A deep dive into the common myths and misconceptions about moving to enterprise CPQ from our webinar with Oracle and Object Edge. Understand why CPQ can drive significant revenue results for your business.
Myth 1: Moving to enterprise CPQ will be too expensive and too time-consuming
Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is a sales enabling tool - measurably reducing time to quote. Businesses may fear or delay pulling the trigger to get started, but with companies experiencing ROI in less than a year after implementation, the value that enterprise CPQ software brings more than offsets its relative cost.
“The company that can turn a quote around faster and get it out to the business, wins. Other businesses are taking advantage of this time to leverage total commerce to provide that buy anywhere and everywhere experience,” say Ken Ailes, Regional Manager of CPQ Subscription at Oracle. “I don’t know if you can afford to not do it right now.”
“The exciting thing for me about CPQ is that it’s the first product I’ve worked with that is bringing a direct benefit to the business,” says Ailes. “We have countless stories from customers that build a much faster path to ROI.”
CPQ allows companies to accelerate their sales cycle by providing faster product or service recommendations, custom configurations, and pricing. Sales teams no longer have to spend resources reaching out to product experts for tips on positioning a product for clients—because it’s all right there within the CPQ and eCommerce experience. Sales cycles are shortened, deals are closed faster and sales teams can quickly pivot to the next prospect which leads to a higher (and more efficient) ROI.
As eCommerce revenue grows, the amount of commerce pushing through your CPQ tool will continue to grow as well. From prospecting to closing the deal, these two solutions work together to empower the entire sales process.
“[CPQ] is a much faster path to ROI than some of the other products will be because it's directly contributing to the revenue,” continues Ailes. “There aren't a whole lot of products out there that are going to bring the hard, quantifiable and justifiable ROI that a CPQ project will bring.
Myth 2: My CPQ will look and feel like the ‘90s
So you’ve launched your CPQ - but is it easy to use? In fact, in our webinar poll over 45% of respondents said they struggle with their CPQ user experience.
Overcoming this hurdle is a multipronged approach, understanding a) who the user is and b) what flows do they want to achieve c) how can we make these flows as easy as possible for the user. Using this information, you can customize the experience to fit the individual needs of the customer within the CPQ.
Once you understand your customer personas and needs, you can utilize elements like product listing pages (PLPs) to create a buildable shopping experience within the quote. A targeted set of prospects would ideally be able to view and select recommended products, required parts, and additional services to build their customized quote. Their selections would then be displayed on a quote summary page, allowing them full visibility into their selections, estimated cost before deciding to move forward with procurement.
1. It is mobile ready so the UI refactors are based on the screen you’re viewing it on 2. There is multi-language support - up to 28 languages 3. The design is modern and clean and has more functionality than the legacy UI 4. It allows for fuzzy logic searching and selection of items
One example, from a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) perspective, a benefit that it brings is more flexibility on how to display items on screen, like sliders or min/max controls can be used. Sliders may not be a big deal on a computer, but they are very important from a usability standpoint on a phone or tablet.
Myth 3: I can’t use Oracle CPQ because my other platforms aren’t Oracle
From a data architecture and integration standpoint, Oracle’s CPQ is designed to work outside of the confines of the Oracle suite of applications. First built as Big Machines, Oracle CPQ was built for complex systems, products, and third party solutions. CPQ operates like a well-oiled machine by placing a strong emphasis on information flows and ensuring they seamlessly capture data from CPQ to your backend ERPs regardless of platform.
In fact, many of Oracle’s enterprise CPQ customers operate from two of the largest CRM players: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
“When you’re looking at Oracle CPQ suite, it excels in native integrations with not only Oracle back office but others like Salesforce CRM,” says Rohit Garewal, Chief Executive Office at Object Edge. “If you have complex build materials, order flows, and configurations, Oracle’s CPQ is still the gold standard.”
Myth 4: CPQ lets us go to full self-service
It comes as no surprise that as technology continues to evolve, so does the typical sales flow. In the past, sales teams would fly around the world to visit customers on-site and push the latest and greatest software solution. The entire sales-to implementation process would often require multiple on-site visits to not only close the deal but to have a team of software engineers install these solutions at the customers’ facilities.
The advent of modern technologies like CPQ has made it so companies no longer spend company time, money, and resources to do constant in-person interactions with prospects and existing customers. However, this does not mean a fully self-service solution exists—nor is it recommended.
“None of my clients—and nor would I recommend this—are trying to end interactions with customers. Their businesses are just too complex to do everything online,” says Garewal. “If you run a B2B enterprise, there will be certain things clients will only want to do online that can be serviced through CPQ. Other clients will still want to talk to someone for more complex configurations.”
CPQ should be used as a resource for your sales representatives to provide quotes to prospects and quickly move products to the supply chain, but it should not be the sole method of sales.
“You need to empower your organization with user experience for sales reps, for resellers, and for customers,” says Garewal. “This CPQ piece is right in the middle of it.”
As solutions become increasingly more complex, face-to-face interaction—though it can be reduced—is still critical to your sales and ROI.
Bonus Benefit: How CPQ Provides the Foundation for Subscriptions
Subscriptions are widely recognized as a key element to continuing sales growth. To help automate sales ROI, companies need the ability to a) have recurring sales of off-the-shelf products or b) sell additional services along with their manufactured goods, including software and maintenance.
CPQ provides the foundation for CPQ. With enterprise CPQ, you can manage the complex pricing and configurations. Your fastest path to achieving a seamless subscription service is to use an overarching tool like enterprise CPQ that was built to host, manage, maintain, and augment complex pricing and configurations. Myths and misconceptions learned from the webinar CPQ Myths, Busted with Ken Ailes (CPQ/Commerce Leader, Oracle) and Rohit Garewal (CEO, Object Edge). Watch the full webinar on demand here: Webinar On Demand: CPQ (Configure, Price & Quote) Myths, Busted.
About the Author
Sarah is a nimble and creative marketing leader with 15 years of experience in a mix of agencies, B2B, and B2C enterprises. She brings a background in building and driving impactful marketing practices and processes for growing businesses. Sarah has expertise in brand, content marketing, lead generation, and marketing operations. She’s a co-author of the 2019 book on B2B eCommerce Digital Branch Secrets: eCommerce Playbook for Distributors.