Sales leaders and sales ops managers focus quite a lot on improving their team’s productivity, morale, efficiency, and sales behavior. But rarely are they thinking enough about the technology underneath the systems their sales reps are using and how this technology intertwines with everything else. Turns out, performance is important for CPQ software.
When it comes to configuring, pricing, and quoting products, if there isn’t another “P” in there, for “Performance,” your team won’t be very productive or efficient in selling. Here are the three main reasons why:
If you work in sales or manage sales reps you are probably all-too-familiar with this scenario: a sales rep is working on a quote, a complicated one that’s taken days if not weeks to figure out. He/she finally has it ready and hits “add to cart,” and the spinning wheel of death appears on the screen.
The sales rep decides to let his/her computer figure it out, takes a break, and comes back to find that the spinning wheel of death is still there. It doesn’t budge, leaving the sales rep, and the deal, in a permanent state of uncertainty and finally forcing the sales rep to reboot his/her computer and start all over again.
This is the epitome of inefficiency, and the sales rep has every right to be cursing his CPQ software at this moment. On the customer side, the customer has every right to be angry about the quote taking so long.
When your CPQ engine is fast and powerful, 1) You don’t get any spinning wheels, 2) Your quotes, even for complex configurations, won’t take hours, days, or weeks to figure out but seconds, and 3) Your customers won’t get angry waiting for their quotes.
Complex configurations require scalability if they’re going to be configured smoothly. They require scale because they involve many different moving parts and hence a large volume of data. Scalability also comes into play when you have a lot of customers requesting a quote at once or when a customer comes back and wants something changed on a quote. You need to be able to handle these types of tasks quickly and easily, and the power of your CPQ engine plays directly into the ease with which you execute at scale.
Having scalability in your CPQ engine also means being able to support company growth, new sales channels, or new product offerings in multiple currencies. You need power to be able to do all of the above without causing massive headaches and operational delays.
Intricate quotes for complex, nested configurations require extreme attention to detail. Once you get to a certain level of complexity you know manual processes won’t work, but you also have to be careful about which software solution you’re using. If it doesn’t have speed and power, it’s not going to leave you much better off than a spreadsheet.
Maybe, for example, you’re building a quote for a piece of machinery for a boiler room. To create something with that degree of complexity (i.e., with a lot of parent-child nested configurations) with 100% accuracy, you’ll need some serious horsepower in your CPQ engine.
The bottom line on why performance is important for CPQ
When you consider all of the above, it boils down to your bottom-line sales revenue. When you have a slow CPQ solution, your sales reps are selling less because they are spending time building quotes, and your CPQ solution isn’t incentivizing them to sell more because they’ll always take the easy way out and go for the simpler quote.
In the end, performance is important for CPQ because it helps sales ops make it easier for their sales reps to do their jobs. Manually configuring and pricing complex solutions is time consuming and leads to errors. You need:
Custom pricing for different customers and/or channels.
Quick onboarding of new sales reps.
Easy and quick quoting of complex configurations.
Scalability to support company growth, multiple currencies, and new channels.
And for all of the above—you need CPQ performance.
Luckily, CallidusCloud just significantly upped the bar in CPQ performance.