September 24 by Vikram Chakrabarty
Configure Price Quote has come to be known in the business world as a key catalyst for speeding up the quoting process. Although a relatively new entrant in the industry, CPQ solutions have since underlined its presence and applicability deep within the industry. In an era when multiple competitors are striving to win and close opportunities, speed is the key ingredient combined with accuracy as a desired attribute. How fast a company is able to get a quote across to their prospects is going to be the key in winning business opportunities.
One of the key drivers that led to more businesses adopting the CPQ solution is the availability of research data that suggests loss of business opportunity due to manual and disconnected quoting process. For example, in the Logistic Services industry, where 3% – 5% profit margins are the general norms, up to 9% of all revenue is lost due to manual CPQ processes. Even more frightening, in a recent Sales Benchmark Survey with Adobe, we found that 50% of companies experienced costly quoting mistakes.
Another factor that’s leading to increased adoption is the emergence of cloud computing as an industry defining standard. Gone are the days when setting up an IT system amounted to a multi-million dollar capital investment. Acquisition of capital equipment such as servers, network switches, routers, storage arrays can significantly load up a company’s balance sheet. SaaS solutions will keep that money in your OpEx sheet and in your pocket, which is an extremely interesting proposition to CFOs interested in reducing CapEx costs on the corporate balance sheet.
A factor, less obvious but equally important is the ability to generate quotes, garnished with discounts and rebates and yet having the ability to look through the glass to understand the profit viability of the quote. In manual CPQ, it’s common for the quoting process to present an opaque wall into the profitability of the generated quote. It would require, at best, an enormous amount of manual calculations, checks and balances to ensure that the quote indeed is profitable. The process is often error prone, hence it does not guarantee that the quote would meet the required margins. CPQ solutions such as Apttus offers instant deal guidance, which immediately shows the profit viability of the generated quote in real time. This is a great enabler to the sales team, as they no longer have the burden of researching quote viability.
SaaS CPQ solutions have carved out a niche in the industry process segment and are here to stay. Customers around the world have experienced as much as 10x times increase in quotes per month with the quoting process going from 3 – 7 days to just under 30 minutes! In addition, guided selling capabilities help reps sell the right product configurations at the right price, keeping both customers and sales teams happy.
These statistics are heartening enough, indicating beyond doubt that we are going to see more businesses adopting automated CPQ in the near future.
For a more in depth look at Configure Price Quote capabilities, check out the Ultimate Guide to CPQ, part of a five- guide series. The guides offer a crash course on the entire Quote-to-Cash lifecycle, and makes a perfect study kit for becoming Quote-to-Cash certified. More than 1,000 professionals have become certified through this free program. Check it out at http://apttus.com/resources/guide-configure-price-quote-cpq/.