Leaders without Silos – The death of a CPQ Salesman

Date published • 23rd August 2018

Soon after graduating, I was out with a group of old college friends’ along with a wider network of colleagues; and someone asked me what I was up to with work.


I immediately launched in to my elevator pitch, enthusiastically explaining how I worked as a sales rep for a technology software company that focused on what we in the industry call, “CPQ”; that’s Configure, Price, Quote. A technology term used to explain a process that allows sales people to create quotes and generate documents, which can be sent to their prospects, directly from their database.

My old friend was engaged in my enthusiasm and seemed very impressed with my new job; then after a few minutes had a very puzzled look on his face and questioned me again; “but what do you really do”?

I took a breath and thought, maybe I didn’t explain myself; so slightly slower and more deliberate, I started to talk about my job, the size of the team, and how I fitted into the wider company structure.

I expressed with detail, the innovation, the driving spirit of the company and how they leveraged data from the CRM to seamlessly flow from the front office operations to the back office; connecting sales with logistics and giving transparency of data to accounting departments. 

Again, he was nodding, genuinely engaged and more impressed than before. Then after a few minutes questioned me again, “but I still don’t understand what you do”. 

I paused and asked, “What is it that you do”? – He replied with a simple statement, “I create business leaders”. 

He did not make any additional comments, or go on to explain anything about what he did, or how he did it; just a short, simple, clear statement.

He really got me thinking about my lengthy explanation of how CPQ technology allows individual sales reps to create quotes by leveraging the data from the CRM, and ensuring the quotes were error free by dynamically pulling the best products solutions and prices from the sales catalogues.

I recalled how I’d explained to him the speed and accuracy of quote generation, which drove business efficiencies; and the transparency of the data that connected the sales team to the wider business operations, which removed barriers and isolated departments.

I thought I had nailed it as I thought about the conversation that led to driving revenue. That’s it I thought; “I create more revenue”. But I wasn’t happy with my own analysis of what I did, and what I’d just explained.

As my friend returned with drinks, I thought about his answer and everything fell in to place. I looked up and replied, “I create leaders without silos”.

He smiled and acknowledged the response. His reply, “I like what you do”. 

If you want to create sales leaders, join Gin Matharu, CPQ specialist for his next Webinar on Wednesday 19th September. More details to be released soon


Gin 2018-05-30 at 09.03.26

Words by:

Gin Matharu, CPQ Practice Lead

If you would like to know more about what we do, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have for us.

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