Sunday, November 17, 2019
CX Tech

3 Ways a CPQ for Your Salesforce Improves the Buying Experience

Liz Alton
July 09, 2019

3 minute read

The acronym CPQ stands for Configure, Price, and Quote, and it enables your salesforce to propose quotes and proposals on the go.

Could a salesforce CPQ improve your sales CX? According to the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites, “Gartner estimated CPQ revenue at $1.1 billion in 2017, up 36% year over year. We project the CPQ market to increase 25% annually through 2020, indicating its importance for B2B sellers.”

Here are 3 ways a CPQ for your salesforce can improve your CX.

Turn on the power of consultative selling

Many companies design their CX around the empowered customer narrative, but as the Harvard Business Review notes, “Customers don’t see it that way. They may be better informed than ever, but CEB research shows that they’re deeply uncertain and stressed. Buying complex solutions, such as enterprise software or manufacturing equipment, has never been easy. But with a wealth of data on any solution, a raft of stakeholders involved in each purchase, and an ever-expanding array of options, more and more deals bog down or even halt altogether. Customers are increasingly overwhelmed and often more paralyzed than empowered.”

A salesforce CPQ can help your team immediately offer customized recommendations. Build on the knowledge your customers have, and use a CPQ system to make consultative recommendations that deliver targeted information and eliminate digging. The HBR authors conclude that “a proactive, prescriptive approach increased purchase ease by 86%.”

Formalize the handoff from marketing to sales

Often, the top-of-the-funnel CX is developed in a deliberate way. As leads move through the funnel, it become less clear who owns those relationships: marketing or sales. A failure to clarify ownership can cause CX breakdowns that damage relationships.

Research by CSO Insights found that just 33 percent of companies had formal policies about lead nurturing policies used between marketing and sales. They conclude: “Putting this data point in perspective with the lead definition data point, we can see that less than one-third of organizations have clarity on their lead definition and their lead nurturing process.” As a result, it’s one of the most vulnerable places in the customer experience. Implementing a CPQ system as part of a defined process helps make sure that the ball doesn’t get dropped at critical CX junctures.

Close the deal with timely, targeted follow up

CPQ systems help your sales team move forward with a clear mandate that offers timely, targeted responses to sales inquiries.

As CustomerThink notes, the very nature of the sales experience carries risk: “Sales funnels symbolize a widely-known reality among marketers: s*** happens. Funnels instantly remind us that interactions between buyers and sellers are fraught with risks, not that we need any reminding. Funnels also represent our fear that we can assiduously attempt to convert a prospect to a customer, but lo, there’s a chance we won’t prevail.”

The biggest areas of risk are delays and non-targeted follow-up. The Lead Response Management study found that responding within 5 minutes generated 900% more interest than responding later. Personalized proposals also increase engagement and the likelihood to close a sale. Imagine a customer who’s had a great experience until they make contact with sales. Then, long delays and a non-personalized proposal erode the goodwill your CX built. CPQ systems let sales teams offer personalized, polished proposals with a fast delivery.

Don’t neglect the bottom-of-the-funnel CX. With a salesforce CPQ, you’ll enable your sales team to deliver on the promise carefully crafted throughout your CX—turning leads and prospects into happy customers.

Liz Alton
Liz Alton
Liz Alton is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B technology, digital marketing, and the customer experience. Her clients include creative agencies, Fortune 500 brands, and venture-backed startups.
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