Even during boom times, companies need to be profitable and have a viable business model. As real-time sales become more and more critical in our digital world, CPQ solutions are helping sales teams focus more on their customers and less on administrative work.
Perhaps nothing tells this story better than the true tale of Uber’s IPO.
Uber’s IPO was likely the most significant business event of 2019, and in all aspects it was full of stunning facts. In nine short years, Uber has grown to $11.3 billion in revenue. Fourteen million Uber trips are completed each day, and its share of the US ride-hailing market is estimated at between 65%-69%. It’s a part of daily life for hundreds of millions of people.
But there’s another statistic that’s equally stunning: Uber lost $3 billion in 2018, an eye-popping statistic even for people who cover the tech market and have seen it all.
At Wall Street’s insistence, Uber now has a plan for profitability. Moreover, it doesn’t take a genius to foresee that the boom will eventually end, and the entire business cycle will zero in on the essentials of profitability and sustainable growth.
So, while marveling at Uber, how do you prepare and plan for sustainable growth that will become even more important in the next few years?
If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it: CPQ solutions are driving profitability
CPQ solutions help businesses earn more profitability and growth. Configure, price, and quote tools solve three common problems that keep sales operations, sales leaders, and business analysts awake at night.
- Over-discounting: All the pressure sales reps are under can lead them to do whatever it takes to close a deal, even if it cuts into margins. This over-discounting is a ubiquitous problem that plagues the bottom line for many companies.A recent survey of 425 sales professionals in North America and Europe found that 70% of sales operations executives, sales leaders, and business analysts are worried about over-discounting.CPQ solutions can help reign in over-discounting by providing pre-approved discount “guardrails” to safeguard margins and workflows for any necessary discount approvals. A CPQ that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence also can mitigate the over-discounting problem, guiding sales reps to optimal pricing that wins deals so they aren’t tempted to drop their price.
- Slow quotes: In today’s fast-changing world of B2B sales, speed is of the essence. Amazon and other companies have altered customer expectations, and they demand speed and convenience in every engagement – whether as a consumer or a B2B buyer. This means they won’t wait days, let alone weeks, for a quote. The first seller to the table with a quote is likely to win their business.Your ability to grow business is tied directly to how fast you can get an accurate, optimal proposal to a customer. A CPQ system can streamline the quote process by using AI to guide sales reps to the optimal product configuration and pricing.
Even for B2B verticals with particularly complex configurations, CPQ solutions can provide accurate quotes in a matter of minutes. This eliminates guesswork and speeds the proposal process to increase win rates. Customers get the fast service they expect and don’t have to make multiple return trips. They’re happier, which fuels your profitability.
- Platform fragmentation: There’s another pervasive problem in the industry: The use of multiple tools to do quoting and configuring of products. Some use multiple platforms; some of the systems are cloud-based, some are manual spreadsheets, and some are homegrown. This kind of platform mish-mash is inefficient, inflexible, and hard to get accurate analytics from. It presents a high risk of errors in pricing and configuration as humans must piece together quotes from multiple systems.Having a single automated CPQ platform increases accuracy, speed, and efficiency.Without having to maintain multiple systems, sales operations are streamlined, which reduces costs. Sales reps can produce fast accurate quotes that provide customers what they want from the start.
If companies are going to have a future in the inevitable “return to profitability” climate, they will need optimized sales processes to enable it. This even includes the unicorns such as Uber, and most certainly includes your company as well.