How to explain CPQ to your relatives this Holidays & all year round
For people who work in the industry, we often forget that the jargon and acronyms we speak fluently day-to-day are a foreign language to the outside world. We need a way to normalize the cutting-edge technology we work with so that it’s relatable for everyone.
Sharing a table with our closest, there always pop up questions about work. Most likely we are eager to spin the story about our great business victories and nuances. But what if the story talks about CPQ and no matter how many features and benefits we describe, all we get in response are baffled looks and blank stares?
A user story is a key to make it relatable to your audience. Find a common ground – place your story in an everyday context, well-known to your listeners.
Another trick is creating moments of “Wow”, which are the moments where people see the light – they just can’t help but say: ‘Wow’. You give a solution to a long-term pain or an operational hack that will save time and money. It’s important to pause after revealing the wow trigger, to let its glory sink in the audience’s minds.
Let’s launch into the 8-step CPQ story for anyone to enjoy.
Take a fundamental commodity: cars
Petroleum-fuelled cars have been around since 1886 – everyone is familiar with them. It’s fundamental to lay a foundation for the story, so invest a moment or two in setting up a great comparison for your audience to make.
The first car for the mass market was the “Model T”. When Ford launched it in 1908, the goal was standardization for production efficiency.
Demonstrate the evolution: consumer customization
If a product has evolved from standardized to highly customizable, this will show the value of CPQ for the 21st-century business later in your narrative.
“…fast forward 110 years, car manufacturers want you to consider your car bespoke; in fact, we would feel put out if we weren’t given the option to customize our high-value purchases.
And what a choice we have: from body paint texture to the seat stitching style. You can pick up a catalog and build your car to suit your taste.”
‘Configure’: navigating the product catalog.
Take it to the back-office and reveal the ins-and-outs of a classically complex product catalog.
“If only it was that straightforward for our sales team member, Joe, in the office. Joe needs to put all your requirements together to ultimately give you a quote for the car. He can access the up-to-date product catalog because it’s accessible across a network (‘The Cloud’). Luckily for him, the thousands of products are searchable and organized logically in price books.
He goes to select the color you requested, matte maroon, but he’s blocked. A rule in the system has excluded his choices for body paint that aren’t available for that model. In the same way, the system can verify that other add-ons, like tires and spoilers, are compatible with the model. As some of the extras are ‘bundled’, those are added automatically, saving a lot of Joe’s time.”
The mind-reader: Guided Selling
Time to add in some wizardry. Show that CPQ can get predictive via recommendations, and how this is win-win for everyone: the rep gets the up-sell, and the customer will receive a more comprehensive offering.
“The system has something called ‘Guided Selling’, which does exactly that: guides the rep to make a better sale, via recommendations for up-sell and/or cross-sell.
Joe contacts you because you haven’t considered breakdown insurance. You agree that you would like to take the insurance, paying the extra annual $500. That’s $500 extra towards Joe’s sales quota every year.”
Wow number 1 – Check.
‘Price’: instant maths
“…Now that all the line items are added it’s time to crunch the numbers. But there’s no calculator in sight because all the figures are calculated automatically.
Simultaneously, the system is also updated, meaning that the key figures will instantly be reflected in their sales forecast too.”
Add more complexity: Discounts
Discounts are great to add in – because everyone loves a bargain. When bringing in customer pain points, hit your audience where it hurts: their hard earned cash.
“…as you have purchased a car from Joe’s company before, a discount of 10% is automatically added. You want a discount because your first choice of tires is not in stock – but Joe explains that this isn’t standard.
Special parameters have been set to ensure no rogue discounting occurs. Joe’s management was able to agree to the discount after running the scenario through the system – the results give them insight into the overall profitability and further impact on margins.”
Wow number 2 – Check.
‘Quote’: one-click wonder!
“…everything is set, and with one click of a button, Joe can automatically generate a quote proposal that pulls in all your data, and sends it via email. No manual entry of data, meaning less chance of error, less wasted time. You find your professional looking quote in your inbox, and you know you’ve chosen the right brand.”
Paint the big picture
Step away from your chosen example, and mention the industries that mirror the same process. If a single sales rep is both a) saving hours a week on administration, and b) increasing the value of every closed-won deal – multiply that over hundreds of personnel, and you have phenomenal figures per organization. It becomes an earth-shattering innovation.
Wow number 3 – Check.
In our opinion, this is the recipe of a compelling story; one that is relatable and logical. By the time you’re finished with your story, you may find that you have new-found CPQ evangelists: “CPQ is the future!”.
Enxoo Configure-Price-Quote is a heart of our Enxoo for Communications solution, created to streamline quote-to-cash for Telecoms. Wondering how CPQ could boost your business?