One of the biggest investments SaaS companies make is Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software. But with implementation times pushing 16 months and costing $85k+, it’s important to really understand what you’re getting with this investment, and if there are better options out there.
We’ve put together this guide for SaaS founders, operations, and sales teams, to help you understand exactly what CPQ can do, and if your business will benefit from it.
Sales velocity grows when key decision-makers choose to invest in the right tools. Tools that increase your win rate and make your sales team more productive. We’re SaaS folks, too. We know what it’s like.
Read on to learn if CPQ is right for your company, and what other options are out there.
So your deal volume is growing (congrats!). Your AE’s are now doing the majority of selling, so approvals and standardization could be great failsafes against pricing errors.
The more volume you have, the more likely it is that a manual process will break down, with catastrophic results.
It’s time to stop relying on spreadsheets.
Process breakdown can lead to late or missed payments, billing errors, missed renewals, contract snafus, and…basically, utter chaos. So considering a tool that can bring it all together is a great idea.
Do you value multiple layers of approvals, or faster closing?
CPQ offers several layers of approval for peace of mind, often at the expense of an elongated closing time.
Does your team have the dedicated capacity for implementation?
The simplest CPQ takes 6 months for implementation. On average, it’s closer to 18-24 months. Many companies shelve product and pipeline improvements while working on CPQ implementation.
Will CPQ integrate seamlessly with your back end billing system?
Usage-based pricing is a key offering for most SaaS companies. CPQ’s don’t tend to handle usage data well, and require additional tools to integrate everything.
CPQ software can be an excellent investment for the right company. But for software companies from Seed-stage to Series C, CPQ is often overkill – at great cost.
CPQ makes it easy for sales teams to generate quotes from thousands of products (or SKUs), and offer special pricing, discounts, and payment options across supported currencies.
Standardization control, complex rule logic, and approvals are all built in, for powerful failsafes across departments. Reporting allows decision-makers to track best-selling products and reps, the quotes awaiting approval, and more.
CPQ is a strong option for an enterprise selling and tracking thousands of distinct items at extremely high volume. Typically, CPQ allows less flexibility than other tools, for a more standardized approach overall.
CPQ requires consultants for implementation, plus an experienced full-time admin or RevOps team for continued management.
On top of licenses, implementation costs $85k+, and sometimes two or three times that. User fees break down to an average of $70/user/month.
And with up to 24 months’ implementation time, it can be years before you begin to see any ROI.
In a fast-changing economic environment, your sales strategy may not require a CPQ anymore, even before implementation is complete.
Even the largest enterprises make trade-offs when they choose CPQ. The platform won’t help with deal-closing velocity, but it will help manage pricing for a company with thousands of catalog items.
Sales technology investments should increase your win rate and transfer value directly to your customers.
Your prospects will not redeem benefits from your CPQ implementation, so it won't directly help you close more deals. That’s why deal-closing platforms have emerged.
Configuring accurate quotes fast is just the start of improving your closing process.
To close more deals, you need to make your customers experience faster and easier as well. You can also do it by increasing their confidence in your company. Ideally you do both.
To achieve this with sales software alone is a big ask; which is why deal-closing platforms focus on the entire journey. From generating quotes, to cash in the bank.
For Seed-stage to Series C companies, Cacheflow is a strong CPQ alternative, because it performs the functions of a CPQ while automating all the work in between to get you paid faster.
Imagine if you could generate a CPQ-like quote in 30 seconds with zero implementation time or costs. Then, you could send your prospect one link, where they can review contracts, eSign, and choose from several payment options.
Finally, the same tool can connect to your entire finance stack to automate sales order forms, update usage-billing data, and more.
That’s how Cacheflow helps you realize value immediately and close more deals. All from one workflow.
When you remove the friction, your prospect will buy sooner and more often.
We’ve been in SaaS for over a decade; and this is how we always wished the software buying experience would be: a B2C-like self-serve checkout that’s as easy as online shopping for a retail product.
Unlike a traditional CPQ, Cacheflow scales appropriately to match your business size. So you can manage high sales volume and growth while maintaining a small sales team.
WIth no implementation time and a wide range of seamless integrations, Cacheflow can mesh with your existing workflows in a single day. Or less. Let us prove it!
The right tools can make or break your next phase of growth. Choose a tool that eliminates manual processes, provides full visibility throughout, and grows with you. Book a demo with us today!