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The Age of Customer Self-Sufficiency in Manufacturing

Manufacturers are facing a lot of disruption due to digital transformation.

As the workforce begins to age, tribal knowledge is being lost, with the exit of those with industry expertise being replaced by millennials looking for digital tools to get the job done.

Add in ecommerce disruption and channel wars, and you have a major digital shift unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

This disruption of traditional ways of doing business has positioned the customer at the center of the omnichannel journey. Their familiarity with and expectation of efficient, personalized buying processes from the B2C space sees more and more B2B buyers going online looking to select and configure products from manufacturers that offer similar user experiences.

But, as we all know, B2B is different from B2C: B2C catalogs don’t work for B2B products—you can’t sell what buyers can’t find—and B2B products and solutions need to be more configurable in order to properly fit a business’s needs. Which is why applying a B2C process to a B2B buying experience can create unnecessary friction.

How to Handle the Digital Shift

That’s why it’s paramount that manufacturers become easier to do business with by simplifying the selling of B2B products both online and off.

To survive and thrive, manufacturers must connect all of their channels, seamlessly bridging direct sales, partner sales, and commerce sales.

This will enable manufacturers to deliver a more valuable, consistent experience to customers while enjoying less project time, cost, and risk themselves.

As we discussed in a recent post, the adoption of efficient digital strategies by manufacturers is important now more than ever. That’s because in a post-COVID world, there is a growing need for customer self-sufficiency via ecommerce. How do we know? Because after analyzing the quote production of our customer base over the past few months, we’ve noticed that 2020’s monthly quote output has grown 27% from its 2019 average and that March and April’s average quote output was up 8% from the previous two months.

This means that those B2B manufacturers that commit to technologies that enable simpler, faster, and more enjoyable buying and selling experiences for their customers now will show tangible value and gain an edge over the competition.

And when it comes to choosing a technology partner, manufacturers need to work with an organization that specializes in their respective industry vertical.

Why FPX

To enable a seamless buying experience, manufacturers must work with vendors who intimately understand their business while delivering the product selection, configuration, pricing and quoting capabilities that are specific to their business in a way that’s faster, easier, and more cost-effective.

At FPX, this is at the heart of what we do. We help manufacturers simplify the selling of their configurable products and services across an omnichannel approach, helping them sell more, sell faster, and sell more profitably.

How Do We Do It?

First and foremost, we say no to silos and instead create a consistent buying experience no matter who or where you are. Whereas others in the marketplace have created specific buying processes for each individual buying channel—potentially causing disruption between them—FPX unifies a standard buying and selling process across all channels in order to create consistent experiences for both sellers and buyers no matter where their transactions take place.

This not only makes it easier to buy from you, but for people to sell for you.

Additionally, instead of risking losing tribal knowledge as discussed earlier, a system like FPX can not only help you maintain but employ that knowledge—both internally to train your new workforce faster, and externally by incorporating it in every online buying interaction via visually guided selling.

FPX also makes the system easy to implement and maintain. Historically the manufacturing industry has stuck with manual practices or developed clunky, expensive internal solutions to manage the process of product selection, configuration, pricing, and quoting, but FPX has combined them into one platform with rules that are sub-vertical specific, allowing us to offer specialized, templated, and prescriptive solutions.

Ultimately, we don’t just streamline the overall sales process, we’re poised to help your B2B buyers be better served from their first touch with your business, giving them what they need from the get-go.

 

There are many benefits of manufacturers being early adopters of digital experiences and solutions, but the most important one may be that those who make it easy for their customers to research, select, configure, and purchase their B2B products online will sell more.

MEET WITH A CPQ EXPERT
Russell Scherwin
ABOUT:

Russell Scherwin

Leading commerce sales, marketing, strategy, and consulting teams for over 20 years, Russell has worked with hundreds of organizations in shaping go-to-market strategies and execution plans.


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