What the Future Looks Like for Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ)
Better Integration of Data from Sales All the Way Through the Supply Chain
The greater the level of complexity in your sales process, the more you need to use high-level data to make objective determinations. The data needs to be standardized across company units so that everyone in the organization is able to draw inferences from the same starting point. People in every department need to have access to the same CPQ data points, the data must be formatted the same way, and everyone should be using the same tools to analyze it.
Sales data isn’t just important to the sales department. It has implications for the people who make pricing decisions, manage supply chain operations, forecast, collect revenue, perform customer service functions, and so on. CPQ platforms will continue to feature better integration of data points across ERP and CRM platforms as well, creating a virtual warehouse of standardized, high-quality data throughout the company.
Configure, price, quote solutions of the future will facilitate even more efficient workflows than are currently possible. Employees in non-sales departments won’t have to clean up sales data as often or delay decisions because of incomplete or inaccurate information. Optimization doesn’t happen in a bubble, and advanced CPQ platforms help teams achieve productivity gains across the board.
Empowered Decision-Making Abilities
CPQ developers have always worked to create solutions that help salespeople make informed decisions. That’s because the decisions on the part of the buyer and the sales rep turn the gears of the B2B sales funnel, not technological systems. When every detail is so important to the process, you need a software tool that lays out all of the details in a clear and digestible fashion, especially when you are deciding on something that could make or break a deal.
The one impediment to sales technology is often salespeople themselves. Sales reps may feel they’re wasting valuable time on CRM data entry that could be spent on more critical tasks. So while many sales professionals are loath to put stock in a new technological platform, the developers of advanced CPQ platforms are working to change their minds. When salespeople have access to data that allows them to make split-second decisions that can close a deal faster, they just may finally start turning to their CPQ solution as a first resort.
Improved Analysis and Automation Through AI
Reduced Complexity for Reps and Customers Alike
The essence of configure, price, quote software has always been to take complex systems and clarify them through organization and access to information. It’s the only way to see all of the many different moving parts of this process, all of which impact everything around them simultaneously. Of course, the underlying drive behind this quest for simplification is to complete more sales, and no CPQ software program would be able to market itself effectively without being able to make that claim. As the technology improves, business professionals are discovering that there’s much more to the CPQ experience than selling more.
Through CPQ, sales leaders can help improve organizational knowledge. One of the biggest challenges for sales reps who sell complex products is that it can seem like they’re selling a new product every time because of specialized configurations. Advanced CPQ solutions use tools such as AI and data segmentation to help reps understand what they are selling on a deeper level, so that they can then more effectively communicate value to their buyers.
CPQ technology is improving the experience for the customer as well. It can help break down a transaction into simple components so customers can easily discern where the perceived value is coming from in the deal, and what they are giving up for it.
Enhanced Customization to Facilitate Unique Sales Situations
CPQ software developers understand that customization is one of the top priorities for their corporate customers. For this reason, they continue to devote resources to enhancing the customization abilities of their solutions.
The true and lasting value of CPQ lies in its ability to be modified instantly to work with thousands of different product configurations. As developers improve the customization capabilities of their solutions, sales teams can build their specialized configurations faster and deliver more accurate proposals and quotes to prospects with a short turnaround time. With the continued improvement of CPQ software, you can reduce bottlenecks that were once an inherent part of selling complex products and systems, and move your customers closer to realizing the value from their purchase faster than you ever thought possible.