So now that you’ve got your CPQ system all set – you’re configuring, you’re pricing, you’re quoting; everything seems to be going swimmingly and life is good.
But wait, hold on. Are you sure this is as good as it gets? Let us evaluate :
- Are you not seeing the improvement in revenue, profits and sales you had anticipated? – This can be a consequence of a) having selected a CPQ that isn’t right for you, b) having failed to implement the CPQ accurately, or c) not having a CPQ that’s up-to-date. Once you’re out exploring your options, you will come across many vendors making empty promises and you may even fall for them. Weigh your performance against some recently updated metrics from here and don’t settle for less.
- Is your quoting process still extremely time-consuming? – How long does it take for you to send out quotes today? Hours? Days? Months? If even having implemented a CPQ has not reduced time to quote by volumes, that’s your queue to upgrade. How would you like it if you were told that there’s a possibility for your quotes to be generated much, much faster? It’s no surprise that quotes that go out faster, yield revenues faster too. The right, robust CPQ tool that has all the advanced functions to help you create and release quotes, can help you achieve accurate, optimal quotes faster. A comprehensive CPQ system that takes you from no quote or sluggish quote to a done deal is really what you’re looking for.
- Is your Sales team reverting back to spreadsheets? – The spreadsheets, in all their splendor, are extremely powerful. Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. Spreadsheets have significant issues with version control, hidden errors and become extremely brittle over time, especially when the creators of the spreadsheets leave the organization. Strong CPQ solutions harness the true power of spreadsheets but additionally allow for strong governance, act as the one version of the pricing truth, and make it easier for Sales and Finance to get quotes to customers. CPQ systems provide extensive functionality that spreadsheets typically handicap you of. From simple financial governance, and technical product confirmation (whether or not the solution actually works) to dynamic financial payback modeling on the deal; CPQ, staying true to its name, enables Configuring, Pricing and Quoting better than any spreadsheet could ever have. If you’re having to still use spreadsheets even after you’ve invested in a CPQ system, it’s time to reevaluate your selection and look at your change management process.
- Are your Pricing and Finance teams still relying on “face to face” approval processes? – Thankfully, we’re in the era of technological breakthroughs and many, if not all, manual processes have been replaced by their automatic counterparts. Case in point, approval processes. Automatic approval processes are much more convenient and efficient too, on account of the face-to-face approvals being as problematic and inconvenient as they are. Automatic approvals are time-saving, easy to go about, and save you the trouble of having to chase concerned individuals to obtain approval. A CPQ tool, which has the automatic approval functionality in-built, in this regard, is a blessing.
- Is your CFO still stumbling in the dark? – If your CFO, quite possibly one of the most influential stakeholders of your organization, has little or no information about the technical viability of the solution(whether or not the solution going to implode), true solution margin, rogue discounting, or price buffer, its time you address this before it’s too late. A CPQ system that ensures full transparency, or whatever level of transparency you’d like, should help you streamline a lot of things.
- Are you still signing bad deals? – These are the deals that often keep Finance, Delivery, Sales Operations, Product Management and CEO, really all the stakeholders, up at night. But why sign bad deals when you can very easily shake hands on great ones? With highly accurate quotes that are sent out in a timely fashion, in the shape of an attractive, well-designed proposal, there’s really no reason you’ll be blown off.
- Are you still stuck doing manual configurations? – Manual processes are long gone, not just because machines are taking over and the era of automation is, inevitably, fast approaching…well… that is partly to blame, but for the most part, it is essentially because we have realized that there’s a better, easier and more efficient way to execute manual processes. Many systems come to a halt when it comes to executing highly complex configurations, and if you should attempt to configure manually, that will likely result in a high-risk move that, has less than opportune consequences. A CPQ system, at the heart of which lie complex configurations, is designed to cater for configurations like these, that too effortlessly. With a CPQ system at hand, manual processes should ideally be limited to having your coffee.
- Is your Finance team still taking weeks to decide on investments? – Time is money and money makes the world go round! The world has changed and so has the customer. They now want your solution as a service and this means that you must quickly model the business case and cost structure to assess the cost and accretive opportunities for your organization. Unfortunately, this dynamic modeling is hard to do, and so, is seldom executed. A well-supported and implemented CPQ system has a significant ROI for both revenues and governance.
- Are you still relying on “cut and paste” tools in conventional programs like MS Office? – The practice of cutting and pasting can unequivocally introduce a multitude of errors, accompanied by the continued need to re-key; which is straight-up exhausting, for resources both human and, coincidentally, financial. This time-consuming, error-prone process can cost you a great deal (pun intended). Calculation and branding errors, much like spreadsheets, have in the past, cost super large businesses between $24 million to $6 billion – you read that right. The solution? Fully automated proposal generation that will give you the freedom to design and customize your proposals and reports as you see fit, all the while ridding you of the pain that is “cut and paste”. Another question that arises is that, in addition to your embedded dynamic reporting, does your spreadsheet have an API or standardized interface that your other systems can extract dynamic content from? So really what is the solution…
If more than 2 of the warning signs mentioned above strike a note with you, you need to reevaluate your life choices and its time to upgrade your current CPQ installation. Would you care for a highly advanced CPQ system that guarantees success? Click here and never miss a deal!