Flexibility is an underrated quality in a piece of software. Sure, rigid code written for a single task can be helpful. It’s clean, It’s efficient, It supposedly does one thing well. But it’s not adaptable. It can’t be applied to solve other business issues or needs that may crop up.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software is flexible. Essentially, it’s a platform for organizations to automate and streamline workflows that span the entire sales process from lead to cash. Organizations use it to centralize sales information, build accurate quotes, ensure precise pricing and speed the entire process as it flows through the sales organization.
We recently worked with a company that wanted to use CPQ software for something completely different, and given its flexibility, we were able to adapt CPQ solution for a new use case: managing the institutional client’s investments and offered services (401k, pension plans/retirement plans, funds and many more) for clients and their employees. Post implementation, the company is able to reduce the cost offered to their clients and providing better managed services and investment options. Most importantly, they have better visibility from the sales leads to the conversion.
When you think about it, offering 401k plans to employees is similar to selling products and services to customers. There are a lot of plans and investment options. There’s a bit of an education component. And managing the process requires careful orchestration between disparate groups and departments.
Existing 401k plans management requires half a dozen to a dozen different solutions—from pricing and plan configuration to billing and documentation. Sales analysts and relationship managers as well as people from the finance, legal and operations teams have to work together to sign off on part or parts of the program before it heads to the next signatory. Plans and service offer management is also manual—living in the decentralized, unsearchable either made up of emails, meetings and phone calls. There’s simply no central repository for collecting and storing this information and making it available to all the different stakeholders.
CPQ can act as this central platform—providing a place to formalize investment decisions and documentation while providing an outlet for institutional clients to pick the right plan for them and gain transparency into the process and their individual plans. Better management of your employee investment program can also eliminate overhead, save costs and lead to better investment experiences for your employees.
Turning a CPQ solution into a retirement savings plans and services management platform is pretty straightforward. You have your inputs (employee information, how risky they want their plans to be, how much they contribute, how much the company contributes) and your outputs (different plans, services catalog). And then, you simply have to create various configurations that fit the needs of your employees and your company’s budget.
CPQ software can be used for many things—not all of them traditional sales related. Good software is good software, and it can be adapted to suit many business needs.
Harikumar Kempula – A5