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. Epicor CPQ 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.”
Example of a visual configuration tool being used by shed manufacturer.
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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.