The Man with the Montblanc Pen
How to win B2B deals with configure-price-quote solutions
You have one and only one plan for today. This is the day when you close that deal you’ve been working on for the last two years. This is the day to finally get the ink on paper. It’s the final meeting with the man with the Montblanc pen. You sent the proposal three months ago. The last version, that is. It’s been a long journey with many pit-stops and different revisions.
“Okay,” says the man with the Montblanc pen. “Now we only need to make a minor adjustment. We’ve got a board decision to run the project, but with the current offer we’re actually 5% over budget.”
WTF?! We already negotiated this deal. Going back to expand the budget will in reality take half a year, and there is a risk the delivery will be down-prioritized during this period.
How to deal with the man with the Montblanc pen
So, why is the customer playing this game?
Because the customer knows that for most suppliers it’s way too difficult to change the proposed solution at this point. No sales rep wants to compromise their offer to meet the budget. A discount seems to provide the only way out.
But luckily for you, it isn’t. This is the moment when you really appreciate your configure-price-quote (CPQ) solution. This is when your CPQ software turns into a negotiation wrecking ball. With the mere click of a button, you can quickly remove a high-level requirement and find a new solution with a 5% lower price for your cost-conscious customer. With a smart product configuration tool integrated with your quoting, you’d be able to respond like this:
“Well … we’re flexible! Just let me quickly check how we can meet your budget. Either we change the service agreement to Silver or we change the automation from integrated to standalone.”
And just like that, you have ammunition to tackle this classic negotiation trick of the man with the Montblanc pen. This is why CPQ is much more than a way to specify your solution. In cases like this, it transforms into your magic wand for closing that deal. Without compromising your margins.