Book a demo
Product overview

With GetAccept, flexibility is at your fingertips to engage buyers in new ways and reach hit rates of 75% on your documents.

Start tour
Industries
SEE ALL
Customer Stories
SEE ALL
What_is_cpq_background

What is CPQ?

Thomas Igou
April 20, 2022

CPQ stands for configure, price, quote and is a software that enables sales reps to win deals by shortening and simplifying the process of generating sales quotes. 

Take these two stats into consideration:

  • Businesses that are first to produce an accurate, complete quote win the deal 60% of the time or more. (Forbes)
  • Sellers that do not use CPQ software take 73% more time to produce a quote or proposal. (Medium)

The buyer journey may be long, obscure and complicated, but by the time a prospect engages with a vendor, speed in the flow of information is critical. A CPQ tool helps with that: a quick turnaround to create a price quote.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the most common questions around CPQ:

What are the benefits of CPQ

There are multiple benefits for using a tool that automates customized quotes, but here are the top three: 

  1. Save time
    With sales reps only spending 35% of their time actively selling, every minute counts. Enabling them to reduce their time spent on administrative tasks like manually creating complex pricing tables for each proposal will give them more focus to execute energy-consuming tasks like prospecting and a faster response time to request for proposals (RFPs).

  2. Generate error-free quotes
    Typos, miscalculations, wrong currency, unapproved discounts… The list of potential mistakes from a manually-created quote is, unfortunately, quite large and can have a big impact on the annual contract value (ACV), or even closing the deal. Using a Configue, Price and Quote software allows you to eradicate human errors by 40% and send out accurate price quotes.

  3. Create a professional buying experience
    No sales organization wants to send a business proposal that looks unprofessional to a prospect. Clunky price tables, wrong product names, outdated prices… Not to mention that sales reps have their own style of formatting, meaning one customer interacting with different account executives over time will have a different experience. CPQ streamlines the process and makes sales teams look more professional.

How does it work

 

(source)

Every CPQ tool has its own features and variations, and every vendor will have nice looking infographics with the full journey. But there are three key components, (hence the acronym):

Configure

The first component will be a product library or catalog to configure your products and services. Without a CPQ, most sales teams use a google spreadsheet or excel that lists all their products and services including product descriptions, product number, price, etc.. When engaged in putting together a proposal for a potential customer, a salesperson would copy paste the information from the spreadsheet into their manually created pricing table to create a solution or a package they want to offer. CPQ acts as guided selling, helping a salesperson selecting the products/services from a product library to create customised solutions for buyers.

Price

Every company has its own pricing strategy. Pricing is also impacted by a lot of variables. A CPQ tool will automatically calculate prices from the different products & services added to the proposal, taking into consideration any discounts or expenses (like VAT) added in the mix. For highly customized solutions, this saves a lot of time for sales reps (and potential errors in calculations).

Quote

The configure, price, quote software will then generate a final quote, taking into account all the different variables. This will be the investment required for the potential customer. Some CPQ tools would also allow buyers receiving the business proposal to fill in themselves the quantity of units they would want for each line item, and the software would then automatically calculate the final price.

Additional features

  • Imagery/drawings

More advanced solutions will have images incorporated within the product library. Sometimes 2D imagery or drawings, but some offering even 3D visualisations of products. This is more common in sectors with high volume of SKU's like retail, commerce and manufacturing.

  • Renewal management

End-to-end solutions will have a feature for seamless renewal processes that generate quotes for existing customers to try and lower churn. This also needs a bit more advanced pricing conditions to take into account-based pricing and loyalty discounts as well as upsell/cross-sell opportunities.

  • Approval workflows

One of the benefits of having a configure, price, quote solution is the control it gives to sales leaders and sales operations managers in the sales cycle. Gone are the days when account executives offer crazy discounts. A CPQ tool will not only have limits on discounts, but some of them will have approval workflows to get sales managers to sign off on a discount before the quote can be sent to a customer.

  • Guided selling

To really make life easier for sales reps, some solutions offer a guided selling feature. In short, it will recommend products and services to sellers as they start adding from the product library based on the first initial products they select as well as on historical data; it would also inform account executives who inadvertently select incompatible products in one solution.

Is CPQ part of a CRM?

Yes … and no.

Most CRM’s will have a CPQ function as part of their overall solution, the most famous one being Salesforce CPQ. This means that a rep can create a proposal and generate a quote without ever leaving the CRM.

There are also a lot of standalone solutions for those that don’t use a CRM, but also standalone solutions that integrate with your CRM, meaning that a salesperson would still be able to complete most, if not all, of the sales process from within the CRM.

Top CPQ software

Head over to G2, Capterra, Trustradius or other review platforms looking for the best CPQ solutions, you'll notice there are a lot of options.

So what are the best tools to generate quotes?

To help you out, here are 5 tools to consider, each unique in their own sense:

  1. Salesforce CPQ
  2. Oracle CPQ
  3. Conga CPQ
  4. QuoteWerks
  5. GetAccept

1. Salesforce CPQ

Salesforce CPQ solution

Salesforce needs to no introduction, as one of the leading and fastest growing CRM's in the world. And in 2015, it acquired SteelBrick to add a configure, price, quote element to its solution whose top features include:

  • Orders & renewals
  • Approval process
  • Product configurator

2. Oracle CPQ

Oracle CPQ solution

As the second largest software vendor in the world, it's no wonder that Oracle is in the CPQ business as well. The tool has a strong reputation for:

  • Drag & drop UI
  • Approval workflow
  • Pricing engine

3. Conga CPQ

Conga CPQ solution

Apttus, a leader in quote-to-cash solutions, acquired Conga in 2020 to offer a full end-to-end solution for account executives. Some of the most appreciated features: 

  • User-friendly
  • Advanced approval
  • Ability to price complex deals

4. QuoteWerks

QuoteWerks cpq solution

QuoteWerks is a specialised COQ software that can be used in every industry to create sales quotes and proposals. Some of its top features include:

  • Good integrations
  • Easy quote creation
  • Set up quote templates

5. GetAccept

GetAccept CPQ solution

GetAccept is a digital sales room that helps revenue-driving teams engage and understand customers to hit quotas. Some of its most popular features related to CPQ are:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Handles multiple currencies, with parameters on discounts, VAT...
  • Speed of getting quotes out to customers

Learn how GetAccept's CPQ solution works specifically for sales leaders, sales operations managers and account executives.

Is it for me?

The quick answer: CPQ simplifies the quote generation process, so it is for you if your current process is complex.

If you struggle with any (or several) of the following:

  • Large or growing sales team
  • Large or growing product catalog
  • Complex pricing structure
  • High volume of business proposals sent

Then having a tool to automate custom quote generation will be beneficial. When looking at the solutions above, it's also important to consider what level of complexity you need from a CPQ tool. 

The more products or SKU's you have, you will need more advanced features to create approval workflows and calculate complex prices.

However, if you simply have a large sales team and/or high volume of proposals sent but a smaller product catalog, then you will want a simpler, easy to use solution (that has a good integration with your CRM).

CPQ is all about efficiency. Make your sales cycle more efficient, but not at the expense of your account executives.

Let’s stay in touch!

Do like 25 000+ sales professionals and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive the latest sales trends, invitations to events and webinars straight into your inbox.

Zero spam! Unsubscribe at any time.

 

You may also like

These stories on Digital Sales Room

Subscribe to updates