How to get your customers’ attention—and keep it—with 3D CPQ

Now that much of the B2B world has transitioned from in-person selling to buying online, manufacturers face a new set of marketing challenges, namely – how to grab their customers’ attention (and keep it!)

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    The pandemic has leveled the playing field. Manufacturers can’t rely on a glitzy showroom, killer location, or ultra-charismatic sales rep to drive sales. Instead, every company is on Google, and a host of global competitors are only ever a click away.

    Google Ads are expensive, SEO is hit or miss, and social media marketing doesn’t really work for B2B. If you want to grab your customers’ attention online, you need to provide a remarkable buying experience that’s highly compelling.

    With 3D CPQ, you can create a virtual showroom that’s more attention-grabbing than anything you could build in the physical world. You can personalize the product configuration process, shorten sales cycles, and ship products faster than ever before.

    Read on to find out:

    • What CPQ actually means
    • What traditional CPQ solutions are lacking
    • How to grab customers’ attention with a 3D visual product configurator
    • How to wow prospects with augmented and virtual reality
    • How to keep customers’ attention with 3D CPQ

    How is Product Visualization Changing the Game?

    Get a data-driven perspective on how visual selling is becoming the future norm for B2B companies.

    What does CPQ mean, anyway?

    At its core, CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software is designed to automate product configuration, pricing, and quoting processes inside an organization.

    Rather than trying to configure products using an endless list of part numbers, sales reps can use a CPQ tool called a product configurator. The configurator guides them through the configuration process, picking out the best options for each customer. Once the configuration process is complete, CPQ calculates the price and automatically generates a quote.

    The benefits of CPQ are huge:

    • Sales reps can configure highly complex products quickly without making mistakes
    • Every product is optimized for customer satisfaction and margin maximization
    • Every configuration is valid from an engineering point of view
    • New sales hires can be brought up to speed in days rather than weeks
    • Pricing errors and rogue discounting are eliminated
    • Sales reps can get their heads out of Excel and start actively selling
    • Time to quote is accelerated, getting you ahead of competitors
    • The entire sales cycle is made shorter

    So, what’s wrong with traditional CPQ solutions?

    The problem with traditional CPQ solutions is they were built for the pre-pandemic world. They were designed for sales reps to use as internal sales tools, and they don’t allow customers to self-serve.

    Today’s B2B buyers (most of whom are Millennials) no longer want to deal with a sales rep. They want to research products independently online and place orders at any time through any device. Human interaction is seen as a barrier to purchase, not a facilitator.

    If your competitors are selling engineer-to-order products online and you’re not, it won’t be long before your customers defect to the other side. If you want to provide a superior online buying experience that grabs customers’ attention, you need a 3D CPQ like KBMax.

    How to GRAB customers’ attention with a 3D visual product configurator

    3D CPQ supercharges the benefits of traditional CPQ solutions and adds a mixed layer of additional functionality on top. The most significant differentiating factor, and the feature that captures customers’ attention the most, is the 3D visual product configurator.

    The visual product configurator is a highly intuitive 3D interface that customers (and sales reps) use to build products in 3D. Rather than simply entering text and clicking drop-down menus, buyers interact with a lifelike 3D product rendering in a fully immersive environment.

    With a visual product configurator, buyers can change colors, dimensions, parts, and additional features with a simple point and click. They can drag and drop to zoom in and out and inspect products from every angle. They can experience products in action thanks to animated sequences, gaining a complete understanding of every option available to them.

    In short, visual product configuration provides a highly compelling buying experience that differentiates your engineer-to-order products from the competition. Best of all, it’s intuitive enough for anyone to use, from the most knowledgeable product experts down to the most bewildered new prospects.

    Manufacturers can empower a global pool of customers to configure their own products without any input from sales or engineering. All manufacturers have to do is embed their configurator into their website to provide a complete or partial self-serve customer journey.

    Wow your prospects with augmented and virtual reality

    AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are revolutionizing the way B2B companies sell products online. With a 3D CPQ like KBMax, manufacturers can leverage these transformative technologies to provide industry-leading buying experiences, the likes of which have only been supplied by B2C brands up to now.

    With AR, manufacturers can overlay computer-generated imagery of their products onto the real world as captured through a phone or tablet screen. This physical/virtual mashup allows buyers to see configured products in situ before they’ve even placed their order, enhancing decision-making and inspiring an immediate purchase decision.

    Unlike AR, VR (which is the more immature and expensive of the two technologies) builds a simulated reality in which buyers can configure products and interact with their creations. Once the customer has donned their VR headset, they can look around 360 as they move about a spectacular virtual showroom.

    Incorporating AR and VR into your CPQ process has the following benefits for customers:

    • They gain a complete understanding of highly complex configurable products
    • They can see products before they’re manufactured (no unpleasant surprises)
    • They enjoy the configuration experience
    • They don’t have to interact with a sales rep (but if they want to, they can meet in a virtual space)
    • They experience less purchase anxiety which enhances decision-making
    • They can self-serve from anywhere, any time.

    5 Ways to KEEP customers’ attention with 3D CPQ

    So you’ve managed to grab your customers’ attention with a fully immersive product configuration experience. Now it’s your job to keep it. Because if the rest of the sales cycle fails to live up to expectations, you’ll struggle to retain customers, and your CPQ ROI will go down the drain.

    What today’s buyer wants is a smooth, quick, error-free purchase experience from initial engagement to first product use. They want personalization, but without the salesperson, and a finished product that meets their needs at a price that’s right. Below are five ways that 3D CPQ makes this all possible.

      1. Complex product rules programmed into the back-end of the product configurator ensure that every product is optimized for customer satisfaction. Configuration mistakes become a thing of the past.
      2. Dynamic pricing means no more waiting for quotes and a price that’s always right. 3D CPQ calculates and displays prices in real-time as users configure products.  Buyers can optimize outcomes without overstepping budgetary constraints.
      3. CAD and design automation removes engineering bottlenecks by automating the most menial engineering tasks. In addition to quotes, KBMax auto-generates CAD files, CNC cut sheets, BOMs, and more, getting products into buyers’ hands more quickly.
      4. 3D product visualization reduces purchase anxiety and empowers buyers to make snap decisions. They see exactly how their finished product will look, so no nasty surprises down the road hence fewer returns and refunds for you to deal with.
      5. Integrations with CRM and ERP systems provide sales, engineering, and production teams with a single source of truth from which they can provide outstanding, personalized customer support and interactions.


    Emily Stevens

    Emily Stevens

    Emily is a marketing professional with knowledge across branding, digital strategy, and creative content. She enjoys educating her audience on the benefits of products and how their ease and use can help with efficiency and problem solving.