How Steve Stessman Transformed A Manufacturing Company with Salesforce CPQ
How Steve Stessman Transformed A Manufacturing Company with Salesforce CPQ
KBMax closes the gap between the customer and manufacturing, eliminating the opportunity for mistakes.

When Steve Stessman was the VP of National Sales at Tuff Shed (a leading manufacturer as well as an installer of storage buildings and garages – his job was to streamline the company’s overall sales and manufacturing process.

Tuff Shed has a team of 1,500 people. They also have their operations spanning over 150 stores. They sell their products through their website, Home Depot’s website, and an estimated 2,000 Home Depot locations throughout the entire United States. Rethinking processes at such a huge scale is a very tough challenge.

By leveraging the right CPQ tools for Salesforce (specifically KBMax), Steve transformed sales, manufacturing, and even more at Tuff Shed. He boosted deal sizes, improved overall efficiency, controlled costs, and delivered consistent revenue growth. Now the VP of Business Development for KBMax, an Epicor company, Steve’s enthusiastic to share exactly how he did it.

“Every manufacturer looks to create similar products again and again. It’s not realistic anymore though.”

Today, customers want personalized products as well as experiences. Customization introduces increased complexity into the deal.

“Before investing in CPQ tools,” says Steve, “all the responsibilities for product configuration was on sales. Not only did they need to sell, but they also had to convert the customer’s needs and wants into a unique product, put in all the information manually within the ERP system, and then send it over to manufacturing. This then had to work out how to decode what the salesperson did send!”

This process, which didn’t change for decades, will be pretty much familiar to the manufacturers. Steve knows how little room for error there is in these manual transitions.

“The salesperson had to quickly produce a product sketch, by hand, with the customer sitting right there in front of them! These rushed drawings looked more like scratches than those technical drawings. To say that they were open to interpretation would be an understatement.”

“Imagine that as a sales leader, I had to train people to design these useless images. If the shed got sold by a distributor, someone had to do it over the phone, thus making it even tougher.”

“KBMax automates the complete process – right from shopping cart to the shop floor.”

“In an ideal world,” asserts Steve, “the customer would communicate their product requirements directly to a manufacturing associate – because so much information gets lost in translation. That’s not realistic for Tuff Shed – sales still have a crucial part to play – but KBMax brings us pretty near to that very dream scenario.”

Today, every Tuff Shed customer begins with KBMax. They use the visual product configurator to create a configuration, calculate a price, and generate a quote. Once they configure a product, KBMax creates a bill of materials and all the related drawings that are needed for the shop floor as well as subcontractors. This information then gets pushed right into Salesforce.

“With 3D CPQ, we can interpret exactly what the customer wants, with or without a sales rep, and then bring everything into Salesforce. KBMax handles complex things like 3D configuration and Salesforce does all the things that it’s good at, like advanced approvals and then discounting.

“KBMax configures the product; Salesforce does the same with deals.”

Salesforce is all about having a 360-degree view of the customer. By integrating KBMax into Salesforce, manufacturers get that complete 360. They get the design, the customer information, the customer’s preferred payment method, and even more – it’s all right there in CRM.

With KBMax, the outputs are all-inclusive and personalized. “When a customer does a configuration in KBMax, that information reaches Salesforce, and then the customer instantly becomes a perfect lead,” says Steve.

”They’ve already made loads of decisions. They’ve chosen the size, color, and options. They’ve OK’d everything with their boss. They’ve visualized what they want to purchase. They’ve sold it to themselves!”

“The more the personalization in your message, the more likely you will close. Even the most experienced reps increase their sales figures by 10% to 15% with the right CPQ tools for Salesforce.”

KBMax takes care of the complex product configuration, generates the outputs, and also brings all that precious data into Salesforce. With detailed customer information at their fingertips, sales reps can choose a more personal approach when reaching out by phone, text, or email.

“The salesperson can clearly see that a customer has added windows to their shed, added some more shutters, and also increased the pitch of the roof. They can then call up and say: “Mr. Smith, what a beautiful building you’ve designed, it will maximize the light without even sacrificing the storage…” I can’t tell you what difference it’s going to make.”

By knowing what a customer is looking at, be it a garage, a barn, or a little shed, Tuff Shed can easily alter its channel of communication and message. Customers interacting with mega items might get a call, while those looking at cheaper products might also receive automated and targeted emails designed to reignite their interest.

“Integrating CPQ tools with Salesforce saves time because salespeople and operations people work within the same platform”

KBMax closes the gap between the customer and manufacturing, eliminating the opportunity for mistakes. Tuff Shed went from using paper scraps with scribbles to a totally automated, instant, error-free system for communication between the customer, sales, engineering, and the shop floor.

“The nice thing about having CPQ tools integrated with Salesforce is that it’s one password less to remember. It’s also one less system you need to teach. It also delivers a single source of truth that’s integrated, right from start to finish in your sales and ordering process,” says Steve.

“Salespeople no longer need to log into an ERP or call the factory for checking on customers. Have they been purchased? Are they quoted? Has it been manufactured? Has it been delivered? Has it been installed? It’s all there for all to see. Salesforce delivers you that, and KBMax lets you leverage all the functionality Salesforce has to offer. It effectively becomes Salesforce CPQ.”