By: Nathan Creswell – Product Manager @ Zuora
Imagine this: You move to a brand new neighborhood and need to set up cable tv, internet, and voice services. After some research, you finally find a company called Cloudstream that has good reviews. The only problem is, you can’t find a single package on their website that suits what you are looking for.
You call Cloudstream for more information, only to find that the sales rep also can’t find the options you want. Why is it so hard to add some NFL to your cable TV?
Today, I’m very excited to be introducing Zuora’s new Entitlements and Guided Selling functionality. As someone who has been in the enterprise software space for a while, I can tell you that companies traditionally structure commerce around the product, not the customer. This means companies like Cloudstream would only sell clunky bundles rather than options tailored for your needs.
A sale used to be considered a one-time transaction, not as just one of a series of events in a customer lifecycle.
Today, the market is moving so rapidly that businesses are being forced to react and meet customer demands. As a result, you need a unique toolset of pricing, packaging, and quoting capabilities that provides a personalized commerce experience for your customers.
1. Commerce is relationship-centric, not product-centric.
Since every customer wants to buy something different, products should be tailored to each one of us. That’s the ideal goal, but it’s complicated. Let’s take our imaginary company Cloudstream, for example.
At first glance there are just three core products – cable tv, internet, and voice. But each core product has hundreds of options (number of minutes? channels? amount of data?). There are dozens of add-ons for each product (international calls? special channels?). And there are hundreds of combinations for each product and add-on. The options are infinite. The bundle that this company suggests for me should be different than the bundle that is suggested for someone that has been a customer for 20 years, or for a family with five kids. Every customer is looking to buy something different, so it’s important to offer them tailored solutions.
2. Quickly and easily give the customer what they want
Can you imagine the thousands of rules that would exist in a configuration system that manages all these combinations? It’s a very complex problem.
Not to mention that your customer wants to quickly locate and purchase their favorite options. Whether they make this purchase online or through a sales representative, how they are guided through the product selection process is extremely important. Popular B2C websites like Amazon have functionalities such as filtering, categorization, and search to help customers find what they want to purchase. Even though Amazon has hundreds of thousands of products, it is relatively easy to find what you are looking for, and this expectation has permeated the B2B market.
How should companies like Cloudstream a) create customer-centric product packages and b) intuitively guide customers to buy these products?
Introducing: Entitlements and Guided Selling
Today I’m excited to introduce Zuora’s Entitlements and Guided Selling solutions.
Entitlements refer to the features included in a product – what do you get in the product you purchased? Zuora’s Entitlements solution lets you quickly define new features for any offering in the product catalog. As a product manager, I can now easily add new features or associate prices and see them immediately reflected across every sales channel. For example, if I learn that male customers over the age of 30 prioritize the NFL Redzone package over the Food Channel, I can easily add the appropriate feature to create a package that attracts these types of customers. This update will also be automatically reflected across your CRM and e-commerce sales channels.
On the other hand, Zuora’s Guided Selling solution lets you guide sales representatives and customers to the products that customers are looking for – fast. Create a customer experience for your sales reps that is as simple and intuitive as Amazon. Guided Selling is a part of the fully native Zuora for Salesforce solution. Implementing Guided Selling involves clicks, not code, and allows you to provide a variety of filters, categories, and search bars to help your sales team.
It’s that easy.
We are proud to announce Entitlements and Guided Selling today at Subscribed, and can’t wait to see it in action. We truly believe that this is a game changer.
Today, we live in a relationship-centric commerce world. You need the flexibility to offer your customers what they want, and the ability to guide your customers to the right products. Entitlements and guided selling does just that. Start understanding your customers today and build a stronger relationship with them for the future.
See you at Subscribed!