Where do you begin?
Whether you are in the very initial stages of research or already have a good idea what you are looking for in a solution and what you hope to accomplish…you are probably also thinking about what it actually takes to get a project like this underway and successfully implemented.
There’s a lot to consider when making a strategic decision for what CPQ solution to choose. You’ll find plenty of guidance on how to select a vendor, what to think about when choosing your vendor, etc. This is all well and good, but it would perhaps be more interesting – and helpful – to take a look at the challenges that surround getting the project off the ground. What areas of your business will be impacted and need to be involved? Will the business accept the change? And most importantly, where should you start? There are many aspects to consider because a configuration project touches many parts of the business; sales, design, product management, production and so on.
Start with sales
Why? Because for many companies, change in this area achieves the greatest and most immediate impact on high-priority business objectives.
Starting with sales yields both short- and long-term benefits. But it is perhaps here that we find the toughest challenges as well – fast-changing product catalogues, market requirements and pricing that vary between regions, service bundles that need to be matched to specific customer choices etc. This is a struggle for most companies, but if you’re selling highly configured products, the situation is even more complex. It will need to be dealt with at some point in the CPQ implementation so why not do it first?
Stop quoting non-optimal solutions
Staying on top of product complexity and keeping track of all products variants, pricing structures etc. gets overwhelming fast, even for the most experienced sales reps. What often happens is that the sales rep sells products configured in ways they know will work. New quotes are based on existing ones. The products quoted are buildable – but is the sales rep really positioning the latest product offering? Is he or she using the latest pricing model? And most importantly, is the solution optimal for the customer?
Let CPQ handle your complexity
When quoting your products gets overwhelming you can lean on a good CPQ solution. It will keep track of the complexity for you and help you to generate accurate, optimal quotes for your customer, every time. So you can focus on the customer’s needs instead of what variant of the product to quote.
We see time after time that a good CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) tool makes a tremendous difference to the sales process, as well as to the downstream processes. The right solution allows you to capitalise on your engineering prowess and it helps your sales team to respond to each opportunity with the optimal solution for the customer– quickly and accurately.