In order to maintain your competitive position in engineering in the face of worldwide competition, it is essential to keep a close eye on the market. It is important to analyse customer requirements, recognize trends and always remain innovative. Marketing and production management are therefore continually initiating the development of new product variants. Customers demand customized solutions and the market demands product variety. Innovative companies are striving to offer just that. As a result the number of variants you can produce is on the increase.
This variety is, of course, expensive but you are willing to accept this if it satisfies market requirements. Any variant created in response to specific customer needs is legitimate.
But can your sales organisation always offer the best solution with such a comprehensive portfolio?
Only what is offered can also be sold
Many companies have realised that only a small part of their producible portfolio is actually utilized by the salesforce. This is simply because sales cannot possibly be familiar with every imaginable solution.
Should some of the following factors apply to you, then it is very difficult for your salesforce to position the complete range of solutions:
- You have a large product portfolio and a high variance.
- Short innovation cycles lead to a number of changes in your product portfolio.
- Some members of your sales team have not been in the company very long.
- You reach a high share of turnover through foreign distribution companies or partners who only have indirect access to the product know-how.
- The quotation process is under tremendous time pressure.
The result is that the sales representatives are only aware of a fraction of the product variance available, and only occasionally offer the variants that would best suit the customer requirements.
Sales configuration – a navigation system for your product world
Sales configuration software guides the sales staff through your range of products just like a navigation system. You start the process by entering the destination: the software requests information about the customer requirements and application scenario. You can thus direct sales to solutions that were developed for similar situations. On the way to the destination, the software requests details about the characteristics that the salesforce need to prepare the quotation. Technical details not required for a quotation can be completed after the order is received.
You can also use the software to proactively inform the salesforce about innovations. You are able to position new products so prominently that the salesforce will notice them immediately. You can combine products and services as packages that sales can easily use in quotations. You are able to recommend specified, requested or commonly used configurations right away, so that they only have to be varied when necessary.
With a sales configuration software you can ensure that your innovation power does not diminish and that your product variance is actually offered. You can only afford to have a large number of product variants if they find buyers.