Why CPQ is at the Forefront in the B2B Customer Experience Revolution

It’s been four short months since we launched the SAP Sales Cloud with our mantra of better sales experiences, better customer experiences, and better ROI (see CRM is Dead, Long Live CRM) to meet today’s customer expectations.

There’s probably no better place to illustrate how great sales tools can lead to superior B2B customer experience than Configure Price & Quote (CPQ).

Why CPQ is at the Forefront in the B2B Customer Experience Revolution

Modern B2B customers have taken their cue from the online consumer experience, and don’t tolerate waiting days or weeks for quotes, and then waiting again for those quotes to be adjusted as negotiations proceed. They want instant results.

Customers also come to the table armed with pricing information that enables them to demand more flexible pricing and product bundles/configurations. And they are all too ready to switch vendors if they don’t get what they want. This is part of the “switching economy” that Accenture has described as being more than $6.2 trillion strong worldwide, driven by bad customer experiences with a vendor--or in some cases, just one bad experience.

Aside from the propensity to churn, another characteristic of modern customers is that they want a connection with their vendor, and a deeper relationship.

So how does CPQ get you there?

First and foremost, CPQ provides speed to many B2B purchases and speed is No. 1 on the list of modern customer expectations. Complex quotes can be generated in seconds. If a particular quote doesn’t work for the customer, another one can be spun up. While CPQ is often associated with manufacturing due to the complexity of piece parts, it can also provide this speed and velocity to industries that provide services and subscriptions. So it’s expanding its market.

Aside from speed, customers get quotes that are accurate. Errors in quotes and configurations can be that one bad experience that causes a customer to switch. CPQ eliminates that possibility.

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), which can be sold with CPQ, streamlines the process of the final contract negotiation on terms and pricing so that the negotiation process doesn’t turn into a painful customer experience. Another sore point eliminated.

It goes without saying that CPQ must be integrated with Sales Automation tools; that integration is the core benefit of a SAP Sales Cloud.

CPQ also provides personalization. Personalization has long been a feature of the consumer world and while it has its detractors, it generally improves the customer experience. In the B2B world, CPQ allows personalization in a deeper way. Customers, for example, can have specific pricing and catalogs tailored just for them. Partners also can have their own catalogs suited to their needs.

Finally, there is AI. We built AI directly into the product to provide optimal pricing along with  recommended cross-sell and upsell opportunities. AI as a trusted advisor empowers the rep with granular insights so they can handle the deal more intelligently.  This improves the sales experience, eliminating large swaths of research that a sales rep would otherwise have to do.

All that time saved can be applied to developing a deeper customer relationship. In the B2B world, this means understanding the customer’s buying journey, and indeed the customer organization’s mission and value. Those are the kinds of connections today’s buyers are looking for.

For a great example of CPQ’s value in improving the customer experience, see our webinar Maximize Revenue with AI-Powered Selling on Oct. 25,  2 p.m. EST or take a look at CPQ in action. Or take a look at the customers that have implemented SAP Sales Cloud CPQ.

By Matt McEnerney | October 11th, 2018 | CPQ

About the Author: Matt McEnerney

Matt McEnerney

Matt McEnerney is a Product Marketing Manager at CallidusCloud with over 10 years experience in sales and marketing. Using an analytical approach to assess the direction of the market, he is responsible for guiding product messaging. Find him studying cloud formations, woodworking, or enjoying the outdoors in his free time.