Show of hands, how many of your sales executives have a project or software implementation in the works with your IT department right now? I’m sure a few of you are still waiting for IT to set up your new video conferencing system or enable Phase 2 of your CRM implementation.
It’s no wonder that so many of you are putting off implementing a CPQ solution because you believe the process will be a lengthy and arduous series of reviews and meetings with the IT department where ultimately not enough gets done. But is that the only approach to take?
By taking the SaaS CPQ route, you could be up and running in 48 hours. And you don’t even have to involve your IT department.
The SaaS movement is already growing in sales organizations worldwide. In fact, Forbes reported that on-premise CRM enterprise applications are projected to drop from $14.7B or 64.6% of the market in 2013 to $12.1B or 38% in 2018, attaining a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -3.90%. According to Gartner, CPQ solutions will soon follow suit.
SaaS-based CPQ solutions are designed for rapid implementation. The traditional IT setup work is already done – sales reps, administrations and managers simply pick up their favorite device, click the icon and start building proposals straightaway. Of course, sales administrators need to customize the solution for their own use, but that is far less time consuming than sitting through an endless set of “requirements” meetings before the software is ever purchased. Instead, they can focus on getting users credentialed, uploading information, programming configurations and defining workflows – all from Day 1.
So here is your Day 1 checklist to getting your SaaS CPQ fully functional and customized specifically for your sales model. It may seem like a lot of work but the solution you choose should streamline these processes enough to get completely on-boarded as quickly as possible. If you can’t do all of this on Day 1, find a new CPQ solution:
- Assign User Permissions and Profiles: Define who has access to the CPQ software and who can collaborate on sales proposals under development. Remember to include users from Marketing, Sales Engineering, Finance and Product Management that will contribute to the proposal creation process and/or need to be included in automated approval workflows.
- Create templates: Customizing proposal templates for your particular organization reinforces branding and instantly adds a whole new level of professionalism to each and every quote provided. Including terms, conditions and legal statements at this step remove much of the administrative work associated with proposal generation.
- Upload Product & Pricing Data: Populate your SaaS-based CPQ with products and associated pricing. Make sure your solution allows you to customize the pricing and product rules based on dependencies, bundles and other rules that ensure accurate configurations.
- Add Collateral: Here you add all the sales enablement tools (case studies, datasheets, ROI studies, analyst reports, etc.) that enhance a proposal and ensure that every decision-maker in the review process has the information at his/her fingertips to properly evaluate your proposal.
- Integrate with your CRM Solution: See if you can save time with “out of the box” integrations for your CRM. Valooto has integrations for Salesforce and other leading CRM solutions to enable richer analytics and more efficient workflows.
While this may seem like a bit of work to do up front, it is important to look at what doesn’t have to be done. With an enterprise software solution, you have to go to IT and ask for permission to add a new application to the server. You have to collect a slew of information to prove that it is compatible with existing systems. You have to wait for IT to buy the licenses and load the software on each rep’s laptop (a significant challenge for regionalized teams). And, you have to get IT involved every time you want to add a module or upgrade the software.
By choosing a SaaS-based CPQ solution, sales teams eliminates the hassles of an “IT project” and move straight to reaping the benefits – generating more accurate, professional proposals faster than ever.
Are you considering SaaS solutions in your sales organization? Let us know why in the space below.