5 Strategies for Selling Configurable Products Online

A boom in customizable and configurable products over the last 20 years has made manufacturing more challenging than ever before. Customers no longer want one-size-fits-all products — they want to be able to create items that fit their own individual needs.
Fortunately, this demand has been met with technology solutions to help manufacturers streamline configurations. Configure, price, quote (CPQ) software is a specialized tool that helps sales teams build out and price custom equipment without so much input from engineers, dramatically speeding up processing time. Here are five easy methods you can use to sell your configurable products and make the most of your CPQ:

1. Establish a Web Presence

Having a CPQ in place will help your sales team function more efficiently, but it won’t necessarily generate leads on its own. Customers expect you to have a website and social media presence. Many customers even expect the ability to design and place orders online for maximum convenience. That’s why it’s important to establish a website that includes access to your configurator. Simplify the experience by automating as much as possible, including setting default options, background calculations, and conditional logic for accurate pricing.

2. Put Your Configurator to the Test

Once you’ve established your web presence, you need to put it through extensive testing to ensure it will work properly for your customers. If a customer tries to configure a product and the site crashes or gives them errors, then you’ve just lost a sale (and potentially future sales). Nothing harms trust and reputation more than a challenging order process.

Your engineering and sales teams need to work together to design products with the configurator and to ensure products are priced as expected. This will also help you identify optimal touchpoints for your sales team to interact with customers. Even though customers want convenience and autonomy, support is always welcome — especially when it comes to making a large or complex purchase.

3. Get Visual

One of the most important sales tools is product visualization. Choose a configurator that can show the customer their custom product in real-time as they design it. Customers should be able to easily switch between colors, add-ons, features, parts, and other variables with a single click so it’s easy to compare and contrast different options. When possible, generate 3D models that offer a full 360-degree view of the product, so customers know exactly what they’re getting.

4. Give a Variety of Examples

Customization is always preferable, but a blank page can be daunting for customers. Offer pre-configured products to use as a starting point in order to help them get their creative juices flowing. For an extra marketing boost, when customers complete their own configurations, you can share those visuals to draw attention to your products and inspire even more creativity.

5. Don’t Forget Advanced Use Cases

For some products and configurations, an online configurator isn’t going to be able to handle all of the details and specifications online. For advanced requests that go beyond your website’s abilities, make it easy for customers to contact your sales team for support. Customer support should also be available for those who are not comfortable with online ordering and still prefer a one-on-one conversation during the sales process.

CPQ frees up an incredible amount of resources for your sales and engineering teams, but you can’t realize its full potential without opening it up directly to customers. Follow these five strategies and you can not only increase your close rate, but you can also draw more customers into your pipeline.

To make the best impression possible, you need a CPQ that’s capable of high-quality customization, easy deployment, and the most advanced visualization. Revalize allows manufacturers to create complex configurators, and even offers industry-specific solutions. Revalize CPQ is also part of a full suite of manufacturing solutions that can digitize your entire idea-to-cash journey. Experience the Revalize difference yourself with a free product demo.