Every construction company aims to create a simple sales process that poses the fewest hurdles for customers. However, given how many configuration variables are involved with formulating an offer, simplifying the selling cycle can sometimes put sales teams at odds with their engineering counterparts.
Construction is a complex field, and misalignment between sales and engineering can cause proposals to be inaccurate, ultimately leading to lost revenue.
For instance, sales might offer customers to use a certain configuration of building vents that engineering cannot fulfill because of new regulatory requirements that the sales team is unaware of. Or engineering might not convey the spacing required between steel beams for the formwork to be viable, leading to sales misrepresenting specs to a customer.
Configure price quote (CPQ) tools can make a big difference in this regard. Let’s take a closer look at how CPQ software for construction companies minimizes this friction and leads to better sales and engineering alignment.
One of the biggest hurdles construction sales teams face is the dizzying number of configurations a project plan can entail. Putting these together when building a quote is challenging. Responding quickly to customer questions and substitution inquiries is even more complex.
CPQ software goes a long way toward minimizing these difficulties. For starters, engineering can upload prevalidated specifications for sales to mix and match with ease, even incorporating complex formulas. Sales can request engineering for templates and details that speak to the most requested specifications and then access them on the fly, as needed, within the CPQ system.
As a result, sales can refer to a single platform that houses all relevant information to deliver to a customer. Even better is the reduction of the endless back-and-forth between sales and engineering that creates more hurdles due to miscommunications and lag times.
For instance, sales might need to pull engineering into multiple calls and emails to clarify simple questions. Manual errors also creep into such processes, leading to inaccurate quotes and customer frustration. Construction companies risk losing customers when these outdated workflows are in place.
CPQ thus avoids teams getting frustrated with each other and presents customers with a hurdle-free sales process. Sales can go back to engineering with just the most complex customer questions, leading to better alignment and quote delivery, along with a better overall sales experience.
Single source of truth
Construction companies store a significant amount of data in disparate systems. Connecting the dots between all datasets is challenging at the best of times. Expecting sales to achieve this when under pressure to close a deal is unrealistic.
CPQ software solves this issue by integrating with every platform construction companies use. For instance, better CPQ software integrates with ERP, PLM, and DAM platforms to centralize data onto a single pane of glass. As a result, sales teams can mix and match data, as appropriate, to create quotes that satisfy customer needs.
Again, this form of data centralization removes any need for tedious follow-ups with engineering. Engineering teams tend to have their hands full without having to address sales queries regarding relatively simple matters. CPQ software removes this need, leading to more harmony between the teams.
A single source of truth also simplifies the quote creation process, even if customer requests are complex. With access to templated configurations and add-ons, sales can verify customer needs, attach quotes to existing data, and view historic conversations to tailor quotes better.
Most importantly, CPQ minimizes errors sales might make during the quote creation process. For example, sales can avoid correcting quotes after sending them to customers, something that always leaves customers with an impression of inefficiency.
Every construction company executive strives to maximize cross-departmental collaboration. Sales and engineering teams are company pillars, and having them at odds serves no one. However, getting them to collaborate is challenging, since their focus tends to be different.
Due to siloed data and processes, engineering’s planning and execution focus appears different from sales’ revenue focus. In reality, both teams work toward the same goal, but legacy technology prevents this realization. CPQ software can help to bridge the gap.
These platforms can host a custom interface between sales and engineering, sourcing input as needed from either team. For example, if customer requests necessitate a complex quote structure, sales can create a project-specific interface and build the quote with engineering’s help.
With the software centralizing data and team communication, firm executives can rest assured that their teams are aligned around customer issues. Thanks to zero information getting lost in emails or miscommunicated during phone calls, firms can deliver quotes on time and accurately.
The result is a highly efficient sales process that reacts quickly to customer questions and feedback. Sales and engineering have equal access to such questions, giving engineering a hint of sales’ perspective and the issues they deal with.
In turn, sales receives insight into the challenges engineering faces when receiving obscure questions. Using CPQ as a hub, both teams begin to view each other as an asset when handling customer objections and questions. The firm benefits overall, leading to better customer experiences.
CPQ for cross-departmental alignment
Misalignment between sales and engineering can hamper a construction company’s growth. CPQ software offers some compelling opportunities for bringing both teams onto the same page while aligning them around customer issues. Thanks to data centralization, sales and engineering can work together to quickly solve issues and delight customers.