As a distributor, whether that is industrial products, HVAC, electrical or building products, you have new challenges to face as the next generation of buyer comes to the counter. This next generation of buyer has grown up differently than you customers of the past and they have different expectations.
Buyers today want choices and customization, off the shelf and generic does not excite them nor are they willing to have loyalty to you if you just supply commodities. If they do business with you, can you provide them a broad portfolio of solutions configured the way they want?
Buyers today expect visualization. They have grown up with computers that present high resolution displays so they can experience life virtually. Can you present your products in such a way that they are stimulated to buy?
Buyers today are impatient and expect answers quickly and are not impressed if you must call back to provide information to complete the sale. Their attention span is short and they quickly are off to other things if you are not ready with an answer.
Take a moment to review your customer facing systems. Would you give yourself a thumbs up and say you are ready to address this next generation of buyer or are you putting yourself at a disadvantage. If you see room for improvement let’s take a look at one way to improve your consumer facing image and provide a solution that can engage your customer by giving them options and choices in a highly visual interface and do it quickly and real time. You have a great product behind the counter so now let’s find ways of selling it.
CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software has been making fast inroads into the distribution markets enabling distributors to present unique and complete solutions that are configured exactly the way a customer wants them. Take for example an electrical panelboard. You can indeed sell the cabinet and breakers separately – boxes of each. To the past consumer this is the way its sold. You are competing with anyone that can stock empty panelboards and boxes of 20amp breakers. Not much value add here. Now let’s consider if you used CPQ to present a configured panelboard. Through a quick guided selling approach, you can ask such questions as: how many total circuits are needed, code requirements for such things as Arc Fault breaker requirements, total connected loads and other questions that will lead to a completed panelboard that can be fitted. Less work and effort for the buyer, value add for you as you can upsell and make sure the right components are included. You can cross sell while making your buyer’s experience faster and better.
Let’s take a look at another situation which is more visual. Doors and Windows are a product that lends itself to upselling via visualization. Complex multi-window and mulled layouts are becoming commonplace even into mid-range homes and buildings. With the use of configurator, the ability to dynamically create highly visual dimensioned layouts in real time is possible. This allows your client to interact and see what the window system will look like. What better way to upsell and increase revenue!
Speed is also a key requirement. Speed not only in how the software runs but speed in the entire sales cycle. Perhaps you are a distributor that provides onsite take off services, working with contractors. Today you head out to the site, pad and paper in hand or perhaps it’s a laptop, and you record the requirements for the job. You head back to the shop and enter that information, working up a quote and email it to the contractor. Lots of time, cost and too much opportunity for your competitor to jump in. Let’s say you could head to the job site with tablet in hand. Interactively and in real time, you are able to enter job details, perform the takeoff, build the quote and have the proposal to the contractor right there, never leaving the site. Perhaps even better, giving your contractor the ability to do the takeoff on your system, securely and getting the quote. Saves time and reduces your costs so you can spend more time doing valuable work.
Infor CPQ addresses these top 3 requirements and does it in a way that can reduce costs and risk for the business. Risk? Indeed, Infor CPQ reduces risk by providing a solid and secure software system that maintains control of configuration rules that insure that the configured product meets the requirements you have defined. These configuration rules are created by your team of experts and control and guide the buying process. No longer do you need to rely on training sales people to make decisions on which components work together or making sure they ran calculations on window and door code and wind loads. No longer do you end up with returns of product because the buyer purchased product that could not be installed in their code jurisdiction and failed inspection. You can get the sale right the first time and reduce costs, returns and all the grief to make it right. As I said earlier, you have great products behind the counter, let’s find new ways to sell them with CPQ.
To find out more about Infor CPQ for Distribution check out https://www.cpq-configurepricequote.com or if you are attending the SX.e user group TUG Connects 2017 February 22-25 2017- Marriott Orlando World Center – stop by the Godlan Booth #304 and see it live.