Streamline sales and get more recurring revenue with CPQ

Streamline sales and get more recurring revenue with CPQ

Ida Hallmén, Content Manager
Ida Hallmén, Content Manager

Imagine if you had the opportunity to scale up your business endlessly and were able to manage an unlimited number of customers every day, without hiring any new sellers. What if you also could offer your customers a tool, with which they could handle a large part of the buying process themselves. That would remove many of today’s limitations, create endless opportunities for your business and increase sales enormously. But how? In today’s post,   we tell you more about how CPQ can streamline sales and generate more recurring revenue.

Say you have a traditional sales organization where the customers calls a salesperson, then you may have the capacity to handle a limited number of customers each day. If you have a digital CPQ system on the web that is open to everyone, the whole world becomes a potential customer and your company would have the ability to handle an unlimited number of customers instead of nine. Because a CPQ system enables customers to handle a large part of the buying process themselves. This gives companies an enormous potential to scale up their business.

If you want to stay competitive in a time when e-commerce is increasing dramatically, it’s important to be able to offer a sales tool that is modern and that can give the customers an experience beyond the ordinary. According to Gartner the global spending on digital commerce will reach $ 11.4 billion by 2022. The way people are shopping is changing which means that companies must adapt to their customers. Today, the customer expects to receive a quote immediately and would not be happy to wait a couple of days for it. A CPQ system makes it possible to generate quotes quickly. If you have a system online that takes care of itself, you have the opportunity to scale up your sales just as much as you like. Because your customers can handle a large part of the buying process themselves, the upscaling potential becomes unlimited and the quotation generation will never be a problem.

Hiring more salespeople is a big investment for a company and you can only hire if you get enough orders. The sellers indirectly become order recipients. When it comes to CPQ systems, the customer can both place the order and complete the whole purchase all by themselves. The most common scenario when buying a complex product, however, is that the customer carries out somewhere between 75-95 percent of the buying process themselves, regardless of whether it is B2B or B2C.

It may be that when the customer has completed a configuration, they want to call a salesperson to double check that everything looks OK. In this situation, the seller does not have to try to sell anything but can instead focus entirely on supporting the customer in the purchase – ”You did the right thing, this was the best greenhouse you could build ” or ”You have thought exactly right but if you are going to build a greenhouse and want to cultivate then why not put a cultivation bench here? ” The seller becomes more like a friend who can support the customer and makes sure everything looks right. It can also be the other way around, that what the customer has put together is not optimal for the purpose.. The customer then may have to start all over again, needing the seller’s help. This leads to that the trust between the seller and the customer becomes strong.

The most common scenario, however, is that the customers make most of the purchase themselves and when they come to the seller, they have already decided what to buy. Since the customer has already made a decision, the seller does not have to do any “sales tricks” but can instead “be nice” and share knowledge. So it’s a lot about transferring the knowledge and the buying process to the customer. This allows the salesperson to focus more on other things and therefore becomes more efficient. The salesperson no longer needs to be involved in the early stages of the sales process. Customers can do more themselves and by integrating the tool with different business systems, it’s also possible to streamline the seller’s work. By transforming everything into a digital process instead of having a salesperson writing everything down in a spreadsheet and then manually transferring it to another system, you minimize the human factor and the risk of something going wrong. The customer also gets a better understanding of the product they are buying.

The ability to configure complex offers

For example, if you sell medical devices and need to configure a product that requires different types of accessories, you will need a customized agreement for the purchase including service and support. An agreement configurator helps the seller generate an agreement text for the current configuration. It can also be technical documentation. Instead of sending all the documentation available for a product, you can select the relevant parts that are needed. With Animech’s CPQ, this is all possible. This means that you will save a lot of time because the system takes care of everything. You also avoid tedious work and the customer becomes happier when receiving relevant documentation and not 1600 pages ”because it was easier to send everything than select a certain number of relevant pages”.

Increase sales with a scalable process

Easy-to-navigate product catalogs

What is available digitally is also searchable in a completely different way. If you build a really nice and easy-to-use webshop, it’s much easier to find the product you are looking for. It is also possible to optimize the shopping experience for customers and make it easier for them to find what they are looking for. Based on what you know about your customers, you can suggest the best buy ”okay you have bought product A and product B, now we assume that you also want to buy product C” and then product C naturally pops up in the flow. The seller can inspire the customer by showing examples: ”Look what a nice wardrobe you can get”, the customer can then reply that they want to change a couple of things to make it feel perfect. Having the opportunity to create custom packages and provide inspiration in this way is worth its weight in gold.

Create models of perfect scenarios, refine pricing with information and create brand-specific quotes

With a solution like this, you can measure both what the customer chooses and does not choose. In this way, you can adjust campaigns. You can also test different alternatives and see how the result changes, a classic A-B testing. The system could thus be used by companies that want to understand their customers better.

Brand specific quotes

Automated quote generation makes it possible to create brand-specific quotes depending on what is configured. Because the quotes are automated by the CPQ software, you have the opportunity to make brand-specific quotes. Say you sell dishwashers. Then you can set up a template for any brand so that you can see who the actual supplier is.

Streamline and shorten the quotation process

With a CPQ tool, the customer receives a price immediately and does not have to wait for a salesperson to calculate everything manually and then get back to them. The fact that it is possible to generate a quote with just the push of a button is an extreme improvement in efficiency and one of the biggest reasons why you should use a tool like this.

Combining market, sales and economy

All of these steps are about digitization and automation. An ordinary configurator that does not display anything other than spitting out a BOM list (Bill of Material) of the choices you have made is not very engaging. You can use it to ensure that the product is right but not for marketing purposes.

However, Animech’s product is usable for marketing purposes. Because it is visual, powerful and attractive, it does not only help the customers to make the right choice but also makes the customers involved in the buying process. It contributes to the “I want this” feeling. The quote is generated automatically, you get a deal and if you have integrated it with the business system, you have control of the entire chain. The whole process is digitized. You avoid the manual work which is both time-consuming, tedious and also entails costs because you need to hire someone to do the job. So your investment will pay off pretty quickly. You can also use it for marketing purposes and to inspire: “Look what a good solution we have made.” When the customer can do a lot of the work, it will not be such a big cost to sell the product, because the system sells it for you.

Why use CPQ?

Visual CPQ both improves and streamlines the buying process, which benefits both buyers, sellers and companies. The customer can configure an offer themselves and then choose whether they want to place the order immediately or if they want to think, save their solution for later and come back to refine it.

I would say that this is the biggest reason why you should use visual CPQ, that you really can improve and streamline the buying process and make it more visual and safe! When the customer feels confident with the decision and sees what choices can be made, the customer also tends to add more items, which leads to an increased order value. “Oh, that was a smart accessory, and it goes really well with that thing..” and suddenly the customer have made a larger purchase, and is at the same time more satisfied with what he or she recieves.

Niclas Kreuger, Director of Business Development, Animech, explains.

When the customer has placed an order that is sent to the manufacturer, it gives greater security because the customer then has a better understanding of the product. This increases the chance that what is then delivered matches with what the customer ordered. This leads to a reduction of faulty orders, to fewer returns and the customer becomes more satisfied.