4 Ways to Empower Your Partners with CPQ

Working with your partners to generate and close new business can bring great benefits, but it can also be like navigating an iceberg—you can see a small sliver of what they’re doing, but they’ve got their own internal methods, and business practices in place that may be hidden and may not align with your own corporate processes. And vice versa.

4 Ways to Empower Your Partners with CPQ

You hope your resellers are using the latest pricing and product configurations during quoting and closing, but because they are a different organization, it’s hard to know if this is the case. Especially if you are communicating pricing and product catalogs to them through static websites or via spreadsheets or PDF’s sent through email.

Furthermore, many of the first generation CPQ tools that may be in use out there, seem to be designed only to satisfy internal sales teams, not partner operations.

But in today’s rapid business world, looping your partners into your business plan is not an option--it’s essential for driving new growth and revenue.

Here are the top benefits to bringing your partners onto your CPQ tool:

1. Push real-time pricing and product roll outs

Working through a partner channel presents unique challenges. A quote might be generated that contains outdated product pricing, or the final price might not include a promotion you’ve just launched. At best, the errors might annoy a potential client. At worst, the deal might dissolve as the prospect moves on to another option.

Giving your partners a direct line to your products through the use of a CPQ tool ultimately ensures that when the rubber meets the road, they’re automatically using the most up-to-date product and service pricing, features, promotions and discounts when quoting.

With automated updates, your partners can configure product features and pricing on the fly while talking with clients and immediately generate accurate quotes and close new deals faster.

2. Accelerate closed business with self-service quoting

To finalize deals, your partners might have to loop in your dedicated sales representative for final quotes, engage in phone tag with your deal desk to gain approval for complex sales or wait for your administrative staff to circulate paperwork -- that could add unnecessary hours or days to closing new business.

By contrast, using CPQ creates self-service quoting that’s attractive to top sellers who are moving rapidly to get the right price to close deals. When partners are revising quotes through a CPQ tool, they can configure standardized or automatic approvals based on price levels or product selections, so typical administrative busywork or reviews don’t slow down opportunities. This customization ultimately gives your partners one system in which to progress and manage their entire pipeline for your company, increasing close and win rates.

3. Increase trust with collaboration

With a CPQ system, you can provide your partners with a secure, detailed view of all their generated and approved quotes.

More than that, they can have real time access to your product catalog and know when prices or product configurations have changed.

As the deal progresses they can be part of your workflow for approvals.

In other words, including them in your CPQ system means you trust them and that trust can help build the relationship.

Ultimately, your partners have numerous options for who they do business with, and offering a streamlined quoting and pricing process provides competitive business practices that will retain high-performing partners.

4. Partner analytics help grow your company

Keeping quoting, pricing and ordering information in one Cloud-based application opens up a new world of financial analysis on your partner sales. You can perform analysis on what product configurations sell at what price through different partners. You can gain insight into what quotes and products work in different geographies. All this can then be mapped to your internal bottom-line margin analysis.

The kind of analysis available through a Cloud-based CPQ system is far superior to what is possible through a manual system or spreadsheets.

These analytics can inform future pricing and bundling decisions and increase sales.

If you have a top-notch CPQ tool, the information can even be put into an AI system that can “learn” in real time and can adjust quotes to be the most optimal to win deals.

This takes the guesswork out of getting partners aligned on pricing and bundling arrangements.

These four reasons, are just some of the ways that having your partners accessing your CPQ application can increase sales, build trust, and lessen conflict with your partners.

But you need a CPQ product that treats partners as equals, not as an afterthought.

Get started here.

By Matt McEnerney | July 25th, 2018 | CPQ

About the Author: Matt McEnerney

Matt McEnerney

Matt McEnerney is a Product Marketing Manager at CallidusCloud with over 10 years experience in sales and marketing. Using an analytical approach to assess the direction of the market, he is responsible for guiding product messaging. Find him studying cloud formations, woodworking, or enjoying the outdoors in his free time.