Today, manufacturers offer the highly configured and individually customized products in order to meet specific needs, bring more value to the customer and deliver the most efficient solutions. Various product lines and hundreds or thousands of items with all available components or additional accessories can’t be selected from the standard product catalogue.
Thanks to the CPQ solutions you can get rid of spreadsheet-based pricing, easily configure, price products and deliver quotes just in few clicks. CPQ software enables sales operations to automate and optimize the process of selecting or configuring the right product or service, up to manage pricing policies and creating quotes for B2C and B2B clients.
What is CPQ?
Based on requirements find or configure the right product or service and get comprehensive information with possible extensions.
Calculate price based on configured or selected product/service with its extensions and accessories depending on the market.
Create and provide a high-quality quote with all customer info. Make changes and process the quote in the ordering process.
Product configuration challenges
More complex products might require configuration of components, options or additional accessories. Product configuration systems can assist users to specify requirements in a structured way and based on pre-defined rules and constraints present which configuration is possible and which is not. This process is also called customer guidance or customer assistance and differs between the industries and product types. While the main purpose of this type of software is clear, let’s figure out why a custom configuration software is very often a better choice.
While the standard configuration software for simple products might be enough just to select additional accessories or components, more complex or large-scale industrial systems require a more customized solution. Those products configuration, typically based on specific conditions including rules and constraints, might be based on similar selection process or additional mathematical or physical calculations.
Very often, this process is handled by very complex Excel sheets, and you should know how hard is to share updated Excel files through the whole network of internal or external users. The main purpose behind implementing on-line configuration software is not only to guide the user in the quick and simple way to the advanced product, but also to transfer the knowledge, and simplify onboarding of new customers or internal sales engineers or agents.
The main goal behind CPQ platform is to digitize the sales process for advanced products or services. The CPQ platform accelerates the process of creating and processing orders from multiple markets and channels, minimizes the amount of manual work (e.g. work with spreadsheets) and eliminates many of human errors. Additionally, the offers standardization allows delivering faster to customers the necessary information such as prices, detailed technical documentation or advanced calculation results.
The most common features of the CPQ software:
Quick delivery of high-quality quotations, can dramatically increase the probability of closing the deal fast. Effective process results with a higher close rate from the beginning.
When the product or service, process, and pricing policies are complex, CPQ platform guides sales representatives and end-customer with effective support on every step of the process.
Upselling and cross-selling
Based on rules or constrains, customers, can not only choose options of the base of the product or service but can be also driven to choose add-ons and create more revenue.
Intuitive process of addressing customers’ needs, helping them in choosing and buying the right products.
Reduce back-office operational cost, human errors and focus on more demanding clients.
System makes your sales team focus on sales performance, speed up the sales cycle, and minimize repetitive tasks.
Basically, CPQ simplifies the interaction of the product with manufacturers, distributors, and customers, and not only allows to configure or select the right product but what’s the most important, it immediately delivers information about prices, technical specification and smooth the ordering process.
Traditionally CPQ platform was considered as an additional sales tool. However, with growing customer expectations and requirements for sales departments that need to achieve high results at a lower cost, CPQ platforms became a key technology that significantly reduces the sales cycle and ensures high-quality customer service.
To sum up, CPQ software gives more capability for sales team including:
- Minimalizing amount of handwork with documents and data
- Configuring product, pricing and quoting in one application
- Managing product information in one central system
- Many markets, languages, and channels support
- Business Intelligence, reports, statistics
Choosing a product configurator: ready solution vs custom
To sell online more advanced products, sets or systems you need to have a custom software solution, where the engineering knowledge can be transferred and users can be guided through the whole sales process.
The typical outcome from this process is comprehensive product cards, technical data sheets (TDS), or quotations that contain not only basic information like an item number, SKU, EAN, description, images, drawings, technical parameters, or attributes, but the whole information about the product, and in many cases, calculations results or Bill of Materials (BOM) for production purposes.