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The Other Life of CPQ

The configuration systems, prices, quotes have a name problem. When they debuted, their basic duties gave the category a name that was self explanatory, and it fits well. As with any good idea in technology, however, the frequent use required more features that quickly outpaced the technology charter – a happy problem.

The CPQ of today does everything its title initials claim as table stakes, and its new value is to make better use of the time for commercials and literally for any reason. 39; organization.

The change that has taken place, thanks to the CPQ, is the same one that has swept most other parts of the front office in recent years. It once accelerated slow processes and generated revenue generation.

With CPQ – as with the rest of the front office – we went from trying to automate individual activities to automating interrelated activities to form whole business processes, speeding them up so.

In the case of CPQ, this meant building a proposal and a contract from the basics of a quote, getting the order or renewal, and billing and collecting without the need to pause between steps and without long transfers between different departments.

The CPQ process also captures more data, providing raw materials for analysis and improvement. It's now called the "Money Lifecycle Quote", and while it may look like a regular sale, it removes a lot of randomness at every step.

Propose and Contract

Almost as soon as we were able to generate them, we discovered that the purpose of the precise quotes was not to make good proposals but to speed up a business process by capturing key information from within the company. 39 only one reliable source.

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Many elements of a proposal, such as nomenclature, terms and conditions, are also fundamentally important for generating a specific contract.

Ensuring that a CPQ system is not an island of information, but a building block of the process, has become essential.

Order and renew

Smart business organizations also use proposals to help customers generate the order to ensure the correct delivery of all components and a seamless customer experience through adoption.

With renewals or call-ups, the initial proposal and the contract may contain endorsements on things like maximum price increases during the term of a contract or the next series of items to buy .

You can have all this information online or you can store it in a paper file, but too often the paper can cause confusion and missed opportunities, as well as delays, so the CPQ system also works like institutional memory.

Bill and Collect

You see this clearly when you understand that the accepted proposal is also the heart of the invoice or several invoices stipulated in the proposal.

This is very important when you consider that at this stage of the process, the original sales representative may be out of the picture, trying to sell another deal. To avoid delays, it is essential that the important agreements of any agreement are stated and secured in the CPQ system.

Data analysis

Finally, there is the analysis. Quotations and contracts represent a pile of previously unexplored Big Data. Imagine what you might discover if all this data was machine readable for analytical engines. We do not know what you might discover.

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For example, there is often a world of information that gives insights into how and when customers buy and how salespeople sell. There is also a natural sales funnel if your agreements often extend to more than one purchase.

Step-by-step approaches to product adoption need to be managed, and all too often, it's not the people who make the original sale that are following up. A good CPQ system will give all employees access to the information they need to ensure that all aspects of an agreement are completed in a timely manner.

Closing Thought

Sales are said to be a numbers game. The greater the number of people with whom a representative interacts, the more successful the representative is – and this requires efficiency. But do not think that ends with a closed market.

Many companies today have huge customer bases with all kinds of terms and conditions or special instructions in their offerings – that 's also a big pile of data. For a long time, these extras were hidden in paper files and, hopefully, in the brains of some employees.

A good CPQ system can serve as an aid to institutional memory that is both accurate and timely. It can save money by making sure the quotes are correct and professional. Modern CPQ can help a business make money by getting and keeping the details in a fast-paced world, even on a handheld device.

Denis Pombriant is a well-known researcher, strategist, writer and lecturer in the CRM industry. His new book, You Can not Buy Customer Loyalty, but You Can Earn It is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solving for the Customer is also available here. It can be reached at

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