If You Build It, Will They Come?

John Follett

By Clare Price

In the now classic baseball film, Field of Dreams, the mysterious voice kept repeating, “If You Build It, They Will Come.” Eventually Kevin Costner, probably sick to death of that nagging voice, did build the baseball field in his corn field and the legendary baseball teams did show up to play.

“If You Build It, They Will Come” has now become a common catch phrase. So common in fact that I almost hate to use it . . . Except that is it the perfect way to describe the benefits of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ). Seriously? Yes, seriously.

The first word of CPQ is CONFIQURE. The core benefit of CPQ is to automatically configure or BUILD a custom product from a large and complex inventory of parts, priced separately and quoted differently.

As the name implies, Configure, Price, Quote solutions provide functionality to support complex sales transactions. CPQ systems enable sales teams to custom design or configure a solution for a customer from different product sets, options or piece parts, price the solution for a profit, and prepare a quote for the customer in a negotiated sales situation.

At Demand Metric we define CPQ as comprising the strategies, processes, technologies and tools that support the organization’s ability to effectively configure product/services from a set of options, price a customized solution based on relevant internal and external factors, and provide a digitally generated quote for customer signature and payment.

A typical CPQ system includes a design/configuration engine, pricing engine and quoting system driven by business rules or constraints, supported by a proposal management system, augmented by approval workflow systems.

Primary industries that have heavily relied on CPQ systems include manufacturing, transportation, telecom, High Tech, medical/healthcare, retail, and insurance and financial services.

Today, new solutions and cloud technology have enabled CPQ systems to be used by small and mid-market companies in a full range of industries including general business services, real estate and media/publishing.

Modern CPQ systems have moved way beyond the classic definition of “Configure, Price, Quote” to offer a range of enhancements including:

  • product design and visualization tools that extend configuration options;
  • value pricing, value modeling and value communication tools to enhance pricing;
  • ROI and TOC calculators to optimizing quoting;
  • Contract management and Guided Selling to improve operations and sales performance. 

In short, these are not your father’s CPQ systems! We’ll detail the range of standard, advanced and specialized functions and features in our Solution Study Series: Configure, Price, Quote: Insights, Landscapes and Vendor Analysis, to be released during our upcoming Virtual Event on April 3rd.

An especially valuable aspect of this Solution Study is the evolution of CPQ from its basic capabilities into contract and revenue management applications. Our Action Plan includes eight must-have CPQ-related assessments, scorecards and vendor evaluation matrices you can start using immediately.

Effective Sales Enablement is a multi-stage process. In our Sales Enablement Solutions Study Series we examine each key stage of Sales Enablement from initial marketing and sales alignment to the final deal close and revenue capture. In addition to CPQ Systems, we examine Marketing Automation, Enablement KM, CPQ, Sales Communication Tools and Sales Intelligence.

We’ll be sharing these insights and more on the new CRM landscape as well as the entire Solution Series at our Virtual Event on April 3rd. We hope to see you there.

Register for the April 3 Virtual Summit B

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