Winning in today's marketplace comes down to one thing: the customer experience. To compete with other brands, companies are shifting focus from price and product to the customer journey. But improving the customer experience is no easy task.
Many businesses are turning to configure-price-quote (CPQ) software to create an immersive, interactive buying experience for their customers and end users. But CPQ software doesn’t just benefit customers, though. It has many benefits for the sales team as well.
What is CPQ software? It's a sales tool that streamlines the quote-to-order process, helping create a more satisfying and efficient buying experience for customers and sales reps alike. Below, we dive into the six ways CPQ software benefits both your customers and your sales team.
1. Delivers Real-time Pricing
Every time a customer changes a custom order, the price changes. But without CPQ software, customers are often unaware of this fact until a sales rep informs them. Having to wait for a price change, even a small one, is a bad customer experience that could cause customers to become unsatisfied.
Cloud-based CPQ software provides customers with a real-time price as they configure their order, instantly gratifying customers with a quote. Real-time pricing also prevents sales reps from having to generate a large number of custom quotes, freeing up time and resources.
In fact, CPQ software has been found to increase quote productivity by 33%. Pricing is automatically done for sales reps, speeding up the quoting process without sacrificing accuracy.
Conveniently order from your home or office - on your own time.
2. Showcases Products in 2D, 3D or Virtual Reality
When your customers design or purchase products, are they able to see their order to a "T?" If the answer is no, you run the risk of failing to meet customer expectations. If they can’t see it, how will they know what they’re ordering? Visual CPQ software allows customers to view their products in a number of ways.
With CPQ, customers see a rendering of their product while they add customizations like color, size, and accessories. There are even 3D product configurators and virtual reality configurators to give customers the most accurate picture of their furniture, exhibitor booths, vehicles, and more. This reduces ordering errors and increases customer retention by 3.9% annually, according to Aberdeen Group. This is quite the jump when considering the fact that non-CPQ companies experience an annual decrease in customer retention of 0.6%.
3. Works in Every Channel
Did you know that 33% of all potential sales fail if a business’s website is not optimized for mobile? Consider, too, that mobile makes up for 30% off all ecommerce sales. If you don’t have a good mobile experience for customizing orders, that is a large amount of lost revenue.
CPQ software is an omni-channel solution that works on any browser-enabled device. Your customer is given the flexibility of being able to order their custom product on any device, browser, or operating system. CPQ software brings product visualization and real-time pricing to the customer’s fingertips, reducing the chance of drop-off.
4. Offers Intuitive, Rules-based Software
In the world of custom products—where what you want is exactly what you get—customers can sometimes be given too much freedom.
They might marry two items that were never meant to go together in the first place—essentially creating an obsolete order.
And because there wasn’t a rule to stop them, the customer unknowingly purchased an unusable or defective product.
When customers are configuring their orders using CPQ, the rules engine of the software won’t allow them to bundle incompatible elements.
This shortens the sales process dramatically. Before, customers would have to be notified after configuration, and then start the process all over again.
5. Suggests Add-ons and Accessories
With the large number of variables in customizable products, it can be a hassle to organize every add-on available for any given product. Instead of managing your product customizations in a spreadsheet and offering add-ons manually, CPQ software serves as a hub for your customizations and automatically serves them to customers.
Product configurators place every customization option, add-on, and accessory, directly in front of the customer for easy access. This creates more natural opportunities for sales reps to upsell without being "pushy" to customers. According to research by Aberdeen Group, this allows sales reps to deliver profit margins that are 57% greater than margins from companies without CPQ software. Sales reps can also easily update add-on information, price, and dimensions without having to adjust multiple spreadsheets or databases.
6. Tracks and Records Customer Data
How much do you know about your buying experience today? Do you know where customers drop off in the customization process or what their product preferences are? This information and more is all automatically tracked with CPQ software.
The analytics portion of CPQ software automates the tracking process and integrates with your organization's CRM to record data for the appropriate deals. With new customer data that is automatically recorded, sales reps can make more accurate sales forecasting and maximize their efficiency.
Interested in Learning More About CPQ Software?
If you’re still curious about how CPQ software could benefit your business, discover five common customer complaints solved by CPQ software. Or, learn how product configurators boost customer service and sales in four different industries.