The 2015 CRM Market Rising Stars: PROS Packages CPQs for the Sales Force

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PROS knows configure-price-quote (CPQ) technology well—the company has been delivering such solutions for 28 years. But it wasn't until recently that it realized the real demand for CPQ solutions comes from sales professionals. "There was a general recognition [within the market] that pricing itself is really more of a sales motion," says Tim Girgenti, chief strategy officer at PROS.

Illustrating that new direction, PROS acquired CPQ software provider Cameleon in late 2013. PROS's package leverages that vendor's offerings by simplifying the process of negotiating during the closing stages of a sale. Among other things, it can help determine customers' likelihood to buy, the amount they'd pay, what types of discounts to offer them, and what products or services they might also be interested in.

Peter Ostrow, principal analyst of sales effectiveness at Aberdeen Group, notes that keeping friction to a minimum at a sale's closing stages is crucial and holds that companies that integrate CPQ into their CRM platforms perform better than those that don't. "The buyer's journey has replaced the sales cycle, and [companies] speak directly with buyers further along their journeys than ever before," Ostrow says. As a result, he adds, the conversations salespeople have with customers need to be "more to the point."

The importance of PROS’s solution has captured the industry's attention. Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group LLC, selected PROS as an Elite vendor on his 2015 CRM Watchlist.

In March, PROS announced it would integrate Cameleon CPQ with SpringCM's contract management software. The result of the partnership: a solution that combines CRM, CPQ, price optimization, and contract management.

It's also promising that the company has moved exclusively to the cloud and is furthering efforts with industry heavyweights: In addition to its relationship with Salesforce.com, PROS unveiled plans in March to integrate Cameleon CPQ with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

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