Revolution in B2B sales

When product catalogs, 3D visualization, CPQ, and e-commerce converge

In a constantly changing business world, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial, especially in B2B sales. In this article, our managing directors Achim Angel and Kevin Dewi share their insights into the challenges and opportunities companies face in the sales process with diverse product portfolios.

They discuss the importance of integrating intelligent product catalogs, 3D visualization, CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote), and e-commerce. From managing technical complexity to the Industrial Metaverse, this interview provides insights into the next steps in digital transformation in B2B.

Recap: What are Intelligent product catalogs?
Intelligent product catalogs are digital directories that optimize product selection and management using AI and data analysis. They offer personalized recommendations, automatic updates, and advanced search functions to simplify the decision-making process for customers and sales staff.

Recap: What is a CPQ solution?
Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) solutions assist your B2B sales in individual configuration processes, price calculations, and quote generation. They enhance the efficiency and accuracy of sales processes and enable the rapid and efficient creation of customer-centric quotations.


Current challenges in the sales process of variant-rich products

Companies with a diverse and complex product portfolio face internal and external challenges in the sales process.

Internal challenges:

The result? A drain on sales resources and no time for core business activities!

External challenges:

Managing technical complexity despite increasing customization

In today’s industrial landscape, the combination of product complexity and increasing customization presents a challenge for manufacturers of diverse products. To meet these demands, central and easily maintainable knowledge databases are essential. These databases form the basis for powerful configurators that transform technical product complexity into user-friendly applications. Such configurators can efficiently automate diverse products and ETO (Engineering to Order) processes with batch size one.

Another crucial factor is the provision of geometry data, which allows technically sophisticated products to be seamlessly integrated into the customer’s planning processes. Designers and planners save significant effort, making them more likely to prefer manufacturers who offer this data. This increases the likelihood that a product considered during the planning phase will also be purchased.


“Planners and designers use many different planning systems, each with its own CAD and BIM formats. Supporting these native formats offers significant advantages to the product manufacturer.”

The future will also be shaped by the representation of machines and systems as digital twins, which requires the provision of geometry data. In the architectural sector, the requirement for digitization is also gaining importance, making the provision of BIM (Building Information Modeling) data necessary.

What is the role of product visualization in the sales process?

Achim Angel: Product visualization makes complex and diverse products more understandable. Customers expect to see their product before purchasing, similar to a car configurator. This not only supports imagination but also builds trust. A clear trend is that products must become experiencable through VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). Developments at companies like Apple and Meta drive this forward with user-friendly hardware. The foundation is simplified 3D models that can be effortlessly generated using technologies like CADClick®.

How can CPQ help standardize product configuration and pricing in sales organizations and minimize errors in the quotation process?

Kevin Dewi: A CPQ solution standardizes the sales process by integrating technical product selection and commercial operations. Product knowledge is centrally stored, ensuring consistent and independent quotes regardless of the handler. By seamlessly integrating with other systems (e.g., ERP), a CPQ system enables precise and error-free pricing.

Regarding the blurring lines between suppliers and customers in the B2B sector, what are the benefits of linking CPQ and e-commerce?

Kevin Dewi: Often, shops operate in isolation and as competing sales channels. With 3PQ® CONFIGURATION and 3PQ® COMMERCE, we integrate CPQ and e-commerce, utilizing common technical foundations and databases. Both systems use features like search, price calculation, and document generation. The next step? Customers can not only create quotes but also place orders directly. The B2C expectation of online purchasing is also gaining traction in the B2B sector, leading to self-service portals where users can configure, order, or forward orders to sales.

Integration as the key to increased efficiency

Companies with complex product portfolios significantly benefit from integrating CAD modeling, 3D configuration, and e-commerce. Used together, they eliminate manual errors, speed up the quotation process, and improve customer communication.

A CPQ system serves as a central link between CRM, PIM, and ERP systems in B2B sales. It pulls product data from the PIM system and utilizes relationship knowledge from the ERP system. The workflow often looks like this: Sales start in the CRM, then switch to the CPQ system, create the configuration and the quote, and then transfer it back to the CRM system. For the final order, the quote data must also be stored in the ERP system. Only when these data flows are fully automated can a seamless sales process be guaranteed.

Innovative technologies in B2B sales: opportunities and use cases

Generative AI, especially Large Language Models (LLMs), and the Industrial Metaverse are revolutionizing B2B sales. LLMs enable customers to communicate their requirements in natural language and preconfigure products, increasing efficiency and improving customer experience.

The Industrial Metaverse takes product configuration to a new level. Here, customers can virtually experience products in 3D space before they exist in reality. This allows for detailed previews and tests in the context of a digital twin, avoiding planning errors and shortening time-to-market.


managing director

kevind-rund (1)

managing director


junior marketing manager

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