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How Specialty Manufacturers Can Audit Their Sales Processes

Selling configurable or customizable products has become critical for nearly every industry. The value customers and end users get from the latest fluid handling equipment, medical supplies,
and other niche markets is only possible because manufacturers can customize each and every order. But the convenience that configurability gives to customers creates incredible complexity for manufacturers to deal with behind the scenes.

Anyone in specialty manufacturing sales knows how difficult it can be to put together an accurate quote — especially against the ticking clock of a customer’s deadline. They could even decide to go with a competitor that’s able to produce a quote more efficiently. Fortunately, there’s a way to figure out where your quoting process comes up short, and how to make it more efficient and cost-effective.

How to Conduct an Audit of Your Quoting Processes

To produce a quote, sales has to help their lead configure the product to their specifications, price it out, and submit documentation for approval. This relatively straightforward process can be fraught with conflict and complexity that could undermine your bottom line. Here’s what you need to look at to improve this process:

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs)

Audits should assess your current performance so you have a benchmark when making changes. Determine the average time it takes to deliver each quote, how long it takes to respond to incoming leads, how long it takes to configure each product, and any other metrics you want to measure.

Spot bottlenecks

As you determine which KPIs you want to benchmark, study the processes that affect each of them and look for inefficiencies. Are configurations slowed down by back and forth between sales and engineering? Is key product data siloed on someone’s computer when it could be shared? Take note of anything that could impede on the workflows involved in producing a quote.

Identify revenue leaks

The longer a quote takes, the less profitable the overall sale will be. Since employees are paid for their time, time is money. This problem is compounded if sales makes a mistake in the quoting process, such as configuring a product that’s not producible, or accidentally setting the wrong price. Study processes carefully beyond bottlenecks and take note of any processes that cost more than they’re worth.

Assess quote types

How complex are the quotes you’re providing? Do configurations involve dozens of customizations, or just choices between a few different parts and components? Understanding all of the intricacies that go into producing a quote will better equip you to streamline.


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!

CPQ: The Key to Selling Specialty Products

After an audit, you’ll know exactly where your sales performance stands, and have an idea of which processes need improvement. You could go to the trouble of refining your manual processes by building better spreadsheets and creating systems that streamline communication between sales and engineering. But you’ll still be behind most of the specialty manufacturing industry.
Configure, price, quote (CPQ) software automates most of the manual processes that cause quoting to take so long. The key features of this technology include:

Revalize is an industry-leading CPQ with the most advanced capabilities in the market. The comprehensive platform can even adapt to the complex configuration needs of niche industries like fluid handling equipment.

Configurable products have transformed the industries that they serve, enabling incredible convenience for end-users in every industry. CPQ has transformed sales processes for specialty manufacturers, so it’s easier to get their products into the market. 

Schedule a demo with Revalize to experience what CPQ can do for you.

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