Beyond wasting time and causing frustration to both your staff and customers, issues in your company’s quoting process can do real damage to your bottom line. In an ideal world, there would be a smooth and seamless turnaround between a customer requesting a quote from your company and receiving it.
Issues in your quoting process — from pricing errors to lengthy approvals — can prevent your team from meeting customer expectations, and contribute to a lack of morale among your staff.
In our experience helping businesses improve their quote-to-cash system, we’ve seen these roadblocks countless times. In our well-established CPQ Practice at RelationEdge, we’ve been able to help guide businesses in implementing the right tools and processes to tackle these common pain points and prevent them from reappearing down the line.
One of the best tools you can invest in to alleviate this is the Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) application. Salesforce CPQ acts as a guardrail to your sales process, helping your team quickly provide accurate pricing across a range of scenarios. It facilitates your quoting process from the first interaction with a client right up to the final calculations — and it doesn’t end there, thanks to streamlined review and follow-up capabilities.
Here are five of the most rampant quoting process issues we’ve seen and some solutions, along with a look at how CPQ can help mitigate these problems.
1. Outdated Information
Keeping your organization’s information up-to-date can be difficult, especially if you’re in the midst of restructuring or have many systems to keep track of across the company.
If you’re using spreadsheets and docs to manage your terms and conditions, price lists, and other important information, there’s a high chance that older versions of these documents are being circulated and used by both team members and clients.
Salesforce and linked cloud-based applications such as CPQ can help centralize and maintain data; CPQ will also act as your company’s universal access point for that data. This ensures that every team member has access to the most current documents and information.
2. Pricing (and Other) Errors
One of the major side effects of having decentralized data across multiple systems is errors: price discrepancies, data entry mistakes, and other blunders that make your quoting process feel more like a hurdle and less like a bridge to bringing on new customers.
Common issues may be caused by human errors such as forgetting to update an information field (like the company’s new name), causing confusion for the customer; or miscalculations, such as not realizing a customer is eligible for free shipping on a particular order.
These errors can result in over- or under-charging your customers, filing inaccurate information, or extra time spent redoing a large quote. Ultimately, quoting errors cause your team and company to appear disjointed or, worse, unprofessional.
While it may not be possible to eliminate errors completely, you can take steps to make these mistakes less likely, which will go a long way towards helping you reach your targets and keeping your customers happy.
3. Lengthy Review Process
Tired of endless emails and long games of phone tag to get your quote approved? You are not alone — going through the necessary reviews and approvals is one of the most frequently identified pain points of the quoting process. For companies still relying on email for communications, this is especially true.
Salesforce CPQ enables you to generate documents, track changes, and integrate revisions into the quote system so the final review process is more efficient and easier to follow up on. This empowers your team and the customer to obtain the information and changes they need in a timely manner.
4. Missed Upsells
While your sales reps are busy following up on approvals or correcting errors in a miscalculated quote, they are losing time they could have spent maximizing the impact of their sales. When sales reps are spread too thin or required to spend too much time on manual tasks, they miss out on opportunities to upsell your current customer base.
Salesforce CPQ helps manage repetitive tasks and removes some of the manual processes, freeing up time for salespeople to focus on searching for ideal opportunities to upsell and cross-sell existing customers. CPQ also manages your quotes and contracts in one centralized system, helping to further highlight compatibilities and upsell opportunities along the path to generating a quote.
5. Excessive Discounting
Discounts can be an effective way to motivate and reward customers that use and bundle your products — but when too many customers are given overly generous markdowns or inaccurate discounts, your profits take a hit.
Excessive discounting is common when a sales team doesn’t have an automated system to perform calculations based on the customer’s profile, or when they don’t have clearly enforced rules in place to cap discounts.
Using CPQ to set limits on your discount policy and to require different degrees of approval for discounts helps ensure your customers can get a fair price while your company continues to make money.
Let’s Remodel Your Quoting Process
Ready to smooth out your quoting process with CPQ? As certified CPQ specialists, the team at RelationEdge is uniquely equipped to help you navigate common quoting process issues and get the most out of your Salesforce platform. We are a Platinum Partnering with an implementation expert like RelationEdge is the best way to ensure your journey is smooth and adoption across your company is high.
We’ve worked with a wide range of clients with diverse configurations and needs. This means we’ve got a library of solutions to apply to just about any quoting process issues you encounter. Contact us today to learn more.