Must Have Features in a Configure, Price, Quote Systems

Written by Code IT – July 2023

The CPQ abbreviation stands for Configure-Price-Quote. CPQ software enables businesses to create and share custom quotes with their customers quickly. The main goal of using CPQ software is to automate quoting processes to enhance the performance of sales managers.

Statistics say that roughly 83% of sales managers already utilize CPQ software, and the rate is expected to grow. On average, the usage of Configure-Price-Quote software helps reduce the number of errors by 40% and increase productivity by 33%.

Let’s dive deeper to discover how CPQ software works, what features it should have, and how to define a perfect feature set for your business in the post below.

BASIC FACTS ON CONFIGURE-PRICE-QUOTE SOFTWARE

The basic functionality of CPQ software enables sales managers to quickly generate new quotes, apply discounts, and update existing offers.

The quoting process is represented by three crucial stages that are:

  • Configuration. A user configures a product variation by selecting all its features using a drag-and-drop interface. Inbuilt product validation features check if the chosen product variation is in stock.
  • Price. A CPQ system automatically calculates the final price, including applied add-ons and discounts.
  • Quoting. A quote is created automatically and shared with a client. A quotation can have the form of a payment link or a document.

Indeed, creating and generating quotes is the primary functionality of a CPQ system. However, a large assortment of CPQ features may foresee the opportunity for sales managers to:

  • validate entered data
  • check and apply personal discounts
  • suggest products to upsell or cross-sell
  • update offers sent to clients
  • generate a visual representation of custom products
  • create detailed reports

The two foremost types of CPQ systems are:

  • Out-of-the-box. A system with a predefined set of features is provided by a vendor. Users cannot customize and upgrade out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Custom-built. A well-tailored Configure-Price-Quote solution built by a software development company. Users can upgrade it and implement advanced CPQ features.

BASIC CPQ REQUIREMENTS AND COMPONENTS

 Both custom-made and out-of-the-box solutions need businesses to provide their corporate identity. A brand book may imply a logo, defined brand colors, and rule corporate content composition rules. The information is used to make the interface of CPQ software and generated documents match corporate design rules.

A Configure-Price-Quote system should have a minimum required set of CPQ product features to streamline the workflows of sales managers, which is specified below.

Product Catalog

 A database of products or services, along with their variations, enables sales managers to quickly select items using a drop-down list or a search bar. Also, the catalog should imply a list of add-ons for products/services.

Quote Configuration and Generation

 Users enter information about an order manually or import it from a CRM. A CPQ system analyzes entered information and validates it to ensure that all the items are in-stock and can be delivered to a customer. It arranges all the information and generates a quotation as a payment link or a document.

 User-Friendly Interface

 Creating a visual interface with drag-and-drop functionality is advisable to enable users to quickly compose new quotes by adding new elements to a worksheet. Besides, a user-friendly interface should imply drop-downs, search bars, and pre-made templates.

Discount Management

 Many types of discounts can be applied to engage clients to purchase. One of the basic CPQ requirements needs developers to enable the opportunity to apply promotional, custom, personal, or other types of discounts. In some cases, responsible managers should review and approve the application of discounts to offers.

Quote Management

 Sales managers should be capable of managing created and shared quotes. Basic CPQ features should deliver the opportunity to review created documents. Also, users should be capable of updating existing quotes upon a need.

CRM Integration

It’s not an obligatory CPQ feature, as a Configure-Price-Quote system can work as a standalone solution. However, the integration with a CRM eliminates the need for users to specify all the details about clients manually, which helps significantly improve productivity.

Being connected to a CRM, a price quoting system can fetch data about a customer and services/products requested to form new quotes automatically.

ADVANCED CPQ FEATURES

Advanced CPQ features help turn software with basic features into a top-tier solution for creating and sharing quotes to improve performance and customer satisfaction.

Mobile Access

 According to statistics, more than 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, advanced CPQ product features should enable quotes to be displayed on mobile devices of different screen sizes, including tablets and smartphones.

Guided Selling

Guided selling is a set of step-by-step guides and suggestions that help managers quickly compose quotes. It eliminates the need for managers to explore user guides, seeking answers to their questions.

AI-Driven Recommendations

 A Configure-Price-Quote system can help increase sales by using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze real-time data and suggest items to upsell or cross-sell. AI can analyze large amounts of data and define hidden patterns to make data-baked decisions.

E-Signature Support

The e-Signature support is a CPQ feature that helps increase the offer acceptance time. Customers can rapidly review and sign new documents electronically to close deals fast.

Analytics and Reporting

A dashboard that collects crucial data and displays it in a user-friendly way can help executive managers to track any changes in monitored metrics, like sales volume or an average discount.

Advanced CPQ requirements need developers to enable the opportunity to analyze clients’ activity to track different metrics, like the opening, churn, or quote approval rate.

Recurring Payments

A top-tier CPQ system can provide the opportunity for businesses to enable recurring payments to charge clients on a regular basis. Configure-Price-Quote systems integrated into sales pipelines can automatically configure different charges, create, and send quotes to customers regularly. Also, they need to be capable of updating and canceling the existing subscriptions.

Security and Data Protection

Many businesses have to comply with security requirements to keep their customers’ personal information. User authentication management can be enabled by adopting the single sign-on (SSO).

Progressive CPQ features can foresee the opportunity to limit access to shared quotes. For instance, only verified customers can access received quotes to make personal offers inaccessible to the public. Alternatively, users can check received documents only when they sign the terms and conditions.

Visual Representation

Visuals help better present products and engage customers to make a purchase. CPQ systems with top-notch functionality can automatically pick images of configured products from a database and add them to composed documents.

Internationalization

Businesses that sell their products and services worldwide must ensure that customers from any country can interpret shared documents with quotes. Internationalization enables the automatic translation of documents, depending on the client’s country.

To learn about the TimeLinx CPQ Solution called QuoteLinx, please click here.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.

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