Time waits for no one; it also kills deals.
Today, there’s more choice than ever in SaaS and it seems that this trend will likely continue. However, the fact that with every choice comes a consequence has not escaped our notice. Who’s to say if buying processes look similar between B2B and B2C in another decade? There are a number of extra people and steps in the former than in the latter. There are many different solutions within sales enablement that help to streamline the process between the buyer and the seller – to help them make the right decision. CPQ plays an important role, the linchpin, if you will, in the process that feeds information to a number of different systems to improve the overall customer experience.
Alright – full disclosure, CPQ may, at first, seem like all fun and games until you really, really start implementing it. When we say “implementing”, we MEAN implementing – in every sense of the word. In a perfect world, this “implementing” could’ve been said to have reached completion after everyone at a company had simply learnt to press all the right buttons and could thus navigate around the tool; but that is not all there is to it.
Now that does not, by any means, mean that the implementation process has to be an unpleasant, backbreaking one – but it does mean that the process requires a considerable amount of time and effort – collectively and individually. Some guidance in this respect, therefore, can surely do some good.
So keeping in mind that, like all great inventions, it takes a tad bit more than just impulsively making an attempt to employ the tool to get the most out of it, we’ve put together a list of 5 CPQ traps and how you can avoid them:
- Doing too much, too soon – Few technical implementations can impact your revenue and profitability today as massively as CPQ. The system will change the face of quoting for good, and by accelerating the consistently accurate quoting process by 80 per cent or more, you are bound to succeed in driving greater revenues.While it is easy to be blindsided by all the good things that come along CPQ, we recommend you to be very careful about not making the rookie mistake of jumping in with both feet – instead, we suggest you start small. Many huge, failed implementations have only further strengthened our belief that starting the implementation with small projects yields bigger, better outcomes. So start small, grow big!
- Not choosing the right vendor – Given the fact that CPQ is no “one size fits all”, choosing the right vendor for yourself is extremely crucial for your success; in simpler words, the technology Vendor you choose can make or break your CPQ venture. The Vendor you’re looking for should ideally possess most, if not all, of these characteristics:
- Fast and easy to iterate
- Extensive configuring capabilities
- Support for complexity
- Perhaps the most important of all is Domain expertise – Domain expertise helps across all phases of the implementation. If they are not from your space, what are the chances they’ll sign up for a satisfaction guarantee? Say you are looking for a CPQ vendor for your chair manufacturing plant, you must then find a CPQ vendor that has expertise in this area, as well as reference-able customers for manufacturing chairs. On the other hand, if you are looking for a vendor with complex IT pricing expertise, make sure they have strong references and examples in this particular area: complex IT pricing, and not in chair manufacturing.
- Failed communication – If you haven’t already established communication throughout your organization, do it now because you’ll need to. Not just among the humans, but also the machines! Sounds spooky, doesn’t it? Not quite – systems that work together, stay together! Familiarizing, from top management, all the way down to the sales team, with the tool, is extremely essential for effective implementation. It has been seen, that in many cases when people tend to overlook the importance of communication and training, they end up having failed CPQ implementation.
- Not making a conscious effort to test… the waters – To reiterate, there is no big-bang approach to implementing CPQ. Since it may come as quite the “culture shock” to an organization, to embrace, realize, and in fact harness the real potential of CPQ, you may as well take your time and dip your toes into the revolution that is CPQ implementation, piece by piece – one toe at a time!
- Not involving the stakeholders enough – In order to ensure the smooth running of the business, it is important all stakeholders are kept involved and informed. Meeting with vendors, executives, and implementing teams frequently can really help you all work efficiently toward achieving your goals. When all stakeholders discuss, among themselves, and address the business challenges and needs from time to time, decision making and problem-solving become attainable – you know what they say; two or more heads are better than one, right?
So, if you’re all set to go, let’s get you started now, shall we?