According to data from the Forrester Sales Activity Study, quoting is consistently one of the biggest opportunities to improve sales rep productivity. Tedious configuration processes are frustrating and time consuming for reps. Although there are many systems out there that can make this process much more efficient, they can also provide another set of capabilities that are not advertised as much. Here are three additional areas where quoting can help drive additional sales:
- Cross-selling. Analyzing the configurations of solutions bought by customers as well as the sequence with which they buy those solutions is a rich source of information. It can tell you not only what to include on current quotes, but also the next potential solution for the customer. These details enable reps to create a roadmap for future cross-selling to current customers. This is also beneficial to the customer because reps will proactively approach them with solutions that have proven value to buyers according to their sales history.
- Prospecting. Analysis of companies that have bought certain solutions provides an effective profiling tool to identify other companies that would benefit from this solution. Setting up a system that creates and flags these profiles for the rep provides a potential pipeline of prospects that may not have been obvious to them. For example, if a customer has just purchased a specific solution, the system can identify other companies that do not have this solution with the same buyer profile and add them to their prospect list.
- Optimal configurations. Analysis of quote configurations presented to the buyer along with win/loss results provides a wealth of information about what product configurations are in demand. Using this data to provide recommendations to sellers when configuring their quotes allows them to create the solution best aligned to customer needs leading to higher close rates. It also leads to less issues with the customer not getting what they want from the purchase due to missing components that were overlooked or not discussed during the sales process.
The three areas mentioned above are only a subset of what can be done with the analytics generated from quoting but demonstrates how this part of the sales process has much more potential to drive incremental sales. Finding a way to take advantage of these opportunities will give sales reps an edge when competing for sales while also ensuring buyers are presented with solutions that are aligned to their needs.