Customer Zero: achieving Harmony with Conga CPQ
Empower. Unify. Scale. Conga transforms business operations as Customer Zero with Conga CPQ
Conga, referred to as Customer Zero here, is the global leader in revenue lifecycle management, seamlessly connecting every business process in the revenue lifecycle from quote to renewal. Conga is pioneering a business-changing category called Revenue Lifecycle Management. This innovative approach propels operational excellence, enabling businesses to attain revenue growth goals while maximizing customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
Conga empowers organizations by providing a unified end-to-end selling and buying experience across all channels by delivering an open, extensible platform that ties to existing and future systems, enabling businesses to move at the speed of change.
Thoughts from Noel Goggin—CEO and Culture Leader: "As Customer Zero, we don't just embrace transformation; we embody it. We relentlessly push the boundaries of what's possible, never settling for mediocrity. We understand that true growth and success come from an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. At Conga, we lead the charge, innovating, adapting, and refining our solutions to exceed the expectations of our customers. We believe that transformation is not a destination—it's an ongoing journey toward excellence. Together, as pioneers in Revenue Lifecycle Management, we shape the future of business and empower organizations to thrive in a world that demands constant evolution."
Known for cutting-edge configure, price, and quote (CPQ) software, Conga has successfully helped countless businesses streamline their propose and quote processes. However, Conga faced a common challenge often experienced by their customers – the inability to leverage a unified and optimized CPQ in product selling motions due to disparate and complex CRM systems. How did this occur? As Conga expanded through several acquisitions, it inherited multiple customer relationship management systems, which further complicated business processes as each system employed a separate CPQ solution for quote generation. Recognizing the need to address these internal challenges to better serve their customers, Conga’s leadership team embarked on a rapid journey of improvement.
Conga faced a pressing challenge in the form of a fragmented pricing model that lacked a clear correlation between price and volume and the absence of a defined logic governing the pricing methodology. This challenge was further magnified by the introduction of ASC 606, an accounting regulation emphasizing the need for pricing control and mitigating compliance risks. Conga had no safeguard in place to ensure consistent and equitable value pricing, leading to concerns about compliance.
Conga’s internal users experienced the daily operational challenges resulting from the inherent complexities of disparate systems and processes. The sales teams resorted to using spreadsheets outside the CRM systems due to numerous issues. This resulted in inconsistent and inaccurate pricing practices across the organization. Additionally, sales reps lost valuable time switching between spreadsheets and the respective CRM systems to record deals. This lack of control over pricing contributed to rogue discounting and a loss of pricing consistency across the whole sales department. The internal confusion also led to a frustrated customer experience.
In the absence of a unified CPQ solution, the sales team faced another hurdle: heavy reliance on a small group of price book experts known as the deal desk. This dependency led to significant delays, with quotes taking up to 96 hours to reach customers. Even the deal desk struggled to efficiently generate quotes with over 1200 product SKUs after acquisitions.
One final challenge Conga had to overcome was the difficulty in generating comprehensive reports on product sales. Due to transactions occurring across multiple CRMs, addressing simple business inquiries with straightforward reports proved to be a complex and time-consuming task.
Through evaluation of these business challenges, Conga recognized that they closely mirror those prospects and customers are also looking to solve with CPQ. In today’s business landscape, complexity is on the rise, resulting in more fragmentation across processes and systems. Accurate pricing and streamlined operations are essential across every business in order to grow and scale operations. Conga realized that to be an innovator and trusted leader in its own CPQ solution, the organization must lead by example—accordingly, the Customer Zero transformation began.
With the launch of a mission called Harmony, Conga initiated the consolidation of CRM and CPQ systems into a unified stack, providing global visibility. This crucial project addressed the challenges posed by redundant and disconnected processes, aiming to establish a single source of truth and empower the sales team in the field. This integration set the stage for seamless workflows and future victories, fostering harmony as our tools united across all departments.
With a unified pricing engine, Conga has gained full control over global pricing across the entire organization. This centralized approach enables Conga to enforce ASC 606 discounting requirements and ensure fair value accounting through CPQ. As a result, sales reps are empowered to easily and confidently create consistent, fair, and accurate quotes, eliminating much reliance on the deal desk, and enabling them to serve customers faster and deliver an enhanced selling experience.
Automated approval processes streamline actions for additional discounting, ensuring alignment with ASC 606. The system efficiently detects and alerts approvals for line items exceeding standard discounting, speeding up quote generation. The enhanced approvals automation provides sales teams unprecedented transparency and trackability, while effectively preventing unauthorized discounting and safeguarding the company’s revenue.
Conga’s CPQ software has had a significant impact on the business as the sales team embraced it as their ultimate sales companion. With seamless configuration options and dynamic pricing capabilities, the implementation of Conga CPQ transformed the sales team’s workflow into a clear and simple path within Salesforce. By clicking on the Opportunity record, sales can instantly access the pricing catalog, select products and quantities, and generate quotes to be easily sent for signature via Conga Sign.
While Conga has successfully implemented the CPQ solution in our divisions focused on small and mid-sized businesses, adoption challenges have been encountered by the teams servicing our larger enterprise customers, that require more complex quotes. To address this, Conga has employed configuration rules to automate bundling and enable sales to determine if bundled items can be removed or discounted. Conga utilizes the same resources available to their customers—Conga Learning Center, their training division, and Conga Community, a central repository for all customer resources—to support internal users in optimizing their workflows.
One of the most notable victories for Conga was the convergence of its previously disconnected CRM and CPQ systems. Through the consolidation efforts of the Harmony project and the adoption of Conga CPQ, the business was able to save 15% of its annual software budget. By adopting this approach, not only did the company save millions of dollars, but it also achieved better data visibility, real-time insights, and more efficient processes, ultimately laying the foundation for the business to continue to scale and build a more cohesive and user-friendly ecosystem.
Today, sales reps can swiftly generate quotes in as little as 10 minutes, gaining autonomy and control throughout the entire process. Automated triggers efficiently manage approvals for non-standard pricing, granting sales reps increased visibility. By empowering the sales team to independently handle straightforward quotes, nearly 40% of deal desk interactions have been eliminated. This enables Conga to leverage the deal desk’s expertise for the most complex quotes. As a result, Conga is better equipped to effectively manage complexity, optimize the internal user experience, and deliver superior outcomes for customers.
After implementing Harmony, it was determined that to continue fully capitalizing on the solution’s potential, a herculean effort was required to reduce and simplify Conga’s extensive range of SKUs from 1200 down to a core set of 14. Simplifying the businesses’ SKUs will continue to enable the CPQ solution to work more efficiently, allowing the business to scale faster and handle increased complexity more effectively.
Another exciting functionality on the verge of being launched is guided selling. This feature within Conga CPQ guides sellers through a series of structured steps to ensure more accurate quote configurations. Sales reps no longer need to memorize complex pricing details or manually add individual service items to quotes. Guided selling allows them to simply follow the pre-built steps, while the cart configures the proper line items based on the seller’s input. This will streamline the process and eliminate the risk of errors or omissions, further enhancing the quote generation process.
These successes are propelling Conga’s progress and delivering a user-friendly interface for both the business and for Conga’s customers. With the launch of Conga’s industry-changing Revenue Lifecycle Cloud, the CPQ calculation engine is being migrated to the Cloud, resulting in a remarkable enhancement in the performance of our CPQ solution. As a result, when sales reps configure quotes and reprice the cart, the pricing process that previously took several minutes will now be completed within seconds. This will provide a significantly improved, engaging, and enjoyable experience, further encouraging widespread adoption across the entire sales team.
Conga‘s centralized repository effectively manages all aspects of product management, pricing, packages, and promotions logic in one unified system. This integration allows the business to maximize every sales opportunity with the most scalable CPQ solution on the market. In summary, Conga has witnessed the following outcomes throughout our propose and quote journey:
- Consolidation of multiple CRM and CPQ systems into a single stack, providing a globally unified source of truth
- Through the convergence of systems, Conga saved 15% of its annual software budget, ultimately saving millions of dollars annually
- Achieved compliance with accounting regulation ASC 606 through the implementation of a single pricing engine with Conga CPQ
- Drastically reduced the time to generate quotes from 96 hours to 10 minutes— an astounding 99% increase in efficiency
- Reduced the number of quotes the deal desk touched by 40%
- Massive efficiency project that reduced SKUs from 1200 to a core 14
- Transitioned sales from quoting in spreadsheets to working within CRM and CPQ systems, resulting in an increase in time that could be focused on customer needs
- Maintained control over pricing via automated approvals, eliminating unauthorized discounts and preventing revenue leakage
- Addressed the manual addition of supplemental products and services with automatic configuration rules
- Improved customer experience by significantly reducing the time to generate and deliver accurate and consistent quotes
To learn more about Conga CPQ and Conga Revenue Lifecycle Cloud, request a demo and learn what this kind of transformation can do for your business.
**A push for CPQ enablement
To optimize the effectiveness of Conga CPQ and encourage adoption among end users, including our own teams, proper enablement is crucial! The Conga Learning Center serves as the primary hub for continuous training and improvement, product updates, and supportive resources. The Conga Customer Community is another resource that offers CPQ user groups, webinar programs, and virtual user group meetings to advance learnings. Instructor-Led Training provides expert support for hands-on learning of the technical details of the product. These tailored programs are designed to help customers (and Conganeers) maximize the solution’s numerous benefits and drive organizational impact. Learn more here.