Good customer experience is no longer just a nice-to-have in the B2B ecommerce world; it's essential. One way to deliver that is by understanding the specific needs of the buyer, recommending personalized and highly configurable products, and charging them based on their usage.
CPQ software (Configure Price Quote) provides tools and capabilities that can help achieve just that.
In this article, I’ll look at what ecommerce CPQ software is and seven ways you can leverage it to improve your customer experience and grow your B2B business.
What Is Ecommerce CPQ Software?
Personalized pricing has emerged as a crucial strategy to gain a competitive edge, build customer loyalty, and streamline sales processes.
By tailoring pricing according to factors like customer profile, volume of purchase, seasonal factors, and more, businesses can offer a customized buying experience that resonates with individual needs and preferences.
However, calculating a custom price is not always straightforward. It requires a deep understanding of multiple variables and can be a time-consuming process.
This is where CPQ for ecommerce becomes a game-changer.
Configure Price Quote software simplifies this complex task by integrating customer information, purchase history, and other data to determine the optimal pricing for a given situation. This can help B2B ecommerce brands by:
- Automating calculations to reduce the possibility of human error and save valuable time.
- Updating prices in real-time to provide accurate quotes that reflect evolving market conditions and customer needs, keeping the offers competitive.
- Easily scaling up a business’ capability to provide customized quotes as they grow.
How To Use Ecommerce CPQ Solutions: 7 Essential Tips
1. Understand the customer journey
It's not just about the moment of purchase but the entire process, from awareness to retention. Ecommerce CPQ apps can play a pivotal role in enhancing different stages of the customer journey:
- Awareness: Recommend suitable product configurations tailored to the customer's needs, thus creating a personalized shopping experience right from the start.
- Consideration: Provide accurate pricing that aligns with their specific requirements and budget constraints, aiding their decision-making process.
- Decision: Transparency in pricing, facilitated by CPQ software, builds trust and helps customers make a confident purchasing decision.
- Purchase: The software can streamline the contract creation and transaction phase, making the buying process smooth and hassle-free.
- Retention: Even after the purchase, CPQ allows continuous personalization throughout the customer lifecycle, strengthening relationships and encouraging loyalty.
By understanding and addressing the needs at each stage of the journey, ecommerce businesses can leverage CPQ software to create a seamless and engaging user experience that resonates with customers.
2. Implement personalization
The generic, one-size-fits-all approach doesn't cut it anymore. People seek unique and configurable products tailored to their needs and preferences.
CPQ software can help salespeople provide personalized product recommendations and customization options by understanding individual customer profiles, previous buying behaviors, and specific needs.
The buying process becomes faster as customers are directed to the products and offers that best suit them. The flexibility of CPQ tools allows for consistent and dynamic adjustments, ensuring that the personalization remains relevant and accurate.
Additionally, these tools minimize errors, as automated calculations minimize the risk of mistakes in quotes or product configurations.
3. Offer real-time pricing and discounts
Whether it's a limited-time promotion or adjustments to reflect market conditions, real-time pricing can impact a customer's buying decisions. The responsiveness to changes in supply, demand, or competition creates a sense of urgency and aligns with the customer's perception of fairness.
Moreover, it helps tailor offers that align perfectly with the customer's budget and needs.
By continuously monitoring various metrics like average market price and adjusting prices accordingly, CPQ tools can implement discounts, special offers, and promotions that resonate with individual customers leading to a more engaging and transparent buying experience.
For instance, when someone frequently purchases a specific product, a CPQ system could offer a special discount or bundle it with a complementary item. Similarly, if market conditions change and your overhead costs increase, prices can be adjusted accordingly to manage those expenses while maintaining feasibility and fairness in pricing.
4. Simplify the buying process
CPQ software alleviates the complexity of choosing between various options when customers customize a product to their needs. These tools provide customers with clear cost-to-benefit details allowing them to choose the right features and add-ons.
Furthermore, customers get immediate, accurate quotes based on their unique selections, which minimizes frustration caused by long waiting times.
CPQ software also offers an educational approach, showing them the available options and explaining their relevance. It builds trust, as customers feel the brand understands and values their needs.
Moreover, the flexibility of the CPQ tool means that it can adapt to various scenarios, maintaining a consistent experience that aligns with different products or market conditions.
5. Ensure product and service accuracy
Customers expect to receive exactly what they've ordered, and any deviation can lead to dissatisfaction. CPQ software plays a critical role in maintaining this accuracy by providing error-free quotes, enhancing customer relationships, and improving their overall experience in two specific ways:
- Recommending accurate product configurations: SaaS CPQ software doesn't simply take orders; it goes above basic order management to analyzes customer needs, leverages historical data, and integrates with the product catalog to recommend the most accurate and relevant product configurations.
- Building customer relationships through transparency and accuracy: Offering accurate product configurations and transparent pricing builds a foundation for a long-term relationship by focusing on the following:
- Relevance: CPQ software ensures that customers are presented with options that are truly relevant to them which increases satisfaction and encourages repeat business.
- Trust: Customers know that what they see is what they'll get, and this trust often extends to other areas of the ecommerce brand relationship.
- Time savings: By providing accurate product configurations right from the start, CPQ tools save customers' time, removing the need for corrections or adjustments later on.
6. Optimize cross-selling and upselling
Cross-selling and upselling are proven strategies that not only increase revenue but, when done right, enhance the buyer's experience by offering value optimization and efficiency. However, striking the right balance is key, and here is how CPQ software can help B2B ecommerce businesses:
- Improving buyer's experience through cross-selling and upselling: By offering complementary products (cross-selling) or higher-end alternatives (upselling), ecommerce brands can provide customers with more tailored options that align with their needs and wants to elevate their buying experience.
- Leveraging data analysis: Here are three key ways CPQ solutions use data to help you deliver a better customer experience:
- Customer segmentation: Grouping customers and leads to identify their needs to create product recommendations that are helpful to your buyers while remaining profitable.
- Purchase history analysis: Looking at previous purchases, CPQ systems can identify patterns and preferences, guiding future recommendations.
- Performance tracking: By continuously monitoring the effectiveness of cross-selling and upselling strategies, adjustments can be made on the fly, ensuring optimal performance.
- Striking a balance to improve customer experience: While upselling and cross-selling, it is essential to respect your customers. A well-rounded CPQ tool can help via:
- Adaptive learning: The software learns from customer interactions, refining its recommendations.
- Feedback integration: By asking for and performing according to customer feedback, CPQ tools ensure that the cross-selling and upselling efforts focus on improving customer satisfaction rather than temporarily boosting sales numbers.
- Avoiding over-promotion: CPQ software avoids the trap of over-promotion by providing recommendations based on customers’ needs, thereby adding value to the customer's experience.
7. Integrate your CPQ with your CRM
The integration of Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems forms a powerful synergy that brings the following benefits for B2B ecommerce platform owners:
- Unified customer view: By connecting CPQ with CRM, all customer interactions, preferences, and purchase histories are unified in one place. This comprehensive view enables a more personalized and targeted approach, both in sales and marketing.
- Data consistency: Integration ensures that the data used across different departments is consistent and up-to-date. Whether it's sales, customer support, or marketing, everyone has access to the same accurate information, enhancing collaboration and efficiency.
- Personalized marketing: Integrating these tools allows for more targeted and personalized marketing strategies. For instance, the detailed insights gained through CPQ can be leveraged by the marketing team to create more engaging and relevant content.
This improves the customer experience by:
- Consistent experience: With CPQ and CRM integrated, customers enjoy a consistent experience across various touchpoints. Whether they're engaging with sales, support, or marketing, the information is cohesive, and the interactions are seamless.
- Streamlined customer support: Customer support can access all the necessary information through this integration, allowing them to respond to inquiries more efficiently and accurately. This not only saves time but builds trust and satisfaction.
- Data-driven decision-making: Whether it's product development, pricing strategies, or customer engagement, insights gained through integration lead to more effective strategies.
CPQ Software Examples
DealHub is a versatile CPQ software that aims to simplify and accelerate the sales process through key processes such as:
- Guided selling: Helps sales reps through the sales cycle optimized for a particular customer, making recommendations and automating tasks.
- Personalized quotes: Enables the creation of tailored quotes with real-time insights, enhancing customer engagement.
- Integration with CRMs: Seamlessly integrates with popular CRM platforms for consistent data handling and process flow.
- Real-time analytics: Offers instant analytics and insights into sales activities, helping in data-driven decision-making.
PandaDoc is known for streamlining document management within the quoting process.
- Document automation: This functionality allows for the quick creation and automation of quotes, contracts, proposals, and approvals.
- Electronic signatures: Facilitates faster deal closures with legally binding e-signatures.
- Content library: Provides a centralized place for all content for marketing and sales teams, making it easy to find, update, and share materials.
- Customization and branding: Ensures consistency by allowing customization of documents to align with brand guidelines.
3. Experlogix CPQ
Experlogix CPQ specializes in complex product configurations and excels in various industries.
- Dynamic configurations: Handles complex product configurations in its backend effortlessly, reducing the likelihood of errors.
- Visual product models: Offers visual models of products to enhance understanding and engagement until checkout.
- Integration with ERP and CRM: Connects your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM systems to improve operational efficiency as per customers’ requirements to maximize profitability.
- Multi-channel support: Provides support across multiple sales channels, offering flexibility and adaptability.
4. Oracle CPQ
Oracle CPQ is a robust ecommerce solution designed for scalability, supporting both small businesses and large enterprises.
- Guided selling: Uses intelligent algorithms to guide sales reps through the quote generation process, ensuring accuracy.
- Automated workflows: Streamlines and automates key sales processes, reducing manual efforts and increasing efficiency.
- Advanced analytics: Employs deep analytical tools to gain insights into customer behavior and sales trends.
- Multi-language support: Offers global reach with support for multiple languages, catering to manufacturers, distributors, and consumers in diverse markets.
5. Salesforce CPQ
Widely adopted by Salesforce users, the Salesforce CPQ is recognized for its robustness, flexibility, and accuracy. It improves the quoting process with features such as:
- Automated discounts and approvals: Discounted quotes and automated approval processes save customers' time and increase the chances of purchase.
- AI-powered insights: Salesforce CPQ uses machine learning techniques to help ecommerce businesses with demand forecasting, pricing optimization, and customer sentiment analysis.
- Seamless integration with Salesforce CRM: Being a part of the Salesforce ecosystem ensures perfect synchronization with its CRM, enhancing the overall efficiency of your sales workflows.
Choosing the right CPQ software depends on various factors, including your business size, industry, and specific needs. Each of the above tools provides unique features that align well with your goals, making your sales process more efficient and responsive to customer needs.
Tailor Your B2B Customer Experience With CPQ Software
CPQ software in ecommerce not only streamlines sales processes but elevates the entire customer experience by recommending the right price and fostering trust, satisfaction, and long-term relationships.
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