The motto "The customer is always right" popularized by Marshall Field in the late 19th century may have helped turn his Chicago-based department store, Marshall Field & Company, into an entrepreneurial landmark. Today, consumer research appears to bear out this timeless phrase. Customer service and the customer experience are at the core of ultimate customer satisfaction. According to a 2016 Forrester report, "72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority."
The research to determine what kind of experience customers want points to an intuitive buying process that can be performed from anywhere and through any digital device. Verenia's CPQ software for retail is designed with this intuitiveness in mind because it offers a user interface which can:
- be used without prior training—optimal for both the customer and the sales rep;
- effectively organize inventory and make it accessible;
- quickly narrow down choices relevant to their needs;
- provide ongoing pricing totals as they shop;
- offer smart sales guidance (without it feeling like sales pressure).
Guided selling has come into focus for retailers because it adds so much to the overall customer experience and helps improve sales through client retention, cross-selling, and upselling.
Flexible Guided Selling Can Assist Both Customers and Sales Reps
Whether your online retail platform is for direct customer use or your sales reps, Verenia's CPQ software integrates with your existing CRM or ERP system to enhance guidance for every sales scenario.
A customer may have a general idea of what he or she wants but can feel overwhelmed by the variety of designs, prices, brands, or even flavor profiles (if you sell wine or coffee). A series of needs-based questions will help filter your product selection down to those most likely to be useful for the customer.
If they are shopping online for an ice cream maker, questions might include: How often do you anticipate using this machine? How many servings do you want per batch? Are you looking for a self-cleaning model? What is your price range?
Simple questions like these are enough to filter your selection to a handful of appealing options that can be accompanied by helpful customer reviews, which often resonate more than any sales pitch.
More complex sales processes like purchasing a boat require more needs-based details before your CPQ can configure a product and provide a price quote. Here, a skilled sales rep can benefit if they are using the software on a client's behalf. The program can either lead a sales rep through a series of initial questions for their clients or provide existing client data compiled through your company's CRM. Data assistance like this will give your sales rep a head start on product building and accurate quoting so they can provide their client with personalized service that leads to repeat business.
A Chance to Sell That Little Extra
By using detailed analysis on what a customer truly wants, like the ice cream maker with five-star reviews and the right price, CPQ guided cross-selling can offer complementary items to help increase your revenue. If your rep upsells an ice cream flavor mix with the ice cream maker and the customer enjoys it, they will likely return for more. The profit from upselling and cross-selling items adds up over time.
Likewise, sales reps with CPQ guided selling assistance can steer clients toward a similar fishing boat but with a dual-console for additional storage space. For products that sell at high volume, reps can guide their clients toward discounts for higher quantities.
The Customer Continues to Be Right
In describing this "age of the customer," Forrester believes that "empowered customers are shaping business strategy." They want a sales experience that is both personalized and immediate. They also want guidance on the best product options available and will bounce from retailer to retailer until they find it.
Verenia CPQ's Guided Selling module is flexible enough to conform to your retail needs. It offers a seamless purchasing experience for both customers and your sales team.
Learn how Verenia can improve sales performance for retail through CPQ software.