Manufacturing is going through a major transformation. Products, and the way they are marketed and configured, are more complex than ever. A small company with a big idea could be your next big competitor now that prototypes are easier to make and funding is flowing.
Technology advancements and rapid increases in competition are driving a great shift in customer demand too. In addition to expecting higher quality products, buyers want engaging ways to buy them.
If you are a manufacturer who wants to survive in this new customer era, you must connect to customers in entirely new ways beyond mere selling products.
Here are four ways CPQ software can help you stand out from the competition.
Speeds Up Time to Market
The manufacturing industry is moving away from standardized offerings, thereby increasing the importance of made-to-order offerings. Creating a quote can be extremely time-consuming, especially when data is tied up in Excel, with multiple file versions.
When a seller takes a long time to produce an accurate quote, the client is more likely to walk away. Generally, the first seller to provide a professional, compelling quote will secure the client's business. Further, the first to the deal is in a better position to shape how the deal, bid, proposal, or negotiation moves forward.
Even if your manufacturing company has particularly complex configurations and unique solutions, the right CPQ software can provide accurate prices and quotes in a matter of minutes. Using collaborative tools, all experts and contributors can work on the quote efficiently in the same system. All the information is there for everyone, accessible instantly. Collaboration leads to simpler processes and faster product and service delivery.
By pooling the expertise of experts in a CPQ system, you can provide answers to prospects’ and clients' questions during the selection process. It eliminates guesswork, streamlines the quote process, improves quality, and speeds up the response time.
Increases Your Quoting Capacity
A CPQ solution reduces the time it takes to create quotes. With faster quoting, you are able to produce more quotes per employee without compromising quality. By using rules-based structures, any user can be guided through the process, further enhancing capacity. It eliminates the need for peer review, and it makes it possible to deliver quote revisions to clients fast, no matter how complex the situation may be.
CPQ software frees up your team's time by automating quoting processes and reducing business complexity, resulting in increased sales and better relationships with customers.
Empowers Your Sales Organization as a Whole
CPQ software enables a wider range of individuals in your manufacturing company to discuss product details with clients and prospects and create quotes themselves.
For example, if you have regional sales managers around the world, across different time zones, CPQ software can help them become more self-sufficient and less dependent on subject matter experts.
Allows You to Adopt Servitization
In the past, manufacturing companies have made products, sold them, and often replaced parts or resold entire systems. However, a growing number of manufacturing companies are considering the impact of their products on the environment and how to make parts last longer or to refurbish them more effectively (instead of selling spares and/or replacing equipment components at regular intervals).
This introduces the challenge of how to continue making money. The answer is through advanced services or servitization. An expert CPQ system will help businesses transition from a 'build and sell' model to one where they use their products to sell ‘Outcome-as-a-service’ rather than a one-off sale.
Read more: What Are the Key Drivers of Servitization?
For a successful transition to servitization, you need to be able to calculate the cost, risk, and value of multi-year performance-based service agreements. With CPQ software, you can capture, process, and guide decision-making when implementing servitization.
In today's manufacturing environment, companies need to be able to manage product complexity easily and get orders and configurations right the first time.
CPQ software enables you to stay ahead at every step in the quote-to-contract process by providing speed, agility, mobility, and intelligence. Yes, prospects are more knowledgeable, customers more demanding, and competition is tougher, but with the right CPQ solution, you can become easier to buy from than other manufacturers in your niche.