B2B commerce has overtaken B2C commerce in multiple markets. It is also worth noting that B2B continues to be inspired by the B2C trendsetters. The concept of ‘experience’ continues to be defined and redefined by the competition, by technology and by the drive to improve conversion. B2C has always shown the path when it came to guided selling, automated repeat purchases, interactive catalogue and real-time inventory checks. B2B digital commerce has picked these bits and also strives to improve upon them to win more business. Regardless of the platform (B2B/B2C), the aspects listed above and more of them are important determinants in the game. These aspects are best solved using a CPQ (Configure Price Quote) solution.
The customer today wants to be delighted with the best experience, wants to be wooed with the choicest of offerings and wants to be proposed with the best possible quote that can be fulfilled. When the catalogue gets more complex, the number of variables that need to be managed shoot up beyond manageability. For a start, the configuration, pricing, volumetric discounts, availability and festive discounts for each and every one of your products would need tweaking before presenting a quote worth consideration to your prospective customer. A CPQ solution would help you manage all that. It would also help you do the following things:
- Integrate with CRM platforms for sharpening the edges around relationship management
- Validate fulfillment possibilities in real-time and lessen unfulfilled orders
- Incorporate different business rules to create relevant pricing
- Introduce guided selling methods and scale them as per the knowledge of the customer
- Utilize data to streamline margins and make better offers
A good CPQ solution would do all the above. Each of the above translates into a business benefit. Let us have a look at some of the benefits of implementing a CPQ solution.
- Lessen dependency on sales personnel
While sales personnel may be very dependable, it is unrealistic to expect them to be always equipped with the right price and feature knowledge to satiate customer enquiries. New hires in the team can take advantage of the ready knowledge and expertise available with the CPQ solution.
- Lessen conversion time
Customers who are keen to purchase the right product or service will do the extra bit of work in finding that right offering for themselves or their organizations. To make that work easier and not seem like work, CPQ solutions can guide them into buying the right product. This lessens the time taken to figure out all the stuff and that lessens the conversion time.
- Say ‘yes’ to more customers
We all know about saying ‘no’ to the medium or small ticket-size opportunities not because we didn’t want to serve them but because the costs of engaging the sales team wouldn’t balance out. But with CPQ, we can rely on the system to do quite a bit of heavy lifting. We can then be assured that even without the sales team, the customers will get a fair understanding of what they can get and will get fair quotes as well.
- Be adaptable to internal and external change
A decision in the management to tweak an offering or an immediate need to introduce a quick festive discount or the sudden emergence of competition that needs strategic price slashing would not need you to run to your developers. With CPQ, you would be able to serve those needs and be more adaptable to change than before.
CPQ is here to enable digital commerce to help the customers become more self-reliant. It will quietly help the customer make a decision and help the sales team, when they seek it. The offerings of CPQ solutions continue to mature with the times and you must look at some of them, if you want your digital commerce growth story to continue to be a great story to tell!