Blog Category: CPQ

A Letter From Our New CEO: Why Tacton? Why Now?

My name is Bo Gyldenvang, and I’m Tacton’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share a little bit about why I joined Tacton at such an uncertain economic time. 

An Unparalleled Opportunity  

The manufacturing industry is quickly changing from in-person sales and engineering to a fully digital buying and selling experience. Tacton offered an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. A chance to be at the forefront of transforming not just one manufacturer, but the entire industry. As a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic QuadrantTacton has unique product insights and unparalleled manufacturing expertise that will not only help manufacturers but their customers in the long run.  

Why Tacton? 

We’re at an inflection point as a global society. A lot has changed over the past six months. The pandemic has shown how we all need to find better, optimized, and more sustainable ways to work. Which is why I’m ecstatic to start at Tacton. A company whose mission is to enable Smart Commerce for Manufacturers with Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software. 

The Culture 

Award-winning products are great, but the team behind the product is a major reason I’ve joined Tacton. As a global company, it’s impressive to see how the teams interact with one another, waking up early, staying a few minutes late to enhance collaboration and expertise. The international culture brings together a melting pot of ideas that have led us to be such an exciting place to work. 

I’m looking forward to supporting our customers and manufacturers in their digital transformation journey with Tacton and I hope you are too. If you’d like feel free to connect with me on Linkedin and Twitter

Best,

Bo Gyldenvang

 

 

[Tech with Tacton] Dynamic Proposal Documents with CPQ Proposal Software

Power city at night

Creating complete and accurate proposal document with the customer in focus when you have a large or heavily configurable product portfolio can be a time-consuming process and manufacturers know this struggle far too well. Proposals are one critical part of closing deals with customers, so creating fast, accurate proposals can make all the difference between winning or losing a deal. That’s just one reason many manufacturers are venturing to use Configure, Price, Quote solutions. Using CPQ proposal software can help you generate that winning proposal with a click of a button.  

This week’s Tech with Tacton author is Kalle Bruno one of our Senior Business Consultants at Tacton. In Kalle’s eight years with Tacton he has worked with some of our customers such as Husky, Siemens and Ryder. 

Manual work without CPQ proposal software  

Just as fast as your customer contacts you with a request, they want an equally fast response with a proposal that answers their specific questions.  

Many manufacturers in the past have taken a lot of time to build proposals painstakingly, manually writing a word document, copying and pasting standard sections from old proposals to retrofit an old customer proposal for a new one. Omitting those yellow sections like they’ve done so many times in the past. This can lead to error-prone handovers with missing documents, inaccurate pricing, and product specs.   

In that scramble to create a proposal the old way, your sales team uses old company logos and creates documents that seem pasted together from old documents, creating an inconsistent proposal experience for your customer. This isn’t just a difficult read for your customer but a bad look for your brand.  

All this work keeps customers waiting. So why do many manufacturers go back copy and paste from old word documents into a new one every time? They haven’t discovered how to use CPQ proposal software to make their lives easier yet. 

Configure your perfect proposal 

Customers are unique and expect their needs to be acknowledged and fulfilled, this I should be reflected in a proposalChoose if you want to include a note from you CEO and product specs, just check that box.  The note mentions the customer’s name and contact person, the correct specs are added which relate to the products that will fulfill the customers’ needs. Only show total price, or is it important to present a price for reach individual options, your choice. It’s even easy to add the product visualizations you impressed the customer within the initial sales pitch.

The best part? If you reconfigure products and adjust prices in CPQ, you just need to press that button again to generate a proposal reflecting those changes.  

The documents included with Tacton CPQ Proposal Software:

Generates proposals and supporting documents –product sheets, user manuals, BOMs, spare parts lists
˃ Documents in Word, Excel or PDF
˃ Country- and role-specific proposals

Dynamic Proposals can help empower sales and customers

Creating an easy and editable way of creating proposals used to be a tall task. Now with CPQ Proposal Software by Tacton it’s easier than ever to populate documents with accurate product info, removing any chance of errors. This error-proof proposal generation can help sell faster while making each customers unique proposal dynamic, easy to read and accurate.

To learn more about dynamic proposals and Tacton CPQ:

Schedule your demo

Learn more about Tacton

CPQ and Guided Selling: Empowering Manufacturing Customers

A shift towards customer empowerment is here

A dynamic power shift has been happening for businesses across every industry over the past decade. Manufacturers used to rely on ads, word-of-mouth and even promotions to attract customers to their products. This oftentimes was a leap of faith for customers, with little to no peer-reviews or information buyers would have to trust that a manufacturer could do as they promised.

That’s all changed, with review sites and numerous other ways to get info on your company. These changing customer demands make it imperative to change how manufacturers interact and empower their current and prospective customers. This power shift demands that manufacturers enable customers to configure, price and quote highly configurable manufacturing products on their own time without the help from your sales or engineering teams.

What does customer empowerment for manufacturers look like?

The old customer journey took your buyer directly to your sales and engineering teams because configuring products with high product variability was difficult. That process could some times lead to costly misconfigurations and error-filled quotes, making your customer think twice about your product. Manufacturers who use CPQ offer accurate quotes and configurations, but customers are still looking to do the work on their own time. That’s why today’s customers want to be less reliant on your sales team and more create their product on their own time with the same accuracy but still have the same great support from your team if problems do arise. This support and empowerment is a powerful way to foster a great relationship based on loyalty and accurate expectations.

CPQ and Guided Selling empowering the customer and the manufacturer to do more

Customers want to do everything fast, and accurate. Errors aren’t acceptable to the new B2B buyer because if they do happen customers are likely to find an option that can fulfill their needs. Without CPQ many manufacturers struggle with product variance because they use excel sheets and other databases with scattered information. This of course leads to errors and unhappy customers which makes creating a cohesive internal experience even more important. Connecting with existing CRM, ERP and other business-critical systems to CPQ with robust integrations help your company get to grips with the quoting process for internal empowerment.

Now that internal empowerment is accomplished with CPQ your customer will be able to enjoy the same benefits. Customers want to save as much time as possible when searching for products, that’s why CPQ self-service is a key tool you can use to create configurations and even visualizations of their products, all without any assistance from your sales team. Customers want an eCommerce way of buying things similar to how they shop for a new pair of shoes. Enabling self-service helps your customers work with products while enabling your company to create the eCommerce journey they are accustom to. This journey can be accompanied by stunning visuals that are accurate down to the smallest detail. Check out how we helped MAN Truck and Bus give visuals that helped them save time while enhancing the customer experience.

This sounds like a bad thing for your sales team, but in reality, empowering customers to create themselves will save your team time and money by focusing on other potential deals. Self-service can also help with frequently asked questions by providing a knowledge base of questions, and troubleshooting.

What is Guided Selling?

Guided Selling software creates an interactive dialogue about customer wants and needs to find a solution that is both accurate and optimal for their needs. Think of your best salesperson, they have the experience to suggest what would work in a certain situation but still can create mistakes. Guided Selling is like your best salesperson but without the errors. Utilizing Guided Selling created a personalized experience by showing customers optimal products that they didn’t know they needed. This empowers them to take a deep dive into the products, how do they use them, where do they use them? These questions give customers options that they didn’t even think of that can help them get the most out of their products. Technical knowledge isn’t needed with Guided Selling, making it easy for anyone to use, sales, or customers.

Empowering Customers can take your business to the next level

It’s not a secret anymore, manufacturers are trying to catch up to other industries by creating a cohesive, fast and empowering customer journey. Many have struggled to get the process started because the optimal solution hasn’t presented itself. That time is over, Tacton Smart Commerce, powered by CPQ can shape how your business does work internally and externally. Empowering customers with self-service and Guided Selling is just the beginning. Once they get a hang of that it’s possible for them to enable their partners do work with their customers for a truly omnichannel customer experience.

Sound too good to be true? Check out some of our resources and customer stories to see how top manufacturers are empowering their customers daily.

Book your personalized demo

Tacton Smart Commerce eBook 

CPQ Self-Service Product Sheet

Visual Configuration Video

Husky Success Story

 

CPQ Systems Analytics: Expectation vs. Reality

CPQ systems analytics

Data is important and a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQinvestment has a wealth of data that many of our manufacturing customers are taking advantage of to learn more about their products. Organizations that aren’t thinking about how to maximize their data to address their problems today are losing time and money on problems they want to solve tomorrow. Enabling manufacturers to use CPQ systems analytics to create both an input and an output can create insights that help with current and future forecasts. Your customers can also benefit from using analytics as they can see how their expectations of a product could be perfect, or use some improvement based on actual data.  

The expectation and the input  

Every customer is different, each has their idea of how a specific product will work for them. Creating their highly customizable manufacturing product together using CPQ is a great way to speed up a slow process, but let’s focus on the CPQ systems analytics.  

Say your customer is looking to purchase a truck (check out how one of our customers does it), they have preconceived notions on the total cost of ownership, where and when it’ll be serviced and how their drivers will treat any truck in their fleet. Your customer equips the trucks with tires pressure sensors, engine diagnostics, elevation measures, GPS, and even gearbox output. Measuring how these items work in the truck can tell a lot about how drivers are using it, and what can be improved if customers dig deeper than just buying the product.  

The reality and the action 

Now that the truck has rolled off the assembly line and onto the roads the customer drives on the data can begin to be collected. Remember those pressure sensors in the tires? Maybe they haven’t been working so well for the customer. The gearbox may be getting a little bit more beat up than expected and the engine may be suffering because of it. Using GPS and elevation data you can see if the truck was required to take a longer route through rougher terrain.

Capturing this data with CPQ system analytics is critical to adjusting for servicing and upgrades for the next truck. Correct servicing and upgrades can make customers loyal because they know you’re helping them optimize their product.  Maximizing this datcan help your company create better insight on products to help market future versions to your loyal customers.  

The output  

Now that you’ve put a higher value on customer data it’s time to figure out how to use this analysis to understand how expectation vs reality can create business value. Seeing what was in the initial order by the customers vs. How the product was used has a lot of insights that CPQ analytics can shed light on 

Using information such as driving habits can help you sell driver training to help better optimize the use of their purchase. Or those tire pressure sensors that weren’t working so well can be removed from the product portfolio and swapped out for ones that better fit the needs of the driver.  

It’s time to take a deep dive into data 

If you don’t have a CPQ system in place you may find yourself struggling with the data that comes from creating highly customizable manufacturing products. A spreadsheet about product options here and another spreadsheet about pricing. This decentralized data leads to losing time, money and customer interest by creating a slow sales process. All of that can change using CPQ system analytics. Reviewing how expectations can vary greatly from reality is an integral part of keeping customers coming back. Being agile, especially in the upcoming months,  with analytics data can help save time and money.  

Looking for more info on CPQ systems analytics? 

Get the Analytics Product Sheet 

Sign up for your demo:

Learn more in your personalized demo!

What is CPQ Software? How can it Help in the New Normal?

What is CPQ Software?

Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software platforms help manufacturers use self-service, guided (and remoteselling to accurately configure manufacturing products and services for the new buying journey many manufacturers face. The new B2B buyer won’t wait for error-prone quotes they want their products custom and they want them now! Minimizing time-consuming back and forth between your sales and engineering is reduced by centralizing the customer experience within CPQ. 

Much of the world has hit the pause button on how everyday activity creating a sense of nostalgia for how we used to work, and anxiety for the new way things will be done. Manufacturers have felt this anxiety as severely as other industries that have paused operations. These feelings are of course valid. But what if it was possible to turn that fear and anxiety into business self-reflection to find new solutions that can help you, and your business adapt to a new normal?

How can CPQ software prepare us for a new way of working?

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat. Manufacturers have been thrown into brand new ways of working from the back of the office to the front. Six-feet separate employees who used to work inches from one another. To sales teams scrambling to find ways to work, and demo highly configurable products remotely. These challenges have shifted how and when we work, making it important to find new ways to adapt to the current situation while also embracing the future with new ways to work.

CPQ is the innovation manufacturers didn’t realize they needed until now. Inefficient operations and slow internal processes have always hampered how your engineers and sales teams work. Giving them a new agile way of working is a benefit that will enable your company to grow at an exponential rate.

That sounds great but how is it possible?

Your sales team and your customer 

Using CPQ helps your sales team from anywhere with less hassle. From guided selling to visual configuration your sales team can create fast, accurate and visually appealing sales pitches that your customer, who is pickier than ever will love. All of this can be done online or in-person for an omnichannel manufacturing experience. We’re very familiar with the changing customer demands, they want custom products from size dimensions to colors, fast and if they don’t get them they’ll go to your competition. With CPQ self-service it’s even possible to create a place for your customers to configure, price and quote their own products on their own time, something manufacturers in the past have failed to do.

Your engineering team 

Increasing the dialogue and collaboration between your sales and engineering teams is something you’ve been thinking about for a while. The slow back and forth with error-prove handover has cost time, money and customer satisfaction in the past. Finding a way to turn collaboration into a strength is something CPQ software can radically change. By using CPQ which guarantees 100% accurate quotes + visual configuration which can show the smallest detail to prospects offers a synchronized and transparent way to have teams work together. This doesn’t just benefit your internal operations but keeps customers on a fast track to receiving their products.

Integrations for even greater speed

From CPQ for Salesforce, to CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics and even your favorite eCommerce solution, it’s easier than ever to highlight the strength of any business-critical system. Without these integrations it’s lead manufacturers to use messy spreadsheets and have information get lost, for incorrect quoting.

Every operation is different, but creating new ways to be agile in the coming months can make all of the difference in barley surviving or thriving in a new normal that mandates different ways of working. Using Smart Commerce powered by CPQ can be a choice that puts manufacturers ahead in the race for increased customer satisfaction, improved internal operations and higher profit margins.

These are just a few highlights of how Tacton CPQ Software can help manufacturers adapt to a new normal. Let’s get in touch and create a new manufacturing normal that will be the envy of the industry. 

Get your personalized demo

Learn more about Smart Commerce and CPQ

The Manufacturers’ Guide to Remote CPQ Solutions

Organizations before the COVID-19 pandemic had to constantly evolve themselves to stay ahead of the curve of increasingly custom demands for highly configurable products. The current situation is going to change how everyone works for at least the foreseeable future. Coping with these changes won’t be easy, but manufacturers who search for innovative solutions can get ahead and stay ahead of every competitor using remote CPQ solutions.

Where to start?

Today’s modern B2B customer has increasingly sophisticated expectations and behaviors when purchasing new products. For industrial manufacturers, this means they need new, smart ways to sell their products and solutions. For most, what technology is available in-house is a crucial success factor and can make or break their deals.

Manufacturers of highly configurable products have long relied on in-person meetings to sell their products, but even before the pandemic created a new manufacturing challenge, customers began looking for companies that could offer an online B2B experience. Without face-to-face meetings, it can be difficult to imagine how to sell high variant products but that can change using CPQ. With so much uncertainty in the coming months, it may seem foolish to start looking for innovative solutions, but right now is the time to invest in future-proof remote CPQ solutions.

Be everywhere with remote CPQ solutions

Customers were interacting less with your sales team before and now are moving towards an increasingly online buying journey. New digital transformation strategies must put customer engagement at the forefront whether online direct sales or through partner channels. While new for many manufacturers, an omnichannel manufacturing experience is necessary for engaging with customers across the channels they choose. A true omnichannel experience goes beyond face-to-face interactions with your sales team and extends your reach with customer self-service for configurable products. Centralizing the customer experience within CPQ is a great way to keep customers coming back for more with an easy and dynamic buying and selling process.

Manufacturers who extend their reach across any channel to showcase their products will be able to separate themselves from every competitor by giving customers the chance to build their products anywhere, anytime with 100% accuracy.

Visualize the Sale

Modern technologies for visualization and visual configuration are ideal to meet the increasing digital requirements and expectations of customers.

What is visual product configuration?

Visual product configuration is the combined use of digital technologies in order to be able to configure products directly in a three-dimensional visual representation. Customers can build their own products and understand how configuration choices impact the final product. Enabling customers with remote CPQ visual configuration solutions also reduces costly miscommunications by showing every detail, even the smallest bolt on a product. Without in-person meetings, companies who use augmented reality apps can visualize your product in their own space.

How can visual product configuration help my demo?

Adding visualization to your online demos can make a huge difference in how you show your products to customers. With that being said they can even join in on the fun using QR codes and the Tacton AR app. Increasing customer engagement even if it’s from afar goes a long way in being innovative. Customers don’t want a boring demo based heavily on text-based product descriptions, they want to see your products, so give them what they want with visualization.

How can remote CPQ keep my team connected?

Finding tools that make collaborating easier for your employees makes their lives easier, so why wouldn’t you find one helps engineers and your sales team? Cloud-based CPQ can offer much more that can help future-proof a business. Cloud-based CPQ has been used internally for years now, but it has evolved to further connect your internal teams and customers. With team members working from all over it is important to keep everyone aligned on customer needs. Having the right cloud-based CPQ solution will allow for smooth and consistent communication to reach these goals. Even when changes are reflected in real-time for customers and your team to see.

Connect every process

From CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics) to ERP (SAP VC & ECC) to even eCommerce, CPQ integrations connect every business-critical solution you or your customer deploy.

Analyze the products

With razor-thin room for inefficient processes, CPQ analytics enables customers to dig deep into how their products are working. Learn what products are selling, and which are not. Removing unused products saves you time and money. Design specific configurations that are adapted to region, market and customer to accelerate your sales. All of these things can save time and money for your company by unlocking the wealth of data CPQ analytics offers.

Interested in learning more?

We’ve all had to adapt to the current situation, Tacton is no different, but with CPQ we’ve been able to help our customers adapt. This adaptation will enable them to maximize and optimize every solution throughout the length of the crisis. Every last cent counts, so making an innovative decision now by learning more about Tacton’s remote CPQ solution can make all the difference.

Sign up for your demo today and leave your competition behind.

Unlock Your Data with CPQ Analytics Software [Tech with Tacton]

Tacton CPQ analytics

A note about the Author:  

This edition of Tech with Tacton takes a deep dive into CPQ Software Analytics. Our author is Max Leitgeb, Configuration and Analytics Senior Product Manager at Tacton. Max is part of the original founders of Tacton and has spent more than 18 years with the company. 

With the 2010s in the rearview mirror, one thing many companies have learned is how to make data-driven decisions. These data-driven choices can be anything from why sales closes deals to how to deal with new customer demands.  

Many manufacturers are attempting to digitally transform their sales operations through Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) softwareMany individuals see CPQ as a way to accelerate the sales and quoting processes for their customers but miss out on critical insights for their business. While this is very true, CPQ gives a wealth of data that is often overlooked by customers. This data can change how your operation does business by utilizing CPQ software analytics. Analyzing these trends can offer you and your customer insights that will put them mile ahead of their competition. 

Use CPQ Analytics Software across the organization  

Using CPQ analytics, everyone from your CEO to the newest employee can benefit from the right information. With analytics, it’s easier for your sales team to see which product options are selling or offer a popular configuration of a product such as a truck that sells better with one cab as opposed to another. Eliminating unnecessary portfolio content will help your sales team by removing components and save them fewer clicks with guided sellingSimply put, removing unnecessary parameters and complexity from the product leads to less complex and fewer products needed in your stock and warehouse.  

Your engineering team can benefit from seeing which product options are selling the best and which aren’t selling at all. Identifying both necessary and unnecessary product variance will allow your engineering team to better recommend products for each unique customer product portfolio.  

Analytics can give key insight into your product portfolio. Seeing correlations between winning and losing details and product options can be a near-impossible process without a helpful tool. But with CPQ analytics it’s easier to detect both patterns and dependencies. Making actionable insights from the wealth of data can help your business grow across every department.  

 Get a better understanding of your customer 

Customers are as unique as the parameters of the products you sell. Evolving needs for your customers are a precursor for changes in your portfolio to stay competitive. Analyzing what needs-based parameters have been selected can give you valuable insights of how your products will be used. This is of course valuable for sales and engineering. Sales can learn how buyers are purchasing their products, do they like one configuration better than another? Engineering can replace parts that aren’t used and develop products and parameters that add win/loss info for portfolio and pricing development.  

By analyzing what needs-based parameters have been selected can give you valuable insights of how your product offering is seen by your customers and how to evolve it. By also taking into what is being offered and what is sold, can give you valuable insights in how to optimize your product variance and pricing. 

Designing specific configurations adapted to region, market and customer can go a long way in speeding up your sales. For example, if you sell heavy vehicles like our customer Scania, it’s possible to analyze how an option is being used. Is the option being used in a tropical or a polar climate? Knowing these parameters can help you better understand your product offering and improve who you sell to in the long run.  

Streamline inventory 

With higher custom demands there is zero-tolerance for inefficient processes for your customers. Your business shouldn’t tolerate slow processes as well. With analytics utilized and underutilized products can be quickly removed from the inventory and save you money on components and storage in the factory.  

Optimize your pricing and discounting structures  

Leaving money on the table is never an ideal situation for manufacturers. But we all know how it works, yousalespeople are always discounting too heavily to get the dealBy analyzing the business situations and discounts with win-rates, you can better guide your sales peoples to maximize profit with optimal discounting levelsFinding the right discount level for every quote will make your business more profitable and make your sales team’s job a little easier. Using data trends can help support your business by creating a planned pricing optimization functionalityWith analytics, you can find a discount that is optimal for getting the deal with the first quote version.   

Your manufacturing operation can be a complicated business at times. A multitude of product options, increasing customer demands and keeping your teams engaged is a constant juggling act. By forecasting using quote data, you enable you and your team to get a head start on planning your next successful venture. 

Interested in seeing more about CPQ analytics? Schedule your personalized demo with us today! Or get the CPQ Software Analytics product sheet 

CPQ Software: Is my Product a Good Fit for Tacton?

CPQ Software: Is My Product A Good Fit for Tacton? 

A note about the author: Brian O’Grady has worked with Tacton for over 20 years as a Sales Engineer and now as a Product Marketing Manager. Before Tacton, Brian had stops at Microsoft and RSA Security 

In the 20 years I’ve worked at Tacton this is probably the question I get asked the most. As a Sales Engineer it was my task to judge the suitability of products with Tacton’s configurator and our CPQ software 

It would be nice to say that this task has gotten easier, but in many ways, it’s become more difficult. 

But for all the right reasons. 

Tacton Only Handles Complex Products? 

One of the things I first learned was that it wasn’t just complex products with intricate rule-systems that benefited from Tacton’s technology. Of course, we love to boast of our ability to configure, price and quote large steam turbines or complex packaging lines, but I remember the customer who used Tacton to design wedding invitations.  

Sometimes quite simple products benefit greatly from using our  CPQ tools. This is because we can replace a primitive system that creates and maintains tens of thousands of simple rules with a state-of-the-art constraint-based system that uses a fraction of the rules with far less maintenance too. 

A chair manufacturer may have hundreds of materials, dozens of finishes, and many product linesthe logic may be simple but the maintenance over time as the choices change will swamp the staff and significantly delay product updates. Having a constraint-based configurator like Tacton dramatically reduces the effort and time needed to roll out new changes as they happen, providing a huge benefit to these companies. 

Tacton Cannot Replace My Complex In-House Processes? 

A situation that I am increasingly seeing is the use of Tacton as a kind of triage configuration tool. By this I mean a tool to give a quick rather than accurate indication of a potential solution. 

A company I spoke with recently, has quite detailed processes and tools to determine the cost of manufacturing a plastic component, with CAD design, mold costs, use of different plastics and evaluation of production runs overtime. They are not interested in replacing their existing tools but are trying to take the pressure off their engineering teams who are asked to handle an enormous number of requests for quotes. 

In these cases, Tacton can offer a best-guess evaluation tool that can give a sales rep or customer aaccurate estimate of the price quicklyEven if this estimate is only accurate within a few cents of the actual cost it can be good enough to decide whether to go forward with further discussion and negotiations.  

This frees up engineering resources to focus on high probability opportunities and provides more accuracy where it will be of most benefit to both the customer and their own company.  

Its All About Configuration Right? 

With the increasing adoption of CPQ software as a standard tool used by companies to support internal and external sales channels and our enablement of customer self-service portals and B2C eCommerce sites, the task of judging who will benefit from Tacton has gotten harder. 

Tacton CPQ tool allows companies to handle not just product complexity but also handle complex sales. Our support for complex pricing, approvals and integrations to legacy systems means that it may be the streamlined way Tacton handles quotes and business processes rather than any logical requirements of the products themselves that is key benefit provided 

The relatively recent launch of our real-time 3D visualization software and augmented reality capabilities will make things even more interesting. Now the deciding factor to use Tacton’s tools may be the way we allow customers to see what they’re orderingplace it into their own environment and interact directly with the 3D representation that could be the deciding factor to use our tools.  

“In 2018, the CPQ market grew by 12.4% to an estimated $1.2 billion (Gartner).” So, don’t be surprised by the large variety of customer logos appearing on the Tacton websiteThe range of applications for advanced CPQ software is only going to get larger 

CPQ Software: Is my product a good fit is a question your competition is asking us. Are you ready to find out the answer as well?

With that in mind, it’s time to get in contact with us and schedule your demo to learn how Tacton can support your company.  

CPQ Software FAQ for Manufacturers

CPQ Software FAQ

You asked so we put together a quick and helpful CPQ Software FAQ that can help you learn more about Tacton CPQ and much more!

At Tacton we’re here to help with your all your questions. Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked most about Tacton, CPQ, visualization and Smart Commerce. Check out our quick CPQ Software FAQ: 

What is Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ)?  

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ Software) is a sales tool that helps companies produce 100% accurate pricing and quotes for highly configurable products. CPQ helps drive revenue growth by making it simpler, and faster to sell complex products. Improve efficiency with CPQ by automating processes and eliminating errors.  

How does CPQ help my manufacturing business? 

CPQ enables 100% accurate quotes ensuring delivery of the right product, at the right price, at the right time, every time, accelerating your sales and enhancing the customer experience.  

What is visual configuration?  

Visual configuration is a way to interactively showcase your products to customers. The smallest product option can be customized to your customer’s unique needs. Through self-service, your customer can begin the process on their own or work side-by-side with your sales rep.  

How does visual configuration improve my sales?  

Display your entire product portfolio in an attractive, intuitive format with Visual Configuration. ‘Seeing is believing’ make your products come to life in front of your customers. Visual Configuration also creates a mutual understanding between you and your valued customer. Costly miscommunications are significantly reduced by providing more accurate expectations. 

How does CPQ and Visual Configuration work together? 

Visual configuration creates detailed products that react to configuration changes from CPQ in real-time. This gives a visual understanding of the product to customers who may. Real-time visuals allow your buyer to understand how different features change the configuration of their product. With visuals, your customer, even non-technical, can get a better understanding of your products. 

What is Design Automation?  

Design Automation lets you configure, design, and deliver custom products faster than ever before. Automatically create detailed production and assembly drawings from within your CAD tool. 

How can design automation help my engineers?  

Design automation radically reduces the time from design to fulfillment, freeing up engineering teams and improving operational efficiency. By automating routine and repetitive CAD tasks, you can design more in less time, freeing up resources for innovation. Minimize disruptive change orders and delays. The configurator-powered tool will always propose an optimal solution.  

What are Tacton’s CPQ integrations 

Tacton’s CPQ integrates into Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. In addition to Tacton CPQ integrates seamlessly into any CRM or ERP system 

How does Salesforce CPQ compare to Tacton CPQ for Salesforce?

Salesforce CPQ and Tacton CPQ are different platforms when evaluating CPQ platforms for manufacturing, there are several considerations that must be taken into account.

First, Tacton Smart Commerce CPQ solution for Manufacturers extends Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud (CRM) with powerful capabilities that make selling custom manufactured products easy. Developed specifically for the manufacturing industry, Tacton helps the sales organization configure and price even the most complex products and generate accurate quotations.

Tacton is uniquely positioned to solve configuration challenges for highly customizable products due to our 20+ years of manufacturing expertise. Our solution uses a constraints-based rule engine combined with AI to ensure that anyone can configure a buildable product—no matter the complexity. This unique capability enables Tacton to stand out as the best solution for manufacturers.

What is CPQ Analytics?  

CPQ gives a wealth of data that is often overlooked by customers. This data can change how your operation does business by utilizing CPQ analyticsAnalyzing how your product portfolio sells and how customers buy can make a world of difference when selling your product. 

How does CPQ analytics me understand my customer better? 

Customers are as unique as the parameters of the products you sell. Analytics can give you a better understanding of the evolving needs of your customers that can help you create a competitive product portfolio based on facts, not assumptions. 

How does CPQ analytics help optimize pricing and discounting structures?  

Maximizing profit is an important aspect of any business, and analytics can help do exactly that. Discounting should be your last option; analytics enables you to see which option is most likely to win and why it won. Being able to see these trends will help you offer discounts sparingly. 

What is an omnichannel experience?   

 An omnichannel sales experience offers your customers a seamless way to interact and buy your products across multiple channels at any time, this allows for your business to be in touch with them throughout the buying journey.   

 What does an omnichannel manufacturing experience look like?   

From the first search of your product to the final purchase, all channels must be in sync. Creating a seamless opportunity to move from one channel to another can make all the difference. Your partners, dealers and resellers won’t need to adapt to one blueprint through an omnichannel approach. 

What is Tacton Smart Commerce?  

Smart Commerce enables manufacturers to digitally transform their business in a smart, profitable way across the buying and selling cycle by improving internal operations and delivering exceptional customer experience. 

How does Smart Commerce help my manufacturing business?  

For Smart Commerce in manufacturing, it’s a requirement to understand the parameters of the product offering. As we know, customers are smarter, and demands have shifted—making customization necessary. Embracing Smart Commerce is fundamental for an organization to meet new customer expectations. In order to survive, manufacturers must address their unique challenges with the right solutions. 

What makes Tacton CPQ stand out against the competition?  

Tacton has unparalleled expertise manufacturing from working with the most advanced manufacturers in the world for over 20 years.  

Who are some of Tacton’s manufacturing customers?  

Visual Configuration at MAN Truck and Bus SEHusky Hot Runners and Controllers, Siemens Yaskawa Robotics and many more.  

What does the Gartner Magic Quadrant say about Tacton CPQ?  

Tacton was Named a Visionary by Gartner® in Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Application Suites 2019.  

Why is the Gartner Magic Quadrant important for selecting a CPQ solution? 

The Gartner Magic Quadrant research methodology provides a graphical competitive positioning of four types of technology providers in fast-growing markets: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players and Challengers in the CPQ space. In the latest Magic Quadrant, Gartner recognized Tacton as a Visionary in its 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price, and Quote Applications Suites. This is the second time running that Tacton was named in Gartner Magic Quadrant. 

Where is Tacton located?  

Tacton is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and Stockholm, Sweden, with regional offices in Karlsruhe, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; and Tokyo, Japan 

Anything you don’t see in the CPQ Software FAQ you’d like to have us answer? Drop us a line and we’ll get right back to you!

 

How does Salesforce CPQ compare to Tacton CPQ for Salesforce?

Why CPQ? What is CPQ?

Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software platforms help manufacturers use self-service, guided (and remoteselling to accurately configure complex products and services for prospective customers. CPQ solutions help manufacturers ensure correct pricing, deliver personalized and highly customized quotes, and massively accelerate the time it takes a salesperson to create a proposal using spreadsheets. Time-consuming back and forth approval sessions between the customer, the engineering team and the sales team are also minimized. 

What are the benefits of CPQ?  

Manufacturing companies that do not use CPQ solutions typically respond slower to bid requests and have more quotation errors.  

By implementing CPQ, manufacturers transform slow, complex, error-prone processes into fast, simple and 100% accurate experiences. CPQ ROI is significant. Quotes are sent faster, each order is configured correctly, and sellers stop wasting time waiting for approvals from engineering. 

What industries use Tacton CPQ? 

Tacton CPQ is used by all types of manufacturing companies. Tacton case studies range from robust configurators for robotics and heavy vehicles and other types of products including truck cabs, elevators, machinery, and Medtech. 

Tacton CPQ works with Salesforce. What are the differences between Salesforce and Tacton CPQ? 

Salesforce CPQ and Tacton CPQ are different platforms when evaluating CPQ platforms for manufacturing, there are several considerations that must be taken into account.   

First, Tacton Smart Commerce CPQ solution for Manufacturers extends Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud (CRM) with powerful capabilities that make selling custom manufactured products easy. Developed specifically for the manufacturing industry, Tacton helps the sales organization configure and price even the most complex products and generate accurate quotations. 

Tacton is uniquely positioned to solve configuration challenges for highly customizable products due to our 20+ years of manufacturing expertise. Our solution uses a constraints-based rule engine combined with AI to ensure that anyone can configure a buildable product—no matter the complexity. This unique capability enables Tacton to stand out as the best solution for manufacturers. 

CPQ market size:

According to analyst firm Gartner, “In 2018, the CPQ market grew by 12.4% to an estimated $1.2 billion.” (Gartner).  Both Salesforce CPQ and Tacton CPQ for Salesforce have appeared in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price, and Quote Application Suites.   

cpq magic quadrant

[“This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Tacton.” 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price, and Quote Application Suites. Mark Lewis, Christina Klock] 

Get the full Gartner Report here:  https://www2.tacton.com/gartner-mq-2019

Why does being named a visionary matter?

For us at Tacton, being named a Visionary comes from our understanding of the manufacturing industry from over twenty years’ experience. In addition to our manufacturing expertise, we’ve grown our innovative capabilities in visual configuration.   

We believe making the Magic Quadrant affirms the great relationships and learnings we’ve had with the top manufacturers in the world.  Manufacturing is changing rapidly, customers demand a B2B buying journey that mirrors their daily purchases. From engaging visuals to 100% accurate quotes, customers won’t tolerate errors in their products.  

Tacton CPQ for Salesforce manufacturing and sales cloud features and benefits:

CAD/Visualization and Augmented Reality (AR)  

Tacton’s visual configurator let’s you and your customer configure products in the most intuitive way imaginable. Drag and drop options and features, change dimensions and project your product in the real world with AR – you can do it all.  

Improve selling processes:

For complex manufactured products, Tacton helps your sales team position the offering that has the best chance of winning the deal. Tacton’s Configure/Price/Quote solution goes beyond traditional guided selling. Tacton captures the customer’s usage and commercial needs, and the configuration engine does the rest. Everything is taken into account – your latest product and pricing updates, local regulations, as well as your margin requirements. The software can find the solution that best matches the customer’s needs and your business goals. With advanced pricing models and built-in approval workflows, your team will position and sell the right product at the right price – every time. 

Accurate, high-quality proposals with supporting documentation are generated automatically. This speeds up the quotation process dramatically, keeping you one step ahead of the competition.

Connect sales and engineering by eliminating order errors:

With Tacton Smart Commerce, you can automate the entire sales engineering process. The configurator validates the complete solution after each selection, ensuring 100% correct Bill-of-Materials (BOM). This connects sales and manufacturing, ensuring that they are always in sync, and removing error-prone information handovers.

Solve complex configuration challenges:

Tacton provides a powerful, constraint-based configuration engine, built to handle complex configuration challenges. The complexity of your product portfolio will never be a limiting factor in implementation.  

Tacton’s CPQ for Salesforce provides constraint-based configuration. This means dramatically fewer rules. A highly scalable – stateless configuration engine handles complex models and high user loads and then validates the complete solution after each selection.  

CPQ support for multiple quoting and pricing models

Tacton CPQ for manufacturing generates branded proposals and supporting documents – user manuals, BOMs, product sheets. It also supports complex pricing models with multiple price lists, currencies and pricing factors  

CPQ for eCommerce and omnichannel experiences:

B2B customers expect B2C omnichannel experiences. Your customers want the same experience on your website as they get with Nike Shoes, or Mercedes Benz car customization configurators. With Tacton CPQ you can build those experiences on your website with a public configurator. This same level of customization also means you can embed the configurator on your partner/reseller/dealer websites as well.  

Out-of-the-box CAD + CPQ Automation:

Tacton CPQ works with SOLIDWORKS®, Inventor®, and Creo®  

Out-of-the-box ERP integration:

Tacton CPQ also provides a robust CPQ integration with SAP ERP® and other ERP, PLM, PIM platforms. 

Tacton CPQ and Salesforce AppExchange:

Tacton CPQ is available on the AppExchange: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/appxListingDetail?listingId=a0N30000003IeNUEA0

With Tacton CPQ, your customers can design and customize your product quickly and accurately.  They can see the product take shape in real-time as you move through the configuration. BOMs and pricing are also updated with each selection and custom quotations are generated at the push of a button.

Available on the Salesforce AppExchange, Tacton CPQ for Salesforce includes the following capabilities:

  • AI-powered CPQ drives sales & efficiency
  • Real-time, intelligent guidance provides the ideal support for your sales reps
  • Enable sales across markets & borders with multiple languages & currencies
  • Impress customers with Visual Configuration and AR
  • CAD drawings at the click of a button (for SOLIDWORKS®, Creo® or Inventor®)
  • Automatically updates Salesforce with quote and order information
  • CPQ and approval workflow apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
  • Send, manage and sync orders with SAP® ERP
  • Robust web service APIs

To see Tacton and Salesforce in action book your demo 

REVIEWS :

Check out the G2 reviews here for a head to head comparison 

OTHER USEFUL CPQ LINKS: 

Tacton Smart Commerce eBook 

Visual Configuration eBook 

Tacton CPQ integration to Salesforce.com