For many sales teams, the biggest challenges are reducing sales cycle time, increasing order values, and improving margins. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) platforms can bring a 75% reduction in quote cycle time, 93% reduction in order processing time, and over 65% in labour time per quote.
The positive results your business will achieve from implementing cloud-based CPQ aren’t the end of the story – there’s a lot to be learnt from how your sales process evolves after implementation. Here’s how to measure and learn from your results.
The evolution of bottlenecks
CPQ systems are designed to maximise efficiency, so they can shine a fairly bright light on gaps in your existing processes and platforms. The bottlenecks which used to exist could be eliminated, but they could also shift and start to slow down different areas of the business.
Order processing isn’t just about the contact made between customers and sales teams, there could also be manufacturing, technology, and a shortage of other resources to consider. All departments should be working efficiently and benefiting from CPQ. If not, customers will start to experience delays.
Oracle CPQ allows sales teams to model scenarios and analyse ‘what ifs’ using artificial intelligence. Rather than improved sales becoming difficult to manage, your team can test different departments capacity and prepare for the next stages of growth.
Could quote-to-cash be any faster?
Convenience and speed wins business, and it makes it easier for customers to keep coming back. Your CPQ platform should make the whole process – from making contact with potential customers to taking payment – significantly easier to fulfil. This means improved cash flow for the business as a whole, and more opportunities to turn one-time customers into loyal regulars.
CPQ functionality means your sales team will be able to accommodate additions, upgrades, and even discounts, with a few clicks, rather than back-and-forth emails and phone calls. One of Oracle’s financial customers recently reduced the time between first conversation to contract signing from 14 days to just 8 minutes.
With such impressive speed, it could be time to focus on how to maximise user experience. Speed is important, but not if it makes customers feel rushed while they still have unanswered questions. Make sure your sales team doesn’t become too reliant on automation and process – they still need to bring the personal touch.
More accurate sales forecasting
Thanks to CPQ, your team is more efficient and your processes are streamlined, so sales forecasting will inevitably change. The time limits and budget problems you used to deal with could have changed, or even be gone altogether.
With the ability to sell more and sell faster, new products and services could be on the horizon, but its key not to rush into decisions under the pressure of demand, particularly if your organisation is known for doing something specific extremely well.
The data from your CPQ platform is a major gift for forecasting. You can identify what your sales team should be working on next with the patterns you can see.
Walpole Partnership is an IT Consultancy formed of CPQ experts. Our consultants have delivered some of the largest and most successful CPQ systems in Europe and the Middle East.