CPQ software: what is it and what is it for in sales?

CPQ software: what is it and what is it for in sales?

reading time  5 minutes

CPQ software (or simply CPQ) is an advanced and very efficient sales tool. CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote and is an essential tool for configuring the offer, managing the negotiation and closing the contract.

Through a CPQ, the seller can configure the perfect offer in front of the buyer, according to their needs, requirements and budget.

CPQ is a fast growing market. According to a study by QY Research (via: The Market Publicist), it was $ 1.1 billion in 2018. In addition, it is expected to grow with a CAGR of 17.3% over the period 2019-2025, to reach $ 3.9 billion.

In the midst of the digital transformation era, it is not easy to identify the reasons for this enormous success, but wanting to summarize them as much as possible, they could be explained with the terms simplification and automation.

CPQ: why is it needed for sales?

In certain markets, for example of Utilities or Telco, configuring an offer in front of your customer is not exactly child’s play. It is not a question of choosing a product, color and delivery address, but of creating complex and extremely modular combinations. The seller has to choose between basic offers and an infinite number of options to be configured manually, to which promotions, discounts and so on must be added.

In this activity, the risk of making mistakes has always been very high, because not all sellers are always up to date. In addition, there is often a lack of the right preparation that allows you to understand which mixes are allowed and which are not, not to mention the discount percentages.

The traditional method, equipped with brochures, catalogs, paper and pen, has always faced very strong limits of efficiency. Both for the technical management times of the procedure, and for errors and corrections that force the seller to spend a good part of his day in administrative activities, rather than concentrating on sales and the relationship with the customer.

Benefits of CPQ for Sellers

The aim of Apparound is to simplify the sales process and make the work of the sales network more profitable. In addition to the functionality of a traditional CPQ, Apparound integrates the management of digital content, the real one product configurator (CPQ), but also the contract generator, remote signature and forms for data collection and information in the field.

Here are all the main benefits of the solution:

  1. Elimination of paper: the CPQ is, above all, software: it weighs less than a catalog and eliminates the costs of paper and printing.
  2. Sales automation: the steps of the sales activity are combined in a single workflow, in which manual activity is banned as it is a harbinger of errors and inefficiencies.
  3. Sales force always up to date: with an excellent CPQ, the sales force is always updated on new models, products, mixes and promotions. In this way, he does not risk finding himself in front of a buyer with an obsolete brochure or configuring an offer based on an outdated price list.
  4. Reduces the risk of error: By automating much of the process and allowing salespeople to access an always up-to-date database, CPQ helps minimize the possibility of error due to manual activities. The quote provided will certainly be correct, as it is based on a series of rules set and pre-approved by the sales management.
  5. Speed ​​and customization: even in the most complex sector in the world, subject to high customization of offers and, at the same time, to strong regulatory constraints, the CPQ allows the seller to quickly configure an offer in front of the buyer.
  6. Increase sales productivity:  having all the materials available, in all possible multimedia formats, that describe the products and the value proposition of the company allows sellers to formulate ad hoc offers and develop Upselling and Cross-selling strategies. In addition to this, automation and streamlining of processes help increase the % of sales they close.
  7. It reduces the cost of customer acquisition
  8. It favors the alignment between sales and marketing: The app is constantly updated with all the marketing information and, in general, with all the useful information to respond to customer objections. This avoids errors and, in addition, the application itself can suggest how to proceed in the sales proposal.
  9. Lightweight and cross-platform accessibility: the best CPQs are provided in the form of a mobile application and are accessible anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day. The use of a common tablet can completely replace catalogs and voluminous brochures.
  10. Integration with the main business systems: CPQ, with its ability to configure complex offers and integrate within the complex management system of companies (especially with CRMs and ERPs), undoubtedly represents a fundamental piece of sales automation.
  11. Customer loyalty: The seller can monitor the status of offers and contracts. Through the app, in fact, he can automatically keep track of the activities carried out at the customer and receive notifications and updates. This privileged view of the customer improves their management, favoring the establishment of a lasting relationship.

Benefits of CPQ for commercial management

Configure, Price, Quote is not only an advantage for the seller but for the entire commercial management. Here’s why:

  1. Helps define sales policies: Sales management sets the policies that the sales force must adhere to using CPQ. In this way, many unpleasant inconveniences related to the configuration of offers with unauthorized combinations, unauthorized discounts, or other errors that must be rectified are avoided, with the consequent repercussions on the image of the company.
  2. CPQ and data-driven approach: the data acquired by the sales force through the use of the CPQ can be converted into fundamental decision support. For example, you may find that certain products work better in one geographic area than in another, that some areas are more price sensitive, and so on. A data-driven approach allows effective decisions to be made regarding the composition and activity of the sales team, logistics, marketing and production, thus obtaining a strong commercial advantage.

What is the difference between CPQ and CRM?

Unlike CRM, used by most companies, CPQ – which stands for Configure, Price, Quote – is the software tool that the sales force uses in the presence of the buyer. In fact, it serves to configure the offer, whether simple or complex, to generate the quote and to arrive at the contract, in the best hypothesis, in a single meeting.

While CRM (Customer Relationship Management) represents the point of contact between the entire activity of the company and its customers, actual or potential, the CPQ software maximizes its effectiveness in the most delicate phase of the sales cycle. The one in which the salesperson is in front of the buyer and must proceed with the configuration of a highly personalized offer, to be followed in rapid succession by the other steps of the sales activity.

Apparound was included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CPQ.

We are glad we were included, for the 3rd consecutive year, in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CPQs: Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites.

“We are proud that, of more than 200 CPQ providers on the market, Apparound continues to be one of the few selected for Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.” Says Gianluca Cagiano, CEO & Founder of Apparound. “More and more companies are deciding to digitize their sales processes and choose Apparound for its rapid implementation, ease of use and enthusiastic adoption by their sales force”

According to Gartner, the main strengths of the product are represented by being natively available on Android, iOS and Windows 10, working even in the absence of network coverage, as well as allowing the collection of the electronic signature directly on the seller’s device, through the graphometric signature or through the remote signature with OTP authentication.

CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solutions enable sales organizations to automate and streamline quoting and order taking and according to Gartner, the market for CPQ applications grew by 15.5% in 2019, to about 1.42 billion dollars.

The Magic Quadrant lists 17 vendors to help shoppers find the best one for their needs. However, Apparound goes beyond being a simple CPQ, offering a unique approach of its kind, because it combines in a single solution the distribution of digital content sales and marketing and a customer facing Configure Price Quote combined with the generation of contracts that can be signed with graphometric or remote electronic signature with OTP, thus ensuring that the entire sales process can be managed and monitored with a single work tool.

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    ©Apparound. All rights reserved. APPAROUND SPA e P.I. 13147681004