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Tacton 2021 Predictions: Sales Tech Will Shape Manufacturing in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Sales Tech Will Shape Manufacturing in 2021

By Bo Gyldenvang, CEO of Tacton

One of the results of organizations' ongoing digital transformation efforts has been to raise expectations among consumers. With B2C brands such as Starbucks, Amazon, Nike and many others delivering intuitive online experiences that make it easy to browse and buy products, consumers are coming to expect this level of service in their B2B experiences across multiple industriess, including manufacturing. The enterprise-grade consumer-like experience has infiltrated the B2B manufacturing space, creating a trend to watch for 2021: 

Manufacturers will increasingly rely on digital sales to keep revenue flowing.

In order to keep up with modern customer demands, manufacturers of complex goods need to get out of the dark ages by quickly digitalizing and moving to a customer-driven, online selling model. Those who don't will be unable to survive this coming year let alone compete in the future. 

With this backdrop, there is one critical lynchpin technology that will make online sales possible for complex manufactured products: configure-price-quote (CPQ) technology. Without it, no major manufacturer will be able to sell their products across all channels, and competitors will steamroll over them.

Here's why: buyers of complex or heavy-duty goods -- think huge farming equipment or complex medical machines -- aren't looking for standard products. They need highly customized, highly configured machines. Manufacturers need to make those adjustments translate across all the ripple effects of customizations including negotiating and purchasing (partners, engineering, suppliers, pricing, manufacturing). The process has traditionally required a herculean effort full of high touch manual processes, in-person meetings, paper spreadsheets, outdated catalogs, and costly reworks, all rife with the potential for human error. 

This sales model has crumbled over the past year. First, buyers began demanding consumer-like ease and came to expect automated, online interactions and real-time price adjustments. Second, Covid-19 swept through and amplified that demand for online interactions, forcing buyers and sellers alike to move away from virtually all in-person interactions.

Covid-19 helped accelerate this inevitable shift, but now there's no going back. Manufacturers across the world will continue to revamp their sales processes to remove all the complexities of traditional methods. Those that move slowly, or not at all, will not survive.

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About the Author

bo gyldenvang 

Bo Gyldenvang is the CEO of Tacton.  He has extensive software and services experience and was most recently COO at Software AG Americas, a leading enterprise integration and IoT software platform globally. Prior to this, he held management positions at software companies such as BMC Software and HP Software.

Published Monday, January 25, 2021 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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