Recently, I read a blog post from Mike Rosenbaum, EVP of CRM Apps at Salesforce, on the acquisition of SteelBrick by Salesforce. One fact he cited jumped out at me: sales cycles can be reduced 28 percent1 with a CPQ tool, hugely impacting sales rep productivity. Wow! That’s truly remarkable, and is likely a driving force in Gartner’s advice2 to clients that if they don’t have these technologies on their roadmap, they may be playing it too safe. At Zilliant, increasing sales rep productivity and effectiveness is the core of what we do: helping companies optimize the value of every customer relationship.
For 15 years, our solutions have used artificial intelligence (AI) to drive profitable growth for B2B manufacturers, distributors and industrial services companies. In essence, AI and data science mine years of quote and transaction history to continuously create high-quality leads and insights to guide sellers’ decisions. Specifically, it provides these answers: which customers to call, which products to offer and which prices to charge.
Help Sellers Price Better and Avoid Excessive Discounting
That’s why I’m fired up about our integration with Salesforce CPQ. Now, more than ever before, companies are poised to close more deals, faster. Let me give you a peek into what we’ve been working on from the seller’s point of view:
Imagine that Carla, a sales rep at a large truck parts distributor, has just configured an order in Salesforce CPQ for one of her accounts, 4Point. Next, she needs to price these items.
With Zilliant price guidance natively integrated into Salesforce CPQ, the prices she sees for these items are already set to customer-specific targets and volumes. She can see that for Process Products, Zilliant MarginMax has recommended the target price at $179.80.
Here’s where the AI comes in. The price guidance has been scientifically derived using alignment optimization and price sensitivity calculations.
This is what it means for Carla: She doesn’t have to waste time with internal price negotiations and running approval requests up the chain of command when 4Points asks for a better deal. The prices she sees in Salesforce CPQ are already aligned with her customer’s expectations on price, and even better, the prices meet her company’s business objectives.
In this view, Carla can edit lines and make necessary price adjustments. She can easily make tradeoffs here and there and know, at the quote level, whether she needs to submit the quote for review, or just move forward and close the deal. Even better, she has visual analytics at her fingertips, showing her the context for each price recommendation, boosting her confidence that she’s quoting a fair market price for each and every deal.
Carla is starting off ahead of the game, there may be a bit more negotiation on price and volume, but the guesswork on the right price to start with has been completely removed. She’s got a head start, can get this turned in quickly, assuming she stays within the guidelines, and now has a massive advantage over her competition’s two- to four-day quote turnaround time.
This is just a sneak peek at the groundbreaking capabilities the Salesforce CPQ and Zilliant integration can offer B2B industrial companies. I’d love to show you more, please reach out for an in-depth, live walk-through.
Don’t take my word for it, read how Eaton tapped the power of Zilliant to cut quote turnaround times in half and witnessed its sales conversion rates zoom from single digits to above 40 percent.
1Breaking the Laws of Physics: Shortening the Last Sales Mile through Workflow Automation, Aberdeen Group, April 2013
2What’s Hot in CRM Applications: Why CPQ Continues to Accelerate, Forbes, April 2015