CPQ Features That Matter Most to Sales Operations Leaders

Why do salespeople spend only one-third of their day talking to prospects, while the rest of their day is spent on administrative tasks and communication with prospective buyers that could be automated? That’s a question that CPQ software can answer and a problem it can fix.

As a sales operations leader, one of your main priorities is to make sure your sales department runs like a well-oiled machine. As such, it’s crucial that your sales tech does what it’s intended to do: automate administrative tasks, enable your sales team to work at peak efficiency, add value by making your sales process more effective, and deliver the data needed to make forecasts and improvements.

Our customers tell us that the Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software features that matter most to them are the ones that make their job, and the work of their salespeople, easier. A CPQ must go beyond simply providing a tool with which to configure pricing and produce accurate quotes. There are other value-added features that the best CPQ software offers which directly impact ROI.

These value-added features are so critical to the success of a CPQ software that they are used as rating criteria by G2 Crowd, a leader in helping buyers make better software purchasing decisions through user reviews and ratings. In the G2 Crowd Winter 2019 Usability Index for CPQ Software report, these factors were highlighted as being paramount in determining CPQ user satisfaction.

The 5 CPQ Features That Matter Most to Sales Operations Leaders

Ease of Setup

The last thing a sales operations manager needs is disruption of their team and workflow while new software is being set up and implemented. Sales leaders need a CPQ that is quick and easy to set up and configure, and one that doesn’t require a developer to write custom code. Seamless integration with their CRM is a must.

Ease of Use

Complicated software can spell disaster for a sales team. If they don’t like using it or refuse to use it altogether, you may end up with salespeople who manually perform tasks that could be accomplished by the CPQ, thus defeating the purpose. A CPQ that is intuitive to use and includes features which make selling and quoting easier, such as sales playbooks and pre-configured rules for pricing and discounting, will increase user adoption. Sales operations leaders want a CPQ which requires minimal training time to bring sales reps up to speed.

Ease of Administration

A major benefit of using a CPQ is that it reduces administrative tasks and makes necessary tasks a breeze. Sales operations leaders require a tool that is easy to administer and maintain. Managing the CPQ platform should be simple. If updating pricing, configuring new discounting rules, and adding new products can be accomplished with ease. It saves the organization time and money.

Meets Requirements

Each sales organization has specific requirements in a CPQ solution, but there are a few standard features which are universal. A CPQ which produces accurate quotes and includes document generation, version control, and workflow and approval management will help streamline the sales process. A CPQ that syncs with the company’s CRM yields the most benefit.

Quality of Support

A sales technology purchase should never be a one and done transaction. Ongoing support throughout set up, implementation, and continued use is a CPQ feature that is most prized among sales leaders. Look for a CPQ vendor that is easy to work with and that makes customer support a top priority.

Using CPQ to Evolve Your Sales Operations

The great engineer and management consultant W. Edwards Deming said, “Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.” Utilizing a best-in-class CPQ, integrated with a CRM, allows sales operations to change their processes and achieve better results for their organization, their team, and their customers.

Aberdeen reported that by using a CPQ, best-in-class sales teams were better able to realize efficiencies in the following areas:

  • Minimizing the number of people, functions, etc, required to develop and deliver quotes to buyers
  • Managing by exception with pricing/discounting “guardrails” in place
  • Generating complex quotes in a timely manner
  • Providing sellers with marketing tools to develop, send, and track response to messaging
    (Source: HubSpot and Aberdeen Group Report)

When choosing a CPQ for your organization, look for CPQ vendors that perform well in these areas and that rate highly on the value-added features that are most appreciated by sales leaders as rated by G2 Crowd. Using those guidelines, you will find a CPQ that will make a positive impact and help you meet your sales operations goals.