Over the last few years, much attention has been paid toward the internet of things (IoT), the seemingly-futuristic concept of connecting parts, products, inventory, or pretty much anything else to the internet via sensors, software, or some other sort of electronic.
The topic of many a Ted Talk, the IoT is still an immense subject of untapped potential for B2B businesses, particularly enterprise manufacturers.
B2B Markets Have Been Slow to Embrace the IoT
As more companies initiate or continue their path towards digital transformation, strategies involving the IoT continue to gain traction. However, IoT’s progress in industries outside of those in manufacturing has been noticeably slow.
In his Gartner research report titled “IoT’s Challenges and Opportunities in 2017,” Mark Hung writes, “In the midst of a highly fragmented market landscape, organizations in key industries such as manufacturing and automotive/transportation have emerged as the early adopters of IoT.”
Hung goes on to say that, “IoT is at a crossroads in the enterprise, where the evolution from early trials to production deployments has proved challenging due to business and technical concerns.”
While organizations continue to get their feet wet fully embracing the IoT, evolving CPQ solutions appear to be poised to aid in companies’ adoption of IoT technologies and strategies, as well as help organizations stretch the value and increase performance of IoT solutions.
CPQ Will Enable IoT Strategies
In John Bruno’s 2017 CPQ Wave report, he alludes to the future of CPQ as it pertains to IoT technology, writing, “As modern sales strategies have continued to evolve, CPQ has enabled new channels like self-service, customer services, and automated ordering through the internet-of-things.”
CPQ’s complex configuration and automated quoting capabilities are well noted, but its real ROI-driving power comes from its ability to consume and rationalize crucial business data from across your organization; whether that includes pricing information, product catalogs, transaction history, business rules and attributes, or inventory management data.
Modern CPQ solutions make sense of these complicated data sets and make them actionable at any point of the sales process across all channels.
In an IoT setting, CPQ’s ability to manage large amounts of complex information is incredibly helpful. Working with data provided by the individual products, CPQ will be able to alert your sales teams when a partner or customer needs to order more inventory, possibly even before the customer or partner knows themselves.
The CPQ system will then automatically submit an order for more products or generate a quote for the customer, with almost no need for human interaction. Sales teams will also be able to take advantage of CPQ’s prescribed cross-selling and up-selling suggestions, leveraging data provided by the IoT to recommend new products or discounts at the most optimal times based on amount of inventory, what’s selling the best, or past successful deals.
Armed with the combined power of an IoT strategy and a modern CPQ solution, organizations will benefit from improved profit margins and revenue, increased customer satisfaction, and lower operating costs.
FPX is the Future of CPQ
At FPX, we look forward to the possibilities that future IoT strategies will bring and we fully embrace the role that CPQ will play in enabling them. Powerful enough to handle any level of complexity, and nimble enough to advance your omnichannel sales strategies in an IoT world, FPX is the business agility engine to power your success in this continued era of digital transformation.
To learn more how CPQ can enable your digital transformation, download our whitepaper, “CPQ and the Experience Management Revolution.”