October 20 by Doug Louie
Every week I’m seeing more blogs and articles about “why you need CPQ.” Salespeople and their managers need it. Sales operations needs it. Finance and Product Marketers need it. The latest blog comes from Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research. Denis is a well-known front office analyst and thought leader in the CRM community. Denis is also the author of “Solve for the Customer” and “You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It”.
Denis blogged about Five Reasons You Need CPQ. There are so many reasons, Denis actually gave us six. Here they are:
Six Reasons You Need CPQ
1) Think faster and clearer. Definitely. Bringing process automation to what, historically has been a very manual and error-prone process is a real time-saver. Gone are the days of having to search for the right product spreadsheet, or accidentally pulling old outdated pricing.
2) Lower risk. Quoting incompatible products with the wrong price is embarrassing enough. Do you really want to get legal involved when you have accidentally given away all the margin?
3) Accelerate revenue. We know that the deal goes to the vendor who responds first over half of the time. Why are you waiting? CPQ automates the process and ensures that you have the most up-to-date product catalog and price list.
4) Better billing. Integration of CPQ to billing just makes it so easy. No need to re-enter data and less errors. Simple. Compliance with ASC606 is another reason to link these up.
5) Visibility through analytics. This is why Apttus built Quote-to-Cash on a single data platform. Being able to tie end-to-end data in a fully closed loop system is worth its weight in gold. This is before you even factor in the power that artificial intelligence could provide.
6) Cloud-based, mobile first. Do you know any sales reps without a smart phone or tablet? I don’t. Sales reps need to be empowered to sell anywhere, any time.
According to Denis, this is modern CPQ. No more spreadsheets.
I’ll give your four more reasons to make CPQ a perfect 10.
7) Better contracts. Integrating CPQ with contracts speeds the entire process tremendously. No one gets paid until the contract is signed. Plus, as subscriptions become a growing part of every product offering, being able to pull contracted pricing and facilitating automatic subscription renewals is a must for every business.
8) Faster go-to-market. Time is money. How long can your sales team wait until the new products are set up in the system for them to sell? CPQ makes it quicker and easier than ever to update products and introduce new ones. Having an admin console to facilitate changes in one location makes it all the easier.
9) E-Commerce. We are in the Amazon economy. Today’s buyers know how to buy online and want self-service. This the omni-channel marketplace and you need to be ready. CPQ powers E-Commerce to make it happen.
10) Artificial Intelligence. Why go it alone when you can have help? Modern CPQ, like Apttus CPQ, leverages artificial intelligence to bring up-sell and cross-sell recommendations, pricing guidance, and deal scoring so your sales reps can close deals faster and smarter.
In today’s competitive world, having a modern CPQ is just table stakes. It’s time to empower your sales reps.