The Future of CPQ Solutions – What’s in Store for Sales?
If you want to know where you’re going, look at where you’ve been.
That’s what I did last week when I went over the History of CPQ Solutions. Now it’s time to look at where we’re going. While your sales reps are looking towards the end of the week, month or quarter, you need to be looking at what’s in store for the rest of the year, the next five years, and beyond.
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So what’s the future of the top CPQ solutions? And what can we expect as sales enablement solutions get more sophisticated?
Business Intelligence To Play Bigger Role in Sales
Although the concept of business intelligence has been around since the mid-1800’s, it has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and is now an integral part of the sales process. In fact, Gartner reports, “business intelligence platforms grew 9% in 2013, and are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% through 2018.”
Companies can now use business intelligence to gather information on potential and existing customers to dial in on their pain points like never before. In turn, companies can offer products/services that are tailored to a consumer’s specific needs.
Dynamic Selling Will Become Mainstream
The natural jumping off point for any sales enablement solution is to focus on the most common use cases and build features that support it. Now that the best CPQ software has perfected the typical sales operation’s needs, users are looking for their CPQ solutions to help with their more dynamic sales environments.
This has already led to the release of more agile CPQ software that enables an immediate, on-the-fly response to changing business needs. Having flexibility in how your solution combines products, configurations and pricing to dynamically generate selling recommendations and sales proposals assures responsiveness without compromising productivity.
In the future, look for dynamic and agile CPQ software to get even more intelligent and flexible. This starts with taking advantage of the increase in business intelligence mentioned above. Once your CPQ solutions have enough insights to draw from, the only concern will be the solution’s ability to process the data and apply it to the dynamic rules you have created.
This will create even more automated and personalized sales proposals that generate the best possible deal for the client every time, without relying on the sales rep’s product or pricing knowledge.
CPQ Solutions Will Become Increasingly Cloud-Based
According to Forbes, “the CPQ market was once predicted to be 50% on-premise and 50% Cloud-based. However, it’s rapidly shifting to the Cloud.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that nearly all forms of sales software are migrating to the Cloud.
When compared to on-premise infrastructure, the Cloud is preferable on many levels including streamlined accessibility, (e.g. mobile) more effective data storage and increased scalability. As a result, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect for CPQ solutions to be nearly 100% Cloud-based within the next decade or so.
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