When you scanned the headline of this article, did you have an exact figure in mind? Unless you’re the CFO, I’m guessing you had, at best, an approximation based on your experience and some assumptions around your company’s revenue from new clients, perhaps the cost-per-lead from your marketing team, or the cumulative concessions around order errors and revisions, make-it-right costs, discounting and so on.
The truth is, for many manufacturers, the quantifiable (and let’s say more difficult to quantify) costs of leveraging outdated tools and sales and quoting processes leaves a significant amount of money on the table every year.
So how are you going to stop wasting and start gaining? Let’s consider a few options.
Identify Where You Can Improve And Take Action
Can Your Sales Team And Customers See What They’re Building?
Seeing is believing when it comes to establishing buyer confidence. The same applies to sellers who must configure complex products and services on behalf of their customers. Whether you’re selling automotive vehicles, customizable clothing, or bundled solutions from a co-op of manufacturers, your sellers and self-service customers expect to be able to see what they’re assembling. Although visual configuration experiences are commonplace in the B2C space, B2B companies are slowly adopting 3D, interactive product configuration solutions as part of their digital offerings.
With the help of Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions that offer visualization capabilities alongside their rule and behavior-based guided buying/selling prompts, users can easily build out a solution that meets their requirements, see precisely what they’re getting, and transact with the confidence in knowing they’re going to get what they see.
Just think of the money you can put back into the business when order errors are reduced or eliminated from your sales process, or how much more efficient your sellers can be when leveraging these solutions to deliver a quote or close a deal faster than ever before.
Is Your Organization On The Same Page When Building A Quote?
A common problem for manufacturers is the disconnect between sales and engineering. A case in micro: the sales rep attempts to configure a solution using a series of product catalogs and pricing spreadsheets, puts together a quote and sends it to the customer, once the purchase order comes through and the product is produced and sent out to the customer, it’s all wrong. Then the order comes back and engineering replaces the product, the sales rep has to offer a discount or other concessions to make the customer somewhat happy, and ultimately the manufacturer ends up losing money and in all likelihood a repeat customer.
Although a high-level example, this is a scenario played out over and over within manufacturers around the world. But this doesn’t have to be business as usual. With CPQ, sales is protected from introducing errors, workflow keeps all parties tied together throughout the quoting process, and customers receive the right product, configured to spec, at the best price, every single time.
Do You Efficiently Govern Product And Pricing Today?
Some of the most sophisticated manufacturing companies still manage product, pricing and customer data with a mixed bag of spreadsheets, homegrown solutions and CRM solutions. These siloed tools that require time-consuming, error-prone manual updates do one thing really well: suck the efficiency out of your sales team.
With CPQ, manufacturers can consolidate their data into a single source of truth, making it visible and actionable across the organization and ensure that the right product is quoted with 100% accuracy. When updates occur, business users, not just IT, can go in, make the appropriate product or pricing changes and provide all users with real-time updates.
Stop Leaving Money On The Table With The Help Of CPQ
Selling more, by selling smarter and faster starts with identifying the areas where your business is lacking. For many manufacturers, this means looking at the sales tools and processes (or lack of them) that are currently in place.
At FPX, we take a consultative approach to helping manufacturers put money back into the business and drive revenue with the help of our CPQ application.
Contact us - it won't cost you anything to talk with us, discuss where you believe you could be better, and hear how we believe we can help.