Salespeople need to close deals fast — and sometimes they can’t because the process gets in the way.

If a product doesn’t come pre-packaged, then there are often configurations in terms of options and terms. Prices can vary according to promotions, bundles and how badly a seller wants or needs to close the sale.

And while plotting out and manipulating all of the numbers on an Excel spreadsheet is one way of coming up with figure, it’s slow.

The same is true for gaining authorization from all of the department managers who need to approve proposals, quotes and contracts.

“Time kills deals.” It’s an old saying that has never been as true as it is now, in the digital era, where a competitor is a click or a tap of the finger away. Not only that, but managers also need to see what their sales people are up to, visibility is key.

The CPQ Market

So it’s no wonder that some of the fastest moving companies turn to Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions. SteelBrick CPQ sits on top of the Salesforce platform, exactly where its customers like Marketo, Cloudera and more than 200 others need it.

Godard Abel
Later today SteelBrick CPQ will unveil its Spring 2015 release. CMSWire spoke to the company’s CEO Godard Abel about its new features. They include:

Learning Opportunities

Quick Close Cloud: Closing sales using manual processes wastes time and is burdensome, said Abel. The Quick Close Cloud offers tools to take that problem away. They efficiently model complex, advanced approval processes, including parallel workflows and smart approvals to close deals faster. For example, the Quick Close Cloud remembers who has approved which sections of sales agreements, so that multiple approval cycles aren’t needed. Managers can get insight as to what’s going on in the field on their mobile devices.

Social Action Links: Forget Word and Excel. Links streamline deal approvals by allowing managers to approve quotes and contract changes with the tap of a button from within a Salesforce Chatter feed.

Dynamic Contracts: You can amend customer agreements on the fly to upgrade, downgrade, or modify plans as customers’ needs change.

Multi-Dimensional Quoting: Multi-dimensional quoting can be complex. SteelBrick CPQ provides the means for sales reps to create matrix-style pricing for modeling multi-year ramps and other pricing dimensions. Abel said it simplifies the process, ensures accuracy and automatically updates pipelines and opportunities.

Buyers want to make decisions now, when they’re ready. Waiting for a pitchman to come up with a price and get everything approved can be not only a turnoff but also give reason to shop around. If tools like SteelBrick CPQ, and others like it can put the right products and services into customers’ hands at the right price and under the right terms in near real time, everyone wins.