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Sales Efficiency: 5 Reasons CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics Surpasses Excel

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Sales Efficiency Reasons CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics Surpasses Excel

There is a common problem in many organizations today, and it arises from the use of spreadsheets to organize and manage business processes.

Excel has served companies well for more than 30 years, and it continues to be useful for many purposes, including organizational management and finances. But, there are limitations to its use in sales operations and its ability to scale.

I encourage you to consider the limitations of Excel in product configuration, pricing, and quote generation. It may be time for your company to ditch Excel and opt for CPQ integrated with Microsoft Dynamics.

CPQ (configure-price-quote software) enables organizations to configure their product and service offerings and automate the generation of quotes and proposals. A CPQ can be configured using pricing models, discounting, and product dependencies and includes contingencies for approvals. The software tracks receipt of, and engagement with, the document. E-signature is also built into many CPQ solutions.

5 Reasons to Transition from Excel to CPQ Integrated with Microsoft Dynamics

Excel may be a good solution for small businesses and simple operations. However, it becomes cumbersome, time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to scale as your business grows.

For organizations performing complex product and pricing configurations and generating sales quotes, Excel is inefficient and inadequate. Spreadsheets become more complicated, bulkier, and downright unwieldy. Over time, manual configuration, pricing, and quoting become more time-consuming and inefficient.

1.  You’re at the mercy of your “Excel guru”

In many sales organizations, there’s a single individual who creates and maintains an Excel spreadsheet. This is a necessary evil for version control and to reduce the risk of errors. However, it puts your sales operations in a difficult position because there’s only one person who can effectively manage it. And, this spreadsheet becomes exponentially more complex over time as more products are added and updates are made.

CPQ integrated with Microsoft Dynamics empowers sales team members across multiple departments to make changes seamlessly, and the information is updated in real-time. You’ll reduce errors and time spent on administrative tasks like manually updating spreadsheets.

2.  Error-prone spreadsheets derail deals

The potential for human error is inherent in the manual quoting process. Even a pro sales rep can make mistakes that result in an inaccurate quote – and then the sale comes to a screeching halt.

Using outdated spreadsheets, selecting the wrong options for a product/service, or applying an outdated discount, can derail deals. CPQ minimizes errors significantly and ensures the highest level of accuracy in proposals. Also, using a CPQ with a sales playbook places guardrails around deals, so they stay on track, are accurate and ensure products offered and quotes meet the needs of buyers.

3.  Quote approval bottlenecks

Using Excel to generate quotes is a slow, inefficient process. Your sales reps may need to consult different pricing sheets (which may or may not be up to date). Discount requests that require additional approval slow the process further. Once quotes are sent for approval, the process is often sluggish, which reduces the number of proposals generated.

CPQ automates the quote generation and approval process, liberating your sales team from manual quoting and approvals. Discounts are configured within the software so that you and your sales managers can quickly approve quotes and keep deals moving forward.

Aberdeen Group found CPQ implementation results in an increase in the number of proposals generated by sales reps each month of nearly 50 percent.

4.  Security threats 

An often overlooked, but immensely consequential, issue with using Excel for quotes and proposals results from their vulnerability to security-related complications. Security is a valid concern when multiple people have access to sensitive information on an Excel spreadsheet; it can wind up in the hands of competitors or other unauthorized third parties.

A CPQ enables administrators to regulate who has access to data and protect proprietary information and prevent security threats.

5.  Lengthy sales cycles

Excel has automated functions, yet it still demands tremendous time and manual effort to use. Sales reps must search through sales pricing lists, browse inventory, convert quotes to orders, and more. These tasks are time-consuming and slow down the sales cycle.

A CPQ solution rises above the limitations of Excel configurators and speeds up the sales cycle dramatically. Sales teams can access accurate information in real-time, hasten collaboration and approvals, and deliver accurate quotes and proposals with less time and effort.

Aberdeen Group’s research indicates that the average sales cycle of CPQ users is 3.42 months, while the average sales cycle of non-CPQ users is 4.68 months.

How CPQ Helps Sales Teams Succeed

CPQ Replaces Excel

Still using Excel? It’s time to streamline your sales operations and simplify your sales reps’ lives with CPQ.

DealHub CPQ integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365. With a single sign-on, your sales reps can create quotes using a dynamic CPQ solution that reduces errors, produces quotes quickly, and streamlines approvals. Our CPQ enhances the buyer experience by sending quotes and relevant sales content in a personalized DealRoom which aids stakeholders in decision-making.

Want more information on transitioning from Excel to CPQ? Check out five of the most troublesome Excel Configurator Limitations and how CPQ overcomes them.

DealHub for Microsoft Dynamics

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