Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions allow businesses to quickly and accurately generate complicated sales quotes. They centralize relevant data, including pricing, configurations, discounts, bulk orders, location, and other variables—and then automate that process.
Consequently, enterprise CPQ is increasingly critical for revenue growth for B2B businesses.
In “CPQ Myths Busted,” Regional Manager of Oracle CPQ Ken Ailes and Object Edge CEO Rohit Garewal examined some of the major myths and misconceptions about enterprise CPQ and discussed how to effortlessly implement a CPQ solution that’s right for your business.
Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is meant to enable sales by measurably reducing time to quote, among many other things. Businesses may fear or delay pulling the trigger to get started, but the value that enterprise CPQ software can bring more than offsets its relative cost.
“The company that can turn a quote around faster and get it out to the business wins. Other businesses are taking advantage of this time to leverage total commerce to provide that ‘buy anywhere and everywhere experience,’” says Ailes. “I don’t know if you can afford to not do it right now.”
“The exciting thing for me about CPQ is that it’s the first product I’ve worked with that is bringing a direct benefit to the business. We have countless stories from customers that build a much faster path to ROI.”
Learn how Broadcom successfully expanded into new international markets with Oracle Configure, Price, Quote.
CPQ allows companies to accelerate their sales cycle by providing faster product or service recommendations, custom configurations, and pricing. Sales teams no longer have to spend resources reaching out to product experts for tips on positioning a product for clients—because it’s all right there within the CPQ and ecommerce experience. Sales cycles are shortened, deals are closed faster, and sales teams can quickly pivot to the next prospect, which leads to a higher (and more efficient) ROI.
As ecommerce revenue grows, the amount of commerce pushing through your CPQ tool will continue to grow as well. From prospecting to closing the deal, these two solutions work together to empower the entire sales process.
“[CPQ] is a much faster path to ROI than some of the other products will be because it's directly contributing to the revenue,” continues Ailes. “There aren't a whole lot of products out there that are going to bring the hard, quantifiable, and justifiable ROI that a CPQ project will bring.”
You’ve launched your CPQ—but is it easy to use? In our webinar poll, over 45% of respondents said they struggle with their CPQ user experience.
Overcoming this hurdle requires a multipronged approach. Ask yourself:
With this information, you can customize the experience to fit the individual needs of the customer.
Once you understand your customer personas and needs, you can use elements like product listing pages (PLPs) to create a buildable shopping experience within the quote. A targeted set of prospects would ideally be able to view and select recommended products, required parts, and additional services to build their customized quote. Their selections would then be displayed on a quote summary page, allowing them full visibility into their selections and the estimated cost before deciding to move forward with procurement.
“It's all about leveraging modern frameworks to be able to deliver—and deliver easier—what the businesses of today need. With the more modern Jet UI of Oracle CPQ, you can deliver some really, really nice user experiences,” says Garewal.
From a data architecture and integration standpoint, Oracle Configure, Price, Quote is designed to work outside of the confines of the Oracle suite of applications.
First created as Big Machines, Oracle CPQ was built for complex systems, products, and third-party solutions. CPQ operates like a well-oiled machine by placing a strong emphasis on information flows and ensuring they seamlessly capture data from CPQ to your backend ERP, regardless of platform.
In fact, many of Oracle’s enterprise CPQ customers operate from two of the largest CRM players: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
“When you’re looking at Oracle CPQ suite, it excels in native integrations with not only Oracle back office but others like Salesforce CRM,” says Garewal. “If you have complex build materials, order flows, and configurations, Oracle CPQ is still the gold standard.”
It comes as no surprise that as technology continues to evolve, so does the typical sales flow.
In the past, sales teams would fly around the world to visit customers and push the latest and greatest software solution. The entire sales-to-implementation process often required multiple visits to not only close the deal but also have a team of software engineers install these solutions onsite.
The advent of modern technologies like CPQ has changed all that. Companies no longer spend time, money, and resources on constant in-person interactions with prospects and existing customers. However, this doesn’t mean a fully self-service solution exists—nor is it recommended.
“None of my clients—nor would I recommend this—are trying to end interactions with customers. Their businesses are just too complex to do everything online,” says Garewal. “If you run a B2B enterprise, there are certain things clients will only want to do online that can be serviced through CPQ. Other clients will still want to talk to someone for more complex configurations.”
CPQ should be used as a resource for your sales representatives to provide quotes to prospects and quickly move products to the supply chain, but it should not be the sole method of sales.
“You need to empower your organization with user experience for sales reps, for resellers, and for customers,” says Garewal. “And this CPQ piece is right in the middle of it.”
As solutions become increasingly more complex, face-to-face interaction—though it can be reduced—remains critical to your sales and ROI.
Subscriptions are widely recognized as a key element to continuing sales growth. To help automate sales ROI, companies need the ability to secure recurring sales of off-the-shelf products and sell additional services along with their manufactured goods, including software and maintenance.
Enterprise CPQ provides the foundation for successful subscription selling. It was built to host, manage, maintain, and augment complex pricing and configurations and can help you navigate the path to achieving a seamless subscription service.
For even more details, view the full webinar on demand.
Sarah Falcon is a nimble and creative marketing leader with nearly 15 years of experience in a mix of agencies, B2B, and B2C enterprises. She brings a background in building and driving impactful marketing practices and processes for growing businesses. Sarah has expertise in brand, content marketing, lead generation, and marketing operations.