Industries in focus

B2B Product Configurator: The Future of Sales

Author: Elisabeth Sonnleitner

What is now considered indispensable in the B2C sector is gradually beginning to gain a foothold in B2B sales as well. Here we are talking about product configurators. For a long time, B2B sales remained largely untouched by the advances in digitization and innovations. But it is precisely in this area that buyers:inside, also long for uncomplicated ordering processes, time savings and individualization. That's why in this blog article we'll look at how product configurators are changing the future of B2B sales and what benefits they offer companies.
 

What is a B2B product configurator?

A B2B configurator (business-to-business configurator) is an online tool or software application that helps companies configure customized products or services. The configurator enables customers to customize the specific properties, options, parameters, and features of a product or service according to their requirements. These can include technical specifications, design elements, sizes, colors, materials, quantities and other attributes. The configurator guides customers through the selection process.

B2B configurators are used in various industries, including manufacturing, engineering, automotive, electronics, furniture and many others. A well-designed B2B configurator can speed up the sales process. In the future, the use of B2B configurators in sales will become more and more important as the requirements of customers and sellers change and competition increases. There are several types of B2B configurators that help companies create customized solutions for their customers. Three common types are the quote configurator (CPQ), variant configurator and product configurator.
 

The advantages of a B2B configurator for companies

Overall, a B2B product configurator helps companies make the sales process more efficient and save costs in the process. Let's take a look at the individual benefits of a B2B configurator in detail.
 

Speed

Automated quotation generation: The previously time-consuming process of quotation generation is considerably simplified and minimized in terms of time through the use of a configurator. A customized offer can be created within seconds at the touch of a button. This can be done either directly during a consultation with your sales staff or when your customers are discussing the product themselves. Thanks to real-time pricing, they get instant transparency on the current price. Just think about the time you used to spend on creating quotes. Now imagine that this effort could be drastically reduced.
 

Reduce error rate

A stored logic ensures that only products that can actually be ordered are displayed. This function makes incorrect orders a thing of the past, as the configurator provides precise information about which products can be combined and are available for an order. Miscalculations are also avoided, as all prices and details are stored and calculated automatically.
 

Store knowledge

Who knows it? Long-standing employees have an enormous amount of knowledge, but this knowledge is not documented anywhere. Quite often we hear that employees - mainly in production companies - are a living database. The following questions can be answered off the cuff. Does component A fit component B? Is product XY available in the color gray? Can model Z in the color red be combined with any component? What if these key people leave the company? With a configurator, companies no longer have to worry about knowledge loss due to upcoming retirements, fluctuations,...etc.
 

Reduced consulting effort or efficient consulting

The configurators can either be shared with the sales staff as part of a consultation or the customers can deal with the product independently using the configurator. Both approaches save a considerable amount of time in the sales process by reducing the number of consultation-intensive discussions. Time-consuming queries are a thing of the past, as the configurator provides the answers immediately. Our tip: Ask your customer service staff how much time they spend on lengthy conversations every day.
 

Increase upselling and crossselling

Suitable accessory items are displayed at the perfect time so that both sales staff and customers are automatically made aware of them. A configurator never knows a bad day and never misses the crucial hint for additional sales.

 

Lead generation

Leads form an essential basis for every company, especially in the B2B sector. Creative approaches are needed here. One of these approaches is configurators. They put every company ahead of the competition because they offer a unique and targeted opportunity to get in touch with customers.
 

Data for order processing at the push of a button

Imagine: An order arrives. Often, this requires tedious preparation of the data for order processing. This process is not only time-consuming, but also carries the risk of errors. What if all of this could be done with the push of a single button? Imagine if bills of materials, drawings and 3D data were easily generated at the push of a button. This efficiency would significantly reduce production time and thus lead to increased customer satisfaction.
 

Retailer support

The configurator can additionally be integrated at dealers. In the process, the user interface is customized. All functions and product logics in the background remain untouched.  This way, their dealers can also use and benefit from the unique sales tool.
 

Higher conversion rate

Where do you think the probability of an order or inquiry is higher? On an ordinary website where I have to laboriously work through product details in advance or, in the worst case, rely on personal or telephone contact? Or by using a configurator? Be it during a personal sales talk or while individually surfing the website, where I get all relevant information within a very short time?

B2B Product Configurator: The Future of Sales
B2B Product Configurator: The Future of Sales