Operating in the business landscape today, organizations must ensure that they are able to raise revenue by optimizing pricing, getting a better understanding of what their customers want, and quickening the quote-to-cash motions – all the while maintaining their current customer base.
No simple task.
The most influential driver of these aims is the sales process, meaning leaders have to constantly assess their sales processes so that they’re able to make improvements in these areas.
The problem is that, for many businesses, they more often than not find themselves coming up short in terms of identifying changes, recommending them, and implementing them.
Among the hail of issues related to selling and sales, there are in essence 5 that stand out and are present across organizations and industries.
The 5 Biggest Sales Challenges
One: configuration errors. Quotes, agreements, contracts, and slow and error-prone configurations can result in a lot of churn and slow down the quote-to-cash process. Take, for example, configurations, especially for complex products or when there are hundreds of SKUs, can be difficult and slow even for a seasoned salesperson. According to research, 84% of pricing professionals still use spreadsheets to manage their pricing strategies, which carries the strong possibilities of making errors and slowing the process down.
Two: limited collaboration. A lack of collaboration between sales and pricing teams can cause miscommunications, errors, and plenty of friction. Multiple sales stakeholders need to collaborate on quotes simultaneously to ensure alignment on the process and facilitate approvals.
Three: inconsistent quotes. Inaccurate and inconsistent pricing can cause revenue leakage and low profitability. Problems with the pricing function include the inability to provide quick pricing, incorrect or incomplete pricing, or the inability to consider different market factors that affect pricing.
Four: poor user understanding. Little or no comprehension of buyer behaviors and preferences can lead to poor user experience. When businesses don’t understand how and why a buyer buys, they can’t guide product selections, make upsell suggestions, and facilitate the proper configurations. Sellers must understand their customers well and cater to their preferences.
Five: focus on customers. Limitations on value-add sales activities will squander opportunities for sales to truly connect with customers. We’ve learned that only 37% of the average sales representative’s time is spent on revenue-generating activities. In the status quo, many sales reps spend a lot of their time manually building pricing, configuring products by hand, creating lengthy contracts and agreements, and getting approvals.
How CPQ platforms can transform the sales process
Software in this area can help enterprises make key improvements to the sales process. According to one study, CQP platforms return $6.22 for every dollar that is spent. When it comes to solid CPQ platforms, they will hold best-in-class capabilities, such as the following.
Smooth collaboration between pricing and sales. CPQ software allows multiple people to collaborate on a quote or sales agreement simultaneously. When it comes to manual collaboration, modifications can be time-consuming. Agreement price change capabilities will streamline the process of making mass price changes which affect all existing sales agreements, enabling companies to quickly react to market changes and new strategic directives.
Consistently accurate pricing. CPQ software provides a performance quoting engine to help sales teams optimize growth and profit via a data-driven pricing process that considers all the market factors that dynamically influence a current price. B2Bs can make sure that buyers receive prices in real time that are market-relevant, which are independent of the sales channel.
A quicker sales process. CPQ platforms can automate configurations and quotes and build contracts quickly. The PROS Platform equips sales teams with tools to quickly find, configure, and quote the right products for customers with speed and precision – like the ability to create large quotes and RFPs with up to 10K line items with no performance degradation.
Added value of salespeople. By automating the approval process and the generation of proposal documents, salespeople can reclaim much of the time they spend on administrative duties or engaging in manual processes. Instead, they can better use their time to provide consultation to and problem solving for their clients.
Improved buyer behavior understanding. CPQ software helps enterprises understand buyers vias AI-based processes that use vast historical data to enable predictive suggestions, appropriate configurations, and more personalized offers. No need to call a sales representative to help select products. Understanding buyer behavior also leads to better user experience, which is a key factor when buyers make purchasing decisions.