When looking at changing from a manual product configuration process to one that’s automated using CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software, it’s understandable to experience hesitancy or pushback. Let’s take a look at all of the benefits a CPQ system has to offer, even beyond the streamlined sales process.
Here are four areas that can improve with CPQ software:
Product Management and Engineering
CPQ solutions are able to aid product management and engineering by freeing them from the sales process. If your engineers have to spend time reviewing and approving each of the product configurations from the sales team, they’re not putting their full effort into what they’re being paid for—designing new and better products.
Other ways CPQ software can help with product management and engineering:
- Using CPQ data to decide where to spend money on research and development of new products and/or product improvements. By looking at which combinations of product options are popular and which are not, your engineering department can better understand what customers want and design better products.
- Product managers can use these data points to determine how to extend or expand the reach of the company into different markets. If a product manager can see the opportunity to retool or expand a product line to reach a new market, this can only help the company by expanding its customer base.
Your company is probably already using an ERP or CRM system. The right CPQ solution can seamlessly integrate with your existing business systems and enhance their capabilities.
Here are more ways a CPQ solution can enhance the operations side of your business:
- By tracking data for your best-selling products, you can communicate better with your own suppliers. Ensuring your best-sellers are in stock and ready to ship so you can fulfill your orders in a timely fashion.
- For those companies that produce their own parts and supplies in-house, this same data can be used to analyze what’s needed in advance of orders so there’s less “lag time” between the order and the actual production of the configured items.
- Pricing, revenue, and cash flow data will inform your financial department of exactly how the company is doing in extremely detailed reports.
- This data can show predictive trends such as downturns as well as increases in sales and orders so you can know what to expect at regular intervals. This, in turn, can help your company prepare for those changes in your revenue streams.
The last area that CPQ can help you (outside of sales) is in your marketing department. We live in the era of “big data” and the data that comes from a CPQ system can help you in the following ways:
- Better Decision-Making – CPQ software allows you to use data to drive your decision-making. Today, business decisions shouldn’t be made solely on a “gut feeling.” Solutions need to be backed up with data and statistics showing that these ideas will work and provide you with a good return on investment.
- Identify New Markets – You can take the data of what’s currently selling in your existing markets and then look for similarities in other areas. It will help you determine how you can use your current markets and expand them internally by finding new products and sales options for those customers.
- Create More Business Opportunities – Marketing can use this data to create better and more frequent opportunities in the future. One of the key justifications with CPQ software is not just to make your current job easier. It’s also about expanding your business and opportunities into the future.
The Right CPQ Software Solution Is the Obvious Choice for Competitive Businesses
If you’re trying to find a justification for implementing a CPQ solution, the good news is that it’s not limited to just one department. Besides the obvious improvements to sales, a CPQ solution will benefit marketing, finance, operations, and engineering. In addition, it gives you a plethora of data to improve your business and keep you competitive.