The Cacheflow Blog

6 CPQ Strategies to Improve Your Sales Cycle

June 10, 2024 10:30 PM

CPQs are often overly complex, hard to update and slow your sales team down. Instead of speeding up the sales process, it creates bottlenecks. 

Sales teams need CPQs that are intuitive, easy to implement, and adaptable to go-to-market changes (pricing, products, etc). Modern CPQ solutions offer streamlined, user-friendly interfaces and automation capabilities that enhance sales efficiency. 

This blog outlines the top 6 CPQ strategies for improving the sales cycle, streamlining operations, and closing deals faster.

6 CPQ Strategies to Improve Sales Cycle

#1. Use quote templates

Create quote templates for your different customer types, pricing packages, and regions to save your sales team time and effort. Your sales team should be able to modify descriptions, quantity of products, and discounts on their own. 

Quote templates also eliminate worries about missing details, inaccurate pricing, or using the wrong contracts. They provide a standardized format with all necessary information, reducing the risk of human error. This consistency speeds up the quoting process and enhances the professionalism of your proposals.

Finally, configure region-based quotes with your products priced in the local currency. This will make negotiations much smoother as you don't have to calculate foreign rate exchanges for every quote.

#2. Integrate with CRM

Integrating your CPQ system with your CRM can increase quote accuracy and reduce quoting time. Auto-pulling key business and contact information into quotes eliminates manual data entry, keeping your sales team equipped with current information.

Additionally, pushing product line item revenue to your CRM gives a detailed view of which products are most profitable. You can track the open pipeline by-product, who quoted them, and their discount levels.

Forecasting becomes more accurate when based on detailed quote data. Instead of relying on total amounts, you can see what is outstanding in quotes by product, by sales rep, or by region. This granularity helps you make informed marketing and sales strategy decisions.

By integrating CPQ with your CRM, you also enhance collaboration across departments. Sales, marketing, and finance teams can access the same data. This unified approach minimizes miscommunication and streamlines workflows.

3. Keep approvals simple

Multi-layer approval cycles create unnecessary delays. They frustrate customers and slow down your sales cycle. Prospects want fast, accurate quotes - not lengthy waits. Here are some tips on how to create a safe but fast approval process…

  • Start with internal training for your Account Executives (AEs). Equip them with the knowledge they need to offer discounts within a predefined range. This empowers them to make decisions without waiting for upper management approval. Training also helps your team understand their boundaries and flexibilities.
  • Use administrative controls to trigger approvals. Ensure your CPQ system includes approval rules to only trigger requests for certain parameters. For example, set up rules that only trigger approvals for certain discount percentages, countries, or reps.
  • Implement automated legal document delivery within your CPQ system. This feature ensures that all quotes and contracts meet legal requirements without additional approval layers, reducing the back-and-forth between departments.
  • Keep reviewing and streamlining your approval workflows. Identify areas where approvals can be eliminated or automated. Aim to create a system where AEs can handle most of the quoting process independently.

Keeping approvals simple reduces delays and improves your team's efficiency.

4. Leverage webhooks and APIs

Automating critical sales processes with webhooks and APIs can enhance your CPQ system’s capabilities. Modern CPQs can connect to almost any other system using webhooks and APIs. This connectivity allows you to automate various tasks. Here are some of its use cases:

  1. Auto-create accounts once a quote is signed or paid. As soon as a customer commits, you can automatically provision new customer instances. This accelerates the onboarding process and provides an instant experience for the customer.
  1. Auto-creating customer success (CS) onboarding tasks in your CRM. As soon as a quote is finalized, your CPQ can trigger the creation of tasks for your CS team. This ensures there will be no delay for your CS team to start onboarding work.
  1. Auto-send welcome emails to new customers. As soon as the quote is signed, an automated email can be sent to the customer, welcoming them as a new customer. This immediate communication makes customers feel valued and informs them about the next steps.

Leveraging these integrations ensures that all parts of your sales and onboarding processes are connected and automated. 

5. Use an auto-renewal feature

Using auto-renewals eliminates admin work for your CS team and improves revenue predictability. Many SaaS companies use auto-renewal clauses in their contracts but struggle to collect the annual increase. This leads to lost revenue and a tedious manual process for your sales and finance teams.

Without auto-renewals, tracking contract expiration dates and manually updating billing amounts can be daunting. The process is time-consuming and prone to human error.

Modern CPQs can solve these problems by automating the entire process, ensuring that every contract includes the agreed-upon annual increase, and automating the collection. 

Communicate renewal terms and annual increases in the initial contract to make the process smoother. You can use your CPQ to send automated reminders to customers about upcoming SaaS renewals and the increase. 

Regularly review and update your auto-renewal clauses to keep them competitive and fair.

6. Streamline finance operations

A good CPQ system is not just for sales and RevOps - it should also make finance’s job easier. Modern solutions like Cacheflow combine CPQ with billing and financial reporting to create a unified quote-to-cash platform. This eliminates the need for separate CPQ, and subscription management tools, and creates a single flow of revenue data from your CRM to the accounting system.

Cacheflow offers flexible pricing options, such as usage-based and tiered pricing, to cater to diverse customer needs. It also supports various payment methods, including credit card and direct debit, to facilitate transactions. 

With full visibility of your sales pipeline, ARR, and renewals, you can track the customer journey and offer support when needed. Your customers can also approve quotes, sign contracts, and make payments from an online closing room.

Shorten Your Sales Cycle with Cacheflow

Struggling with prolonged and stagnant sales cycles?

Cacheflow is a no-code CPQ and subscription billing platform designed to close and expand SaaS deals efficiently. 

It eliminates manual work, even for renewals and upsells, for a seamless deal-closing flow. Our platform simplifies quoting, and billing and automates admin tasks, helping you achieve higher revenue in less time. 

Get a demo to see how Cacheflow can shorten your sales cycle and set you up for CPQ success.