AI-Driven CPQ: How to Use It for Your Business

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A recent Harvard Business Review survey says that 60% of executives believe the adoption of AI is critical to their success in the future. In the realm of sales operations, its application to configure, price, quote (CPQ) processes are gaining ground.

Undoubtedly, AI is a powerful tool for improving pricing, cross-selling, and upselling; ultimately empowering sales reps with quick, granular insights based on a wealth of customer data.

When used correctly in CPQ systems, AI can improve sales processes by handling the complexity that emerges at scale and creating value for your business.

Even though AI cannot replace the value of human interaction for building relationships with customers, it can, however, reshape these interactions to become more strategic and productive. By automating operations and guiding sales reps, AI allows them to focus on delivering value. Here are a few ways in which AI-driven CPQ can help your business. See how investing in CPQ could be your next big business decision.

Price Optimization

AI can analyze historic price patterns and points far better than any human worker, based on a deep understanding of changing relationships between categories, price sensitivity, approval processes, et al. For example, determining the amount of discount to give a customer is a time-consuming and tricky decision, especially when too many factors are at play.

For a human worker, considering every small price change to evaluate the impact on other parts isn’t possible. An AI-powered system, on the other hand, can take each item into account as a part of an interrelated ecosystem.

For example, if there’s a complex product with moving parts and price points, a price change in one of the parts will impact the others, something only AI can take into account. AI can connect the dots between data and allow sales reps to offer an optimal quote.

Shorter Deal Life CycleAI can help the sales team shorten the deal life cycle by analyzing past interactions with prospects. It can quickly identify patterns and similarities between customers, their past purchase behavior, credit checks, and more. This saves the representative the trouble of manually building rules.

They can simply take advantage of cross-selling and upsell opportunities and quote prices quickly. By providing ideal offers to customers, AI also assists the business in retaining customers and encourages repeat purchases.

Smarter Decision Making

AI-driven CPQ allows the sales reps to take insightful and smarter decisions based on the recommendations provided by the AI algorithm. AI analyzes and leverages the data surrounding lead-to-cash decisions and uses it to develop models for likely outcomes by evaluating different pricing, products and configuration points. Such models offer recommendations to sales reps for the right action to be taken in each interaction.

Enhances Efficiency

AI is also successful in taking a lot of manual workload of price management and quoting off of the shoulders of sales reps, allowing them to focus on the strategic program’s insights that drive revenue. When your sales team has a wealth of crucial sales activity data at its fingertips (thanks to AI), efficiency and profitability soar.

AI in CPQ is Transforming Sales

AI is already transforming CPQ applications by empowering sales teams to complete quotes and manage contracts and incentives across all channels. By automating these crucial business processes, companies can boost cross-selling, up-selling, and optimize prices derived from smart predictive analytics.

Many CPQ vendors are already integrating AI into their core applications, the focus areas being sales automation, real-time integration of AI, and voice-activated CPQ workflows.

Salesforce’s Einstein is a leading tool that learns from customer data to deliver predictions and recommendations. Einstein enhances the Quote-to-Cash cycle by making the CPQ implementation process faster and automating billing.

When a user on Salesforce introduces a new product or process to Einstein, the AI algorithm quickly associates information between products and rules instead of starting from square one each time.

With the right platform, your AI-powered CPQ investment starts delivering value immediately without costly implementation. To conclude, AI-powered CPQ can empower your business to synchronize omnichannel sales, while delivering intuitive user experience and transforming key sales processes.