Gartner predicts the CPQ market will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of...
Is sales ready?
Customer often ask us if we think their company is ready to digitalize sales. It’s a fair question and the answer is almost always yes. For the company it’s simple, if we don’t digitalize our sales our competitors will.
When your competitors start using digital tools for selling their products it has been proven to have a great impact. When things that previously took months now can be done in days and when days can turn into minutes, that’s when it will get very difficult to compete. If you’re the one still doing old-school, that is.
The question I often ask is not if the company is ready. Normally production is all in for doing things in a structured and well thought out way. They’ve been doing it that way for centuries by now.
Product development have also learned to use new tools, both to revolutionize the way things are calculated and optimized for better utilization and environmental impact.
But there is one department that often is two steps behind. Sure, they’ve got fancy gadgets and they’ve all learned to master tools like Power point, Word and e-mail. They have often been forced into some kind of CRM-system to align with the tracking and the forecasting.
When it comes to selling products, it’s often a completely different story.
Some manufacturers still believe that selling exactly what the customer is asking for is the way forward. The guys in production knows the problem this creates, the girls in product development know all to well how this turns the job more into firefighting more than anything else.
But sales is often ok with doing what’s really bad for the company. They'll often prefer to keep doing it wrong.
Therefore, it’s time to get the act together and understand the difference between what you COULD sell and what you really SHOULD sell. There's a big difference, both in practice and when it comes to bottom line profit.
Digital tools (and in this case I’m particularly taking about CPQ) will draw a very defined line between good and bad when it comes to customer offerings. As I said in the beginning, this is an easy decision for the company. But is sales really ready for this?
If your sales reps still think that full flexibility is the only way the product can be sold, then maybe CPQ is not for you. If you can’t accept that some proposals should never see the light of day, then digitization may not be for you.
So, my advice is for companies that think digital presence is essential in these times is very simple:
First of all, you need to make sure your sales department is ready to do thing right.
If not, leave it to your competitor. To find new ways into the future.