It may take a while, but eventually, they’ll be rendered obsolete. This can come in two different forms—innovations of product and innovations in marketing. Those who’ve embraced B2B Ecommerce have already taken to innovating in their marketing by seeking new and varied businesses to market their product towards. But the addition of CPQ can provide these businesses with a new opportunity to create dynamic products to sell.
What is B2B Ecommerce?
The most common business model involves making a product, then marketing and selling that product to an individual person – the consumer. This is referred to as a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) sales model. In a B2B (Business-to-Business) format, the sales are between one business and another.
The ecommerce part of the equation involves setting up an online sales platform for selling directly to your potential customers. By doing this, the purchasing agent for the customer company can explore your product line to decide what they might like to purchase, and then order these items directly, without having to interact with sales reps.
Businesses typically order in high volume, which means any issues involving incorrect or unexpected configurations and shipping of the products can be costly. Because of this complexity, many companies are searching for a solution to streamline the process as well as to give them a competitive edge in the B2B market. Enter CPQ software.
Why is CPQ Important for B2B Ecommerce?
CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software provides an ecommerce platform that doesn’t just sell one-size-fits-all products. Instead, prospective clients are able to configure these products to fit their specific needs. They can define the size, color, and materials or even go so far as to “create” their own custom products using rules set up within the CPQ software.
This puts a business at a great advantage in their offerings. With a truly global marketplace, many customers are demanding customization options. Without CPQ software, customization can cause a lot of problems for salespeople having to take an order before coordinating with the engineering department to see if the customization was even feasible. Meanwhile, the potential customer can shop around for other options while waiting for their price quote.
Now, the CPQ software streamlines this process by instantly generating pricing and only allowing compatible options to be selected. It can also generate a complete bill of material, so your operations team already knows exactly what materials they need to produce the finished product. All of this means that the process is fast, efficient, and more reliable thanks to CPQ software.
What Should You Look for in a CPQ Solution?
In order to offer customization and configuration, you’ll need a CPQ software solution. Not all solutions are created equally.
These are the features to look for when picking your CPQ software solution:
- Fast and Easy to Use — As with any business website, the speed and ease of use of the site are ultimately important. If you’re expecting your customers to be able to place the order directly, your site should be attractive and professional, allowing for the clients to see exactly what your products look like and what you can offer them.
- Mobile-Friendly — Today, almost half of all internet usage is done on a mobile device. In order to accommodate this, your website should be dynamic and mobile-friendly. Even better, your mobile sales reps can work directly with customers on a tablet to guide them through the configuration process.
- Dealers/Wholesalers/Distributors Online Ordering Access — Next, you want the ability to let your customers place orders directly on your website. It’s not enough to be able to browse the merchandise. Your customers will also want to be able to place their exact order directly without having to go through a middle-man salesperson.
- ERP/CRM Connectivity — Your CPQ solution should connect to your ERP/CRM system. Since these systems handle a variety of functions, like automated marketing emails and managing inventory, the ability to integrate with your CPQ solution will ensure a streamlined experience that keeps everyone in your company on the same page throughout the sales-to-production process.
- 3D/CAD Capable — Does the CPQ solution you’re considering have the ability to integrate with 3D modeling and CAD? This allows customers to view a fully rendered 3D model of their purchase. Not only is this a selling point, but it also means that your customers will be able to confirm that the product meets their expectations.
Already Using a CPQ Solution?
If you’re currently using CPQ software, then you know how much value it can bring. Don’t let your business be limited by the capabilities of your CPQ solution. Configure One’s CPQ is the most advanced software available. On top of that, Configure One offers full customer support that ensures that your business can evolve and thrive as the business landscape changes.