Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Right-Brain Selling with Left-Brain Management—That’s CPQ Cloud and Guided Selling

Guest Author

A professional sale involves an astonishingly high level of creativity (right-brain). While salespeople are not stereotypical creative types, the job of selling complex products requires a deep understanding of the customer’s challenge, their industry, their product, and their customers. Only then can the salesperson begin carefully crafting a solution and composing an approach strategy that presents that solution in the best way possible.

The Collision of the Right Brain and the Left Brain

Providing a solution to the customer (that will be accepted) requires the salesperson to address a mountain of very analytical “left-brain” challenges and process bottlenecks. Even a simple quote may involve addressing complex, ever-changing product configurations, regional currencies, customer-specific pricing, channel discount levels, and existing contractual agreements.

But the process does not stop once the solution has been configured. Thanks (again) to complexity, the approval process may include sales operations, sales engineers, legal, finance, inventory control, order management, and even transportation/logistics. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that half of all sales reps routinely don’t make quota. They’re too busy wading through left-brain process minutia to effectively deliver their creative right-brain solution.

Learn how one SMB is extinguishing business risk in the cloud.

Guided Selling

The answer is to streamline the sales process with rules-based guided selling. This eliminates the need for sales to have to begin the configuration process from scratch by having to address complex product scenarios or complex pricing options, which, in turn, could paralyze the process. Business rules and predefined configuration logic help the sales person identify the solution that best meets the needs of the customer AND stays within the requirements of your business. With the solution in place, the sales rep received information on the best discount to optimize the chance of winning the deal—all designed specifically the product, the deal size, the customer, and the competitive pressures according to geographic location. Data (such as historical pricing, win rates, and regional discounting guidance) supports right-brain sales activities so that the rep is confident in proposing and supporting a specific discount or product mix.

This is one of the core benefits of Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) Cloud.

But Wait, There's More

Guided selling, automated workflows, and business rules curtail unnecessary review processes and eliminate internal bottlenecks. By providing logical up-sell and cross-sell reminders, deal sizes (and margins) are optimized. And because the entire process is based on robust rules, each quote is accurately configured and priced.

Benefit: Shortening the time it takes to create a quote allows the sales rep to spend more face-time with the customer actually doing the creative side of their sales job. This leads to higher levels of customer engagement for better relationships and lowers sales rep turnover.

Impact: Guided selling is so much more than simply helping new sales reps get up to speed. Guided selling enables every level of staff to create comprehensive configurations quickly and with confidence. This means that complex quoting is no longer limited to the domain of the most sophisticated staff. But even seasoned sales professionals benefit by starting with predefined baseline product configurations or relying on previous configurations they have set as personal favorites.

Simplify: All sales reps are able to connect the correct product offer, at the right price, to the right customer. This is invaluable in changing sales behaviors in meaningful ways freeing them to provide higher levels of personalized customer service. 

Oracle CPQ Cloud does it all by combining the power of right-brain selling with left-brain management.

Gartner positions Oracle CPQ Cloud as a leader. Read the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites report.


By Graham McInnes, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle

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