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5 Challenges Salesforce CPQ Addresses for Health and Life Sciences Organizations

Selling in B2B is complex, particularly if you operate in the health and life sciences (HLS) industry. Sales teams are dealing with a broad and ever-evolving portfolio of products, solutions and services, which adds a layer of complexity to solutions configurations. And because these solutions are often used in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients, or the development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, they also have to be more precise in their configurations. 

Adding to the complexity, sales teams are often distributed across multiple regions, don’t have shared visibility into customer data and don’t have a way to easily collaborate with company product experts to ensure they’re building the right solution. This creates silos, bottlenecks, errors, and inefficiencies in the sales process, which ultimately negatively impacts the customer experience and revenues. 

But when speed is the name of the game and the margin for error is slim, how do you help sales teams overcome these barriers? It starts with migrating away from the legacy quote configurators, spreadsheets and manual quote review processes that create the silos, bottlenecks and errors that ultimately negatively impact the customer experience and revenues. 

And this is where a robust CRM like Salesforce, and more specifically, Salesforce CPQ, can bring efficiency, speed and organization to complex sales processes –– which is mission critical when you have expansive solutions portfolios and multiple stakeholders involved in the buying process. 

Digitally transforming lead-to-cash 

Sales is the lifeblood of any organization, particularly those in HLS. When sales reps are operating in silos and spreadsheets, it takes them away from selling and into managing quotes, proposals and approvals. Salesforce CPQ, which stands for configure, price, quote, empowers sales teams to automate and speed up the most critical parts of the sales cycle.

In health and life sciences companies, here are five common roadblocks that inhibit streamlined sales and how CPQ can be used to digitally transform the lead-to-cash process: 

  1. Slow quote turnaround times: CPQ is designed to handle complex, ever-evolving product and service portfolios that typical quoting tools struggle to keep up with. For example, CPQ connects to product catalogs and automatically generates quotes and orders in your CRM based on a set of preprogrammed rules. It also eliminates bottlenecks in bringing new products and solutions to market by centralizing all product and pricing data. And it streamlines sales order acceptance by automatically passing quote details downstream to finance, simultaneously breaking down front- and back-office silos.

  2. Lack of visibility: Sales teams operate under chaotic circumstances and it’s not uncommon to see unapproved pricing and discounts or products that no longer exist make their way into quotes. CPQ unlocks data to give a clear picture of what can be offered to the customer, enabling teams to track, analyze and forecast more accurately. It also minimizes errors with preprogrammed rules that take into consideration account quantities, discounts, customizations, and optional features while also ensuring all sales reps and channel partners are up to date and complying with the latest product offerings and SKU configurations. The consolidation of disparate pricing and quoting systems also eliminates the chance of errors throughout the process.

  3. Missed revenue opportunities: With Einstein Analytics, CPQ can also guide pricing creation and help identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities leading to larger deals. It also helps reduce customer attrition through automatically generated renewal reminders while helping better implement and manage special promotions and discounts.

  4. Inability to personalize and launch new revenue models: Customers want a personalized experience and flexibility in how they buy. CPQ allows sales reps to quickly create custom bundles and quotes based on deal scenario modeling, on-the-fly price refinement, and even new revenue models, like subscriptions or usage billing.

  5. Disconnected processes: Many sales teams are operating with a cobbled-together set of tools and spreadsheets that locks away important configuration, quote and order information. CPQ enables teams to transact data across other CRM and ERP systems to facilitate a streamlined end-to-end sales process, something that is almost impossible to do with multiple, ad-hoc systems and disconnected individuals and departments.  

Salesforce CPQ is about optimizing your current Salesforce implementation and making an otherwise challenging pricing and quoting situation more manageable in your organization’s quest to control costs, enhance collaboration, and improve the end customer experience. 

A complex industry requires the simplest approach

The HLS industry may be complicated and chaotic but that doesn’t mean your lead-to-cash process has to be. When the solutions your organization is delivering are mission critical to hospitals, practitioners and patients who so desperately need them, you can’t afford to have data silos creating bottlenecks and errors in your company. 

With Salesforce CPQ, you can bring continuity to the sales cycle, gain visibility into the customer lifecycle, and get sales reps back to what they were brought on to do…sell. 

For more on Salesforce CPQ and the impact it can have in your organization, click here.