Sales are the driving force of any medical device company and in today’s business world where the consumer is king, customer satisfaction has become a key performance indicator for tracking and measuring sales team success.
But because sales teams, particularly in fast-growing medical device organizations, are constantly shifting and growing, it’s not uncommon to face challenges related to inefficient processes and bottlenecks that impact the customer and client experience. Additionally, evolving product portfolios, fluctuating price points, and the need for custom configuration can complicate your sales process.
However, those challenges don’t need to be prevalent in your organization — and considering the nature of medical device sales, they shouldn’t be. By taking note of your sales team’s current processes and denoting specific inefficiencies, you can improve your sales team’s performance. In addition to the aforementioned challenges, there are several common signs your team may want to adopt CPQ software. Let’s take a look at six of them.
- Your team is using Word or Excel to create sales quotes: Many sales teams continue to live in spreadsheets, using these to track and generate sales quotes. The problem is, maintaining data in spreadsheets can create silos, leading to inconsistencies in quoting and price configuration, and creating standardization challenges across the sales team. The manual configuration, pricing, and quoting is also time consuming, cumbersome, and doesn’t scale with your business, particularly when your quoting process is more advanced.
Cloud-based, automated pricing and quoting tools are built for handling databases of extensive product SKUs and advanced pricing rules, both of which are commonplace in medical device sales organizations. In fact, an Aberdeen Research Group survey of end-user organizations found teams using CPQ software produced 21 proposals, quotes, or RFP responses per rep per month compared to 14 for those without an automated tool.
- Sales reps are bogged down by manual data entry and quote generation: According to Salesforce’s “State of Sales” report, today’s sales professionals spend just 34% of their time selling. As a result, nearly 60% of those surveyed expect to miss their quotas each year. Reps reported having to spend too much time with data entry, quote generation, and other administrative tasks that routinely take them away from revenue-generating and relationship-building activities.
CPQ software automates much of these repetitive and cumbersome tasks, enabling reps to focus on delivering the best possible solutions and experiences to your customers. Aberdeen’s research study further points out that 91% of sales teams and 87% of sales reps using CPQ software achieve their sales quotas. Compare this to their non-CPQ counterparts who didn’t fare so well, falling at just 56% and 20% of quotas met.
- Your team is manually reviewing customer quotes: Having one person responsible for accuracy checks on your product and pricing configurations simply isn’t a scalable, long-term solution. In some organizations, it’s common to have multiple stakeholders involved in the review process, but this, too, can quickly create bottlenecks, as it increases the time sales reps spend chasing internal people vs. working directly with their customers. Considering the pace at which medical device sales reps move, as well as the current healthcare climate, it’s more critical than ever to decrease time-to-quote and shorten the sales cycle.
Additionally, almost 60% of buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call leaving no time for sales reps to reach out to others involved. CPQ can alleviate this by automatically generating up-to-date quotes from preprogrammed rules and enables real-time collaboration among all mandatory stakeholders. This process helps reduce slowdowns and potential errors typically introduced within a manual approval process.
- Sales quotes are inaccurate and inconsistent: When price lists live in spreadsheets, it can be difficult for sales reps to maintain up-to-date records on discounts, product or SKU additions, and compliance changes. Those challenges inherently lead to inefficient and often inaccurate quoting, negatively impacting the customer experience.
Ultimately, as medical device companies see increased demand and sales, it becomes more important than ever to remain compliant and consistent.
- Unapproved last-minute discounts and extra deliverables are often added to close deals: At first glance, this may not sound like a bad way to close sales and prevent customers from going to your competition, but the sales-related panic common in the last days and hours of a selling period can be avoided with best practices and technology.
For example, a preventative strategy that includes automated pricing and quoting software can help guide your sales team in providing accurate pricing and up-to-date promotions with the right message at the right time in the sales journey.
- You want to increase revenue: For most companies, year-over-year revenue growth is a goal –– and ideally you want to achieve that while maintaining healthy profit margins. This requires process optimization across all functions of the business to eliminate inefficiencies. In sales, when this is achieved, teams are better positioned to identify and act on expansion opportunities with existing customers and increase pipeline velocity.
The aforementioned Aberdeen study also found that when using CPQ software, organizations’ average deal size was more than double that of manual-run sales teams.
Producing an accurate, timely quote regardless of your company’s product and service complexity can be an absolute necessity for sales teams to close deals. It’s about better understanding your customers and accelerating the time it takes from creating a quote to collecting cash and producing revenue.
If your medical device organization exhibits any of these six signs, it may be time to look into a CPQ solution like Salesforce. Pricing and quoting software will help reduce quoting errors, streamline order fulfillment, gain better visibility into a more accurate sales funnel, save money, and most importantly, increase your customer satisfaction at a time when customers come first.