Chances are you’ve heard about CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solutions as the game-changer for many manufacturers. But some people are still on the fence about whether they need to make the switch.
How do you know if a CPQ software solution is right for your business?
If any of these situations sound like your manufacturing company, a CPQ solution will take your business and profitability to the next level.
1. Your quoting time takes days or weeks — One big sign your company will benefit from a CPQ solution is if your quoting process is taking much longer than it really should. If you have to pass a quote around multiple departments requiring days (or even weeks) to turn around a quote, then a CPQ solution is definitely something you need.
While you’re waiting for these quotes to be generated and approved, your manufacturing team is sitting idle or not working to their full capacity. Ultimately, this is costing you money.
2. You are sending out inaccurate quotes — You don’t want to give a customer an inaccurate quote as this could either cost you when they don’t order, or it can cost you when you miscalculate your product cost and end up having to eat the difference.
A CPQ solution will ensure that you’re dealing with the most accurate data with prefigured profit margins so that it is almost impossible to generate a bad quote.
3. You are using Excel (or some other homegrown configurator) — Too many manufacturers are using outdated software solutions to handle their configuration orders. Using an Excel spreadsheet is not giving you a technological advantage over your competitors.
It’s also not efficient as people often save and resave these files, changing the names as they do, so that multiple spreadsheets with variable pricing plans may be floating around a company. For accurate quotes, a CPQ solution keeps everything centrally located.
4. You want to increase revenue but are struggling to scale with demand — Another big problem is that using “homegrown” configurators doesn’t allow you to really increase your revenue. You are essentially stuck in the same rut of work rates that you’ve had for years.
With CPQ, you can increase your revenue. By allowing customers to design their own products with a visual configurator or by letting manufacturers generate real-time 3D models, you’re providing yourself with a selling tool to use with your customers.
5. You are interested in generating more income from upselling/cross-selling — Another great sales aspect of a CPQ solution is the ability to upsell and cross-sell easily. Your CPQ solution will closely track your data so that you can know exactly what orders and reorders your customers are making.
This will give your sales team valuable information. Knowing what other customers are ordering and what a client has previously ordered, so you can generate more income.
Think about it this way: if one (or even two) people are really the experts for your quotes, what happens when those individuals are out of work for whatever reason? Your business will suffer as their inboxes fill up and the production team lies idle.
Even worse, if one of those experts quits the company, how long will it take you to train someone new and get your quoting process back up and running? A CPQ solution allows just about anyone to generate a quote with a little training.
7. You want to reduce sales training requirements — Generally speaking, sales training depends on the complexity of the products being sold and the system being used. Because CPQ solutions streamline the process, it ensures the training time is reduced. Before using CPQ, full training may take years or months. After adopting a CPQ solution, training can be reduced to weeks (or even just a few days) depending on how complex your business is.
8. You want more visibility into your channel activity, and you want to forecast sales more accurately with win/loss rates — This two-parter can easily be solved by a Configure, Price, Quote solution because of the ability to better see your customer interaction in one place.
A CPQ solution can provide you with a wealth of data to use so you can determine exactly how you interact with your customers. This, in turn, can allow you to better forecast sales and can truly drive the sales team forward.
9. You want to improve the work of your engineering department — By automating the configuration and quoting process, you’re freeing up a lot of engineering time. You hire your engineers to design new products and to find ways to make your existing products better.
But their time is eaten up when they have to stop work to check over the specifications for a new order for a particular customer. CPQ software solutions automate that configuration process and let your engineers work to create new products.
10. You want to improve your customer experience, portraying a consistent brand to the market — The final sign that you need a CPQ is that you’re ready to step up your customer experience game. Offering configuration, especially with the option to configure products directly online, gives your customers the control over the product that they want.
No longer will they have to settle for a one-size-fits-all product, but they can, instead, get the product that meets their individual needs. This also will give your business a consistent brand that makes you popular in your market. There will no longer be scattered quoting and configuration. Everything can be run directly through the CPQ to generate the professional, sharp look that is essential.
Increase Your Profits, Efficiency, and Competitiveness with a CPQ Software Solution
If your company shows any of the above signs, then it’s a good idea to look at adding a Configure, Price, Quote solution to your business model. By doing so, you can streamline your quoting process, improve your standing with customers, increase sales, and ensure that your employees are working to their full potential. All while staying ahead of your competition.