September 12, 2018
These days, so much time is spent in the trenches: interacting with customers, engaging procurement teams and fighting for new business. But if you are feeling dizzier with each interaction, wondering if you’ve covered everything, it’s a sign you and your company probably aren’t as successful as you could be at delivering lasting value or fulfilling customer expectation.
Doing business successfully is harder than ever now, not only because of the level of technical sophistication and complexity organizations have achieved in this new century, but because of the high expectations customers hold us accountable to.
Within hi-tech manufacturing, new products enter the market every day that have shorter lifecycles and this pushes price erosion rates at light speed. Omni-channel platforms offer full catalogue availability and transparency on all product offerings. The days of starting production of a complex, configured system that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars only after the order was received and then comfortably delivered six or eight weeks later are long gone. Customers expect quick turnarounds and so much more.
Technology also produces more demands – devices are smarter. Machines can learn autonomously and adjust outcomes based on changing inputs faster and better than humans. People are now primed to comprehend, assimilate and accept artificial intelligence more easily than ever before. The over-use of trendy buzzwords like AI, Machine Learning, Neuronal Networks and Deep Learning is almost comical, but evidently the tactic works. One study shows simply mentioning AI in a product’s description impacts willingness to pay by over 12%.
While product makers and service providers are making every effort to be (and sound) smart about AI-driven products and services, the reality is most companies continue to miss the point. It isn’t AI for the sake of AI and just more “marketing” fodder. Rather, it’s about using knowledge systems to help produce more value and enable a deeper, more satisfying and long-lasting relationship with your customer.
Delivering on Commercial Excellence
There are many solutions and processes to test in the quest for commercial excellence but not all are paths to success. One sales tool that successfully solves many of the wrinkles in your product delivery is Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) and more specifically, Intelligent CPQ. This solution enables companies to produce accurate and highly configured quotes: all of the complex product, pricing, discounting, business rules and required approvals are centralized, automatic and available in real-time. With Intelligent CPQ, your sales reps have everything they need at their fingertips and your customers’ expectations for relevancy, timeliness, consistency, and accuracy are being met. In turn, your business benefits from more profitable deals and deeper customer insight that can be used for additional frictionless deals in the future.
Intelligent CPQ solves complex business issues by applying the latest AI technology so you can effectively deliver on your promise while deeply engaging with your customers.
Customers of all types deeply value prompt responsiveness, easy interactions and consistent experiences. All this must occur in the midst of a never-ending shift of priorities, channels, and stakeholders. Delivering on this is commercial excellence at its core.
Many organizations fail to understand that digitization and the consumerization of B2B experiences are no longer add-ons for basic business processes. Businesses that miss this shift won’t survive – at least, not in a recognizable fashion. It’s only by leveraging information, employing a value-based business strategy and empowering people with the right skillsets – together with an obsession for simplifying how business gets done – can you be properly equipped to succeed in this disrupted business environment.
To learn about what to look for in a CPQ solution provider and capabilities to consider, download the free guide, Top 5 Capabilities of Modern CPQ Solutions.