Configure, Price, Quote software adoption has increased steadily in recent years as more companies recognize the value of selling outcome-based solutions that require tailored combinations of both products and services. CPQ ensures these complex combinations are – as the name implies – configured, priced, and quoted accurately…but is that all a CPQ can and should do?
The CPQ experience of course starts with “Configure”. However, that assumes you’ve already spoken to the customer, understand their pains and goals, and you have an idea of what they require from a solution perspective.
The problem is, there are few solutions that handle the initial sales discovery process AND tie it into CPQ seamlessly. In fact, many companies still use documents and spreadsheets to guide discovery which are prone to being overly-confusing, easily outdated, and misaligned to the overall sales process.
This begs the question, what good is CPQ if you aren’t 100% confident that the right products and services are being configured? Ideally, should my CPQ also handle Discovery?
The Services Issue
This problem is glaring enough, but it becomes even more amplified when we start looking at discovering services specifically. Products are typically easier to match to pain points, but services can be substantially more complex:
- Will this be a quickstart implementation or a custom implementation?
- Should this deployment be onsite or remote?
- How do I know if they need x development team vs y development team?
The solution to this has often been to pre-package products and services, but that just doesn’t make sense for every organization and it often leaves money on the table where more specific services could be sold to increase deal size and maximize customer adoption and retention.
The Solution: “Discovery Automation”
*Movie trailer voice* – Imagine a world where anyone at your company can quickly, easily, and seamlessly discover the right services for any client…EVERY, SINGLE, TIME!
At WorkRails, we live in this world. To us, it’s imperative to digitize and automate the discovery process. We call it Discovery Automation.
We’re not just talking about guided selling. We are talking about creating an integrated experience in which a salesperson can be prompted to ask the right questions on that initial discovery call with a customer or prospect. Those answers can then be used to inform the right service, bundle of services and overall scope of a project. They can also be used by the engagement team to customize a bespoke offering for the customer.
Let’s look at an example…
Say you’re selling a Business Analytics solution that includes both a platform and services. You’re attempting to discover the right services package that fits for this particular customer. To do this, you want to know your customer’s:
- Annual traffic
- CRM System
- Database type and format
- Number of users
- Go-live date
Further, you want to understand:
- Goals for the project
- Level of engagement required
- Level of training required
- Is a strategy workshop required
All of the above need to be answered in order to properly scope the opportunity before you move on to configuring and pricing the services components. Answering these questions from some notes on a call could lead to selection errors, and going back and forth with the services team could be cumbersome and time-consuming.
Given that you have the right information, Discovery Automation takes those inputs through a series of questions, and leads the salesperson to the exact services needed. The CRM System is Salesforce and the number of users is >10? Perfect, then XYZ implementation package should be configured.
After services are discovered in WorkRails, we take the selection and transition it seamlessly into the CPQ process.
So…Do I NEED Discovery Automation?
To answer this, first ask yourself a few other questions:
- Is my team matching discovery answers with the right services every time?
- Does my current CPQ handle discovery? Does ANY tool we’re using handle discovery?
- What would it mean for our sales cycle and customer outcomes to improve our services discovery process?
Depending on the answers here, it might be worth first taking a deeper look at how your team is selecting services. If you’re on the services or CS team, maybe you’ve noticed misalignment between the services sold and the customers needs? If you’re a sales leader, are you 100% confident your team is selecting the right services?
Whatever the case might be, Discovery Automation for services and the overall idea of “Services CPQ” is transforming how teams handle services pre-sales. It’s certainly worth taking a look at how it could impact your services revenue, efficiency, communication, and customer lifetime value.