Getting a new car quote from an auto dealership is an experience most people find overwhelming. Some even find it adversarial or worse, painful. A 2015 Accenture study of 10,000 consumers worldwide found 75% would rather buy online.
Tesla is one auto brand making progress in this area. You can now configure and order a Tesla online. And their satisfaction rating is higher than any other car brand. Would this approach work for B2B manufacturers?
Unlike purchasing a car, B2B buyers get industrial products through complex partner ecosystems. An ecommerce solution may not work but an online sales quoting process for channel partners definitely would.
How can manufacturers eliminate channel partner friction and create a Tesla-like experience? One way is with a cloud-based software called Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ). Here are three signs you’ve got sales quote friction.
Sales Channel Friction Point #1 – Slow Quoting Process
Imagine Bill Watson is a contractor who needs a quote for a project with deadlines. Instead of buying your product, he ends up going with a similar one from a competitor. It’s not that Bill doesn’t like your product, it’s that he got a quote faster from a competitor and decided to place the order.
Sales Channel Friction Point #2 – Complex Product Request
Mary Williamson is a purchasing agent wanting a quote for a new multi-system replacement. Your Sales Rep must contact one of your sales engineers for custom selection and pricing information. Unfortunately, your engineer is too busy. A week later your Rep still has no news and must go back to Mary empty-handed. She assumes your rep doesn’t care. Another competitor gets the business.
Sales Channel Friction Point #3 – Quote Revisions Required
Arthur Jacobson is an engineer working on a large project with frequent changes. He requires multiple rounds of revisions. Each revision must include an updated quote with updated product documentation and drawings. Your Sales Rep spends long hours searching vendor websites for documents. Arthur gets tired of waiting and goes with a competitor quote because they are more responsive. They eat your lunch.
How eRep CPQ Reduces Sales Channel Friction
1. Deliver Same Day Quotes
eRep’s rules-based pricing configurator allows the rep/distributor to create accurate sales quotes for complex equipment that adhere to the manufacturer’s rules. This can include pricing, discounting, and calculations for commission.
eRep clients say we reduce their quote time from 75 to 90%. After an experience like this, Bill Watson might mention his buying experience to colleagues on LinkedIn.
2. Generate Faster Pricing Approval Decisions
eRep’s built-in workflows let reps place special pricing requests conveniently as they are working on a quote. This lets the approving manager quickly deliver an approval or alternative resolution. Users receive email notifications on their dashboard about the status of the request.
The eRep platform speeds up the approval process and avoids the “lost in the inbox” problem that’s common when managing approvals. As opposed to the previous scenario, Mary Williamson will come back for more quotes again and again because of the fast response. Eventually, she may not even contact your competitor.
3. Streamline the Process for Repeat Quoting
Reps can quickly copy the line items from a previous quote to a new schedule using eRep’s project schedule feature. This adds only the items needed for the revision. This also helps them create “good, better and best” proposals in short order.
Further, you can easily export documents into PDF, Word, or Excel before sending them off to the customer. After choosing your product, Arthur Jacobson might share his experience with colleagues at his next industry association meeting.
What Our Customers Are Saying
“eRep is designed for ease of use and speed for a busy salesperson like me. That helps me quote faster and sell more.”
– John K., sales rep at Roberts Gordon