8 Ways Visual CPQ Connects Buyers and Sellers

There is a disconnect between the buyer journey and the vendor sales cycle. 

Buyers, on average are 57% of the way through the buying journey before talking to vendors. And 90% of the time they leave vendors out of the problem identification entirely. One of the most troubling areas for sales is that 38% of purchase attempts end in ‘no deal.’ The buyer has identified a need, looked into solutions, and decided to live with the pain. The majority of the time it’s because stakeholders were unable to come to an agreement.

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Who knew that Yogi Berra predicted the CRM?

Products and services have become more complex, and selling and buying is more difficult. CRMs, like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, are supposed to help that – with better data, automation, and departmental alignment. 90%+ of companies use a CRM platform, and 28% of millenials believe that it’s “extremely critical” to success (compared to 18% of GenX and 9% of Baby Boomers). But many companies have seen a vast difference between the dream and the reality of enabling the buyer experience and empowering sales leaders.

Over a third of purchase attempts are abandoned and most of the time sellers aren’t even aware – despite the data and features of a CRM. 

CPQ is an acronym for Configure, Price, Quote, used to describe tools that that help specify and quote complex and configurable products. As technology and buyer journey strategy has become more sophisticated, CPQ experiences for buyers have improved.

We’ve found that Visual CPQ – interactive configuration with 3D and visual components, results in increased revenue and customer satisfaction. Visual CPQ experiences also connect buyers and sellers earlier in the process.

The takeaway

There is a disconnect between the buyer journey and the vendor sales cycle.

Visual CPQ delivers exceptional buyer experiences and accurate sales forecasting.

CRM and Visual CPQ

1. Shorter Sales Cycle

Buyers are able to explore options, learn about solutions, and customize according to their needs. This accelerates education and specification, and contributes to customer stakeholder alignment. Transforming CAD files into dynamic product explorations drives faster and deeper buyer engagement. Those multi-use assets can be deployed in VR, AR, mobile apps, websites, e-commerce. 

By providing buyers with the ability to explore and configure solutions, you’re able to engage them early in the journey and gather information. The Visual CPQ guides buyers toward your solution and empowers them with the information they need to get buy-in from stakeholders.

2. Increased Up-Sell & Cross-Sell

In the Visual CPQ experience, buyers are able to see and learn about add-ons and associated products. Recommendations and pre-configured options steer buyers to optimal solutions and featured offerings. Through help information, the tool can also educate and guide buyers. Salespeople are able to showcase products, generate contracts, and handle payment.

3. Sales & Operational Alignment

With ERP integration, configurations and orders are visible to operations, fulfillment, and manufacturing. Operations can see purchase intent, common specifications, and placed orders as quickly as buyers submit.

4. Brand Consistency

Products and messaging are managed by product owners and marketing. A seamless and consistent customer experience builds credibility and confidence, and manages the expectations of buyers. 

5. Centralized Data

Through smart integrations with CRM and ERP, configuration and order data is available in real-time to both finance and operations. This data allows companies to proactively customize products and solutions for their customers, serving them more intelligently. 

6. Meaningful & Actionable Insights

With the information integrity of centralized data, leaders can make better decisions regarding sales, purchasing, manufacturing, and resources. AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be leveraged for price optimization, configuration auto-complete, and process improvements.

7. Fewer Errors

Visual CPQ developed in collaboration with operations includes parameters that prevent buyers from configuring impossible or impractical solutions. With orders moving directly from Visual CPQ to CRM or ERP, there is a dramatic reduction in order errors.

8. Reduced Costs

Fewer errors means less rework, rerun, and returns. Companies also find improved financial planning, purchasing and planning efficiencies, print cost reduction, and training and onboarding acceleration.

Connecting Buyer and Seller

Visual CPQ can be the tool that connects buyers and sellers early in the journey. By helping buyers choose and configure the solution they need, fewer purchases are abandoned. Sales leaders are provided more data about customers, and given the opportunity to collaborate sooner and solve problems. With a CRM and/or ERP integration, Visual CPQ provides leadership and operations with the information they need to efficiently plan for the future. 

This technology ecosystem means an exceptional experience for prospects and customers, leading to both increased sales and customer retention.