Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Empower Your Best Customers With Interactive CPQ Visualizations

An often-overlooked benefit of modern configure, price and quote (CPQ) tools is the ability to accurately communicate complex product configurations using visualization tools. As offers become more complex, adding visualizations can help keep all parties – internal and external – aligned on what is being sold and delivered. While many sales leaders rely on CPQ tools to improve the quoting and sales process, CPQ visualizations can help buyers quickly move to final product decisions and help engineering teams to accurately deliver what was sold.

It may sound cliché to say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it is often true in complex selling situations with multiple product configurations and iterations. When you consider that 65% of the population learn best from visual presentations, visualizations begin to appear vital to the success of any sale. Visual aids also improved retention from 10% to 65% over simply reading a presentation.

Visual representations of a product remove the ambiguity that even a feature spec list can create. If a customer can see and react to a visual of the final product, it’s far easier to understand exactly what they’re buying. It also helps enhance the impact of a sales pitch. Research from the University of Minnesota showed that presentations using visual aids were 43% more persuasive than those without. How much more revenue could you drive by being 43% more persuasive?

Visualization brings a number of primary CPQ benefits beyond sharper sales presentations:

  • Allowing customers to see the product pitch supports the visual buyer, but also allows customers to interact with a product model within the CPQ tool. This enables a two-way selling process that customers can truly engage with.
  • With visualization built directly into the CPQ platform, sales teams do not need to consistently go back and forth with CAD teams for time-consuming rendering and updates. Quotes can change in real time as the visualizations are updated.
  • Both sellers and buyers can remain comfortable that everyone is getting exactly what they expect, since visual representations of the final deliverable can be agreed upon.

How you choose to visualize your product will depend upon the needs of your business and the intricacy of your sale. Depending on how you want to integrate your buyer into the final product, you may choose a different form of CPQ visualization. As products become more complex or expansive, you and your customer may benefit from increasingly complex models, all the way up to fully immersive digital representations of your products. Sometimes, however, a simple diagram of the product features will suffice. When it comes to CPQ, knowing how to visualize your product can be just as important as a well-structured quote.

Visualization Formats

  • 2D - Two-dimensional illustrations are commonly used to present simple product data or the layout of a physical space. Rendering objects in two simple planes of height and width can make it easy to confirm the basic elements of a product.
  • 3D - Historically, three-dimensional models have been used by manufacturing and engineering teams to provide a digital render of an entire product that can be rotated across three planes and axes to visualize a product from all angles. 3D renders make it easy to get a sense of how complex products come together, but often require CAD teams to create and alter.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) - Augmented reality takes your 3D product models and helps visualize them in the real world. AR technology uses other technology like a smartphone or tablet to superimpose a computer-generated product image over the scene shown on a user’s device. This can be immensely helpful for helping customers understand how a product will fit in a physical space like an office or warehouse, without having the final product built.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) - While functionally similar to AR, VR usually delivers a fully immersive experience that requires a stereoscopic headset worn to project the user into a computer-generated reality. This would likely be most useful to let a customer experience a full environment to be built, rather than simply placing a configured product into a real-world setting.

Modern tools like Oracle CPQ Cloud give unprecedented insight into the quoting process, allowing both parties to fully realize how the end products will arrive. But turning visual sales into a reality takes strategic thinking. We can help you determine how  to enhance the CPQ process to empower your sales staff and partners deliver the best customer experience possible.  Oracle CPQ Cloud leverages a number of leading-edge partners to deliver a wide range of visualization options to fit any selling circumstance, from 2D drawings to immersive, complex AR and VR applications.

You can experience Augmented Reality firsthand through the free Oracle Partner Atlatl AR App by scanning the QR code below.

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