Demand for more and more custom options is making life harder and harder for building materials manufacturers. More parts, more constraints, more custom engineering, and one-off pricing mean selling building materials has never been more complicated.
Fortunately, however, this cloud of complexity has a silver lining.
Buyers’ expectations might be sky-high. But they’re prepared to pay for personalization. According to research from Deloitte, 1 in 5 buyers will pay a 20% premium on personalized goods. (This research was based on the consumer market. But the consensus is that for B2B, this figure is even higher)
The shift towards customization has created an opportunity for digitally savvy manufacturers to increase their profits by “double dipping.” On the one hand, they’re generating higher revenue by selling configurable products. And on the other, they’re saving costs across their business. How? By implementing a CPQ solution like Tacton CPQ.
In this article, we explore how building materials manufacturers leveraging CPQ are winning across three dimensions:
- Visualization: Show buyers lifelike, interactive 3D renderings of custom products and boost conversion rates and average deal size as a result.
- Guided Selling: Increase speed and accuracy while minimizing the cost and time it takes to bring salespeople up to speed.
- Automation: Enable customers, partners, and sales reps to generate documents and CAD data with a single click.
If you want to sell complex products with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of options, then every one of your sales reps has to be highly knowledgeable.
Reps need to know how products work and how they can be manufactured. They need to know what parts are compatible, what tolerances are acceptable, and what designs look good on paper but won’t function in the real world.
Unfortunately, in the modern climate, most manufacturers don’t have the luxury of hiring experienced reps. Skilled labor is hard to find. And even if they do hire a world-class sales team, it won’t have the impact it would have had a decade ago. Why? Because so many of today’s buyers want to self-serve.
The modern buyer has spoken. And they want e-com over in-person–they want to research products at their own pace online and interact with humans only when absolutely necessary.
This shift towards e-commerce has created a dilemma for manufacturers: How to empower customers to serve themselves independently–without sales or technical support. The fact that products have become more complicated and configurable than ever compounds the problem.
Building materials manufacturers need to leverage the right technology to solve this dilemma. Specifically, they need a CPQ solution like Tacton CPQ that provides rules-driven visual product configuration. Let’s explain.
With Tacton CPQ, manufacturers can embed a visual product configurator into their website that visitors can use to configure products visually. Instead of reading through boring, technical product descriptions and specs, they interact with 3D visuals of products, potentially using AR to show computer-generated products in situ. This gives them a far greater understanding of your offering.
Using Tacton CPQ’s visual product configurator, buyers can design their building materials by dragging and dropping to add parts to base assemblies and changing attributes like colors, dimensions, and finishes. Users see precisely how their product will look and behave once it’s manufactured.
With visual product configuration, buyers get the independence and ownership they crave, and manufacturers can sell an endless number of products without holding any inventory.
Smart Constraints and Guided Selling
If the thought of prospective buyers configuring your complex products brings you out in a cold sweat, fear not! With Tacton CPQ, it’s impossible for users–sales reps or end customers–to make configuration mistakes.
Every configuration that makes it’s way downstream to engineering or the shop floor has three things in common:
- Customer satisfaction: Provides the optimal solution for each customer’s use case, increasing customer value, satisfaction, and retention.
- Margin maximization: Makes the most significant profit for the seller.
- Manufacturability: Easy and cost-efficient to manufacture.
So, how can building materials manufacturers ensure users hit all the right notes with their configuration? The answer: smart attribute constraints.
Smart attribute constraints are engineering rules that express how modules and parts can be combined. They provide the logic that guarantees the accuracy and validity of configurations. Thanks to these constraints, there’s no need for technical know-how. All users need to do is follow the prompts (guided selling) and let Tacton CPQ do the rest.
For sales reps short on experience, guided selling is a lifesaver–a cheat code for achieving quota. The visual configurator walks them step-by-step through all the selections, making customer-specific recommendations and prompting high-margin options. Thanks to this level of sales automation, manufacturers can introduce new products and options without additional sales training.
Pricing and Proposal Automation
While users configure products on the front end, Tacton CPQ automatically calculates prices and generates various documents on the back end.
Tacton CPQ calculates prices in real-time, giving users instant feedback and ensuring no nasty surprises crop up down the line. Pricing models account for everything from sales, production, shipping, installation, and service costs to factors like discounts, rebates, and customer frame agreements.
Calculating prices dynamically improves accuracy and speed while saving salespeople hours of rote work. Creating custom orders is as straightforward as selling standardized products.
Another one of Tacton CPQ’s standout features is automatic margin control. With this feature, sales reps are assigned different roles, each with a different pre-approved margin level. Prices that require approval are fed automatically into an approval workflow with a single-click sign-off.
In most manufacturing firms, salespeople waste valuable time manually creating proposals when they could be out selling. This friction is a problem in fiercely competitive building materials verticals where products are becoming increasingly customizable, and quote revisions can be overwhelming.
With Tacton CPQ, sales can generate quotes for complex materials with a click of a button. They don’t need any engineering know-how, as this is all stored within Tacton CPQ itself. Prices are always accurate and consistent, and product features are up-to-date. Increased responsiveness means you can get your proposals–complete with 2D or 3D visuals–in front of buyers before your competitors do!
Engineering bottlenecks frequently cause delays and frustration. But backlogs are inevitable when under-pressure engineering departments have to provide CAD data with every proposal. (And shouldn’t your engineers be carrying out high-value work instead of cranking out sales drawings all day?)
Design automation frees engineers from the constant back-and-forth with sales. Customers, partners, and sales reps can generate accurate 2D and 3D CAD files themselves. They can do so with a single click at any time during the buying journey.
When building materials manufacturers are battling against escalating costs, a skills shortage, rising competition, and growing demand for product customization, Tacton CPQ provides the ideal solution.
Product visualization, guided selling, dynamic pricing, and proposal automation make life easier for salespeople by orders of magnitude and enables self-serve, eliminating the burden on sales.
Beyond sales, Tacton CPQ drives engineering efficiencies, freeing engineers to focus on innovation. They don’t have to worry about configuration mistakes, manufacturability, or falling foul of local regulations–smart constraints guarantee accuracy.
If you want to reduce costs and make selling engineer-to-order products as straightforward as selling finished goods inventory, then Tacton CPQ is the package you’re looking for.