Customer experience matters irrespective of what you are buying…be it the latest smartphone or cloud storage. In fact, the more complex the technology, the buying experience should be that much smoother, easier, shorter, and transparent. Usually, technology procurements are anything but that. In order to make the purchasing process easier and to ensure that their customers have the best buying experience, Oracle has introduced the Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience initiative. With this service, customers now can purchase cloud services at the click of a button and have their order processed in almost no time. What initially took weeks to accomplish can now be achieved in a matter of a few days and sometimes even minutes.
Why did Oracle do it?
Oracle began its Cloud journey almost a decade ago. They began by rewriting their software in a manner that it could be cloud integrated to reap the benefits of scalability and agility. Along with this, Oracle was focused on providing reliability and security to their cloud services. In order to maintain their competitive advantage and to provide their customers with a superior cloud experience, Oracle began deploying their own cloud services internally and started revamping their selling methodology. The Accelerated Buying Experience was a part of this transformation that matched the speed at which customers wanted cloud services to the speed at which these services would be delivered to them.
How does Oracle do it?
This offer was rolled out to over 20,000 Oracle executives and aimed to give a complete makeover to the purchasing processes of Oracle cloud services. Oracle now can process the cloud purchase orders significantly faster by using applications such as Service and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) and Oracle Sales teams thus spend more time in servicing the customers rather than processing the transactions. This offer works very well because, with it, Oracle reduces or eliminates needless approvals, shortens required order documents, and provides contracting flexibility. Along with this, Oracle also provides extensive help to the customers during the entire purchasing process to ensure that the orders get processed in the minimum possible time.
With the Accelerated Buying Experience, Oracle also made the process of negotiations a lot more flexible and friendly. After carefully studying historical data of what the customers wanted in the past, how they were thinking in the present and what they could want in the future, Oracle made sure that they incorporated all the terms that the customers found important. They also provided their sales representatives with more standard options to cover a greater bulk of customer demands. Additionally, they introduced the ‘click to chat’ option that provided real-time support throughout the buying process.
Oracle has added a “click-to-accept” button that did away with the need for numerous signatures and other approvals needed to complete an order. These simple strategies ensured the modernization of the cloud buying process and customers spend a significantly less amount of time and energy doing so.
The Oracle CPQ system also replaced their quoting tool which previously functioned more like a product catalog. With this new system, the sales people could be guided through what the customer would really need and the associated complementary services and then provide a customized quote based upon exactly what the customer wants. All documentations regarding the purchases made using Accelerated Buying Experience can be stored digitally and accessed whenever required.
With this move, Oracle has become more engaged with their customer – their relationships becoming more continuous and directly proportional to the success of the clients. Using the CPQ technology, Oracle defines required business processes and implements policy changes. Using analytics, process experts infer how customers and employees are using their cloud applications and implement tweaks and changes wherever necessary in a proactive manner. According to John Doyle, Vice President Oracle Global Quote-to-Contract process, “It’s a real-time feedback loop where we can continuously improve the whole end-to-end process”.
The Accelerated Buying Experience also makes the sales cycle shorter which, in turn, makes the purchasing cycle shorter. Since the Oracle CPQ Cloud is embedded in the Oracle Sales cloud, all changes made in the CPQ automatically get reflected in the Sales Cloud making both the platforms function as a single, synchronized platform. The CPQ Cloud also eliminates a fair amount of manual intervention that prevents delays that stem from manual drafting. More help in the form of text explanations, guided assistance on how to use applications, a centralized help desk and real time ‘click to chat’ options makes sure that ordering delays are avoided at all costs.
Oracle has always been in-tune with what their customers want. This operational transformation with the Accelerated Buying Experience is one more step in the direction of their customer-centeredness and is ready to completely rewrite the cloud-purchasing experience.