Author archives of

Lauren Habig

Lauren has over 11 years of marketing experience and has learned from industry experts at companies like HP and Salesforce.

We Jumped on the Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine revealed today that we ranked No. 1220 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This is our second time appearing on the list with a 70% jump in ranking from last year. The list represents a unique look at the most successful and independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, Yelp, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“Making our second consecutive appearance in the Inc. 5000 is a tremendous honor and a great reflection of all that we have accomplished for our customers in the past few years,” said Kevin Bennett, CTO and Founder of KBMax. “We are excited for what’s to come and look forward to bringing our visual CPQ and product configurator software to new industries while continuing to enhance the B2B customer experience.”

Methodology

The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. 

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

CASE STUDY: Caterpillar Builds a New Way to Interact with Customers

Caterpillar, the world’s leading manufacturer of heavy equipment for the construction and mining industry, introduced their revolutionary CAT® D6 XE electric drive dozer to the world with the help of KBMax’s product configurator. KBMax was enlisted by Caterpillar’s agency, Simantel, to help create a game-like atmosphere where users had the ability to configure standard options such as blade type, undercarriage, cab, and technology packages and also customize their own tricked-out dozer to be entered into a contest. The contest was the hook to engage users, create social buzz, connect consumers with relevant content and ultimately collect qualified leads.

Cat’s Dream Dozer campaign illustrates new ways that product configuration can be used to launch and market new products. Incorporating powerful 3D graphics within the UI allows the user to visualize new product features within an easily styled interface.  With this revolutionary technology, a responsive design was created to be leveraged for both mobile and desktop, providing a seamless transition of the user experience across platforms. 

An example of KBMax’s visual configuration.

 

This dynamic and visual campaign revolutionized how Cat interacts with their customers, resulting in awards and a dramatic increase in their web traffic and lead generation metrics.

Check it out and see for yourself!

KBMax Lands on Gartner’s Hype Cycle for CRM Sales Technology

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for CRM Sales Technology, 2019 has been published and according to the report, it “will help application leaders supporting sales to assess the relative maturity and business impact of sales technologies. Those technologies that are mature have become must-have costs of doing business, while those that are emerging are a source of competitive advantage.”*

In this year’s Hype Cycle, visual configuration is located in the “Slope of Enlightenment” phase of the cycle. The “Slope of Enlightenment” is the last phase before the “Plateau of Productivity” and includes technology that is being truly understood by an increasing number of organizations. In this phase, Gartner finds that commercial tools become available to ease the development process. KBMax was mentioned as a sample vendor in the space.

As defined by Gartner, “visual configuration tools enable a sales representative or end customer to see a visual representation of a product they want to order with the options and features they have selected. The best technologies enable the user to interact directly and in real time with the visual representation. These tools are most valuable to industries that manufacture highly customizable tangible products, such as automotive, apparel, medical devices, home building and furniture manufacturing.” 

 

Why CPQ And How It Works

Example of a visual configuration tool being used by shed manufacturer, Tuff Shed.

 

Gartner also evaluates the position and adoption speed justification, benefit rating, and business impact among others if companies adopt the technology. The report states, “Companies that implement visual configuration technologies experience significant business benefits:

  • Higher win rates, because of faster creation of proposals that include CAD drawings or 3D renderings of the ordered product. For example, a major medical device manufacturer reduced the time to generate a proposal from 10 days to 10 minutes.
  • Higher conversion rates on your website because consumers are unlikely to buy a customized product if they cannot see what it looks like.
  • Higher win rates, because the product is more compelling to a customer when they can see it and interact with it. For example, same store sales increased by 20% in a virtual reality pilot that enabled prospective customers to walk through their new custom kitchen. Augmented reality has the potential to be even more impactful, because the prospect can see the new product in their own home or business premises.
  • Lower rework costs, lower return rates and higher customer satisfaction, by eliminating miscommunication between the customer and the vendor.
  • Reduce or eliminate the cost of manually drafting CAD drawings for proposals and manufacturing.
  • Reduce the need for physical samples and inventory items in sales showrooms”

The CRM Hype Cycle can be found here if you are a current Gartner customer.

 

*Gartner, Hype Cycle for CRM Sales Technology, 2019, July 2019. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

We’ve Been Shortlisted for the 2019 SaaS Awards!

We’re proud to announce that we were selected as a finalist in the 2019 SaaS Awards Program in the category “Best Enterprise-Level SaaS Product.”

The SaaS Awards program is now in its fourth year of celebrating organizational successes and the software innovations that fuel them. With awards for excellence and innovation in SaaS, the Software-as-a-Service Awards program accepts entries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australia, EMEA and the UK.

“The standard of entries this year was incredibly high, with consistent attention to innovation and most importantly, customer success. The volume of entries warranting consideration of a place on the coveted shortlist was unprecedented,” said Larry Johnson, SaaS Awards and Cloud Awards organizer. “We are seeing such innovation from established blue-chips to agile start-ups. All seek to provide essential productivity tools to their users by leveraging cloud-based software solutions. The judges are set to have a nearly impossible task when selecting the final winners in a few short weeks.”

Categories for the 2019 awards program include Best Data-Driven SaaS Product and Best Enterprise-Level SaaS Product, alongside new categories like Continuous Improvement.

 “Our next-gen technology is designed to uplevel the customer experience while helping companies streamline across sales, engineering and manufacturing,” said Kevin Bennett, CTO and Co-founder, KBMax. “For KBMax to be shortlisted in the ‘Best Enterprise-Level SaaS Product’ category is a significant indicator of our innovation and successes in the global software marketplace.”

Final SaaS Awards winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, and the program will return in Spring 2020. Over 400 organizations entered, with international entries coming from North America, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe and the Middle East. To view the full shortlist, you can go here.

KBMax Wins Best Omnichannel ICX Elevate Award for Tuff Shed Project

We were excited to be honored with the ICX Association’s Elevate Award for Best Omnichannel ICX last week.

The Interactive Customer Experience (ICX) Association’s “Best Omnichannel ICX” category recognizes the achievements of companies using interactive technologies to create transcendent brand experiences that meet customers’ expectations across multiple channels, such as mobile, web and brick-and-mortar stores.

We were recognized for our work with our customer, Tuff Shed. KBMax’s end-to-end CPQ solution enabled Tuff Shed to integrate key systems across sales, engineering and manufacturing, while delivering a cohesive customization experience for customers. So far it has resulted in an increased average selling price by 6%, reduced raw material rate by 100 basis points and standardized pricing on custom items across the United States — increasing margins by 5%.

“Companies need to offer a user-friendly buying experience if they hope to compete in today’s marketplace. Our solution equips brands to offer that while streamlining processes across sales, engineering and manufacturing,” said Kevin Bennett, CTO and Co-Founder of KBMax. “Our work with Tuff Shed showcased the limitless potential of CPQ technology, as it fuels the omnichannel experience and delivers stronger customer insights.”

The Elevate Awards recognize organizations and individuals that are using technology to fundamentally change and elevate the customer experience. The ICX Association recognized KBMax alongside other honorees at a special awards ceremony during their annual summit in Dallas.

“KBMax is consistently working to contribute to the ecosystem of CX technology. KBMax’s end-to-end solution enhances performance at every step of the process while connecting brands, suppliers and consumers,” said Bennett. “We’re pleased to be recognized as a frontrunner in this space.”

KBMax Named in Gartner’s Innovation Insight for Visual Configuration 2018 Report

In the 2018 Innovation Insight for Visual Configuration report that was released yesterday, Gartner explores the types of visual product configurators that are currently available including 2D and 3D visualization, mixed reality, virtual reality, and augmented reality. KBMax was featured throughout the report as a solution that uniquely offers every type of visualization as well as CAD automation. They also provide recommendations for implementing these solutions successfully and the significant benefits that companies have seen by deploying a visual configurator.

Their key finding in this year’s report is that companies that utilize visual configurators see significant improvements in their deal win rate and decrease in their manufacturing costs and production errors. It is now critical for industry leaders to adopt this technology in order to maintain competitive advantage.

Their main recommendation is that companies enable their in-store sales team to show special order and custom products on a tablet to increase customer satisfaction. In addition to in-store, companies should equip their direct sales team with tablets running 3D configurators to demonstrate your products at customer sites.

Our customer, Tuff Shed is a great example of this omnichannel recommendation in action. They are using KBMax’s 3D visual configurator in Home Depots nationwide. Their in-store sales teams can now help shoppers configure and purchase made-to-order sheds instantly. Their inside sales teams are also equipped with the configurator so they can configure the product with their customer on-site. Tuff Shed didn’t stop there though. They’re also delivering a B2C CPQ solution by placing the 3D configurator on their website for customers to shop from their home. It’s no longer a difficult or long process to purchase engineer-to-order products because of industry leaders and disruptors like them.

If you’re interested in reading the complete report, especially made-to-order manufacturers, you can download the report from www.gartner.com. It’s worth the read.

Tuff Shed Rolls Out Our 3D Product Configurator Nationwide

Today, Tuff Shed launched our 3D product configurator in their retail locations nationwide. Their customers can now configure a made-to-order shed based on their requirements (the size, the type, the color, etc.) in real-time and receive a quote instantly.

They even have the ability to visually place their belongings like their storage boxes, their lawn mower, their car (whatever they want to store) into the shed to see if they actually fit. Because honestly, do you really know what size shed you need? You just know that you have 10 boxes and a Ferrari that you need to fit into it.

This dynamic, user-friendly and visual solution is revolutionizing how Tuff Shed sells and manufactures. Steve Stessman, the Senior Sales VP at Tuff Shed, says that “KBMax’s 3D visualization will show customers exactly what they want to buy in real-time to improve our lead generation and hit rates.  Plus the complete solution will streamline our manufacturing processes post-order.”

The overall solution integrates with Salesforce CPQ to give Tuff Shed a best-in-class solution for complex configuration, pricing and quote-to-cash.  The configurator will also be used by their dealers in Home Depot stores nationwide to help their customers configure their perfect sheds in-store as well.

Curious? Try it out today to see how manufacturers are changing the way that they sell, and more importantly, the way that their customers can buy.

Will we see you at Dreamforce?

Since Dreamforce 2018 is less than a month away, we wanted to share the top 3 ways to engage with the KBMax team while you’re at the show. This year, we’ll be in several spots showing manufacturers and retailers how to boost their digital transformation strategy with our 3D and complex configurator that integrates seamlessly with Salesforce.

1. Come visit our booths.

Stop by Booth #1837 in the Customer Success Expo or Booth #12 in the Sales Lodge to see a live demo of our product.  We’re the ONLY product configurator that can handle complex business rules, 3D visualization and CAD automation. It also seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CPQ and Sales Cloud.

2. Enter to win our Dreamforce Survival Kit.

Make it through the week with the ultimate Dreamforce Survival Kit, sponsored by the top Salesforce solutions for manufacturers: KBMax, Propel and AscentERP.  Simply book a meeting for a chance to win $100 Lyft Gift Card, $100 Visa Gift Card, $100 Starbucks Gift Card, Ember Coffee Mug, On Running Shoes, a Yeti Soft Cooler and more!

3. Book a meeting with our team.

We’d love to meet you at Dreamforce and we know you’re going to be busy. Let’s get some time on the calendar now, so you aren’t stressing come the week of the show. Simply reach out to us and we’ll send over some times that work best for a sit-down and some Philz coffee. As a thank you, we’ll also give you a Yeti mug to keep your coffee hot.

We’re counting down the days to the event and really hope to see you there!

KBMax Voted a Top CPQ Solution in G2 Crowd’s Summer Report

G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business software review platform, released their Summer 2018 CPQ Grid Report highlighting the highest rated CPQ software. We were named a High Performer once again and included in the top five for both Enterprise and Mid-Market customers.

The best CPQ Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and scale (based on market share, vendor size, and social impact).  After the customer satisfaction and scale are calculated, vendors are placed into four different categories on the Grid®: Leader, High Performer, Niche or Contender. KBMax was voted a Summer 2018 High Performer due to our high user ratings and our increasing market presence.

The report also compares CPQ vendors based on company size (Enterprise, Mid-Market and Small-Business). According to user reviews, KBMax was rated the fourth best CPQ solution for Enterprise customers (behind only Salesforce CPQ, Apttus CPQ and Oracle CPQ). Our ratings for implementation, quality of support and ease of our admin are substantially higher than the majority of CPQ platforms. Based on the Summer report, 87% of our Enterprise customers found our product easy to use, 82% said it met their business’ requirements and 92% found it very easy to do business with us.

The complete summary of findings for Enterprise customers can be found here.

We were also voted one of the top five best Mid-Market CPQ solutions. According to our Mid-Market customers, 85% found our platform easy to use, 88% said it met their business’ requirements and 96% found it very easy to do business with us.

The complete summary of findings for Mid-Market customers can be found here.

To see the full list of the top CPQ solutions you can go here.

Join Us for our Manufacturing Campfire with Salesforce CPQ!

KBMax’s integration with Salesforce CPQ enables companies to easily and accurately manage the entire deal close process from configuring your complex products in 3D and generating associated quotes to collecting cash-helping customers grow revenue faster than ever before.

So how do you get started?

This Campfire will take you through the core areas manufacturers need to consider with Salesforce CPQ and KBMax, a radically new approach to quote-to-cash for today’s digitized and connected world.

The main areas we will cover are:

  • Ease of quote-to-cash management in the solution
  • Complex products, pricebook and quotation management
  • Ease of configuration, implementation and ability to scale as businesses grow
  • How to make the move from Excel to Salesforce CPQ/KBMax
  • Real life examples with Salesforce and KBMax customers
  • The impact on business performance and the transparency it brings
  • How it fits into the Salesforce Ecosystem
  • How to extend and enhance your CPQ experience through the use of KBMax, the 3D and complex configurator for Salesforce CPQ

Join us next Tuesday in Coventry!

Venue: The MTC Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, Pilot Way, Ansty Business Park, Coventry, CV7 9JU

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Time: 08:30 – 11.30