Manufacturers are being challenged today to meet their customers’ rising demand for customizable and configurable products. But since the sales process for specialty products is more complex and takes longer than it would for standard products, additional touchpoints with customers, deep product knowledge, and extensive collaboration between sales and engineering are required.
Specialty manufacturers need a way to reduce the amount of manual labor involved in each sale. That’s where configure, price, quote (CPQ) software comes in.
Manual configuration and quoting is time consuming and resource intensive, resulting in a long sales cycle. With CPQ, users are able to generate custom orders independently, or with only minimal contact, leaving the sales team free to nurture additional leads.
Rules-based configuration minimizes the amount of manual review engineers need to give each order. CPQ also calculates pricing automatically, taking an additional responsibility off of the sales team’s plate. Many CPQ solutions can even incorporate discounts and other specialty pricing.
With CPQ technology, time spent on each stage of the sales process decreases to accelerate the time to quote. Configure One Cloud, from Revalize, is a leading CPQ solution that was able to help the Flanders Corporation cut their time to quote from multiple days to just 10 minutes
Manually calculating prices and configuring orders leaves each quote vulnerable to human error. CPQ software handles the most tedious and labor-intensive tasks involved in specialty manufacturing sales, not only saving time, but also improving accuracy.
Since CPQ solutions automatically calculate pricing based on user-established rules, there’s less chance of human error when it comes to manual price calculation, data entry, and quote generation. CPQ can also automatically generate a bill of materials for each order without risk of submitting the wrong information to production. The potential for human error is removed from most processes.
Quality Enclosures, Inc., a shower enclosure manufacturer, had a high error rate for their orders due to manual data entry. But after upgrading to a CPQ by Configure One they virtually eliminated the issue.
Manual quoting requires a lot of contact between sales and customers, but that doesn’t always create a desired customer experience. For many buyers purchasing machinery or custom products, the speed of response is as big of a consideration as price. Buyers often move forward with the first few quotes they receive. CPQ helps ensure you can deliver a quote ahead of competitors.
Many CPQ solutions also enable buyers to see renderings of the product they’re configuring to help them make more informed, confident decisions. The product catalog also displays real-time inventory, so there are never disappointing requests for products that are sold out.
Scranton Products, a major supplier of synthetic commercial building products, suffered from a high return rate due to issues in their ordering process. But after implementing CPQ, they were able to dramatically improve customer experience and reduce returns by 45%.
Manual quoting challenges eat up sales’ bandwidth, limiting the number of deals they can close each year. But CPQ frees up time and resources to dramatically increase sales and revenue.
Since the sales process happens more efficiently with CPQ software implemented, manufacturers have the bandwidth to close more deals in less time, leading to increased revenue without any significant operational changes. Higher revenue translates to higher profit margins as well. Overburdened teams also have the ability to experiment with cross-selling and upselling to generate even more revenue without expanding their lead pipeline. Companies like Flanders Corporation have increased sales by 10% since implementing CPQ.
If you’re still relying on spreadsheets, basic databases, or homegrown configurators to generate quotes, you’re missing out on incredible, leading-edge benefits from CPQ for manufacturing. Implementing one software platform can generate massive efficiency gains, improve customer experience, and reduce errors throughout the entire process, leading to increased sales and revenue.