Differences between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ – Part 5

In Parts 1-4 of this series, I covered general differences between Salesforce and Vlocity CPQ, Vlocity and Salesforce Order Capture and cart, Enterprise Product Catalog, differences between the pricing functionality of both applications, Vlocity Promotions Vs Salesforce Discounts and Vlocity Rules engine.

In this last part of this series, I will cover the Guided Selling process in the two applications and some other differences.  This will conclude the differences between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ.

In case you have not gone through the series, you can start reading here

Guided Selling Process

Let us understand the guided selling process with the help of the following examples:

Example 1 – Imagine that you are a customer sales representative of a multinational company who takes orders on the phone. Customer A calls and wants a phone. He does not know what kind of a phone he requires, and you must help him find the right phone and place the order. You go to the products catalogue, start searching for various phones, tell him about each phone one by one, make several extensive searches with available filters and finally after spending a decent amount of time you zero in on the phone. Now you have to browse to the order section to add that phone to the order and place the order.

You add the phone to the order, specify the quantity only to realize that the phone is not available. It is showing out of stock and will be available after 15 days, but the customer needs a phone now. You risk losing the sale and time. This happened because as you added the product to the order, it did a real-time availability check. Now you look for another variant of the product, convince the customer to buy that variant, do an availability check and place the order. This whole interaction is quite stressful and has consumed a lot of time. This is one kind of a customer journey or a Sales Process.

Example 2 – Let’s look at the same process with the customer and representative going through a different journey. Customer calls and the ask to buy a phone from the CSR, CSR click a button hypothetically named as “Guided sales for Phone”. The system comes up with the list of questions about the budget of the customer, phone operating system, data usage, average screen time, current phone etc. Bad on the answers provided by the customer, the system comes up with 3 to 4 phone models out of a total of more 500 available.

The system does intelligent filtering and recommending based on the response provided by the customer. The system also ensures that the customer is eligible for the phone and the phone is available. Customer is provided with the choice and can make the decision relatively quickly. The system is ready to take the step forward, creates an order automatically by adding the chosen phone to cart and then prompting the customer for next steps like upselling or asking the customer for a data plan and then placing the order. The whole process is done relatively quickly, the customer is satisfied, and the system has acted intelligently.

By this time, it must be clear to you as to which example represents a smart Guided selling process. Example 2 obviously is representing a Guided selling process. Guided selling has become the driving force of eCommerce and CRM applications as everyone expects a smart customer journey.

What is Guided Selling?

Guided selling is a consistent shopping experience, which guides the customer or the sales rep through the process of recommending, selecting, and ordering products.

In order to differentiate Guided selling between Vlocity and Salesforce let us look at how it looks like in each one of these applications

Guided Selling in Vlocity

In Vlocity, the guided selling process looks like exactly what is described in Example 2 above. The process is designed to help the user navigate through the sales process, recommend the products, select, and filter the products, creates a visual step by step sales process and also order the products.

Vlocity digital interaction platform is used to create a user interface to visually guide the user from one screen to another to fructify the sales process, the data layer is used to fetch the right data, a Vlocity temporary cart know as a persistent cart is used to create the ordering experience in addition the generating the order header on the fly. What is also taken care of is the point of start of the guided selling process and the point of stop or return. For example, if the guided selling process is starting from the customer page then it can be configured to return to the same page after the process is over.

In a nutshell Vlocity guided selling can be classified in the following steps:

  • Creation of a Persistent Cart
  • Creation of an Order header
  • Fetch relevant product data from the enterprise product catalogue
  • Prepare Product selection steps
  • Configuring the selling and launch points

Guided Selling process in Salesforce CPQ

In order to understand the guided selling process in Salesforce let us go through the following example

Salesforce example – User is in the quote object in Salesforce CPQ. User is trying to intelligently search products while creating the quote. The user is posed with some questions based on which the product is searched and recommended by Salesforce CPQ in the quote lines object. The questions which are asked of the user can be configured to appear at a different time of the quote experience and after different results.

The guided selling process is created in Salesforce through an object called the Quote Process. The quote process object is configured and populated, and the record ID of the quote process object is then connected to the quote line object for the guided selling process to manifest in the quote line editor.

Differences between the guided selling process in Salesforce CPQ and Vlocity

The snapshot and differences in no way provide that one solution is better then the other. This is not an apple to apple comparison as in their current forms both these applications are different and serve different purposes.

  • Vlocity guided selling process filters, selects, recommends, and is designed to order the product during customer interaction. Salesforce guided selling process only filters the products for the customers.
  • Vlocity guided selling process is created out of its Digital Interaction platform. It is created through Omniscript, uses a persistent cart, uses the interface implementation of CPQ to get the eligible product for the customer while the Salesforce guided selling process is created from an object called Quote process which when connected with quote lines work in quote line editor to get the filtered products intelligently
  • Vlocity guided selling process can work from any stage in the customer journey and from any object or process while a Salesforce guided selling process will get activated only from the Quotelines. Let’s take an example and understand it à In Vlocity the Guided selling process can be activated from an action button on the customer screen. This is possible as there are a provision and configuration for the launch and the end of the guided selling process.
  • Vlocity guided selling process works with Quotes, Orders, and opportunities while the Salesforce Guided selling process will work with only Quotelines.
  • As I have been saying earlier, the applicability of the Vlocity solution is currently limited while Salesforce CPQ is more generic and broad but the functionality offered by Vlocity is very promising and if extended to other sectors and if this can be somehow made part of the Salesforce generic solution then it will do great.

Overall, the Vlocity guided selling process is more advance and independent of the sales value chain. It focusses on creating an end to end experience for the customer. It is open-ended and can be easily configured to be multi-step guided process through the interaction platform and omniscripts with distinct start and endpoints. Salesforce guided selling process focusses on the quote and the quote lines and primarily filters the products.

Loyalty Points

Another feature of Vlocity CPQ is the availability of Loyalty Points. Loyalty points act as another currency and enable the customers to pay in Loyalty points. This is a whole different module which comes as an optional choice with Vlocity CPQ. This entails management of the creation of loyalty points, storage of loyalty points, the applicability of loyalty points along with addition and deduction of loyalty points.

Examples of Loyalty Points are using loyalty points accrued on hotel stays, card loyalty points or airline loyalty points.

Salesforce CPQ does currently provide out of the box functionality of Loyalty Points.

I hope that in this and the last 4 blogs, I have been to provide you with a snapshot and contrast between Salesforce and Vlocity CPQ solution. It is not an apple to apple comparison but still, a snapshot is definitely worth since they both offer CPQ solutions.