People face challenges at different levels in an organization. If we look closely at our Sales team and the configure-price-quote functions in a sales cycle, we will be able to identify the common configure, price, quote (CPQ) challenges. Let’s say for example we have a Sales Manager Thomas, who works at a CSP (communications service provider) company called Infowave Technologies that sells communication equipment and services to businesses and consumers. Thomas is worried about his new role as Infowave Technologies is struggling to keep up with competitors in the market. Thomas’s team was using an outdated, prone-to-error CPQ system to create quotes for their customers. However, they are considering implementing Salesforce CPQ to better complement their industry and sales process, and Thomas is keen to find out more.
Let’s quickly review what CPQ represents.
|C-Configure||Configure Simple and complex products, bundles and many more.|
|P-Price||Perform price calculations, analytics and apply discounts.|
|Q-Quote||Managing the quote lifecycle, creation of proposal docs, and conversion from quotes to orders.|
CPQ in the Sales and Delivery Cycle
Sales and Delivery teams follow a simple process. Let’s see how CPQ fits into the sales processes and delivery processes. The first part is the sales cycle in the order-capture cycle.
The order-capture cycle starts with lead and opportunity creation then quotation and contracting and will end with placing the order.
Leads and Opportunities
We have a potential customer who asks for information regarding the product & services. The team creates a lead record in the CRM system. Thomas is notified and allocates the lead to a sales team. When the sales team follows up on the lead, they discover there is an opportunity for sale.
The customer tells the sales team that he wants to buy a new digital streaming service with super-fast broadband and videos & movies on demand. The sales rep has enough information, so he uses the CPQ system to create a quote. The quote contains details of the offers as asked by the customer, with associated pricing.
At Infowave Technologies, approval and validation checks in the sales process are manual. For example, the sales team emails the accounts departments to check customer eligibility and for product availability, Engineering dept. Advanced CPQ will perform these checks automatically.
Contracts and Orders
After a discussion with the sales team to confirm that the customer is happy with the quote and pricing, the sales team then creates a contract. After the customer signs the contract, the sales team creates an order and additional details can be added, such as technical specifications, before submitting it to the order management system for execution.
Provisioning, Activation, and Billing
Infowave uses systems to support this cycle. It includes order management, provisioning, inventory management, and billing. Provisioning an order involves preparing all the products, services, and resources required by the customer for delivery and activation. The final step is billing, when Infowave Technologies creates an invoice, and the customer will pay for the Product & Services.
Common CPQ Challenges in the Sales Cycle
- It takes so much time to create quotes & orders.
- Inaccurate quotes and orders
- Sales and business processes cause holdups.
- Customers aren’t getting the service they deserved
- Infowave Technologies is not keeping up with the market.
Thomas was surprised to learn how frustrated his team is with their present CPQ system. He knows that all these challenges will lead to low customer satisfaction, low profit, and frustrated employees; and none of that is good. In his quest to support his team, Thomas’s been reading about the latest CPQ systems available in the market, and he discovered Salesforce Industry CPQ solutions.
Solve Challenges with Industries CPQ
Industries CPQ uses a shared catalog to give Infowave Technologies a single source for all its products, services, and their prices. It has availability and pricing rules for offers given to customers to ensure that products are configured at the right price.
When a sales rep wants to create a quote, Industries CPQ guides them through a selling process to create an accurate quote.
If a quote isn’t valid, you can’t create an order. Similarly, if an order isn’t valid, you cannot submit it to the order-management team. CPQ helps to avoid order fallout and thus improves customer experience and satisfaction.
Improved Sales Processes
Industries CPQ helps different departments collaborate using standardized, streamlined processes which also improves sales efficiency apart from the smooth process. Using OmniStudio tools, one can customize the processes as per business needs.
The sales process becomes fast, effective, and precise, with all-in-one integration between applications. The solution uses standard Salesforce objects like opportunities, quotes, and orders.
Personalized Customer Experience
Industries CPQ will be designed to meet the wide-ranging and changing needs of Infowave’ s complex application and IT ecosystem. We can imagine a scenario where a customer logs in to the Infowave website, finishes half their quote online, and then call the Infowave team to complete the half. This way, neither the salesperson needs to retype the details and the customer doesn’t need to repeat them.
To learn more about how Salesforce CPQ can help your business, check out some of my related blogs below!
- Trailhead by Salesforce: Solve Challenges with Industries CPQ
- Automate Customer Lifecycle with Salesforce CPQ
- Multidimensional Quoting: Quickly Configure Complex Deals