CPQ: What Is It and What Are the Best CPQ Software in 2024?

Jon Festejo
Co-Founder / CEO
@
Salesbricks

Driving revenue efficiently is really important for any business. 

When a company can quickly turn someone interested into a paying customer, they get money faster and can use their resources better. This helps them spend less on operations, makes customers happier by reducing wait times, and keeps customers coming back. 

But for businesses with complicated products and offerings, being able to configure products, set prices, and create quotes efficiently can be a huge bottleneck when trying to scale. Businesses need a way to automate this process, thereby reducing mistakes and speeding up the sales process. This will give their sales teams more time to focus on talking to customers and closing deals. 

Which is why most businesses turn to a solution called CPQ.

What is CPQ? (CPQ definition)

CPQ is an acronym that stands for Configure, Price, and Quote. 

This is the three-step process sellers use to (1) configure the packaging of the product they’re selling to meet the customers’ needs, (2) determine the price for that package, and (3) provide them with a broken down quote of the product, services, and terms of the deal. 

For many products and services, deals come in all shapes and sizes. CPQ helps sellers move fast by letting them quickly build out order forms for their customers. This way, customers aren’t waiting around while the sellers determine how they will charge them for the components of the product that they want to buy. 

It also helps businesses scale by simplifying pricing, reducing errors, and automating revenue processes.

Let’s break it down further piece by piece:

Configure

Let’s say a customer wants to buy your product. But here’s the problem: they don’t need your entire package with all the bells and whistles. Instead, they want just a few of the features that are customized for them.

As a seller or business owner, you obviously don’t want to lose this deal. This customer is literally standing there holding out his credit card and asking you to buy your product. 

So CPQ will allow you to give the customer exactly what they want by configuring your packaging to include in the deal only the relevant components for them.

But there’s more to it than that. While they may only want a few parts, your business may want to limit the extent to which your customers can break down your product. Likewise, while some components may be customizable, others aren’t and while some bells and whistles can be added or removed individually, your business will want others to stay bundled. 

Depending on what you’re selling, the amount of configuring can be endless. 

But whatever your business requirements are for the specifics of the product packaging, your CPQ solution will allow sellers to build the proper one for your customers without infringing on your business’ priorities. 

Price

Once you configure your product to meet your customer's needs, you’ll need to know how much this package will cost.

Normally, this means you’ll have to manually start making calculations based on how you decided to price your product components. You’ll likely need a spreadsheet, a calculator, and of course lots of time.

A CPQ solution will automatically calculate the price of the customized package based on the specs your business inputted about your pricing. 

This means your business will set prices for each brick or segment of your product so that compiling them will easily leave you with a price. Not only does this include components of your product, but there can also be any added fees, like customization fees, delivery fees, customer service fees, and probably countless others. And the same goes for discounts: you can add discounts for specific industries, times of the year, or something else.

You can also include discounts or markups that go into place depending on the other components in the package. For example, you can add a discount that only applies once a customer makes a big purchase or charge him more if they only want a few things.

By automating the pricing for tiered, subscription, bundled, or volume-based deals, businesses can easily stay on top of knowing how much to charge each customer.

The value here is that businesses can control the pricing of their products and are not leaving it in the hands of sellers. This prevents countless costly mistakes, endless manual labor, and most importantly, the need to calculate your pricing in horrible spreadsheets.

Quote

Once you configure the package and price it, it’s time to send your customer a quote.

This is a document that breaks down exactly what they're purchasing and includes any fees, discounts, terms, and other important details of the sale. It should include your company logo and list the payment methods you accept. 

The purpose of the quote is for both sides to put on paper exactly the terms they agreed on. 

With a CPQ solution, this quote will be generated automatically and not need to be created manually. If you’re looking to save yourself and your customer time, a CPQ solution will be really helpful. Plus, because it’s all automated, you can feel confident that you’re sending your important customers quotes that don’t have any embarrassing, unprofessional, or costly mistakes, and one that includes all the most important information.

By speeding up the sales process with automatically generated quotes, you’ll make the sales process much smoother for both you and your customers.

What is CPQ software?

CPQ software simplifies the process of configuring packages, pricing, and generating quotes for your customers.

Whether you’re selling internet services, manufactured products, or software, CPQ software can help your business build packages or bundles for your customers, price them accurately and consistently, and create professional quotes automatically. 

How CPQ software works

CPQ software allows businesses to input the details of their offering, break it down into specific services and features, and price it accordingly. It then accurately generates quotes for the customers based on agreed-upon terms and conditions to help speed up the sales process for both sides.

But how does CPQ software work?

Step 1: Define your pricing and packaging strategy by breaking down your offerings into monetizable components.

Step 2: Easily generate quotes and proposals that meet each customer's specific needs by compiling those pre-made components.

Step 3: Provide error-free quotes faster and give customers a smoother checkout experience.

Top 10 benefits of CPQ software

There are many benefits of CPQ software. Here's our top 10:

  • Sell faster. CPQ allows your sales team to generate quotes in seconds so your sales process significantly speeds up.
  • Easier to scale. With a CPQ solution, you can easily keep your pricing and packaging organized as you scale. 
  • Close more deals. By providing customers with the flexibility to customize their bundles, you will open yourself up to more business.
  • Make fewer errors. Manually calculating prices and creating quotes will cause even the most skilled mathematician to make costly mistakes. By automating this, you eliminate the risk of errors.
  • Increase deal size. CPQ software makes it easier to upsell and sell larger, more intricate bundles.
  • Adjust pricing strategy quickly. With a CPQ solution, your business can easily adapt your pricing strategy to make sure it’s ideal for the current market.
  • Trackable insights. Some CPQ solutions provide data on sales performance, identifying trends and areas for improvement.
  • Improve collaboration. CPQ software helps RevOps and sales teams to work together, boosting overall productivity.
  • Easy integration. Most CPQ solutions will easily integrate with your existing CRM so you can track all your data in one place.
  • Ensure compliance. CPQ software makes sure the entire team is complying with the company’s policies and regulatory requirements.

What’s the difference between CRM and CPQ software?

Two of the most common software used by businesses as part of their go-to-market motion are CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software.

Whereas both play a huge role in making sales smoother and more efficient, they play very different roles. 

Whereas CPQ software helps businesses customize their products and offerings to meet specific customer needs — automatically setting the right prices and generating professional quotes, CRM software focuses on managing customer relationships throughout their entire journey with your business. 

It keeps track of customer information and interactions, manages sales pipelines, and forecasts future sales. Many CRM software also supports marketing efforts by helping run campaigns, generate leads, and segment customers. 

What’s great is that CPQ and CRM often work hand-in-hand. By integrating CPQ with your CRM system, you can leverage customer data to make the sales process even smoother, especially when dealing with complex product configurations, pricing, and quoting. 

While CPQ software is a go-to for sales teams dealing with customizable products and services, CRM software acts as a central hub for managing customer relationships, sales opportunities, marketing campaigns, and customer support. 

Together, CPQ and CRM software boost the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales and customer management processes, providing a complete view of customer interactions and fostering long-term engagement.

What’s the difference between CPQ and Quote-to-Cash software?

Whereas many people use both these terms interchangeably, there’s a subtle difference between CPQ and Quote-to-Cash solutions.

Usually, when a software describes themselves as a quote-to-cash solution, they are providing a slightly broader service than a CPQ solution. That’s because while a CPQ solution will help your business generate quotes for your customers, a Quote-to-Cash software will also provide solutions for getting paid, managing your billing, and tracking your revenue.

Industries that benefit from CPQ solutions

  • Software 
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical devices
  • Telecommunications service providers
  • Car manufacturers and dealers
  • Construction firms
  • Utilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Loan products and financial services 
  • Consulting firms

Let’s wrap up…

  • There are 9 main pricing models to choose from in SaaS. User-based, custom, hybrid, feature-based, freemium, tiered, flat rate, usage-based, and inverse pricing.
  • Pricing models need to make you money, keep clients happy, and increase your appeal in the marketplace
  • The pricing model you use can (and likely will) change over time. Make a choice now, but be prepared to change your mind later

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Top 10 CPQ software for 2024 by industry

Software 

1. Best CPQ for enterprise: Salesforce CPQ

Salesforce CPQ is the most well-known CPQ option for software, largely because it is a product of the most prominent CRM on the market. Which means that if you’re looking for your CPQ software to integrate smoothly with your CRM, you could hardly find a better solution.

Pros: Salesforce CPQ can handle extremely complicated pricing models and can scale with your business. 

Cons: This solution is notorious for being super complicated to use. While you can do a lot with it, the software requires extensive onboarding and eats up a lot of time.

Salesforce CPQ pricing: Billed annually, their starter package is $75 for each user per month, whereas their more complex package is $125 per user per month.

2. Best CPQ for startups/SMBs: Salesbricks

Salesbricks is a drag-and-drop solution that helps young SaaS startups create, iterate, and perfect their pricing and packaging. The easiest to use CPQ solution on the market, this CPQ solution makes it really easy for startup founders to generate quotes, automate billing, stay on top of their revenue processes, and grow their business. 

Pros: Salesbricks’ time to value is significantly shorter than their competitors. Because they are so easy to use, businesses can see a return on investment within a matter of days.

Cons: Salesbricks is a relatively new company and is still primarily valuable for small businesses.

Salesbricks CPQ pricing: Billed annually, their starter package is $300 per month and includes 5 licenses.

Manufacturing

3. Best CPQ for enterprise: Configure One from Revalize 

Configure One positions itself in the market as being ideal for enterprise manufacturers. It stands out by streamlining the sales and manufacturing processes for complex products and integrates with both upstream and downstream business systems, ultimately lowering costs across the organization. The software is a great solution for manufacturers offering highly configurable products. 

Pros: The platform is really easy to use and doesn’t require any knowledge of coding.

Cons:  Customers have reported dissatisfaction with the company’s customer service.

Pricing: Configure One does not publicize their pricing.

4. Best CPQ for startups/SMBs: Paperless Parts

Paperless Parts specializes in simplifying the way manufacturing businesses make sales. Their patented technology makes managing the entire quoting process a breeze by keeping everything in one place. With their platform you can customize automated costing and pricing logic for your shop to easily generate consistent quotes. 

Pros: Paperless Parts is really easy to use and provides great templates so building quotes is even faster.

Cons: The CPQ software provides limited access to sales data, which means that sales teams can’t learn as much as they scale. 

Pricing: Paperless Parts does not publicize their pricing.

Medical devices

5. Tacton

For medical device manufacturers to stay competitive, it's essential to streamline the processes between sales and engineering and improve the customer experience. Dealing with various product variants, global regulations, and different looks and feels can really slow down your sales and engineering teams. Tacton CPQ software is great for B2B sales of complex products like medical imaging, dialysis, and surgery equipment. It helps ensure that each product is configured to meet the specific needs of your customers.

Pros: The platform includes a very simple ticketing process that makes it easy for multiple users working independently.

Cons: Users have complained about some complex and manual programming being necessary when setting it up.

Pricing: Tacton does not publicize their pricing.

Telecommunications service providers

6. Best CPQ for enterprise: Oracle CPQ

Oracle CPQ Cloud (formerly BigMachines) provides sales reps and channel partners with the guidance they need to find the best solution for each customer. Being a part of the robust Oracle Cloud infrastructure, you can trust that this revenue gateway is enterprise-grade, high-performing, and secure. Oracle CPQ Cloud can be used on its own or integrated with Oracle Sales or other CRMs.

Pros: It offers really advanced configuration, pricing, and quoting capabilities, and guided selling and approval workflows.

Cons: Because it is such a large and powerful tool, it takes time to learn how to use it.

Oracle CPQ Pricing: The base price for Oracle CPQ is $240 per month.

7. Best CPQ for SMBs: CloudSense

CloudSense CPQ solution helps communications and tech providers quickly manage and sell complex B2B products and services. There’s no need for customizations, thanks to a predefined sales journey. It’s a single system that gives you a complete end-to-end view of your operations, using automation to boost efficiency and cut costs.

Pros: An easy-to-use product that can significantly simplify your telecom sales.

Cons: The sales structure provided by the platform can limit businesses’ processes and force them to adapt to the solution. 

Pricing: CloudSense does not publicize their pricing.

Car manufacturers and dealers

8. Best CPQ for enterprise: Experlogix 

Experlogix offers powerful yet easy-to-implement product configurator technology that allows sales reps, customers, or channel partners to create error-free quotes quickly. Regardless of the sales method—whether through a direct sales team, resellers, or B2B/B2C online—Experlogix CPQ simplifies the quote-to-order process, helping businesses sell faster and more accurately. For manufacturing organizations, Experlogix's CPQ solution automatically creates sophisticated production orders, BOMs, and routings in Dynamics 365 or Salesforce from configured orders.

Pros: The product is highly customizable and adaptable for many different businesses.

Cons: The product requires businesses to pay people with product experience to learn and manage the tool.

Pricing: Experlogix does not publicize their pricing.

Construction firms

9. Proposify

Proposify gives businesses the control and visibility to quickly create, track, and sign winning proposals. It also lets businesses create professional, digital quotes with dynamic pricing, ensuring quotes are accurate, tailored to client's needs, and optimized for upsells. 

Pros: The product is really easy to use and includes many ready-made templates that are ideal for moving quickly.

Cons: Many people have complained about the inability to edit the quotes as necessary.

Proposify pricing: Proposify pricing spans between $35 to $65 per seat each month.

Loan products and financial services 

10. Conga CPQ

Conga CPQ is particularly beneficial for financial services because it ensures compliance with industry regulations, manages intricate pricing structures, and accelerates the quote-to-cash cycle. Conga CPQ has many integration capabilities and user-friendly interface, which helps financial institutions enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and deliver a seamless customer experience.

Pros: Conga CPQ lets you customize a lot, which is great for large companies.

Cons: The initial setup can take some time.

Pricing: Conga CPQ doesn’t publicize their pricing.

Using CPQ software to scale your business

CPQ software is super helpful for growing your business. When your business gets bigger, handling product options, prices, and quotes by hand can become really hard and mistakes can happen. CPQ software does these tasks automatically, making sure everything is right. This way, your sales team can spend more time talking to customers and making sales instead of doing boring paperwork.

Also, CPQ software gives you important information and data to help make good decisions as you grow. It works well with other systems that keep track of your sales, customers, and inventory, so all your information is always updated and easy to find. This helps with planning, managing inventory, and making smart choices. With CPQ, you can grow your business smoothly and confidently, knowing your sales process is ready for more business.

So if you’re a software startup looking for the best CPQ solution to scale your business, reach out to Salesbricks now!
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