The ABCs of CPQ Part IV: Why You Need Consider CPQ for eCommerce

In the previous videos, we’ve discussed the benefits CPQ technology delivers to sales organizations but CPQ can also be impactful to your eCommerce strategy. In part IV of this video series, VP of Portfolio Marketing, Geoff Webb, discusses how CPQ can help deliver a more meaningful customer experience through your eCommerce portal.

Transcript

Loretta Faluade: Welcome to the fourth video of the ABC's of CPQ Technology. Today, I have a special guest, Geoff Webb. Welcome back, Geoff!

Geoff Webb: Thank you!

Loretta Faluade: Today what we want to look at is CPQ technology and ecommerce. If you remember back in video two, I talked a little bit about CPQ technology and how you can plug CPQ technologies into ecommerce platforms. Now Geoff, CPQ technology has a growing presence in ecommerce. Can you talk a little bit about how you see the role that CPQ technologies are gonna play in ecommerce moving forwards, and even some price optimization technologies, too.

Geoff Webb: Yeah, absolutely and there is a significant role to play there. You think about the things we've been talking about up 'til now, especially in the last video. A lot of the effort is really focused on transforming the sales process overall so that the sales folks themselves are better enabled to answer the questions a customer asks, to deliver value at that point of interaction, to make sure that they remove errors, respond more quickly and so on. But more and more B2B organizations are thinking about establishing an ecommerce presence. They know that buyers want to buy online they know that people want to be able to move between an online purchasing experience and maybe talking to a sales person when they have more questions, when they need more detail.

So, the question comes up how do you basically take that same sales facilitation capability, right, making it faster, less error prone, making sure the price is correct, and extend that into the world of ecommerce. So what we're seeing is real interest in, and people starting to build out the CPQ capability and extending it into the ecommerce portal environments so that a customer could come in and essentially interact with the same core technology that the sales person would have been interacting with. So they can start to do things like, configure themselves, their own product set but still working within the constraints that the CPQ technology knows is, this is the right way to configure that product for the needs that you have. To make sure that they get a good, rational price in the ecommerce environment but critically that that price is consistent across all the different channels that they'd be interacting with.

So, I could be buying through an ecommerce portal I have a question I need to speak to a sales person, so I go and talk to the sales person. Because they're using the same sets of underlying technology, they're based on the same foundation of information and insight, the sales person understands that requirement, understands the customer need, sees that the pricing is rational for this environment, for this interaction and so there's consistency across all of those different portals, different interactions, different channels. The sales person understands that requirement, understands the customer need, sees that the pricing is rational for this environment, for this interaction and so there's consistency across all of those different portals, different interactions, different channels.

What that means to the customer is they get, first of all, a much deeper sort of trust in the business they know that they're getting a rational set of pricing, they know that they're being offered the right product for that particular need that they have and they see that consistency, which means that it's much easier for them to move between channels so I can buy online, I can ask a sales person, I can go back to an ecommerce portal and continue that process. And it makes it much easier for them to conduct a business how and when and where they want. So, the business ultimately, is engaging with the customer in exactly the way the customer wants. Which fundamentally drives a really good customer experience. So, while CPQ today is really powering that sort of transformation in the way that traditionally sales force is working, it is ultimately also going to play an essential role in the powering of the shift to digital commerce models, whether that's an ecommerce platform or even through other devices, things like IoT, mobile buying, and so on. So it really has an incredible length of value to deliver to the business overall.

Loretta Faluade: That's fantastic and you know when you were talking, I just kept thinking about the whole Omnichannel experience 'cause that's exactly what you were describing, and I remember this past Christmas, I was purchasing, I was trying to buy some things online

Geoff Webb: Right.

Loretta Faluade: And I'd gone onto a vendors site and I found a purse. And I was trying to get the price for it of course you know, it's listed on there. So I actually called them because I had a question around delivery, what was very interesting is that they knew exactly who I was when I picked up the phone

Geoff Webb: Yep!

Loretta Faluade: And it just, it was so surprising because I thought I was gonna have to give them the product description, go find the name, et cetera. But it just goes to show how a lot of vendors or a lot of companies already seeing that they need to be able to make the shift between channels very seamless for that end buyer or for that end customer.

Geoff Webb: Yeah!

Loretta Faluade:  And I believe that CPQ technology really is going to be central to this.

Geoff Webb: It is. And actually, what's interesting is what you're seeing is the high degree of maturity managing that in the B2C world, right? As a consumer you see that all the time and what we have to remember is that business buyers bring the same set of expectations to the B2B world. And so, there is that now explosive growth of interest in saying "well how do I deliver that same really good customer experience in my B2B interactions that I know my buyers are seeing in my B2C world?" And again, we see technologies like the ability to derive information from large sets of transactions through AI delivered through CPQ technologies, delivered through a sales person, or an ecommerce portal helps deliver that and ultimately power that great customer experience.

Loretta Faluade: It's fantastic. Well thanks, Geoff. This was very, very insightful. CPQ is playing a huge role when it comes to ecommerce and not only does it play a huge role today, a lot of leading companies are looking at ways to continue to deliver that Omnichannel experience for their customer based on these technologies.

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