Unless You’re a Shoe Cobbler, You Can Use CPQ

From time to time, we hear the following response from prospects: “We don’t sell through a catalog. Every product we sell is unique, so we couldn’t use your quoting solution.”


To that I say, unless you’re a neighborhood shoe cobbler, and every quote is determined by the condition of the shoe and how friendly you are with the customer, you are mistaken.

The primary purpose of a Configure-Price-Quote application (like ours, SWARM) is to have your products or services available at your fingertips so you can quickly build a professional-looking quote in minutes from any device. Gone are the days of referencing huge spreadsheets for pricing, typing out a Word doc, reaching out for approvals on discounts and availability and, most importantly, seeing deals die because a quote took too long to turn around.

Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “that’s all well and good, but you can’t upload my products into a software application because each product sale is a one-off custom,” I have two questions for you:

1. What determines pricing for those one-off custom products?
2. How long does it currently take you to generate a quote?

Regarding the first question—unless you’re a neighborhood shoe cobbler—there have to be some standardized variables that go into pricing, such as material costs and labor costs.

Think about an auto collision repair shop. Every job they do is technically custom (no two accidents are exactly alike). But they’re able to turn around an estimate relatively quickly. Why? Because they’ve standardized all the components that go into a quote, like part costs, delivery and labor.

Even if you’re in the business of creating custom art, you still can create a quote made up of materials, supplies and labor costs through a Configure-Price-Quote application.

Now here, comes the important question. How long does it currently take you to generate a quote for a customer?