Quick…are you selling products or solving customer problems?
Companies don’t want products – they want solutions to their problems. Meet Vencomatic, a Tacton customer who knows the difference a good sales tool can make.
Vencomatic is a Dutch equipment manufacturer for the poultry farming industry. The company’s products are highly customized and no two customers buy the same solution.
With a presence in more than 70 countries and an extensive network of partners and re-sellers, Vencomatic needed a CPQ sales tool that was smart, quick and accurate. But more than that - they needed a tool that could answer their customers’ questions.
The challenge of providing a solution, not just a product
Vencomatic’s customers have chickens in common, but that’s where it ends. Each has their own very unique set of requirements. There isn’t even consistency in terms of how they approach Vencomatic. And herein lies the challenge.
Koen Boot, CIO at Vencomatic explains:
“Some of our customers come to us with a building specification and say, ‘I want to house chickens in this building, which system should I use? And how many birds can I keep?’ While another might ask, ‘I want to produce X number of eggs per day, which system should I use and how large should the building be?’ This requires a degree of flexibility and sophistication that our existing sales configurator just couldn’t provide".
What Koen describes here is a common thread for many of the manufacturers that we work with. Customers often ask how you can solve a problem, or meet a need, rather than coming with an idea of which product they want to buy. And in this situation, you’d better know your offering inside out.
But even this isn’t enough. You also need to understand the unique business context your solution should fit into. This may sound obvious, but with complex products (even with not so complex ones!) it’s far from easy.
Koen explains the situation like this;
“If you take one of our standard nest products – we might have 20 different options for each nest. Consider then that we have 25 different product lines and that we’re active in 70 countries, each of which has its own country-specific regulations and requirements…it makes for a pretty complex equation.”
A sales tool that loves complexity
What’s needed is a CPQ tool that can handle this level of complexity, and also one that’s smart enough to capture a customer’s needs and translate that into the optimal offering. And that’s Tacton.
Tacton’s technology has the ability to connect customer needs to specific product features and functions. You can offer solutions that provide an answer to your customer’s questions – and crucially, you can do it every bit as quickly and profitably as you would with standard products.
Embarking on a configuration project like this one often acts as a catalyst that sheds light on issues and brings unexpected improvements.
“The project with Tacton highlighted a lot of issues with our processes, but in a good way. It forced us to really examine our products from a logical point of view, and to think about what is the core and what we should offer as options. We had always modularized to some extent, but this really made us rethink. It was a big eye-opener for us to look at our product line in this way and to really consider what we could and should offer our customers. We’ve adapted Tacton’s ideas to our product architecture and it’s already looking very promising.”
The main takeaway for Vencomatic was this – if your customer wants you to build a custom solution, you need a clear understanding of your building blocks.
Time savings of up to 60% - and that’s just the beginning
Even before the Tacton solution was fully implemented, the project had already started to show efficiency gains in both production and sales. The first phase of the project handles six complete product lines, including country regulations and many other important parameters. This work is already producing time-saving of as much as 60% per quote. Koen says,
“With our new solution, all the product and configuration knowledge is captured in the system and not just in the heads of our product experts. We are very happy. It is saving us a lot of time and we are a more competitive business as a result."