Any business needs a quality customer service if it wants to succeed in a competitive market. And who doesn’t want to succeed?
Let’s face it; we’re all struggeling to win new clients and retain the ones we have. According to a 2016 US research report by 7, 47% of customers say they will switch to a competitor within the day after a bad customer service experience.
It’s clear we have to keep our customers happy, and there’s an excellent tool to help us do that: CPQ software.
CPQ adopters improve customer retention by 3,9% anually and turn up to 30% more sales quotes into orders, according to this report.
Before looking at how CPQ software can help us provide a quality customer care, let’s explain what it is first.
CPQ stands for Configure-Price-Quote, and, well, it helps you configure the right price for the right product(s)!
- It generates sales quotes based on your organization’s pricing structure and database,
- automatically applies discounts and offers,
- keeps track of stock and
- shows your sales reps customer-tailored upsell and cross-sell opportunities to maximize deal sizes.
If you’re in the business of selling products that can be customized or upgraded, you know your customers have a lot of choices, which means – luckily for you – you have a lot of selling opportunities as well. However, in these times of abundant market supplies, you must be able to seal the deal immediately… or risk losing business to a competitor with similar offers.
CPQ apps such as the one Recor recently purchased, handles customer demand from quote to order. It even has a product configurator that helps sales reps customize products to their clients’ needs and visualise their dream design at the same time in high quality 3D images. If that isn’t good enough, customers have the ability to test out the product before purchasing thanks to built in augmented reality technology.
The price quote generated by the app is always correct, detailed product component list included. Company branded quotes and contracts can be send by e-mail, orders integrated in the back-end ERP system.
Plus, it’s an app, which means it’s mobile, allowing your sales team to be the most productive rock stars they can be, anywhere, anytime, and that’s a big plus!
Gartner, one of the world’s leading sources of objective, independent intelligence on information technology, includes CPQ software in it’s 2015 sales best practices report, naming Efficiency & Effectiveness Key Performance Indicators such as
- Win ratio
- Lead-to-quote time
- Errors per proposal
- Time spend per proposal
- Average order value
- Number of proposals with approvals
- Price accuracy
- Reducing delays
- Profitability and marging ratios
- Workflow speed
Help your sales team sell more products in a shorter time span with this technology!
Now we know what CPQ software is, we can apply what we’ve learned to our earlier question: how can it help us keep our clients happy?
1. Don’t let them wait for a sales quote
As we now know, CPQ software allows sales rep’s to provide a sales quote immediately, using the companies pricing database, product information and special offers.
Potential clients no longer have to wait to hear from you to know what that perfectly customized product will cost.
CPQ-enabled sellers know to which extend a pricing discount can be offered, and when a hard negotiating prospect is asking too much.
Being able to present a sales proposal right away, makes CPQ users twice as effective in avoiding “no decision” sales losses compared to non-adopters (source: Aberdeen).
If you’re not fast enough, competition might steal the deal.
2. Get your pricing right the first time
It can be very embarrassing, having to come back on a sales proposal you’ve send your prospect because you’ve detected one or more mistakes.
Since all product data is stored within your CPQ-tool, this will NEVER happen again. Machines don’t make random mistakes! All information is up-to-date, and your prospect has total control over his budget while adding options and accessories. Power to him!
Aberdeen research (2014) shows CPQ software can reduce the number of sales quotes generated by 10%. “Everyone is getting better at making less mistakes” I hear you say. That’s true! Hurray for us! However, the same Aberdeen research proves that CPQ users improve on proposal quality at a rate more than 2,5 times that of non-adopters!
Now, this saves everyone a lot of time, sales reps and customers alike, giving your team more time to sell. Win-win, right? This brings us right up to the next point…
If you mess up, your customers might turn away from you forever.
3. Give customers feedback faster
Since your sales reps spend less time on administrative tasks and correcting errors, they have more time to spend with your clients, giving them the superior customer service they so deeply crave.
You can even automate communication through the app’s push messages, showing your clients they’re on your mind all the time!
Is that order ready for shipment? Through back-end channels it’s easy to push that info right into your clients’ hand.
Make it impossible for clients to resist your offer.
4. Avoid mixed signals
Don’t we all hate it when we get the wrong information? As customers, we get confused when we don’t get a crystal clear message. If you get 3 different stories from 3 different spokes people, chances are the sale will NOT happen. How can you earn your client’s trust if they get mixed signals?
Luckily, with the product configurator, this will never happen again.
Interim and weekend sales reps no longer have to be completely dedicated to your collection or catalogue to give an exact quote. The software takes care of this task, while the client gets excellent guidance.
Magically turning your sales reps AND customers into product experts without any training? Who isn’t up for that?!
Receiving confusing information is just disturbing.
5. Don’t come off as ‘pushy’ upsellers
Since every product of your catalogue is uploaded in the product configurator, and you can let the app make proposals to your prospect (e.g. “this pillow would go really great with this couch”), you can enlarge order sizes without pushing too much.
And since the CPQ software generates the right prices, there are no surprises when it’s time to pay! (source)
If you want to learn more about how a CPQ system with product configurator can be integrated in your business, you’re welcome to get in touch!
Or download our whitepaper and learn how to get ROI on your investment 5 times faster!