Mastering complexity, optimizing sales processes

In the context of the increasing digitization of the entire industry, it is also becoming increasingly important for individual manufacturers of special solutions in the B2B environment to digitally map their sales process from inquiry to production (Kober, 2020). You can read here about the challenges companies face during the introduction and which solution approaches lead to the goal.


Against the backdrop of the continuously increasing degree of digitization in B2B business, configure-price-quote (CPQ) solutions are increasingly coming into focus. The core objectives for implementation? To receive qualified inquiries without media breaks, to ensure consistent and transparent pricing, and finally, to generate complex, visually appealing offers fully automatically.

This is how the implementation of your CPQ solution becomes a success!

No data, no action - The right basis

The complexity of introducing and continuously maintaining a CPQ environment usually lies in providing the appropriate data – as banal as this may seem at first glance.

Variance of a product / modular system (Andreas Hüller).

To ensure the technical buildability of the overall product (configuration space), a configurator must know all product properties (theoretical solution space) and the dependencies between them. The problem here? Experience shows that this dependency knowledge is usually distributed among various experts within the company. Therefore, it must first be collected and processed centrally to be used sensibly within the CPQ solution.

In this context, so-called variant tables have established themselves as practical and powerful instruments. These can be easily set up by engineers or technical sales staff, for example, and continuously maintained throughout the product life cycle. In addition to tabular data, there are usually also different sets of rules and regulations that are either based on scientific relationships or represent mathematical relationships. Modern CPQ solutions are scriptable and allow the user – independent of the software service provider – to map complex technical and logical relationships programmatically. This requires training and a period of familiarization for interested employees but does not require in-depth programming skills.

Price & Availability Statements – The Two Most Popular Models

Especially in the web environment, fast availability and an immediate price statement are expected. When using a CPQ solution, two options are available: Either the pricing model is implemented within the CPQ software, or the price is determined via a connected enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The former is ideally suited for a live price display (“running price”), while the latter focuses more on a single point of truth – based on manufacturing and production costs, if applicable. Generally, these are not available within a CPQ environment.

The final step – The generation of offers

Finally, at the end of the process, appealing documents are to be generated in the form of inquiries and quotations. For this purpose, corresponding templates must be defined in the backend of the CPQ solution and stored with the appropriate content in the form of product images, text material, technical drawings, and/or computer-aided design (CAD) models. In the case of a large product portfolio or very extensive documents, it makes sense to connect to a product information management (PIM) system, from whose resources document generation can be fed without building up a data silo.

The implementation of a CPQ system is a joint project

When introducing a CPQ solution, the person responsible should also consider the company’s internal resource requirements; a system can only develop its full potential with data stored by the respective product experts and contribute to optimizing the sales process. In addition, it is advisable to consider the entire workflow with all software tools involved in the quotation and sales process to avoid data silos and utilize synergy effects through seamless interfaces. Due to the increasing market pressure regarding the reaction speed to the customer and prospective customer inquiries, the importance of CPQ systems in mechanical engineering is continuously increasing. It is successively being recognized by smaller and medium-sized companies as well.


product manager


Stephan Kober (2020): Digitalisierung im B2B-Vertrieb. Ergebnisse verbessern mit digitalen Tools – Impulse zur Entscheidung und Umsetzung.

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