Configurator - BtoB tool - design

Configurators as a Powerful Tool in B2B and B2C Sales

How configurators are changing the sales process in BtoB

Changing demographics in the interior design industry are affecting how producers work with sales representatives to get their products to market – see how the product configurator is used to overcome the challenge.

The Transformation of Sales Configuration into Product Configuration 

Sales configuration (CPQ) began as a tool often used by B2B companies in manufacturing. This technology specialized pricing for a company’s individual needs. CPQ provided customers with a drop down menu of options. As customers were taken through these options, the price for each product would update and provide them with an accurate quote for their order. This was very valuable because it allowed B2B companies in the manufacturing industry the ability to provide scalable offerings and helped customers budget more appropriately. 

Product configuration takes CPQ a step further, by producing a virtual digital twin of their product as they customize it. With each modification, the technology updates the product configurator to reflect the most recent changes. This was originally introduced as a tool for B2B sellers who became interested in mass customization. In recent years, the lines between B2C and B2B have been blurred, with more B2B businesses moving to a human-centered mindset from a buyer-centered one, which means more personalization options. Experts say one of the main reasons for this switch is simple demographics – an increase of millennials working in product purchase decision making roles.

65% of millennials believe that technologies they purchase for personal use influence the technologies they buy for their organizations. This goes to show that millennials operate with the B2C buying mindset in B2B settings. Producers must take note of this, and adjust their sales platform to meet these behaviors.  

These trends and mindset changes have opened the doors for product configuration tools in the manufacturing industry. Producers need a way to customize the buying experience on mass-scale and the configurator tool can fulfill that need. Product configuration gives customers, at both the organizational and personal levels, the opportunity to view a product in a realistic way with a 360 degree view and customize it to their liking. Product configurators that incorporate CPQ technologies are the most valuable, as they show how certain changes affect pricing. 

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How Sales Agents in Interior Design Utilize Configurators

Most manufacturers today do not sell directly to the end customer, but rather use a sales agent to get their products in various, independent stores. Configurators become a valuable tool for these partnerships, as they provide sales agents and shops with the information they need to make a strong sales pitch to the end consumer. 3D product configuration allows the seller to fully showcase the product and how it works, even though they were not involved in its design or production. Most importantly it is able to visualise all the countless configurable options, simplifying the sales process and giving a sneak peak on how the final product will look like.  

Purchasing furniture is a process that requires more thought and energy from the consumer than it would for purchasing a pack of paper towels, because it is a long term investment. Typically, consumers will keep this furniture for years to come and therefore need to ensure the quality meets their needs before purchasing. For this reason, it is important for sales employees to know the ins and outs of the product to make the customer feel confident in their buying decision. Product configuration is the resource required to gain this level of understanding and knowledge about a product, because it is capable of showing how it was made, how it works and what purpose it serves. Here we explore just a few of the ways that configurators are benefitting sales agents:


Simplifies the Sales Process & Increases Efficiency

In the past, sales representatives had to learn an entire product catalog in order to provide efficient sales support. Now, with the configurator, sales agents can reference products quickly and modify them with just a few clicks. Rather than spending time learning about the product and training themselves to be experts on its features, sales representatives can quickly gain knowledge on the product and spend more time looking for potential customers and partners. In this way, configurators optimize the sales process.


Collaboration between Sales & Product Design

The relationship between sales people and product designers is important to creating products that customers want to buy. Sales representatives are expected to gain an understanding of what customers want and designers, in turn, are expected to develop a product which reflects those preferences. Providing feedback and sharing ideas between these departments used to be complicated with several emails and phone calls needed to reach a decision. With the configurator, members of these teams can see product information and changes clearly and quickly, saving time and reducing the chance of miscommunication.

Guided Selling

To get an upsell or cross-sell

Sales agents are often tasked with effectively explaining the product and its uses to the customer in a way that is easy and fast. Customers can quickly lose interest if this part of the sales process is not well-executed which reduces the chance of a successful sale. Having a product configurator on hand makes it possible for the sales representative to use guided selling. Salespeople can use the configurator to demonstrate the produc, which may even result in upsells or cross-sells, maximizing profits for the seller. 

Case Study Example – Infiniti Design BomBom Chair

Infinit Design offers many product resources for its BomBom chair on its website. Followed by its product configurator viewers find additional information regarding the product including the 3D files and product technical sheet. The one sheet document serves as a summary of the product. It describes the size and material of the chair parts and shows the color options for the frame of the chair. It also lists the available types of upholstery. It also details the finishing, which for the BomBom is chrome plating, medium thickness. This information resembles the information sales agents would receive alongside a configurator from a manufacturer. 


Configurators have already become a highly valued tool in B2C sales, but with workforce demographics changing there is an increasing need for product configuration in B2B sales. Millennial mindsets are more consumer-oriented with a desire for personalization and a preference for IQ over EQ. With this age group holding positions in product-purchasing departments, manufacturers must invest in product configurators to attract sales agents and individual shops to get their products to market. If you are looking to build a configurator for your product, please contact us at In2Real today. Our team is ready to work with you to help get your product in front of consumers.

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Francesca Dattilo

A designer by training, I have been working on communications and marketing for In2real since 2019. You can engage with me and my team to identify your company’s needs and define the right strategy.


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