3 Ways CPQ Drives Peak Sales Performance

September 18, 2020 | 5 minute read
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Modern Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) cloud solutions start where CRM ends—accelerating sales strategy where it makes the biggest impact. Modern sales organizations are designed to help reps support customers as buying behaviors evolve. CPQ is the key to centralize and automate product, pricing, discounting, contract renewals, and business rules. CPQ makes data available in real-time so sales reps have everything at their fingertips to respond to customer needs, faster.

Let’s take a look at 3 ways CPQ technology helps maximize sales performance.

1. Perform better

Work smarter, respond faster and delight customers

To drive productivity in this new sales environment, leaders can build a powerhouse sales force to establish relationships with savvy buyers. However, according to the Docurated State of Sales Productivity Report, most sales reps only spend a third of their time actually selling. The report also states the remaining two-thirds is spent on administrative tasks, searching for sales information in spreadsheets, and configuring and pricing products manually. If 50% of deals go to the vendor that responds first, then non-selling activities are costing sales organizations major business. Smart sales teams gain competitive advantage by providing accurate quotes while on the go, seizing up-sell potential and creating new opportunities.

With 86% of customers willing to pay more for a great experience, it’s critical that sales teams deliver an authentic, emotional connection to customers. Historically, sales reps relied solely on relationship building and competitive offers. Today, the focus has shifted to reps helping fulfill their customers’ needs and solve their problems. Successful sales leaders transform their reps into experienced ‘A’ players who can suggest the right products and offers automatically, without intensive training.

One way forward-thinking sales leaders reduce friction in their workflow is by using CPQ technology to eliminate manual processes. By removing the need to manually update spreadsheets and disconnected CRM and ERP systems, sales reps can deliver accurate and customized quotes in minutes. Through guided selling, sales reps are also more empowered to quickly quote common product configurations with little-to-no help from product experts, further streamlining the sales process.

To maximize face-to-face selling time, the most modern CPQ solutions provide advanced mobility, machine intelligence capabilities, and new adaptive intelligence applications. This allows reps to create the most precise and tailored proposals and offers to customers at the right time, on the right device, and through the right channel. This reduces the heavy lifting for reps, enabling them to focus on customer engagement and sales development.

The key to closing complex deals faster is responding quickly, accurately, and supportively to advance the interest of your customer. With the right CPQ technology, you can provide the power your team needs to perform better.

2. Fuel profits

Does the fear of not hitting your number keep you up at night? You’re not alone. 57% of CSOs report not attaining set sales quotas.  Factors like disconnected channels, pricing and quoting errors, and rogue discounts put the sales practices of many organizations in jeopardy. To differentiate themselves and increase profitability, sales teams are challenged with finding new ways to increase sales velocity, respond faster to customer needs, and exceed shareholder expectations.

Eliminate quoting errors

The quoting process for complex deals requires gathering data from multiple sources and channels, increasing the chance for errors. By eliminating pricing books and spreadsheets and automating this process with CPQ, modern sellers are making workflows systematic. They draw on the elements of approved proposals and pricing models to yield more accurate orders, drive higher win rates, and help reps hit their numbers.

Don’t leave value on the table

Many customers who have committed to a sale expect the salesperson to offer additional guidance for the purchase. This is an opportunity. Next-generation sellers take advantage of this with CPQ and empower their teams with real-time upsell and cross-sell capabilities. By making it easier for reps to make the right product or service recommendations, you’ll close bigger deals and increase margins.

Control maverick discounting behavior

Most businesses maintain multiple price lists depending on geography, volume pricing, or channel partner pricing, which complicates the pricing process with various discounting business rules. Top sales teams facilitate pricing controls with CPQ, saving them from either loss of revenue or a lost customer when price lists or discounts are incorrectly applied.

The pressure is on to move more deals through the pipeline faster. Having CPQ technology at the center of your sales process helps you drive productivity and fuel profits.

3. Regain control

Grow faster at scale by reducing friction and eliminating errors

With new customer expectations and higher quotas to meet, sales reps feel the pressure. They may pivot on price because of a competitive offer. Or, they may issue a discount based on gut feeling, a one-size-fits-all model, or an outdated analysis. Sales practices reach a new magnitude of complexity when you add a new subscription or revenue model, partner trainings, and a lack of visibility into transactions.  This drains resources and puts organizations at risk.

Modern sellers don’t leave profitability and productivity to chance. As leaders in sales excellence, they’re taking advantage of CPQ to control sales practices and behaviors.

Take the guesswork out of selling

Staying on top of regulations and their impact on product configurations is an uphill battle. By ensuring that rules and procedures around product, pricing, discounts, and offers are followed, CPQ technology helps sales teams take a right-the-first-time approach.

This means all channel users are aligned with both corporate and national regulations. Exceptions to standards are governed and auditable. This transparency gives sales leaders peace of mind and reduces exposure to claims and financial penalties if something is disputed.

With nearly 35% of sales teams churning every year, replicating top performers is not only difficult, it can be very expensive. The average cost of replacing a sales rep is nearly $100,000 and takes more than 6 months.  By deploying a CPQ solution, organizations are able to standardize  “A Player” behaviors with guided selling, discount governance, rules-based configurations and appropriate up-sell or cross-sell options.  By enabling the sale team to have the right information readily available at all times, you free them from administrative burdens that limit opportunities for their success.

Oracle CPQ, your winning edge

Whether you sell through direct sales teams, channel partners, or online stores, it’s evident that sales processes are becoming more complex as customers demand and expect a personalized buying experience. A CRM system will help you stay in the game. But, to compete and win, you need the added power of an advanced CPQ solution.

Oracle CPQ is the only end-to-end CPQ solution that empowers your team with new capabilities and sets them on a path to peak sales performance. With Oracle CPQ, you can generate 100% accurate orders in minutes, reduce sales cycles, increase rep selling time, and achieve higher margins. Oracle CPQ seamlessly bridges the gap between your CRM and ERP systems, further increasing efficiencies, profit margins, and sales success.

Oracle CPQ is used by over 600 well-known brand names (including Oracle itself) and by more than 600,000 employees. Most importantly, Oracle continues to invest in CPQ’s long-term success with a robust development team and four releases annually.

For more information click below:

Graham McInnes

As Senior Product Strategist for CPQ and part of the CX team, Graham brings well-tested skills in refining product functionality into compelling audience-specific stories, product positioning and go-to-market plans. Oracle is leveraging his skills for creative CPQ value propositions, innovative use cases, sales enablement projects and customer engagement.

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