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3 ways your product catalog may be causing you pain

Today’s customers are a greedy bunch: demanding a greater range of products, delivered faster than ever before. What’s more, they expect to be able to buy through whichever channel is most convenient to them. As many as 80% of buyers1 say the experience a company offers is as important as its product or services.

Businesses need to be able to sell products efficiently and accurately. As such, legacy catalog ecosystems may no longer be fit for purpose, being flat and inflexible, and providing no intelligence around bundling. The continual need for agility and product diversification2 means that the way in which businesses are able to configure any product or solution is extremely important. 

In this blog we outline 3 pain points businesses may have with their current product catalog and how implementing a comprehensive B2B product catalog that has been designed around contemporary business trends provides the solution. 

1. Unreliable Data 

Most businesses are sitting on piles of customer data. The challenge that lies with having so much data is making it accessible and usable. Disjointed systems make it difficult for sales reps to get access to product information making it difficult for businesses to earn the trust of customers3

Issues such as discounting and payment options are defined differently across channels4, making it challenging for businesses to achieve a single source of truth for overall product management. Without a single source of truth, businesses have a serious crack in their foundation.

Legacy product catalogs are held back by manual intervention. What ends up happening is that businesses spend a lot of money on manpower to get access to information from several disjointed systems. 

Managing renewals and pricing effectively, and keeping track of external factors that influence price, becomes a hard task. Processes are cumbersome, complex and manual, leading to not only inconsistent data quality but also costing businesses millions every year.

2. Limited Visibility

Simplistic, legacy product catalogs are unable to handle the complexities that today’s businesses carry. The simplistic catalogs offer little to no visibility across a customer’s full path to purchase.

Siloed products, channels and sales team prevents product catalogs being accessible to every sales person. 

The lack of visibility prevents sales reps from suggesting relevant products, accurate quotes and appropriate cross and up sales. They aren't able to build relevant product bundles, having a negative impact on order value and customer experience. 

3. Inconsistent Customer Experience 

Outdated product catalogs often have unintuitive navigation5 as their components lean on one another for support. This in turn, makes it harder for sales reps to create bundled offerings for customers. 

A disjointed catalog creates a logistical nightmare, leaving room for inaccuracies and errors. Without automation customer journeys and sales processes become highly manual with multiple handoffs. The problems associated with manual work are compounded by slow processing times for large volumes, resulting in a poor customer experience.

With wants and needs constantly changing product catalogs need to be flexible enough to consider those changes and allow for personalization. Almost three-quarters of buyers6 say they spend more with companies that offer fluid, personalized and seamless customer experience.

Product catalogs need to be able to provide the right products to the right customers, at the right time and in a timely manner. Without this, the impatient customers of today may seek alternatives to get what they want fast. 

CloudSense Commercial Catalog

Optimal customer experience relies on a responsive product catalog that allows reps to create the correct bundle at the right time and right price for customers. With CloudSense product catalog, businesses are able to go-to-market faster. 

Automation removes errors and delays caused by outdated information and wrong pricing, allowing reps to sell faster, create more accurate quotes and gain real-time visibility.  With CloudSense, businesses are able to manage all offerings, services, pricing and business rules from a single platform.


Product catalog pain points


Sources: 1, Brafton, 2022; 2, CloudSense, 2021; 3, Accenture; 4, Team4eCom; 5, Retail Customer Experience; 6, Zendesk, 2023