Online Sales as an alternate path to revenue growth
Organic growth through innovation in B2B manufacturing is a carefully calculated risk. It needs to happen, but at the same time, manufacturers need to find alternate sources of revenue—especially in today’s economic climate.
The need to reduce costs through sales automation, the ongoing talent-drought for engineering sales staff and not to forget the request for 24/7 self-service from customers themselves further drive this development. Some industrial vehicle manufacturers even have plans to go from zero to 60% online sales over the next few years. It can be a difficult step forward, but a necessary one if they want to ensure future business.
The real eCommerce requirements for commercial vehicles manufacturers
So why can't manufacturers simply use generic commerce solutions to set up their online product catalogs or spare parts portals?
- "Our products are too complicated",
- "Our pricing is too complex",
- "Our sales processes and B2B buying structures cannot be supported through a commerce solution".
We get it. Manufacturing is complex. Manufacturing sales is even more complex. Bring this entire game online and you are up for a massive complication in your business. We do admit that manufacturers have very specific requirements when it comes to bringing their products and solutions to the market online.
Book a no-obligation demo to find out more about how In Mind Cloud can help you launch a high-performance online store in 6 months.
The killer features for Heavy Machinery Online Sales
So what are the differentiating features that no generic e-commerce platform can deliver for your industrial truck business? We've compiled a list for you:
- Real-time ERP integration
- Knowledge about existing vehicles and equipment of a customer (install base)
- Visual product selection through an easy to browse catalog - even for tens of thousands of products or product variations
- A natively integrated CPQ with a powerful configuration engine to ensure 100% accurate configurations
- Powerful visualization options to display manufacturing solutions and configurations in 2D or 3D
- Smart upselling recommendations for the customers installed-base, for matching products, consumables, spare parts, and services
- Guided selling for complicated products to be configured by the customer himself with the option to get live help from a sales representative
- Access to global pricing with account, customer, and region-specific discounts and promotions
- The ability to re-use existing sales models and enrich them with marketing data
- Easy and flexible B2B user rights administration to match the buyer roles
- Shopping cart management with inquiry, quote, or direct checkout with several payment options
- Workflow integration with the CRM to make sure every online-store opportunity is prioritized and properly dealt with
These are just some of the features that top manufacturers leverage.
Business KPIs before IT goals in manufacturing digitization
Manufacturers that have success in their targeted digitization programs make online sales an initiative based on business outcomes. These are their priorities:
- Effectively bind customers in a long-term relationship
- Boost sales of spare parts, consumables, and services
- Satisfy customers with a 24/7 self-service offering
- Free up sales engineers for more value-generating tasks like relationship building and true customization
The good news is cloud computing has completely upended the notion of extensive (and expensive) digital transformation. Full deployment of manufacturing-focused digital sales software can be done wholly in the cloud. In just 6 months, your customers can simply log in, configure the vehicles they need, and buy either via an inquiry with sales or fully self-serve through credit card or invoice checkout. It is that simple.
Self-Service in a B2B Sales Portal for industrial vehicles
In this short video, the entire buying process for a complex industrial vehicle took just five minutes. It replaces the complicated traditional buying process that used to take weeks to complete. On the surface, it looks like a simple retail portal, but to get it working like this requires deep integrations with your ERP, and embedded digital sales tools like a CPQ and CRM.
The interconnectivity between the sales portal and digital sales tools enables powerful outcomes. Prices displayed are generated with real-time ERP data—a classic CPQ function. The In Mind Cloud digital sales solution also comes with an advanced pricing engine to ensure prices are always updated and margin protected.
Manufacturers can also extend the portal and its capabilities to partners, dealers, and distributors. The system connects the user to personalized prices, discounts, and automatic recommendations for their installed base.
For next-generation online selling, the In Mind Cloud Digital Sales Platform also features out-of-the-box functionalities like 2D or 3D visualizations that help with visual configuration. This feature lets your customers fully examine every angle of your trucks before they buy or identify the spare parts or consumables compatible with the machines they already bought.
2D or 3D visualization enables faster configuration and buying of spare parts
Today’s manufacturers have more challenges than ever before. A fully digitized go-to-market approach is necessary to address these increasingly disruptive challenges. Technology is now advanced enough to fully digitize the end-to-end sales process through a single solution that considers the complexity of your entire vehicle manufacturing business. Download our Roadmap to Digital Go-to-Market Success guide to learn how your business can take the most direct path to a fully digitized sales process.
If you think your business is ready for a digitized sales process, contact us today and find out more about the In Mind Cloud Digital Sales Platform. Book a no-obligation demo to learn how to transform your go-to-market approach, align your complex sales process with the customer journey, and make sales simple again.