We recently talked with Rob Watters, a partner with Pierce Washington, and Austin Lowry, Vice President of Ecommerce, about what they are seeing in the world of B2B sales and how an integrated Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) Cloud can better serve customers and make complex sales easy again.
We're seeing a lot of interest around driving a better self-service experience. We primarily work with large manufacturing companies, high tech, life sciences, etc. A lot of those companies sell complex products, so CPQ has historically been a tool for their sales teams. But what we are seeing is that CPQ is also a very good tool for their customers. CPQ promotes self-service because companies can extend CPQ out through their ecommerce website, so that customers can get educated, understand which products they need, configure those products, and then, buy the newly-configured products online.
Bringing CPQ Cloud and Commerce Cloud together really drives that self-service experience.
Customers do want to do things on their own. They want to be independent in their purchasing decisions and their research. And they want everything to be available no matter what time of day or what day of the week it is.
So absolutely, I am seeing the same trend. I work with a lot of customers who are trying to enable self-service experiences for their customers through Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle CPQ Cloud. Companies are really trying to take the experience that they have had with their internal sales team directly to the customer, using self-service (advanced) configuration and quoting. But that is not all. Savvy companies are integrating ERP Cloud and SCM Cloud functionality to support subscription-based pricing and asset management/maintenance.
Well as you know, there are a lot of things that we see that benefit both companies and customers. Number one, lead-to-cash time is greatly reduced because customers can do the configuring and quoting on their own time. We see a lot of customers who research products before they buy, so giving them the power to configure products on their own, and then send that quote to a salesperson who can finish the process, is really effective.
There are several industries that can really take advantage of this functionality. Industrial manufacturing tends to be a very complex product-oriented industry, but financial services and life sciences companies also offer some very complex product “packages” so there is a fit there as well. We are seeing more and more subscription-based companies pushing their subscription-based pricing plans out to the direct customer through Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle CPQ Cloud.