see the benefits of a CPQ while still inside their CRM solution. This makes it much easier to integrate the use of the new tool into your business processes.
Despite the possible apprehension of your sales team, adopting and taking the necessary actions to streamline your CPQ requires a very short initial learning curve. After the sales enablement initiative is seamlessly put in place, and with everything streamlined and operating like a well-oiled machine, your team will wonder how they ever operated without it.
Article originally published November 19, 2015. Updated July 15, 2018.