For modern enterprises, digital transformation is a crucial part of staying competitive. In the age of digital sales and remote working, companies face a wide variety of logistical and workflow challenges that need to be overcome. Chief among them is the fact that sales staff spend just 35.2% of their time actually selling, with administrative tasks occupying a sizable portion of the remainder. Fortunately, technology presents the solution in the form of CPQ software.

Recent years have seen a spate of innovative new software applications come to the fore, from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and digital adoption platforms to Penneo’s very own digital signing solution. CPQ software falls among them as a software solution designed to help drive productivity and revenue, and it does so by streamlining sales workflows.


What does CPQ mean?

CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. Essentially, the term pertains to the process through which sales teams configure products, calculate prices and then provide a quote to prospects.

Naturally, this is an extremely important aspect of a sales-driven business model, especially considering that the majority of deals go to the first seller to produce a complete, accurate quote. The rate and manner in which this process is carried out can have a considerable impact on the profitability of a business.

Moreover, making this process quicker and more efficient allows companies to shorten their sales cycles, ultimately increasing turnover. To this end, Configure, Price, Quote software can be a highly effective tool.


Who needs Configure, Price, Quote software?

CPQ software has its uses in a variety of business contexts. However, it is at its most potent when used at larger companies. Since the function of the software is to simplify and expedite the configuration and quote processes, it stands to reason that CPQ platforms would be ideal for sales-driven companies that carry out high-value transactions that involve complex product configurations. For instance, the automotive industry is a good example, as sales are high value and products can come with various optional features.


How does CPQ software work?

Configure, Price, Quote software helps companies to streamline the configure-price-quote process so that they can optimise their sales cycles. It does this by providing time-saving features that make the configuration process more intuitive for the staff.

Typically, CPQ software integrates with a business’s existing CRM or ERP platform and allows users to create unified product libraries. This reduces issues associated with siloed product information, thereby improving efficiency.

In addition, CPQ platforms allow sales teams to use features such as automation and customizable templates to quickly configure products and generate accurate quotes for prospects. Moreover, through the use of automation, Configure, Price, Quote software helps to guarantee that any quotes produced are always accurate and in line with company policies.

On the whole, CPQ software exists to make the sales experience smoother and simpler for everyone involved. For sales teams, CPQ solutions significantly reduce the amount of administrative work that goes into the configure-price-quote process, allowing them to focus on developing client relationships. For prospects and customers, it reduces the wait time for quotes and ensures that they are more accurate.


What issues are associated with Configure, Price, Quote software?

While CPQ software can be a potent sales tool when used correctly, there are a number of potential obstacles that one should be aware of when they choose to adopt a CPQ solution.

One common issue is integration. For a CPQ solution to provide genuine benefit, it needs to be implemented correctly. That means that it should work frictionlessly with other management systems as part of a larger cohesive structure. To have a platform that is compatible with your business, it’s vital to first ensure that you choose a CPQ solution supported by the CRM or ERP system used at your company. This allows for seamless integration and better overall performance.

Another common issue companies have with Configure, Price, Quote software is the improper use of data. CPQ systems are best used in conjunction with CRM and ERP systems because they rely on having access to the most accurate data. Data systems that are not maintained effectively will supply your CPQ software with incorrect data, meaning that the sales teams that utilize will be working at a disadvantage. It’s important to remember that a CPQ platform is only as useful as the data one feeds it.

Lastly, many organizations struggle with onboarding when it comes to CPQ software. Although it can vary from one piece of software to the next, many CPQ platforms have an extensive array of options available for customization, analytics, reporting, and much more. At the initial stage, many employees experience a steep learning curve when trying to get to grips with the software. Using digital adoption or onboarding tools to help ease this transition, but ultimately the key here is patience. Once a sales team has adapted to using CPQ software, it represents a very worthwhile return on time investment.


CPQ options

There is a wide range of CPQ solutions available on the market, each with its own selection of features. HubSpot cpq, for instance, is a CPQ tool that utilizes a variety of innovative features such as guided selling, customizable pricing models, contract management, and eSign to help optimize the sales process. Other platforms, such as Conga CPQ, help to facilitate sales across multiple channels with features like role-based access, which enables managing staff to maintain control over product and pricing information. Alternatively, Oracle CPQ has a user-friendly interface with helpful visual product representations to streamline the configuration process.

All in all, with such a vast selection of CPQ software out there, it is incumbent upon each business owner to do their research and find the most suitable one for their enterprise. Once fully integrated, Configure, Price, Quote solutions bring unquestionable benefits to any sales-driven business.

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