The manufacturing of machinery that is able to compete in the global market requires a great deal of expertise. Fortunately, German machinery producers are true professionals in this area. They have always invested a lot of time and money in innovations in order to build the best machines in the world, and at the same time to streamline production to ensure competitive prices.
Selling machinery is also a fine art. Machines are complex and the investments are high. Customers are often hesitant because the purchase involves a high risk for them. This leads to long acquisition processes and thus high sales expenses. Nevertheless, the processes in sales are often less rigorously scrutinised than the technology. Therefore there is still unexploited potential for improvement regarding both the efficiency and effectiveness of the selling process. Successful machinery manufacturers optimise their sales processes just as rigorously as their products and production processes.
Take a closer look at your sales processes by answering the following questions. Find out what benefits a CPQ solution can have for you.
Can your sales department submit an initial quote quickly enough?
How quickly do your customers expect to receive a first quotation? It hardly makes a good impression if you make new, prospective customers wait. And if the quotes from the competition arrive before yours does, this will diminish your chances of success. Find out which part of your quotation process is taking too long to complete. It might be the clarification of the customer requirements, the coordination between Sales and the technical department, the costing, or the generation of a compelling text to accompany your quote.
All these activities can be speeded up with encoway CPQ Sales. Your sales force will find all the necessary product information for the quotation in the digital catalogue, including technical data, the available options and sales prices and/or production costs. And this also works offline. Sales will be able to quickly submit at least one initial quote tailored to the customer’s requirements. And if the help of colleagues is still needed, for example to review the technical and commercial side of the quote, then they can be automatically notified via workflow.
What is standard and what is customised? Does your sales team know the limits of the modular product system?
Customised solutions are expensive. However, customers want solutions that are tailored to their individual requirements. This is why most machinery manufacturers have begun offering solutions based on a modular system. Numerous options and choices allow a standard product to be adapted to perfectly match the customer requirements without having to leave the modular system.
This does, however, only really work well, when those involved in the quoting process are aware of what can be covered by the modular system and where its possibilities are exhausted. If this is not the case, unnecessary, expensive solutions will be built despite the modular system.
With encoway CPQ Sales this can be avoided. When you have entered the customer’s requirements, the software automatically uses the assigned rules to generate a suitable solution (Guided Selling). Only if a viable solution is not available, can the authorised user actively leave the modular system and is free to modify the BOM. The technical check and cost calculation can be supported by workflow. In this way, you can ensure that your sales force offers standard solutions whenever possible and custom solutions only when necessary.
How long is the training period of a new sales employee?
In mechanical engineering, highly complex products are sold. It should therefore go without saying that every salesperson has good technical knowledge. But if it takes months until new employees are able to independently create valid quotes, then there is a need for action. Salespeople who have not been familiar with your product world for long must be able to easily access product knowledge and technical characteristics. This also benefits employees in foreign sales organisations who do not have a direct line to the technicians in order to resolve issues.
With encoway CPQ Sales you can ensure that your sales staff have the latest product information at their fingertips at all times – no matter whether they are in the main plant or a foreign subsidiary. Via the stored product data, you are able to control which product portfolio applies in each individual country or region. Predefined industry or country templates are particularly helpful for newcomers. And even old hands can be persuaded to consult the software about the current product properties instead of just copying old quotes.
What first impression do your quotation documents make?
Whether consciously or unconsciously, people draw conclusions regarding the quality of the solution offered from the first impression conveyed by a quotation document. Make sure you put this knowledge to good use! A good quotation document will meet the following quality requirements:
- Clear benefit argumentation from the customer’s perspective
- Transparent and easy to understand
- Attractively designed
Take time to review how your quotations look – not just the ones that were painstakingly created for large potential orders, but also ones that were put together under time pressure.
With encoway CPQ Sales, your sales force can generate high-quality quotation documents automatically. They simply have to select the appropriate template (for example, for an indicative quote or a detailed quotation) and the software takes care of the formatting. Descriptive and advertising texts, product features, and, if desired, images as well – accessed automatically from the product data.
Are cross- and up-selling opportunities being fully exploited?
Additional sales opportunities arise in machinery manufacturing in the form of spare parts, accessories, appropriate services (cross-selling) and by attractive additional options (up-selling). It is a pity if these opportunities are not being exploited to the full. Especially the spare parts and service business is an important source of income in mechanical engineering. However, all too often, deals are made under time pressure. And does anyone then really have the time to look for the right spare parts and services in the catalogue?
encoway CPQ Sales automatically suggests appropriate additional sales opportunities using the rules assigned to each individual machine. You are thus able to increase your cross-selling revenues without placing an additional burden on the sales force.
How much time does your sales team spend preparing quotes?
One thing is obvious: The field sales force should spend their time with customers. If your field staff report back to you that they are spending too much time on internal activities, then something is wrong. Check where and how you can relieve the sales team so they have enough free capacity for their actual profitable activity.
It often turns out that the quotation involves a series of tasks that take an unnecessarily long time. For example, internal sales have questions regarding the customer requirements or the technical department has to be consulted because a special item has to be newly drafted and costed. And then there is the time spent searching for things: Where is the Excel sheet for the installation costing? And where are the latest product descriptions? Where are the certificates for the target market, the current price lists and that cool product photo from Marketing?
With encoway CPQ Sales, you provide your sales team with all the information they need for the generation of quotes. The coordination procedures are simplified via workflow. And at last there is more time for the most important person in this process: the customer.
Where do you stand as regards digital sales? What untapped potential exists in your company? Get in touch with us to arrange an appointment to carry out a situational analysis. We will look at your processes to reveal your strengths and weaknesses and will make you a non-binding proposal regarding how you can optimise your digital sales.