Friday, March 21, 2014

iQ: How to Quote Configured Products

Configure Price Quote, iQ / CPQ, Salesforce

Written by David Copeland David Copeland

It’s relatively easy for a salesperson to create a quote when the customer requests an item that you have already sitting in your product catalog because all he has to do is log into their favorite quoting application or pop open a  recent quote template or spreadsheet and  plug in the product and price.  A couple of clicks later and the customer could have a PDF quote for the product or products.

BUT, what happens when the customer comes to you needing something that isn’t so simple – a product that hasn’t  been created before so there is NO WAY it is sitting in a catalog?!  In this scenario, you have a few options:

  • Panic and head home for the day
  • Pretend like you never got the request or that the email went into your spam folder
  • Recommend they go to another vendor
  • Have your colleague add rows, columns, and formulas to your spreadsheet and hope it is enough to create the quote
  • Find the one person in your business that has been there the longest and knows the products the best and have them determine the price for the quote
  • Log into your favorite “advanced quoting” application and be guided through a series of questions where all the heavy lifting and configuration is done for you in the back end

For the sake of this post, let’s assume (and hope) you chose the last option. Here’s a look at just how easy it could be:

As you head into the quoting application to start to create the quote for the custom product, you see a sales-friendly interface that simply asks you questions about the product you need to configure.  For this example, let’s say that you manufacture plastic bags and pretty much all of your requests are custom–you basically start with a roll of plastic and the rest is up to the creativity and imagination of the customer.

After logging into a clean and simple interface, you choose the type of bag you would like to configure and then begin to answer questions like: material type, length, width, color, thickness, printing details, number and location of vents, number and location of hang holes, etc.  As you provide answers to the questions, the application dictates what the next question should be and what answers should be available.  Not only that, the application is not guiding you towards a specific product (remember, these types of requests are for products never created before!) but “heavy lifting” is going on behind the scenes to configure the product and calculate the right price based on your selections.  This specification and price then goes into a PDF quote doc with a single click and can be sent along to your customer.

On March 26 at Noon ET/9 PT, Trent Romer, VP of Sales at our customer, Clear View Bag, will join Luxent for a webinar to discuss how Clear View Bag went live in November 2013 with Salesforce and Luxent’s iQ (advanced quoting) application to automate what was a manual, labor-intensive quoting process which was very dependent on people and unintended errors.  iQ’s configurator gave Clear View Bag the ability to quote faster, smarter, and easier. Join us and learn just how they did it–and the success they’re seeing 3,000+ quotes later.

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