“We use spreadsheets and little pieces of paper. Then e-mail stuff.” Mike said. “I figured there’s gotta’ be a better way!”
Recently I visited a manufacturing prospect in the Milwaukee area. Our contact, Mike, called because he was increasingly frustrated by the firms sales tools.
“We use spreadsheets and little pieces of paper. Then we e-mail stuff.” Mike said. “I figured there’s gotta’ be a better way!”
So we toured the plant, watching as raw materials entered, were transformed into a product with astonishing speed, were packaged and eventually shipped away. All along the way, belts hummed, machining equipment banged and motors whirred. All-in-all this operation had 18 lines of different types – from laser cutting, to stamping to I don’t even know what else.
After observing it all and speaking with their engineering manager, Jim, I asked “How do you guys quote?”
A brief silence was followed by nervous chuckles. “We use spreadsheets and word and e-mail that too.” Mike said. Jim added, “and we’re constantly having to re-do quotes. Pricing changes all the time due to cost changes and such. Quoting is a nightmare for us.”
We talked a bit more, when it became increasingly apparent to me that this business could be transformed with a single solution – Salesforce CPQ (CPQ = Configure, Price, Quote). How can CPQ help? Read on!
Re-using previous quotes (templates), but with updated pricing is simple.
Several ideas came to me through the conversation with the good people in Milwaukee, but what jumped right out was the ability of CPQ to shave off hours upon hours of time for those quoting by simply developing quote templates. Now, this isn’t any ordinary template, these things are super-charged, updating pricing on the fly, doing complex calculations in the background and automatically updating account and contact information.
By using CPQ templates, you not only save tons of time, but you also keep your quotes connected to your sales records in Salesforce giving you a complete, all-time view of your customer with ease.
2. Complex pricing calculations done for you
When you need to figure complex factors such as cost of raw materials, machine operation time, machine type, engineering, labor, etc., etc., etc., quoting can be a real challenge. With Salesforce CPQ, complex pricing calculations can be set up once, and can be modified on the fly as necessary – in seconds. This leaves the calculations under your control and out of the hands of your sales team (who you want selling, not performing calculations anyways). Simple or complex, your calculations will be accurate – guaranteed!
“With Salesforce CPQ, complex pricing calculations can be set up once, and can be modified on the fly as necessary – in seconds”
3. Bundling, Discounting and Approval Routing are all a Breeze
Bundling can be a pain. Figuring out the proper discount level even more so, and approval routing can be seen as an exercise in frustration at times.
With Salesforce CPQ all 3 of these things can be configured and then set up to happen automatically! Needing to pair up installation service with several of your products? No worries, CPQ can do that. Need to know which discount level should be applied for a customer buying different quantities of different products? CPQ can do that too. Boss on the road and won’t be back for a week to approve your quote? CPQ will electronically route and get her approval on her mobile.
With Salesforce CPQ, all of these traditionally frustrating pain points are made easy and best of all they’re all automated. No more spreadsheets and little pieces of paper, e-mailing, editing, e-mailing (version 2), editing and e-mailing (versions 3, 4, 5, and 6 because pricing is off…).
“That sounds unbelievable.” said our friend Mike, with eager anticipation. “Can you get it running yesterday?” He quips.
Now if only we could find a way to implement real solutions yesterday….