Many businesses buy complex products and have custom requirements, and technology that guides buyers from configuration to price quote helps sellers close sales and retain customers, according to a survey by research firm Aberdeen Group.
Aberdeen research analyst Andrew Moravick, presenting at IBM Corp.’s Amplify user conference in Tampa on Wednesday, pointed to the example of an unnamed paint company that built an effective configure-price-quote system for its e-commerce site.
The buyer puts in his needs and the system provides a price quote. But it also triggers a message to the customer service department to examine the quote to determine if the customer is getting what he needs for the job, or may need different quantities or additional products.
The sales rep may approve the order, or he may contact the buyer and suggest more paint or that he buy additional paint brushes. “These are guided selling opportunities,” Moravnick said. “As a buyer on a B2B site you get an experience like on a consumer site. The sales rep gets to come in and be the safety check. He can either approve the quote or say, ‘You missed this part. You need more paint.’ It’s a great conversation for a salesperson to have.”
Companies that use configure-price-quote systems get better results, whether that quote system is built into the e-commerce site or is simply available to sales reps when they interact with customers, Moravnick said.
An Aberdeen survey of 143 companies in December found that 71% of companies that employ CPQ technology say they can rapidly and effectively respond to the bid requests known as RFPs versus 49% of companies who do not. And 51% with the technology say they can generate a complex quote in a timely manner versus 42% of companies without CPQ systems.
And companies with these automated quoting systems say they increase their customer renewal rate by 3.9% annually while others say their renewal rate is declining at an average of 0.6% per year.
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