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Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) Management Best Practices

Angie Stockley, VP of Marketing and Communications, ASC Posted: March 9, 2016
Written by Angie Stockley

CPQ Best Practices

The right pricing strategy can make or break a deal and timing can be everything when you are trying to stay on top of market fluctuations and competitors’ moves and ensure you make the right deal at the right time. This is further compounded with geographical, organizational and even account-specific pricing variances and complexities. 

Don’t waste your time juggling pricing spreadsheets and chasing pricing exception approvals  --  a best practice Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) Management Solution will automate, streamline and centralize your complete pricing strategy and execution lifecycle, ensuring a trusted single source of truth for the management and control of your pricing data.  

The ASC Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) Management Solution provides a single, integrated solution designed to solve your pricing challenges by delivering complete pricing control right at your finger tips!

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Take Back Pricing Control 

ASC’s CPQ Management Solution makes pricing and quoting easy by helping you organize, automate and optimize incoming pricing, order and quote related information; determine what details are important; execute more informed pricing policies and decisions; and realize more revenue, ensure sales opportunities are not missed and increase your margins.  

The ASC solution helps you accurately and efficiently categorize or group your product portfolio, apply different value drivers, model and analyze the business impacts, and proactively implement new prices and pricing policies. Time to take back control! 

ASC CPQ Management Solution Benefits

ASC’s CPQ Management Solution enables you to:

  • Define multi-channel pricing strategies by customer and other parameters to maximize value perception, customer engagement/loyalty and business results.
  • Eliminate manual pricing, quoting and order management efforts.
  • Reduce human errors in quote calculations.
  • Ensure sales are always using the latest pricing variables and policies.
  • Automate approvals routing for deviations from standard pricing.
  • Prevent revenue and margin leaks for higher price and margin realization.
  • Implement differentiated (simple and complex) rule-based pricing policies such as discount, volume, value-based, competitive and lifecycle pricing, etc.
  • Access on-demand business intelligence and metrics for analysis of product and market performance parameters.
  • Reduce the time spent pricing and quoting (vs. cumbersome spreadsheets and manual efforts) so you can focus on optimizing your sales strategy.
  • Keep prices up to date with quick, accurate and controlled pricing changes and additions.
  • Set and enforce rule-based pricing and policies, including those for the prevention of unnecessary/unapproved discounting by sales and automated pricing guard rails. 
  • Minimize pricing and quoting one-offs.

Centrally Managed Price Lists and Policies

The ASC CPQ Management Solution enables effective automation and control of disparate price lists; geographical, organizational, and account-specific pricing and discount policies; and varied business-rule driven approval procedures (e.g., within threshold, exceeds threshold, etc.). 

The full featured solution provides your team (sales, supply management, procurement, contract management, etc.) with comprehensive execution tools for quick and accurate price management and control across the company from pricing and policy changes, to new quote and order templates, to approval guidelines, etc.

This same pricing information is quickly communicated, enforced and accessible globally to all CPQ system users via a central, online database. The system is flexible and scalable enough to deal with a few or thousands and thousands (millions really) of stock keeping units (SKUs) and related price points.

The ASC system also enables easy consolidation of price tables and price information – either directly in the system or via seamless single or multi-system integrations (e.g., ERPs, CRMs, etc.) or simple lookups so master price lists and details can be managed and updated by the required party and/or using the preferred point of control (system of record). Of course, if the ASC system is used as the central point of record, it can also seamlessly push pricing data to other systems.

These flexible options enable segmented (e.g., by channel, by customer, etc.) and complex price lists to be created and managed by designated pricing experts (accountable owners and contributors) from across the business, yet accessible by all from one central source of truth that is always up to date with market and competitive landscape variables and strategies as well as the full context of critical information about your products and solutions, customers, costs, prices, revenue and profit goals, etc., and all governed with appropriate compliance controls and approval workflows. Prices, SKUs and other pricing parameters can be updated as frequently as required and set for immediate release or saved and scheduled for future release.

The ASC CPQ Management Solution drives speed and agility into your pricing processes and minimizes one-offs, enabling more time to focus on optimizing your sales strategy and faster reactions to changes in market dynamics while providing a central, authoritative pricing data source your team will trust and use to maximize value perception and business results and to increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Insightful Pricing Metrics and Analytics

ASC’s CPQ Management Solution provides robust reporting options and detailed business metrics which combined provide organizations with powerful business insights to easily monitor pricing strategy performance parameters (e.g., high performing or underperforming products and markets, changing market conditions, etc.) and help determine and adjust pricing levels and margins so as to optimize revenue opportunities and increase profits.  

With price and margin analytics, organizations can easily find and correct inconsistent pricing across product lines, customers, geographic regions, sales channels, or order types; make timelier pricing decisions based on real-time information specific to your market segments, accounts and any other pricing model criteria; and confidently set accurate prices aligned with revenue and profit margin goals.

On demand reports can be quickly and easily sliced and diced and drilled in to according to whatever granularity or specificity you require.

The solution also provides organizations with critical insight into trends, price and profit variance using predictive analytics tailored to the organization’s unique needs. The system can also be configured to help organizations identify and eliminate potential deal/transaction price waterfall concerns (e.g., areas of price/profit leakage at different price levels ) with analysis of price and cost elements such as list price (gross price), invoice price, net price, pocket price and pocket margin, etc.

Flexible CPQ, Invoicing, Billing, Payment and Financial Options

To exemplify the flexibility of the ASC solution, it can be configured and/or scaled to support CPQ, invoicing, billing, payment and other financial requirements including the following:

  • Billing and payment processes, including invoicing periods and schedules
  • Incentives and disincentives
  • Time and materials related to invoicing and payment
  • Payment methods, pricing agreements and cost estimates
  • Ratings and evaluations (e.g., contractor performance)
  • One-time charges and changes
  • Rental or recurring fixed rate charges
  • User specification of the type of pricing model they want to utilize
  • Metered pricing (rating) for cases using tiered and discount plans
  • Order creation for customers based on a user defined frequency
  • Customer facing detailed usage statements
  • Tiered pricing based on particular volume levels
  • Sliding pricing rate based on incremental volume blocks of minutes
  • Multiple active pricing plans (e.g., different plans for different customers, multiple plans for the same customer, different per region or country, etc.)
  • Contract status driven automated workflows
  • Any and all required templates such as RFXs, quotes, orders, invoices, contract

The Right Pricing Strategy at the Right Time

ASC’s CPQ Management Solution enables flexible pricing strategies, such as discount pricing, volume pricing, value-based pricing, competitive pricing, lifecycle pricing, etc. 

By enabling the integration of pricing, market, competitive and transactional data in one central location, supported by valuable business insights (scheduled and ad-hoc reports and metrics), incoming data is effectively organized for quick analysis of the important factors, elimination of pricing errors, and execution of more informed pricing decisions.

Pricing guard rails (pre-defined parameters, such as approval process for contracts within the limits, approval process for contracts outside of limits) further empower your sales negotiators to get the right deals done.

With this powerful combination of features, the ASC system helps ensure you are using the right pricing strategy or combination of pricing strategies at the right time – while enhancing and ensuring compliance to terms, speeding the process and lowering the administrative cost of contracting.

Pricing Calculations

The ASC solution’s pricing calculation capability and flexible templates, business rule based workflows, fields and user definitions can also be configured to manage coupon, discount and promotion requirements at the order level for a particular time and duration period. This includes versatile options such as:

  • Applying discounts based on customer, channel, order, volume, and product-specific prices and discounts by category and line item
  • Automatically calculating margins and reseller margins on each item based on resellers margin (from the account record in Salesforce), subtotalled for each product type and for entire quote
  • Providing varied user selectable discount options (e.g., percentages, multipliers)
  • Enabling users to change net prices and subsequently applying back-computed discounts
  • Maximum discount validation rules
  • Unlimited additional discounts rules

The ASC solution enables such robust discount and promotion rules and execution to be configured according to the customer’s detailed business rules and other requirements.

Solutions for Any Business Process

The ASC solution automates, centralizes and integrates processes for procurement and payment, CPQ, electronic catalogue, strategic sourcing, RFX and bid management, order management, supplier qualification and management, contract drafting and execution, contract administration and archival, compliance and performance management as well as the complete sales lifecycle and post execution steps -- providing a seamless, integrated end-to-end lifecycle solution focused on simplifying and improving the accuracy of quotes, proposals and contracts end to end.

Get ASC Working for You!

Ready to automate and streamline your enterprise contract management, CPQ and business process management practices? Contact us to find out how.

ASC's enterprise contract management lifecycle software, document management, form management and pricing and quoting solutions help you reduce costs, improve productivity and profitability, and increase business intelligence.

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