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 creates 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.