CPQ systems were built with the sales rep in mind, not the subscriber experience
The notion of configure-price-quote came about in the 1980s to help sales reps pick out machinery parts or gigabytes on a hard drive. Instead of writing the quote on a sheet of paper, new age software vendors thought slapping an Excel-like user interface on top of a manual process would do the job. The reality is that no matter how pretty you might make the UI, the experience is still designed for the sales rep, not the subscriber. That experience is designed for a static, transactional business model, not a dynamic subscription business model.
Subscribers demand an omni-channel experience
Today, companies are looking to build long-term relationships with their customers, instead of one-off interactions. To accomplish this they offer services, in the form of subscriptions, that allow them to constantly deliver value to the customer. Maintaining customer happiness means putting them at the center of your business from the first interaction through the lifetime of the relationship. Subscribers want the freedom to conveniently manage their subscription on your website, mobile application, customer service portal, partner channels, and many more.
Zoom is a great example of this, they leverage their direct sales channel for enterprise customers, while also giving businesses and consumers the option to purchase directly from their website or mobile app, in addition to selling through Partner channels. To meet subscriber demands, businesses need the freedom to design and deliver omni-channel subscription experiences.
CPQ is a spoke, not the hub
Knowing that subscribers demand an omni-channel experience, you need a subscription management solution that is consistently responsive across all channels. One that doesn’t just make it easy for subscribers to sign-up, but manages the entire subscription lifecycle from quote to multi-year renewals. It’s about enabling subscribers to access your service on many channels. If you really want to put your subscribers first, you need a solution that consistently delivers on that experience across multiple channels and manages the entire subscription experience beyond the quote. In addition, you need a solution that gives you full data visibility into customer insights so you can run your business while knowing how you need to adapt to customer needs.
A CPQ-first approach limits your growth opportunities
CPQ systems are built with one growth strategy in mind, B2B direct sales. The landscape for B2B is changing, a Deloitte study found that B2B companies that have digital sales channels had 240% more orders from new customers than those without a digital sales channel. The fastest growing subscription companies need to execute multiple growth strategies at once e.g., move up market, down market, acquire a new company and merge. This requires you to have an omni-channel go to market strategy that scales beyond your sales reps.
A CPQ-first approach doesn’t put cash in your pocket, nor revenue on your books
CPQ systems are built to help sales reps quote faster. They are designed to improve sales reps productivity, not optimize your financial operations. Once a quote is signed, it gets tossed over to your finance team to manually deal with the order, provisioning, billing, payment, and revenue recognition.
A CPQ-first approach fogs your visibility into your subscriber’s needs
CPQ systems track quoting data, contract terms, and sales activity, but they don’t tell you anything about the behavioral patterns that are driving churn up or revenue down. Subscription businesses need instant access to subscription metrics like Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), Net Monthly Recurring Revenue (NMRR), Churn, and more. Without the right metrics, you’re left in the dark.
Subscription businesses need a subscriber centric solution
Great experiences enable subscribers to interact with their subscription anytime, anywhere. It manages the end to end subscriber experience from quote to revenue. It gives you the actionable insights you need to optimize and scale your subscription business.
That’s why we built Zuora, the market leading subscription management solution
Zuora automates the entire subscription experience with a suite of market leading Order to Revenue applications built on the Zuora Central Platform. Zuora’s 100% native force.com integration also enables you to take advantage of all your rich subscription data and extend out of the box capabilities with low code, no code tools. Additionally, Zuora’s expansive network of partners including Dell Boomi and MuleSoft give you the full flexibility to connect to any sales channel of your choice while Zuora takes care of all the downstream impacts to your business and financial operations. Together, Zuora’s suite of applications, extensible platform, and expansive ecosystem help put your subscribers first.