12 Ways CPQ Saves Your Business Time

AllCloud Blog:
Cloud Insights and Innovation

Standardizing and automating how salespeople configure, price and quote by introducing a CPQ solution has the potential to be a true game changer for your business. More accurate quotes, increased consistency, and greater visibility into processes are just some of the many benefits that come from introducing CPQ.

But one of the biggest benefits of CPQ is the ability to save time throughout the pre- and post-sales processes to help accelerate deal cycles and increase revenue as a result.

If you set up your CPQ program properly and take the time to train your entire team, here are 12 ways it can save everyone from reps to sales leaders and even post-sales operations time.

8 Ways CPQ Saves Time for Sales Reps

Sales reps will be the primary users of your CPQ program and should realize a variety of time savings throughout the entire sales cycle, from putting together product bundles to applying pricing and discounts to handling contract negotiations.

  1. Product Search & Filtering: CPQ’s enhanced search features (including Filters, Favorites, Solution Groups, and Guided Selling) help sales reps find the right products for each customer faster. This stands in stark contrast to the days when reps would have to memorize product codes, an especially daunting task for non-tenured reps and businesses with large or complicated product lists.
  2. Product Bundling: Should Product A should always or optionally include Product B and/or Product C? Bundles can help with that. Product bundles save time by showing (or automatically including) products that go together. Beyond the time savings, bundles can increase revenue by improving reps’ ability to upsell.
  3. Quote Accuracy: There are many reasons why a quote could be inaccurate, but an intelligent CPQ product can help significantly reduce those inaccuracies by providing guardrails for sales reps. For instance, if Product A should never be sold with Product B, the system can prevent reps from adding both to a quote (and it can even evaluate if the customer already owns Product A). Or if Product C can never be sold at a quantity greater than 100, the CPQ can alert reps to the mistake if they exceed this limit. Identifying these inaccuracies before reps send quotes to customers can not only save time, but also make for a better overall customer experience.
  4. Automatic Pricing & Discounting: How often do your sales reps have to manually set the price of a product based on a pricing table outside of your quoting tool? CPQ can bring those rules right into the quoting process and automatically apply the correct pricing to save time and reduce errors. Taking this even further, a Contracted Prices feature can proactively set the correct price based on values previously agreed to with the customer. And if you use volume to term-based discounting, CPQ can automatically apply the system discounts so reps don’t need to remember or manually change them.
  5. Quote Document Generation: Manually creating quote documents for customers becomes very time-consuming. But with CPQ, reps can generate a dynamic quote including images, custom text, products and pricing, terms and conditions, and anything else automatically with the click of a mouse. From there, if your business uses DocuSign or another e-signature product, reps can simply click to send the quote for immediate signature.
  6. Amendments: What happens if you need to change a subscription product during an active contract? Without CPQ, this process typically requires reps to manually calculate any partial months based on the updated end date. In contrast, with CPQ, reps can quickly generate an amendment quote based on a customer’s existing subscriptions. In this case, the system will automatically prorate any changes or additions while co-terming it with the current contract to save time and eliminate any chance for errors.
  7. Renewals: When subscriptions come up for renewal, CPQ can automatically create the renewal quote and opportunity with all the current renewable products instead of sales reps having to handle all of those steps manually. Of course, your reps can always review these quotes and easily make changes or set the contract to auto renew.
  8. Training New Reps: All of the above features mean training new sales reps is much faster and the ramp time is significantly shorter. As a result, new reps can start selling right away rather than trying to figure out the system and process to sell. 

2 Ways CPQ Saves Time for Sales Leaders

While sales leaders aren’t the primary users of CPQ, they should still be in the system on a regular basis. Notably, the standardization and automation that CPQ provides should help increase visibility into processes in a way that saves these leaders time.

  1. Approvals: Sales leaders should only need to approve quotes that are outside of the boundaries set for your CPQ program. If a quote meets all of the requirements (discounts, product types, etc.), then the system can validate and approve it automatically. However, when a quote does need approval, CPQ can email the correct approver with a detailed email. The approver can then reply directly to the email with Approved or Rejected, so they don’t even need to login to another system
  2. Visibility: CPQ gives sales leaders access to all quote details and where each quote is in the process — all from a single view without any need to track down sales reps. Best of all, sales leaders can even get these reports and dashboards delivered directly to their email inbox to make it even easier to keep up to date on the sales pipeline.

2 Ways CPQ Saves Time for Post-Sales Operations

Finally, the time savings benefits of CPQ even extend to post-sales operations due to the increased accuracy of quotes and automated processes.

  1. Fulfillment: The guardrails created by CPQ’s automated and standardized processes lead to more accurate quotes. In turn, this accuracy means the fulfillment process has fewer errors and requires less back and forth between sales reps and customers. 
  2. ERP Integration: The option to integrate CPQ quotes directly with your ERP system eliminates the need for double data entry, and it ensures quotes go directly to fulfillment faster and without any errors that are characteristic of manual data entry processes. 

Ready to Save Time with CPQ?

Introducing CPQ offers enormous benefits, most notably time savings throughout the entire pre- and post-sales process that can help free your team’s time to close more deals and better service customers.

Ready to get started and realize these benefits in your own business? Contact us today to learn more about implementing a best practice CPQ program.

Nathan Spiwak

Read more posts by Nathan Spiwak