Choosing the right CPQ software can be a game-changer for your business. But be careful to avoid falling for popularity or pricing gimmicks that may hurt you in the long run.
CPQ solutions streamline the process of configuring and pricing complex products and services. They also help improve accuracy rates and lower costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
Defining Your Requirements
When you are evaluating the potential of a CPQ vendor, look to see what your needs are. If you sell products that need to be customized for each customer, you likely need a solution that provides advanced configuration, pricing, and quoting capabilities. This allows your sales team to create a unique quote for each client without spending time configuring and pricing each product manually.
As a result, the CPQ process can reduce the length of the quoting cycle from days to minutes or hours and ensures a high-quality, professional product for your customers. It also makes your employees more productive, as they are no longer manually assembling each quote.
Often, departments like sales, finance, legal, manufacturing, and development are siloed within an organization. A CPQ solution can help break down those walls, ensure all departments have the same information, and work together.
Another benefit of choosing the best CPQ software is that it can provide customers with accurate, standardized prices and discounts. This can prevent companies from over-discounting their products and losing out on revenue. CPQ can automatically generate pricing rules based on BOM characteristics, production costs, optional features, etc. These rules can be updated and applied in real time as the configurations are changed.
Identifying Your Needs
In identifying your requirements and choosing a solution, it is essential to take a holistic approach. Ensure that the system you choose will fit your business needs, both in the short-term and within a long-term strategic vision. You can work with experienced sales operations and IT team members, who will provide ideas and perspectives that may help you eliminate systems that fall short of your requirements.
Do your current sales quoting processes require a lot of manual input and are prone to human error? A CPQ solution can help automate these processes and make your sales quotes more accurate.
Is it difficult for your sales reps to build cross-sell or upsell opportunities? A CPQ solution can help by surfacing suggested product combinations to the agents and making it easier for them to create these quotes. Do you find that your team is over-discounting products to make a sale? A CPQ solution can help you track and reduce unnecessary discounting by setting up approval thresholds.
CPQ software should also accommodate your business growth plans. This means that it should be scalable and that you should quickly add new features, products, or services. In addition, it should be easy for your team to learn and use the software to be productive quickly.
Identifying the Right Vendor
Identifying the right vendor for a CPQ solution is an important step. This can save your business a lot of money and time in the long run. However, it is not a decision that should be made lightly. It would help if you took some time to understand your business’s needs before deciding.
You will want to ensure that the CPQ software you select can scale with your company. This is because you may need to learn how big your business will grow. If you are forced to change CPQ solutions later, it will cost your company valuable resources and time invested in learning the new platform.
In addition, you should also consider the level of support that the CPQ vendor provides. You will want to ensure they have a dedicated team ready to answer questions and assist. It is also a good idea to check whether the vendor offers regular data reports that you can use to measure your performance.
Lastly, you will want to choose a CPQ solution that can easily be customized to your business needs. This will allow your sales team to make the most of the system and increase their productivity. It would be best to look for a solution that allows you to update your product configurations daily or weekly. This will help your teams stay on top of the competition and generate accurate quotes quickly.
Choosing the Right Solution
Choosing the right solution will require input from multiple departments and individuals. Start by identifying the pain points sales teams experience and how a CPQ tool could eliminate them. This could include shortened quote-to-order times, the ability to generate a contract and track its approval status, standardized pricing, advanced configurations, and rogue discounting.
You’ll also want to consider the reporting capabilities of your current software and whether or not it can easily integrate with the CPQ tool you choose. This will help you maximize your investment and ensure the tools work seamlessly together.
When selecting a vendor, look for a company that offers a scalable and customizable platform and will provide ongoing support and updates as needed. This will enable your sales and marketing teams to maximize the benefits of their new tool.
Once you have chosen the ideal CPQ tool for your business, roll out the program with clear training and communication. This will enable you to quickly address any concerns from sales team members who may initially feel apprehensive about the change. Over time, they will realize that their new tool makes them more efficient and can save them valuable time. This, in turn, will improve their overall performance and help them meet and even exceed customer expectations.