What Is CPQ, or Configure, Price, Quote?
Optimization tools are not new to the fenestration industry. With the latest wave in innovation and technology, configure, price, quote (CPQ) software is quickly becoming a vital tool to growing your business. CPQ software is a technology-based sales tool used to quickly and accurately generate quotes for orders. This enables your sales team to provide complex product and service configurations in a B2B sales environment.
In our industry, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer requirements. With the range of products, styles, colors, sizes, price points, and add-on options, etc., the needs of each customer are varied. Because of this, a good salesperson will guide their customers through a process that will help them identify the products that best fit their needs. CPQ software helps salespeople to quickly and easily create customized offerings by selecting the best fitting products for the customer’s needs. It also allows the salesperson to easily add, remove, or duplicate items during the process.
Many businesses in our industry have varied list prices offered to tiered customer groups, in effect offering some form of custom pricing – bundled volume deals or percentage off discounts for certain product ranges on promotion. To keep track of all these different pricing groups would become a sales admin headache without software to help manage pricing. This is where CPQ software can be automatically configured to take these pricing rules into consideration, helping the salesperson to easily navigate and quickly create an accurate quote.
Along with the pricing that appears in a quote, how the quote is created is also important. This may need to include your branded logo, your standard font, and specific formatting. If your salespeople were to create their own manual quotes, these may not all be consistent, possibly include cost calculation errors, typos, mistakenly leaving off your terms & conditions, etc. This would not build trust with your customers and may even leave your business seeming unprofessional. With CPQ software, all of your quotes will be consistently professional, clearly laid out, contain accurate pricing, and be correctly formatted with the required brand elements. And, all this can be done with a few clicks of a mouse and emailed straight away to your customer for review.
Beyond the quote
CPQ software also ensures that once the order is accepted, accurate information can be moved through the process when manufacturing complex, and often custom or non-standard products. Information including detailed bills of material can be instantly sent to integrated manufacturing applications, like your ERP system without any data re-entry or manual intervention. This true source of information moves end-to-end through the process, increases manufacturing efficiencies, and improving order accuracy.
Although there are many CPQ software options available in the global market, it’s best to seek out a solution that takes into account your industry-specific requirements. Ensure your solutions provider has a good understanding and prior industry experience of how your business works. This will more likely result in a successful implementation and partnership.