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CPQ Success: Trusting the Configurator

CPQ Success begins with Trust

Let’s face it when it comes to working habits, we all have our routines. From checking your inbox to seeing what the day holds to how you interact daily with customers and prospects. Change can come at a glacial pace at times for manufacturers. Adopting solutions like Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is a challenge many manufacturers face after they purchase it. How can CPQ buyers get their teams to change habits that have formed over the years of both success and failure? Building trust with a product configurator is easier said than done. Let’s look at some tips on how to get your team to buy-in. 

Shift the sales mentality  

Think about the typical selling process for highly configurable products for a moment. A prospect connects with a request for your product. This product can have a lot of moving parts, use an elevator for example. How many buttons does it need? What are the accessibility requirements? How many floors?  

These and many more questions are needed to be answered before a sale can be complete. Your team has a way of dealing with this by going back and forth with the customer and engineering. This creates a lengthy inefficient process that takes time and can still be incorrect when it rolls off the assembly line. Not to mention your customer could change their mind at a moment’s notice. All these challenges cost time and money, but they still usually get the product to the customer, even if it’s at a discount. Which makes it important to both trust your sales team while giving them a solution that considers their experience and optimizes how they sell.  

Building trust between configurator and experience 

Building trust with any product isn’t an easy task. CPQ is no exception. With years of experience, your sales team has a defined way in which they sell, taking them out of their comfort zone isn’t something that is an overnight change. Bridging the gap between their excellent sales experience and a configurator is a way to not only trust your team but also show how much faster they can sell. With guided selling, it’s possible to shift the sales mentality by removing constant product reviews, while also accounting for changing customer demands.  

CPQ Success

Check out how our customer Burkert created a bridge between experience and product (free direct download!).

Preparing for CPQ: Creating compatibility between product and user  

The first step to creating a solution that enables success for all parties is to drive a constructive dialogue. At the end of the day all most people want is to control how they work, no surprises or unexpected errors. That’s why creating a seamless selling journey for your team and customer can build a process that gets deals done while engaging with the customer.  

Every sales journey is different, from returning customers to new ones. At the start of the process, it’s all about defining the end-product. What purpose will It serve? Does the customer know exactly what they want or just a general idea? CPQ with guided selling can answer one of these questions or all of them depending on the sales rep.  

Every selection shows the consequence of the action, added or removed products are shown in a bill of material that before CPQ was done manually and related to the role of the user. Now instead of your sales team relying only on their intuition, it’s possible to validate your customers unique needs. This creates a safety net of sorts, the more answers you have for the product, the more constraints are shown.  

Setting the expectations  

The more your team understands the product the better. Using CPQ enables your team to understand the product with or without in-depth experience. This helps everyone involved learn about the application of the final product. Analytics can show that one item is selling more than another, or one configuration is clearly more popular than another. Creating these realistic expectations can take the uncertainty out of the selling process.  

Interested in reading more? Check out our guide to the B2B Manufacturing Trends of 2021!


In closing  

Confidence takes time, your best sales rep has years of trial and error when selling to prospects. Every mistake was a learning experience that led to optimizing a manual sales process that would still take days to produce a quote. That’s why building trust with a product configurator is critical to long-term success selling to the new B2B buyer. The knowledge of your sales rep isn’t discounted, it’s optimized with CPQ, together they can use instincts built over years of selling while producing firm quotes in minutes instead of weeks.  

Interested in learning more? Schedule your personalized demo today! 

Author: Michael Brassea