What are the Different Types of CPQ Tools

15startup-As we all know, a CPQ software comes into picture when requirements demand you to prepare complex quotations. Building a complex product configuration after considering all the possible combinations and moreover calculating its correct price can be a daunting task. But if you want to simplify your process, you can completely rely on this software tool that will enable sales reps to handle complexities of potential deal easily.

Now there are two main types of Configure Price Quote solutions – cloud-based or SaaS software applications, and the second one is the on premise or the in-house solutions. If you go for on-premise version, you need to install the CPQ tool on your company’s own servers. A lot has to be invested in infrastructure that includes hardware, network, backup and maintenance. As far as accessibility is concerned, in most cases they can be accessed from installation locations only.

Cloud-based CPQ tools are typically hosted on the vendor’s server and are made available through the Internet. This type of delivery model is most preferred as it comes with low initial cost and allows you to operate the tool as long as the device is connected to the Web. In majority of cases, sales reps in VAR business are not office-based, hence it makes sense to use cloud-based Sales quoting software solutions. Such tools are easily accessible, no matter where you are located or what type of device you are using.

These tools will allow your sales reps to create quotes on the go as most CPQ providers also offer simplified mobile extension of their current version of quoting module. So using mobile devices, you can access inventory and pricing coming from all your connected suppliers. This mobile app or one may say mobile quoting software will enable you to fulfill some of the most complex requirements from anywhere, anytime. This will reduce sales cycle and enable sales reps close deals faster.

Must-have Features in a CPQ Software

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A CPQ tool comes into picture when you have complex items to sell. The tool has been designed to efficiently handle complex sales cycle. Putting together a quote that requires configuring products and bundles is a time consuming activity but with this software tool, it takes only a few minutes to complete the task.

If your sales process involves quoting complex products, make sure your Configure price quote solution has the following features:

Available on Cloud

If you want to eliminate costly support and IT maintenance cost, cloud-based CPQ software is the way to go. Cloud-based means the software is hosted through the Internet. So you can easily access and operate the software application on any computer that has Internet connectivity. Irrespective of your location, you would be able to create some of the most complex quotes online. Moreover, your customers too can confirm and approve the quotes online, thereby eliminating tedious faxing formalities. All this contributes in speeding up the sales cycle and improving the customer experience.

Accessible by Mobile Devices

Sales reps often have to travel long distances to meet their prospective customers. So when there is extensive traveling throughout the year, going for mobile-ready CPQ solution is recommended. This means, wherever you bring a mobile device such as smartphone, you get access and are able to operate the software. So whether they are at their desk or on the run, managing complex quoting requirements is never a problem. So a cloud-based mobile quoting software gives your reps the flexibility to sell faster and from anywhere.

Built-in Reporting Module

Many CPQ tools comes with built-in reporting features that allow you to create sales reports. Reporting module is a powerful data analysis tool that can help to evaluate the performances of your sales team. Depending upon the criteria you can generate various reports such as quote history reports, order history reports, forecasts reports and many more to evaluate productivity of your team. Know quotes that have closed and current quotes in the pipeline. Identify new trends and accordingly make changes in your business to create new opportunities.

Is PunchOut a Customized Website?

21 MARCHOften referred to as buyer specific catalog, a PunchOut website is a customized solution that is designed keeping the user’s requirements in mind. A PunchOut catalog that establishes a direct connection between the supplier’s website and the customer’s procurement system helps to ease the purchasing process.

Unlike the traditional way, the customer doesn’t have to login with his credentials to view the supplier’s website. A single click enables the customer to access the site. This feature automates the ordering process, with suppliers receiving purchase orders via email.

Every PunchOut catalog solution is unique and setup differently. It is customized in the sense that customers get to view products that fall under their contract agreement. So the contract catalog will have products that the customer is entitled to purchase.  It is a pre-approved contract, which will not contain products that the customer cannot order. The inventory as well as the pricing information in the catalog is as per the terms of contract agreement. So there is no question of purchasing products that violate contract policies.

A PeopleSoft PunchOut catalog offers a personalized shopping experience that is both seamless and memorable. With this website, the supplier can show relevant recommendations (upsell and cross-sell) as well as offer discounts that are targeted to that specific customer. The supplier can also do promotions that are also aimed at that particular shopper. So whatever offers and suggestions displayed on the site are unique, hence provide more customer engagement.

On the whole, a SciQuest PunchOut provides an easy way to access pre-negotiated contract catalog through procurement system. Moreover, it is personalized to each shopper, hence can help to boost brand loyalty and increase customer retention. So as a supplier if you want to woo large buyers, make sure that you sell products via PunchOut.