Skip to main content

Imagine if you could scale your business infinitely and handle an unlimited number of customers every day, without having to hire more salespeople. Furthermore, imagine if you could offer your customers a tool where they could manage a large part of the buying process on their own. It would remove many of the current limitations, create endless opportunities for your business, and increase sales tremendously. But how? In today’s post, we tell you more about how CPQ can streamline sales and increase recurring revenue.

Say you have a traditional sales organization where a customer calls a salesperson. In this situation, you may have the capacity to deal with a limited number of customers each day. However, if you have a digital CPQ system on the web that is open to everyone, the whole world becomes a potential customer. By investing in a CPQ system, a company will therefore be able to handle any number of customers. Because customers can handle much of the buying process themselves, there is no longer a limit to the number of customers a salesperson can handle in a day, giving the company enormous scaling potential.

As a company, being able to offer your customers a sales tool that is modern and can give them an extraordinary experience is an extremely important factor, not least to stay competitive in a time when e-commerce is increasing dramatically. According to Gartner, global spending on digital commerce will reach $11.4 billion by 2022. The way people make purchases is increasingly evolving, which in turn means that businesses need to adapt accordingly. Today, the customer does not want to wait days for a quote but expects to receive it immediately, which is what a CPQ system enables.

With an online, self-managing system, there are no limitations and thanks to it, you as a business can scale up your sales as much as you want. Thus, when customers can manage a large part of the buying process themselves, the potential for scaling up is unlimited and quote generation is never a problem.

Hiring a couple more salespeople is a big investment for a business and you only hire if you get enough orders. Sellers become indirect recipients of orders. In the case of CPQ systems, the customer may make 100% of the order themselves, placing the order and making the purchase. However, the most common scenario when buying a complex product is that the customer carries out somewhere between 75 and 95 percent of the buying process themselves, whether B2B or B2C.

It may be that when the customer has finished configuring their product, they still want to call a salesperson to double-check that everything looks good. In this situation, the salesperson does not need to sell anything but can instead focus entirely on supporting the customer in the purchase. “You’ve done the right thing, this was the best greenhouse you could build” or “You’ve done the right thing, but if you’re going to build this anyway and want to grow, why not put a bench here instead of a bench that you can’t grow on?”. The salesperson becomes more like a friend who pats the customer on the shoulder and makes sure you have done the right thing. It can also be the other way around, that the solution built by the customer does not work. The customer may have to start from scratch and will need the seller’s help. In this situation, trust is very strong for the salesperson who can help the customer find the right solution.

However, the most common scenario is that customers do most of the buying themselves and when they come to the seller they have already decided to buy a certain product. Since the customer has already made a decision, the salesperson does not need to do any “sales tricks” and can focus on sharing their knowledge.

So it is very much about transferring the knowledge and the whole buying process to the buyer. That way, the seller is more efficient and can focus on other things. The salesperson does not have to help as much in the early stages of the sales process. On the one hand, customers can do more themselves, and by integrating it with various business systems, it is also possible to streamline the salesperson’s work. By transforming everything into a digital process instead of 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 error. The customer also gets a better understanding of what they are buying.

The ability to configure complex contracts

For example, if you sell medical devices and need to configure a product that requires different types of accessories, you will need a tailor-made contract for the purchase with service and support. A contract configurator helps the seller to generate a contract text for the current configuration. It may also involve technical documentation. Instead of sending all the documentation available for a product, you can pick out the relevant parts needed. All this is possible with Animech’s CPQ. This saves you a lot of time as the system takes care of everything. You avoid the tedious work and the customer is happier when they receive relevant documentation and not “1600 pages because it was easier to send everything than to select a certain number of relevant pages”.

Increase sales with a scalable process

Easy-to-navigate product catalogues

Everything that is digital is searchable in a completely different way. If you build a really neat and easy-to-use e-commerce site, it’s much easier to find the product you’re looking for. You can optimize the shopping experience for customers so that they don’t have to search so much. Based on what you know about your customers, you can suggest the best purchase “okay you have bought product A and product B, now we assume you also buy product c” and the product will naturally appear in the flow”.

Create customer solutions easily with pre-configured or customized packages

The salesperson can inspire the customer by giving an example: “Look at what a nice wardrobe you can have”, to which the customer may reply that they want to adjust two things but then it feels perfect. Being able to create customized packages and provide inspiration in this way is worth its weight in gold.

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

With this solution, you can measure both what the customer chooses and what they don’t choose. In this way, campaigns can be adjusted. You can also test different interfaces and see how the results change, a classic A-B testing. The system could thus be used by companies that want to better understand their customers and thus increase sales.

Brand-specific quotes

An automated quote generation makes it possible to create brand-specific quotes depending on what is configured. As the quotes are automated by the CPQ software, you have the possibility to make brand-specific quotes. Let’s say you sell dishwashers, you can set up a template for any brand to see who the actual sender is.

Streamline and shorten the tendering process

With a CPQ tool, the customer gets a price immediately and doesn’t have to wait for a salesperson to calculate everything manually and then come back. The ability to generate a quote at the touch of a button is an extreme efficiency improvement and a huge reason to use such a tool.

Bringing together marketing, sales and finance

All these steps are about digitalization and automation. A regular configurator that doesn’t show you much, but maybe just spits out a BOM (Bill of Material) list of the choices you’ve made isn’t very engaging. You can’t use it for marketing purposes, you can only use it to make sure you get the right product. You can use Animech’s product for marketing purposes. By being visual, powerful and stylish, it not only helps customers make the right choice, but also engages them in the buying process and contributes to that ‘want’ feeling. The quote is generated automatically, you get a deal and if you have integrated it with the ERP system, you have control over the entire chain. The whole process is digitized. You don’t have to do it manually, which may not be a fun way to spend your time, and which is also costly because you need to hire someone to do it. So you will therefore earn this quite quickly.

You can also use such a solution in your marketing and to inspire: “Look what a great solution we have made”. When the customer can do much of the work themselves, it doesn’t cost you as a company much to sell this product because a system sells it for you.

Why use the CPQ?

A CPQ system improves and streamlines the buying process for the benefit of buyers, sellers and companies. Customers can configure an offer themselves and then choose whether they want to place the order immediately or whether they want to think about it, save their solution and come back later to refine it.

I would say that this is the biggest reason to use visual CPQ. That you can really improve and streamline the buying process and make it more visual and safe! When the customer feels confident in the decision and sees the choices available, the customer also tends to add additional accessories, leading to an increased order value. “Well, that’s a clever accessory that works like that, and that one goes very well with that…” and suddenly the customer has bought more and is also more satisfied.”

Once the customer has placed an order which is sent to the manufacturer, it gives more confidence if the customer has a better understanding of the product. This increases the chance that what is then delivered to the customer matches what the customer ordered, reduces order errors, reduces returns and increases customer satisfaction.

– Explains Niclas Kreuger, Director Business Development at Animech.