Businesses can face issues when it comes to complex sales processes or having bundled products, and highly personalized customer needs. A solid and reliable system solution with a powerful, advanced technological background and a high level of automation can largely help them manage sales processes efficiently, offer customers products and services tailored to their needs, and increase revenue generating capabilities.
In a buying decision, it all comes down to these key things: if the product and its price is right and the process is easy, customers will be happy to buy. You need to ensure that the main pain points in a customer journey are identified and addressed, and you need to have the right tools to provide what customers want.
- Relevance is the starting point – you need to know your customers, so that you can offer them what they really need, based on customer-product interactions, customer profiles and product definitions. Offering your customers products, solutions and commercial models that fit their current requirements and anticipate their future needs will position your company as knowledgeable and caring, and will also increase customer willingness to buy.
- Simplicity is key in product offers, processes, and interfaces. A product might be complex in the background, but the offer presentation should be easy-to-understand for users. By using one single data source and flexible building blocks in offer creation, the process will be simple, and the result is easy to understand. Purchase processes should be also quick and easy-to-follow and interfaces intuitive and consistent across all channels.
- Speed is essential in many aspects. New products should be out on the market ahead of competition. When purchasing, customers tend to go for the quickest bidder, and once they order a product, they are rarely prepared to wait for it for long. Companies need pre-defined offer building blocks and business rules to create brand new products and specially tailored offers very quickly, while automation in validation and approval processes provide them with a fast quoting and fulfilment process.
- Reliability means, that customers want to have accurate offers, and timely deliveries. Offer accuracy is best ensured by using a central data and rules repository that eliminates errors and inconsistencies in the quoting process and allows revenue and margin protection for the company. In fulfilment, AI-based algorithms can work out estimated delivery times, ensuring that promises are kept to the greatest possible extent.
- Transparency is the basis of trust in a good customer relationship. Access to the same level of information both for external and internal customers is the first step. Clear product and pricing data, easy-to-follow processes, extensive self-service functionalities, order tracking options, OmniChannel experiences all help establish this trust with customers.
When all key customer pain points are addressed, and customer interactions become smooth and easy, this will soon show in your business outcomes, like increased Lead Conversion Rates, shorter Quote-to-Cash periods, better Digital Customer Engagement and Higher Online Sales Rates.
Companies using AI in their sales and customer service processes can increase leads by up to 50%, reduce call times by 60-70%, and realize cost reductions of 40-60%.
Such better operational efficiencies and higher productivity will result in overall cost savings, and higher online channel usage will reduce both the burden on and the cost of personal channels.
An excellent purchase experience can also largely influence customers’ brand preferences, that is key in the long-term survival and success of a company.
How can IT support these business objectives, and also benefit from new technologies?
Without digitalization and the necessary IT background, not even the best business strategies could succeed. Business needs Technology to support them in their endeavors to meet new customer needs. In old legacy systems, the inflexibility in creating new products, adding new functionalities, plus the growing maintenance costs and the unavailability of software updates can constitute a risk for businesses, and an obstacle to future growth.
A modular system, that is flexible, scalable to the organization’s specific needs, and easy to integrate with other products in an existing IT portfolio can remove such technological risks and obstacles, and enable the company to take advantage of new business opportunities. Future system developments are made quicker and easier by open APIs and microservices. Instead of hard-coding, flexibility in configuration allows companies to handle complexities better, and offers shorter time-to-market, without the need for a lengthy development process.
Maintenance of multiple systems operating in silos is always a costly exercise. As a result of introducing new digital technologies, and integrating previously separated systems, maintenance will be both easier and less expensive.
A higher rate of customer interactions on digital channels will reduce costs not only on the business side, but also on the technology side – eg. the costs of maintenance and development of call center and retail infrastructure will be reduced, IT manpower can be used more efficiently and more focused on servicing new needs and enabling new functionalities.
OmniChannel e-commerce and self-service functionalities will reduce the burden on traditional personal channels, that is, calls to CC, and visits to physical stores. As functionalities are available online, within a short time you’ll be able to see Digital Interaction Shares and Online Conversion figures going up, and Customer Effort Scores going down.
Providing the Business side with the necessary IT framework and capabilities will support reaching overall business KPIs, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value, helping the company achieve its aggregated business outcomes.
Etiya's products enabling all these functionalities, eg. Product Catalog Management, CPQ, Order Management, are pre-integrated, therefore, easy to implement, and the use of microservices ensures agility when there is a need to modify certain features and capabilities quickly. With the added intelligence and automation provided by AI, these products can provide all the necessary tools to serve customers according to their expectations, and beyond.