Selling items or services that people like should be fun. But before you can enrich the lives of your customers, sales people need to go through multiple phases that aren’t that much fun. How come with today’s technology, selling hasn’t become fun and easy yet? e-Con CPQ puts the fun back in selling. What are the frustrations of today's salespeople?
Every job has its downsides, we will give you some input on how you can convert your frustrations into strengths with the CPQ tools of e-Con Solutions. Grab yourself a coffee and check out how you can regain happy selling.
1. Time spent on wrong leads
Sales people depend on sources to get leads in and to nurture leads into valuable opportunities. Too often sales have to spend time on low-quality leads or has to take care of generating leads themselves. This is time consuming but on top of that it costs a lot of energy to keep going. It is so much easier and fun for sales to get after a couple of serious opportunities instead of pursuing not real interesting leads.
To solve this frustration, you need to validate your opportunities better, therefore you need ways and tools to convert interested buyers into real opportunities. We see that customers add a configurator to their website so that lots of visitors are exposed to all the possibilities and greatness of a product. Since showing the product and seeing that it matches to the needs of a specific customer is a wonderful way to get lots of visitors into the buyer journey. When they finish configuring the product they can, for example, send it to themselves by mail, and this starts the buyer journey. Instead of showing lots of leads what your product or service can bring customers you now let them discover it by themselves. When they are really interested sales jumps ship. This is so much more efficient and fun, doing the real work instead of giving some standardized demos.
2. Sales processes are slowing down the sales cycle
At the core of many companies selling should be easy. But in many cases it isn’t. There are a couple of reasons for it, the first is that sales guys wants to have all the freedom in offering, giving discounts and don’t want to be guided or even restricted. Therefore, lots of sales guys are working with local files on their computers or phones creating proposals and quotes based on local information and sometimes even guessing. To prevent sales people to do so, some companies made quoting and proposing quite difficult by adding steps, tools and validations on top of the sales processes.
Another annoying thing is that in many companies the sales guys don’t have the right insights and information to properly answer questions about the possibilities of a certain product. And if they ask their colleagues they can’t have that information instantly. So, it’s hard to quote on the spot or to quote a customized product, simply because lots of people within the organization are needed to get there.
3. Using CRM and other Sales Applications
You have sales people that are fond of using CRM systems and ones that hate them. CRM is great to structure all data, opportunities and charts but quoting in CRM can be hard. Out of the box, most CRM systems don’t have that much quoting power and sales people still are using Word or Excel files to get the proposals out. These proposals later get uploaded to the CRM system to spread and document all data but it’s far off a seamless flow. In that way it’s kind of logic that lots of sales people still hate CRM systems, because they don’t work for the sales guys but in reverse.
With e-Con CPQ sales people get a tool that allows them to quote straight (and out of the box) from the opportunity or lead fields. Including rich document generation capabilities and guided selling, sales people get an intuitive flow, with rich capabilities which add real value to a lean sales process. To illustrate we like to refer to a movie where we show how you can configure multiple copier machines. You see the sales rep get guided through options, calculates discounts and financial options and configures a custom document which should convince the customer to accept the deal. That all, fast and errorless in a few minutes.
4. Changing demands of customers
How often does your customer want something different then he told you a few days ago? For most of us, you have to go over all data again, even when the requested changes are few. You have to check the Excel Spreadsheet, add the data to a Word file, export it to PDF, update CRM, and now we’re describing only the basics. A small change cost you quite some time to update everything. And often a customer gets back to you more than one time, so changing customer demands drive you crazy.
e-Con CPQ brings back the joy in changing customer demands. You simply open the configuration you already did, make the requested changes and e-Con present you a new brochure, proposal or quote, updates your CRM system and calculated a new BOM and Routing: all instantly. You can face changing customer needs as a way to upsell and create happiness at your customer instead of seeing it as frustrating and driving your customers away.
5. Subscription pricing
Today’s customers want flexible pricing plans for goods and services. The latest trends fall into subscription and cloud services areas and include “pay for use” and “pay per period.” This has a major impact on pricing calculations, especially when all options are part of your overall calculation. You need to be ready to move from a standard fixed contract to options that might include a 3-month option, single-use options, or even the option to pay after use rather than up front.
The challenges is that much tools fail when you need to quickly see the differences between subscription or perpetual pricing or even more options like pricing for different industries, pay per consumption or contract, upgrades, downgrades, promotions for extending existing contracts, product/market combinations, and more.
e-Con CPQ is the answer on subscription based pricing and quotes. Simply put, you need a “super calculator” to manage all the variables involved in subscription offerings. Your goals are making choice easy for salespeople and customers, and also to protect your profit margins. e-Con’s powerful calculation engine will show the right pricing, hide impossible combinations, alert users of (price) changes, and offer fast, flexible, and flawless choices. Perhaps most important, e-Con offers a friendly, graphical UI that merges seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics, and can be used also across multiple channels and devices.
6. Slow Quoting
How much time does it cost you to create a quote or proposal? Even for the quickest sales man on earth it will still take too much time. Quoting should be extremely fast because chasing customers is more fun than creating quotes. In most cases it costs you so much time getting all the right information to quote your product or service. And even if you have all the right information adding all stuff to a Word or Excel document it a big hurdle to take.
With e-Con CPQ you can simply quote all by yourself. No more need to get information from colleagues, check files for the right prices, or brochures for applicable combinations. You get guided through all options by answering questions. e-Con CPQ does the math and calculates the right product combination and the impact on prices, delivery time, etc.
So quoting isn’t a time consuming task anymore. Because you’ve all the needed product and pricing information available via a smart questionnaire which helps you by selecting the product or service you’re selling.
7. Errorless Quoting
It happens to the best of us, in a hurry you don’t check your facts good enough and you quote an impossible product combination or you give too much discount, exceeding your margins. And yes, quite often the fault is out of your hands, because of outdated information, brochures or files, you don’t have the right source to get the correct price and product information.
This is frustrating for both your customer and yourself. You’ve to spend time with the customer again, apologizing for the wrong product or price, makes things okay with production because you tried to let them produce an impossible product or simply the time spend on creating another version of a quote or proposal.
I can take a few lines to lay out how e-Con CPQ tackles this problem, but I will save you some time. e-Con CPQ ensures that you don’t make any mistakes. Because we set all the right product combinations once and add all the pricing rules and applicable discounts in the rules engine you will never experience the situation described above. No mistakes, powered by the e-Con Rules Engine.
8. Converting a Quote in an Order
Often creating a quote costs you more time than you want. But when a customer agrees on your quote the real struggle starts. Procurement needs to hunt for information from pricelists, brochures, old proposals and other sources. Or need to request expertise from other teams and departments. Sometimes even procurement concludes that the sold product isn’t available or producible. With e-Con CPQ quotes and orders are almost the same. The only thing you have to do is to click or tap “Convert” and your e-Con quote is saved directly as an order in Microsoft Dynamics. All information and documentation needed for production/fulfillment are automatically generated with the order. There’s no need to ask other departments to correct or add information; production or fulfillment can start within minutes of receiving an order. Our rules engine validates every detail in real time during the quotation process. Orders, BOMs, specs, routings, and more are instantly available, accurate, and current.
Content from our friends at e-Con Solutions.