May 30, 2020

Benefits of a CPQ Configurator and why your business needs one

CPQ Configurators can help salespersons and customers co-design complex products in an intuitive, simple and quick manner. In this article we go deeper into some of the key benefits of customization tools for B2B applications.

CPQ configurator
CPQ configurator

CPQ configurators are a key part of what’s called CPQ software: configure, price, quote. CPQ software helps sales persons to provide quotes to prospects quickly and accurately. CPQ software is therefore used in the process leading up to generating a proposal.

CPQ configurators help companies to shorten the sales cycle, give the sales team access to up-to-date information, minimize errors in quoting products and reduce training for new sales reps.

Configurators also make the whole sales process more exciting and engaging and give the customer a greater sense of ownership. Co-designing allows customers to spin, zoom, drag-and-drop, adjust colors, and build their dream product. It does not require any technical expertise. Spreadsheets and catalogues will never create the kind of excitement or engagement that a sophisticated and intuitive configurator can provide.

Salespersons tend to be reluctant sometimes to use configurators as they fear it may eliminate their jobs. The opposite actually holds true. The goal of a sales rep is to spend the majority of their time selling. Often this is not the case with salespersons spending most of their time on back-office and on admin tasks. B2B configurators can help the salesperson free up an enormous amount of time and therefore allow them to spend more time selling.

1. Shorten the sales cycle

For B2B companies, shortening the sales cycle is one of the most attractive benefits a configurator can offer.

When a salesperson visits a customer on site, they can co-design in real time the product based on the configuration options that are available. The salesperson can quickly get to know the requirements and preferences of the customer.

A configurator is therefore a tool that sells for you. Instead of telling the customer “this is what we have”, it gives the salesperson the opportunity to ask “what would you like”.

According to research from the Aberdeen Group, it can shorten the sales cycle by 27%.

2. Online access to up-to-date product information

Product configurators are like virtual assistants that can guide the salesperson. Sales no longer have to go through spreadsheets or catalogs, or reach back out to the head office to consult with them. They can use the configurator instead and know that the customizations they apply will conform to the rules and restrictions that have been set on the backend. This allows them to go almost instantly from idea to quote.

3. Elimination of errors in the ordering process

Errors made by salespersons can increase the sales cycle and therefore the risk of losing a sale. Also, when you deal with complex and configurable products, quote errors and order errors can get expensive quickly.

B2B configurators with variable and real time pricing built into it can don’t allow orders to be placed that are not supported by your company’s capabilities.

4. Shorter learning curve for new sales

If you sell complex and configurable products, training new salespersons can take many weeks or months. With a B2B configurator, salespersons can start selling almost the day that they start.  They don’t need to know all features that are available for a product. With an intuitive configurator they can guide the customer in co-designing the product.

5. It’s fun and exciting

Salespersons and customers alike will enjoy playing around with the various customizations. They can see the product from every angle, spin 360 and zoom in on it. A B2B configurator can provide an emotional part in the process, which can significantly help to overcome the hurdle of first contact.

Customers also don’t need to worry about creating products that cannot be supported. Thanks to the configuration options, customers can always be certain that what they design can in fact be delivered.

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