14 May Use Oracle CPQ to change your catalog into a valuable sales tool
Once, when I was very young, my dad told me that he could read my mind. I told my dad that he was crazy. “No, I promise. I can read your mind,” he said. “You’re thinking of the toys you want for Christmas.” And guess what? He could totally read my mind. I had been poring over the department store’s catalog for days, circling every toy that I wanted. At the time, I didn’t consider the fact that my dad knew I was spending an inordinate of time with that catalog, and that I was a kid obsessed with Legos and Power Rangers and Star Wars, so of course I would be thinking about them during every waking moment. But I knew that catalog back to front, and for me, it was very simple: lots of choices, lots of circles.
Your product catalog is probably much more complex than that catalog full of kids toys I had as a child. Even so, the end result of the products in your offering should be similar to the toys in the catalog: your customers should be excited. Excited by the money they’ll generate, the time they’ll save, or the sheer fact that you read their mind and knew what they were thinking about and wishing for. Your product catalog or quoting tool—rather than being difficult to use and frustrating to keep updated—can actually be used as a tool to close deals. That can happen if you use Oracle CPQ to configure sales offerings, set pricing, and deliver quotes to customers.
Configure to close
The first step to adding value to the sales process is in configuring the quote for your customer. In an ideal world, you or your salesperson has worked with the customer to determine specific pain points that your offering will make better. This is where Oracle CPQ can already step in to make a difference. If you’ve established guided selling, then answering the questions about the pain points, industry, and budget can lead you to the exact configuration required for the customer. Or, if the user sets the product configuration themselves, Oracle CPQ will ensure that the business rules are met so that product bundles are correct and there are no redundant products or offerings. That means no mistakes, which means a confident salesperson and a happy client.
Price to close
So, the product is configured properly. As that happens, Oracle CPQ will always pull the correct, up-to-date pricing right alongside that configuration. Rather than a spreadsheet (or worse, an email) that the salesperson has to reference as they set up the quote, which can often go out of date, Oracle CPQ ensures that the price included is the correct price from the beginning. That 100% accuracy in pricing goes a long way. Price is always the most sensitive discussion around the deal—in fact, almost half of all deals are lost due to budget. If pricing is wrong in your quote or contract, the best case scenario is that the client notices and doesn’t mind that you have to have it corrected. Worst case is either that they don’t notice and are charged incorrectly (not the best way to start off a relationship) or that they do notice and lose trust in your ability to deliver the product or service as requested. Just avoid the hassle altogether with Oracle CPQ.
Quote to close
After the product offering is configured, and pricing is correct, the last step is to deliver the quote or contract itself. You should have a couple of must-have requirements here: your quote should have all of the correct information (including product configuration, pricing, and client information), and it should look legitimate. Your company’s branding should be evident. This is an underrated but important part of the quoting process. This is your final impression on the job that you’ll do for your customer before they open their proverbial checkbook. If the quote is incorrect in any way or doesn’t seem like it represents your company’s identity, you’ll cast doubt on your ability to deliver. Oracle CPQ ties the final bow on your quote through CRM integration, ensuring that the customer’s information is correct and matching your branding—every time—without requiring a designer to step in on every quote. That quote or contract can be delivered to the customer digitally (requiring only a digital signature) rather than printing, signing, and scanning to return. That type of ease of use and professionalism will reflect on your company before you’ve even delivered a single part or service for the customer.
Using Oracle CPQ can be an amazing tool for closing deals, rather than just showing the customer your products. In fact, using Oracle CPQ, one company saw 80% of pricing and promotions automated, which meant their salespeople had more time to close deals in addition to the closing Oracle CPQ was providing already. Those salespeople probably felt like they could read their customers’ minds, like kids with a toys catalog.