Delivering a unique, differentiated customer experience is critical to your business’s ability to win, serve, and retain customers.
And Forrester agrees.
In the most recent edition of The Forrester Tech Tide, authors Kate Leggett and John Bruno shared the top 18 technology categories that support sales and customer service, as well as key takeaways from their research.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the role CPQ will play in the future of both sales and customer service as well as review those key takeaways. Let’s dig in.
How CPQ Factors In
According to the report, CPQ is one of the high maturity, high business value sales and service technologies that businesses should maintain.
CPQ is considered one of the utility players of the market:
Sales automation technologies optimize the productivity of sales organizations, as do incident management solutions for customer service. They form the core technology assets of a sales or a service operation, upon which all other technology assets are then added to extend their value.
CPQ technology, driven by an increase in the servitization of products, consultative mobile sales teams, and the rise of omnichannel sales, is necessary for sales organizations. That’s because it’s versatile and serves multiple users, including:
- Service organizations: Supports service contracts and the ordering of replacement parts.
- Sales people: Helps increase deal size and margins while shortening sales cycles.
- Customers: Allows them to self-educate and self-serve.
Where CPQ Started
Many CPQ tools were originally used as a rules-based, back-office application by high-tech and manufacturing companies. Today, the technology is used more as a front-office application by salespeople and self-service customers alike to configure and price products.
While this transformation is more recent, the market is mature, with most vendors having a decade of experience or more. CPQ has now matured to handle some of the most complex product configurations at some of the largest, most well-known organizations.
Why It’s Valuable
As Forrester notes, “CPQ has shown the ability to handle the complexity of the largest enterprises”. But not only large enterprises stand to benefit. If your CRM is tightly coupled with simpler, cloud-first solutions, the appeal of CPQ can be broadened as an “essential application for all organizational sizes”.
Forrester found that there are two big lessons companies can take away from their most recent report.
1. Sales and Service Operations Aren’t That Different
When it comes to onboarding a customer or explaining the details of a product prior to purchase, the conversations inside sales reps and customer service agents are having with prospects and customers aren’t that different. As Leggett and Bruno explain, “The capabilities that these roles use are similar, even though they are currently provided via separate application ecosystems.” Solutions like CPQ can help bridge this gap.
2. The Customer Relationship is Paramount
Customer relationships should be prioritized and insights-driven. Both service and sales personnel should have a 360° view of the customer, with access to details on:
- Current account status
- Transaction history
- Interaction history
- Open incidents
- Current context and journey
In order to successfully service customers throughout their relationship with your company, service and sales reps must have the proper technology—like CPQ—to guide them to the best next task, action or conversation.
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