For most businesses, generating high-quality quotes can be a logistical nightmare. The vortex begins with make-to-order products. These products are complex with multiple variables from impact price, production schedules and materials.When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable. With so much on the line, why do companies choose to rely on excel? When using excel to price a job, complex formulas and lookups can work, however, their efficiency is limited. As the company grows and the product range expands, quoting on mass and with multiple representatives increases the certainty of errors, bottlenecks and failure. Unfortunately, many businesses find that only one team member knows the build of the excel spreadsheet. Moreover, using Excel requires a series of imports to update material codes and costs, enforcing a process that encourages disparate systems. These variables lead to a complex sales quoting process and are prone to error, resulting in costly mistakes and reduced gross margin. So how do we unravel what can feel like an unfaltering Rubik’s cube? The solution, CPQ.
What is CPQ?Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is a sales enablement software that allows companies to generate quotes and orders accurately and with increased velocity. The Product Catalogue allows you to set and control prices amongst thousands of products. Users can easily navigate the variations. Allowing upselling, bundling, price adaptation to economic factors, competitor pricing, demographics and customer preferences simple. The software is designed to produce error-free pricing, with pre-programmed rules ensuring that customisations, quantities, and discounts are always considered. Workflow is optimised as the software assists with core business operations, working in tandem with the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platforms, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) drawings and other software. CPQ is the powerhouse engine that fuels operational excellence.
How does CPQ enable your business to sell moreThe capability and features of CPQ software create complete visibility and integration of multiple data sets. Manufacturing and distribution companies can take their quoting process to the next level using the following features provided by CPQ:
- Product catalogue: allows users to easily search for products, prices, quantities, customisation and discounts. Users can then configure products and services into bundles, inputting constraints and customer preferences whilst informing users on the availability of stock, production schedules and compatibility issues.
- Pricing configuration and rules: pre-programmed rules and hierarchies allow for pre-determined prices and discounts. Reps can assess market ups and customer demographics such as location, availability and product configuration.
- Customer Accounts: review all open contracts, purchase history, and service agreements.
- Guided Sales Prompts: using intelligent data, CPQ can provide sales representatives with tips, recommendations to assist with configuration, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
- Self-service CPQ: customers can log in to a portal to build their quote and receive an automatic proposal, coupled with credit approvals. Payment can be taken after the customer has received the quote removing the need for manual intervention.
- Automated Proposals: once the quoting is finalised, the quote is generated and automatically emailed directly to the customer.
- E-sign off: e-signature signoff can simplify both approvals internally and with the customer. Streamlining communication between departments and simplifying the sales process across all stakeholders.
- Attachments: contracts, agreements, PDF’s, and videos are all stored in one location, making information sharing and access simplified.
- Renewal Management: one hub for managing contract renewals, subscriptions and ensuring payments are taken on time.
- Detailed Analytics: the data generated from the activities above, along with CRM and ERP, are analysed, providing your team with comprehensive analytics to improve pricing and assess future demand.
- Other features: include cloud-based hosting, price sheets, excel integration, mobile functionality, and security access levels.
When to consider if CPQ is right for your businessTo scale and build a company that is operational excellent requires the right tools to support your team. We recommend speaking with your sales team to uncover if they are facing hurdles by using manual or outdated systems. Ask yourself, do your team report issues with delivering accurate and timely quotes. For example, is your customer experience at risk due to incorrect Available to Promise Dates (APD), timing consuming processes and superior sales methods deployed by competitors? Has your company experienced quoting and ordering mistakes in the past? If the answer is yes, it’s time to investigate how CPQ could revolutionise your proposal generation process and team efficacy. For any rapidly growing make to order manufacturing business, integrated inventory, production scheduling, demand planning and CPQ is mission-critical to maintaining growth and profitability. The team at Klugo are experts in the deployment of CPQ. If you’re interested in opportunities to standardise pricing, improve team efficiency and in turn create a flow of value to the customer, schedule a call with Klugo today.
NetSuite + NextServiceKlugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
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