When most people hear the phrase, “I feel your pain,” they either shrug, chuckle, cringe or cry. But memories of past presidential scandals aside, there’s much to be said for the attempt at empathy expressed by the phrase.
For B2B sales teams, empathy is fundamental to understanding the pain points felt by prospects and customers. However, getting from knowing a few common business challenges to truly understanding the pain points that may be holding the business back is another matter altogether.
It’s not as easy as a salesperson putting herself in the shoes of a highly defined retail consumer persona. Rather, B2B salespeople must learn to consider pain felt company wide, from the highest level of leadership, all the way down to the pain points felt by workers on the manufacturing floor, from sales teams out in the field, to partners and vendors attempting to profitably sell complex products and services alongside a bevy of other offerings.
Top 5 Pain Points B2B Sales Teams Need To Know
1. The Stone-Age Sales Team
The sales team is stuck using outdated product and pricing information and tools that slow the quote-to-order process to a painful grind. These fractured, frustrating, and incredibly time and resource-consuming problems result in lost opportunities, customer churn, and declining revenue.
With a modern Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) solution, sales teams can ditch their outdated spreadsheets and stone-age tools for a faster, smarter, more well-connected selling process. With seamless integrations into CRM and ERP systems, CPQ allows sales to bridge the gaps across the business. This improved connectivity means data from across the organization feeds the CPQ application to ensure that in every engagement, the customer receives the right quote, the right configuration, the right price, delivered quickly on any device.
2. Partners and Vendors are an Island
A vast partner/dealer/vendor network makes it difficult to accurately price, bundle, and sell solutions.
With a non-native, platform agnostic CPQ solution, businesses that rely on partner, vendor or dealer networks to sell their products and services to customers can provide partners with access to their CPQ solution without requiring an additional cost for more CRM licenses. CPQ also uses data-driven insights to inform guided buying and selling, cross-sell and upsell, dynamic document generation, as well as automated approvals that allow the partner to remain closely tethered to the manufacturer to deliver completely accurate, optimally priced products and services.
3. The Price is NEVER Right
For Pricing Managers, the challenge is managing countless spreadsheets that need to be updated across sales, partners, and other channels every time there is a promotion, the need to bundle solutions, or offer discounts. Even a single update not reflected in the spreadsheet can cause significant problems that steamroll - an incorrect quote leads to order errors, make-it-right costs, lost revenue and an angry customer that may not return.
With a CPQ application powerful enough to handle B2B complexity, businesses can manage real-time updates to product, pricing, configuration, and customer data. By accepting pricing and product data from most data sources, the CPQ application transforms and translates that data and makes it available for the CPQ user, thus eliminating the need for maintaining pricing records in clunky spreadsheets and then sending them out across the organization.
4. The Organization is a Series of Disconnected Departments
Sales Operations, connecting disparate departments leveraging various tools and data can wreak havoc on the ability to deliver a clear, consistent experience to the end customer.
Data drives the business, and CPQ allows organizations to source, synchronize, and rationalize data from across the organization from a single location. By leveraging this data, visibility across the organization allows each time to eliminate redundancies, offer more intelligent products and solutions, optimize pricing, and numerous other key features and functions. With CPQ, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Partners, Pricing—virtually all aspects of the organization are able to utilize up-to-date data to inform their core responsibilities.
5. Configurable Products Make for Highly Complex Problems
Product Management struggles with the logistics of notifying sales, partners, and others when products have reached their end-of-life and have been replaced. Furthermore, they need to find more efficient ways to get new products to market faster.
With the right CPQ solution, companies can easily schedule end-of-life milestones for products and automatically alert users when new products, pricing, configurations, etc., are introduced. Additionally, new product updates (as well as pricing, configuration rules, etc.) can be made and reflected in in-flight quotes, providing users with notifications and updating details as part of the process.
CPQ is the B2B Painkiller
If you work in B2B sales, product management, manufacturing, finance, marketing, pricing, or just about any department, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing pain that CPQ can alleviate.
To learn more about FPX, our leading CPQ solution and how our more than 30 years of experience can help you streamline processes to achieve greater efficiency and revenues, contact us by filling out our online contact form.