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In an emerging age of smart clouds, Turing-quality chatbots and predictive analytics, it's easy to lose sight of the more mundane, but essential, aspects of sales and marketing -- the pricing and quoting of products and services. In the enterprise marketplace, the shorthand for this functionality is CPQ -- configure, price, quote. Every major high-end CRM platform contains such sales enablement tools.
Always a pacesetter in this arena, Salesforce hosts a CPQ tool set within its Sales Cloud to address and rectify a gaping hole in the CRM hull -- sales quotes that are either inaccurate or too slow in delivery.
Salesforce CPQ features are aimed squarely at this common issue, taking up the challenge of speeding up the quote process without increasing the odds of inaccurate pricing.
This is achieved via a rules-based, largely automated CPQ system that inhibits salespeople from offering configurations and options that businesses can't realistically offer; organizing those configurations and prices that it can offer into clearly defined scenarios; and double-checking the applicability of bulk pricing, discount rules and other potential deal-sweeteners in those scenarios.
Some more specific Salesforce CPQ features include:
- integration of selling and billing on a single platform;
- automation not only of pricing, but discounts and configuration/quote approvals;
- integration of CPQ toolset with customer lifecycle workflows to minimize churn;
- automated billing to accommodate complex requirements and reduce collection time;
- pricing model templates for product/service launches -- one-off, usage-based or subscription; and
- Salesforce AppExchange and independent software vendor offerings enable easy CPQ integration with ERP systems and other enterprise platforms.
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