Maximizing Lead Generation for a Manufacturing Company: Forms, Chatbots, or Product Configurators?


Manufacturing company websites often resemble brochures rather than dynamic sales channels. To drive actual sales, you need to treat your website as a sales channel, not just a static brochure. The consumerization of B2B sales has put significant pressure on companies to enhance their digital sales strategies. To survive and thrive in this evolving landscape, it’s crucial to integrate interactive buying tools that engage potential customers and guide them seamlessly through the purchasing journey.

In this post, we explore three popular options: forms, chatbots, and product configurators, to determine which one can best boost your lead generation efforts.

Contact sales -forms: what you find from every website

Most companies use simple contact forms next to their products. While it lets customers do what it says, contact sales, it’s not really what your customers want at that point.

These forms typically have low conversion rates, often below 0.5%. The primary reason is that forms require a significant commitment from the user without offering immediate value in return. Users are often hesitant to fill out forms, especially when they perceive it as a barrier to obtaining information. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time just to figure out very basic pricing information or to be sold to. 

The Promise and Pitfalls of Chatbots

Chatbots, especially those powered by artificial intelligence, have gained popularity for their ability to provide instant customer service. However, they often fall short in sales context.

This is because many chatbots lack integration with product data, product availability information, pricing logic, and business rules. Without these integrations, chatbots can provide only limited assistance, leading to user frustration rather than satisfaction.

In most cases, chatbots are just another way to collect the same information, without providing any real value for the user.

The Power of Product Configurators

We wrote in-depth post about what is a product configurator and explained what it does:

Product configurator software is a digital tool utilized by manufacturers to facilitate the customization of products by buyers online. It enables the selection and visualization of various options, features, and specifications of a product without direct interaction with sales representatives. 

To truly revolutionize your lead generation efforts, product configurators are the way forward. There’s three key reason why you should give product configurators a try.

Engaging and Informative User Experience

Visual product configurators allow users to build exactly the product they need without requiring them to be product experts. 

Today’s customers prefer to explore products on their own time and terms, using simple interfaces that guide them through the process. They want to customize products, add accessories, and see how these choices impact the overall configuration and price.

👉 You can do all this with HeadQ CPQ (free version available too!).

Control and Customization

Product configurators empower businesses to control the narrative and user experience. They provide all necessary information in an interactive format, which is more engaging than static brochures with complex charts and product codes. 

Customers can see the results of their choices in real-time, making the process both informative and satisfying.

You can of course use your product configurators in your brochures, too. Just add a QR code to your product brochure pointing to the product configurator. This is a great way to drive people from offline to online.

Higher Conversion Rates

One of the most compelling advantages of product configurators is their impressive conversion rates. Typical conversion rates for visual product configurators are 5-10 times higher than those of standard forms. This is because configurators offer immediate value and a sense of accomplishment, encouraging users to take the next step in the buying journey.

The benefits don’t stop there. If you drive traffic to your website with paid advertising, such as Google Ads, Meta or similar, you can easily boost the total conversion rate of your digital sales funnel.

Our customers have seen that when they incorporate simple call to action to ad copy (like, Configure your product, Build and quote, Get price instantly) they’ve witnessed a significant boost in click-through rates (CTR), resulting in more conversions.

Product configurators provide you with a better conversion rate and more overall conversions from the same paid ads budget because people rather click the ads that promise interactive tools and pricing information.

Choosing the Right Tool for Lead Generation

When it comes to generating leads on your company, the choice of tool can make all the difference. While standard forms and chatbots have their uses, they often fall short in driving conversions. Product configurators, on the other hand, offer an engaging, informative, and user-friendly experience that significantly boosts conversion rates.

By integrating a visual product configurator, you can transform your website from a static brochure into a dynamic lead generation machine.