It doesn’t matter which industry you operate in or how large your business is. Businesses only thrive when their sales teams excel. And the lifeblood of sales is quoting, invoicing, ordering, negotiating, and provisioning, coupled with robust customer communication.
Implementing an automated CPQ system makes selling more efficient, productive, and successful. Through an accelerated CPQ and proposal process and by reducing the potential for inaccurate quotes, sales teams have a higher chance of offering a more positive buying experience.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example:
Organisation XYZ sells 10 types of commercial security offerings consisting of 3 variants each. This gives it a total portfolio of 30 products. The business has a standard pricing framework but also offers bulk purchase discounts, cash settlement discounts and discretionary discounts that sales teams can use to sign-up new customers.
When a customer requests a quote, the sales team typically refers to a product catalogue, factors in specific requirements relating to the sale (volume etc.), applies the applicable pricing policies and then compiles the quote. Besides a slow turnaround time, the potential for human error is an ever-present problem.
This is where an automated CPQ system helps. Each potential configuration, price and discount combination within a CPQ system can be created automatically. This helps give your customers the most straightforward quote possible.
A CPQ system ensures:
Digital platforms (as the heart of the digital ecosystem) automate the intermediary, broker or marketplace functions. Common examples are Uber for rides, Airbnb for accommodation and PayPal for payments. The purpose of a digital platform is to automate the matching of suppliers to customers ideally in a manner that can be monetarized. In addition, digital platforms need to exploit Metcalf’s Law, which suggests that the value of a network is in direct proportion to the number of nodes or connected users.
A platform must also meet 6 unique platform traits:
- Quicker response times
- Lower churn rates
- More quotes created
- Higher sales closing ratio
- Higher ROI
Harnessing digital workflows enables ChannelCenter’s vertically integrated digital CPQ platform to reduce complexity in the sales processes.
The platform digitises customer requests which are directly interfaced through to supplier pricing requests via vertical integration for real time quotes.
It provides our customers with a digitally innovative customer quote approval process (PO automation, delegation of authority levels) with automated fulfilment through API integration into suppliers and if needed, gives visibility into the logistics process.
About the author:
Dave Smythe is Head of Marketing at ChannelCenter. ChannelCenter’s fully digitised customer platform is uniquely positioned to help ICT resellers and customers engage and transact. Although we believe in the plug and play nature of our platform, we partner with you and do much of the heavy lifting to ensure hassle-free integration and successful platform adoption.