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Thursday, 16 May 2019 09:45

Guided Selling step 2 - Product configuration

Paul Kimmel
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Guided Selling schemaAs you saw in our latest blogs, there are different challenges in the sales process. Each step leads to new questions. That’s why a sales rep should be guided through the sales process (Guided Selling). In this blog I would like to elaborate on the second step in the sales process: product configuration. How does a good product configurator guide your sales reps (or dealers) through the sales process?

Guided Selling schemaThe sales process consists of several steps: from needs analysis to closing the deal. In this blog I will discuss these steps and the various questions that sales reps face in each phase. In the next blogs I will provide you with the answers, enabling you to make your sales process better, faster and easier.

targetsA new year has begun. All of the meters are reset. Your revenue target has been determined. Are you willing to take on a significantly higher target than for 2018? Using Guided Selling software will make this less tense.

blog roi

Not long ago, a manager at a medium-sized manufacturing company asked me the following: “Say, Mr Moran, why is that software of yours so expensive? All you do is copy it onto a disc for me, surely that costs next to nothing, doesn’t it?” Well actually, it takes considerable investment to develop, maintain, and manage software. Many books have been written about it.

woman jumps into water

CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a term often used to denote the sales quote generation process at companies offering a complex range of products and/or services. Other terms that are used in this same context are ‘Quote to Cash’ (QTC) and ‘sales configurator.’

Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:46

And the competition was once again faster...

Torsten Kohnert
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blog tk time

This is something you’ll have experienced! You work on a quotation with several colleagues from different departments for days on end, only to call the interested party and learn that the order had already been placed days earlier. Your quotation was simply too late.

customer needs

Customer needs

Guided Selling is a process that assists a potential buyer in the selection of a product or service, or a combination of both, that meets their functional needs. The software that supports this process functions as a guide to help sales staff direct the customer through the often complex selection and configuration process, ultimately to a purchase.

sm maschinenbau

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had many discussions with companies involved in (special-purpose) machinery manufacture. Although the markets and products were slightly different, there were similar challenges when submitting quotations: customer requirements are often too individual and multifaceted to be met by standard products. This realisation forces the companies into a conflict of objectives involving quotation quality and deadline pressure.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 11:09

Excel vs. CPQ

Manuel Bäumle
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The Excel spreadsheet lurks around every corner of your sales quotation process.
It’s big, it grows rapidly and, beyond a certain complexity, it also presents its unruly side at the expense of the productivity of your sales unit.
Your team has built it up for years and fed it with data, making its replacement or the use of other methods very difficult.

shake hands businessA quotation is the way to answer a customer's questions. Obviously, a customer wants to minimise any risks involved in making a purchase. That applies even more in the case of a customised product or service, such as software-based solutions or machinery. The customer will then have a number of concerns:

  • Will the proposed solution be what I need?
  • Am I paying too much?
  • Will I get exactly what I ordered?
  • And will my order be delivered on time?
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 09:50

How competitive are your sales processes?

Manuel Bäumle
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bottleneck sm enUp till now in my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many interesting companies and industries, for which I am very grateful. Over the years, however, I’ve found that my sales and project management successes are increasingly driven by modern work processes and digital tools which, as an employee, I cannot always influence. For example, I more or less had to learn that companies can lose sales potential and jeopardise market share by taking wrong decisions and investing in processes late.

icebergHave you seen the diagrams illustrating the actual size of an iceberg? Most of it is hidden below the water. Misjudgements can then be catastrophic - as we all know since watching the film about the Titanic or learning about the misfortune involved in the original event. In the following discussion, I would like to clarify the reason why I see parallels to quotation preparation in this respect.

fabric meetingThe solution used as a link between customers, sales and production is called CPQ (Configure Price Quote). Particularly in mechanical and plant engineering, this solution makes it possible to digitally map the business processes, substantially shorten the quotation process, and create ‘clean orders’ by means of error-free configurations.

An oft-heard misunderstanding is that Configure To Order (CTO) leads to a less diverse range of products on the market than Engineering To Order (ETO). The truth is quite the contrary: CTO leads to less internal diversity – fewer different article flows, fewer different engineering activities, and therefore lower costs and shorter delivery times – but to more external diversity. That has everything to do with the working of the human mind; in this case, the mind of sales.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:18

Growth through a two level knowledge model

Peter Bergman
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Sofon's CPQ (Configure Price Quote) -software helpt verkoopteams bij het samenstellen en optimaliseren van aanbiedingen.

Realiseer groei, kostenreductie en kwaliteitsverbetering met Sofon

Met softwarematige oplossingen die aansluiten bij de eigen ICT-systemen, maken we complexe processen repeteerbaar en de operatie schaalbaar. Dit zorgt bij 
bedrijven voor standaardisering, gegarandeerde, constante kwaliteit en het vermogen om met dezelfde capaciteit veel méér te doen. Dé stap naar excellent opereren.

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Meer resultaat door grotere herhaalbaarheid en schaalbaarheid

Onze software gebaseerde oplossingen zijn ontworpen, geïmplementeerd en geïntegreerd voor uw producten, processen en mensen, klik hier voor meer informatie. 
Als u meer wilt weten welke branches vooral profiteren van onze oplossingen, klik hier voor meer informatie. Een overzicht van de voordelen van onze oplossingen en van onze klanten vindt u hier.

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Thursday, 28 September 2017 07:28

Clear view in the data jungle

Sofon Guided Solutions
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2 persons in front of a maschine

Faster, more flexible, and safer: TB&C uses Sofon to prepare quotations

Thursday, 21 September 2017 08:35

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

Sofon Guided Solutions
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Mark van MierloMark van Mierlo is REC Manager at the machine manufacturer GEA in Den Bosch, and he sees many advantages to the specific application of Sofon's Concept Designer at GEA to make quotes.
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 10:44

Complexity Simplified

Sofon Guided Solutions
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People in front of blackboard‘If you want to make your life more simple, automate as much of your day and routine as possible’. Mike LaVere. Read more

‘Simplify the Quote-to-Cash Process’. Paul Kimmel, CEO of Sofon. Read more

Thursday, 03 August 2017 07:45

Successfully grow with resellers

Sofon Guided Solutions
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2 Personen vor einem Lkw

From 'cut and paste' to professionally composed, reliable quotes.

3 person in front of a computerSometimes it seems that the only effect of ‘first time right’ is a quick win on sales. But often it is more.