How to select a CPQ in 6 Easy Steps
So, you need to select a CPQ (Configure Price Quote) solution for your organization?
Still not 100% sure? Here are 10 reasons why your organization needs a CPQ.
Still here, Great. Below are 6 easy steps on how to use resources like Gartner’s Hype Cycle and Magic Quadrant for selecting the right CPQ for your company:
1) Check Gartner’s Hype Cycle
The Hype Cycle for CRM Sales Solutions uses a graph to represent the “maturity” of emerging technologies through five phases.
When to use the Hype Cycle
The Hype cycle helps you answer the following questions:
- Which sales software should my organization invest in?
- Which are some upcoming tools that would be worth looking into?
- Which software solutions are a “safe bet” and can deliver value today?
2) Check Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
The 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites is the final report of Gartner’s research, giving an overview of the various competitors within the CPQ market. The software providers that meet their stringent criteria are the ones that are named in this report.
All companies that made it on the quadrant can be considered the best performing CPQ solutions in the market.
3) Keep an eye on the horizon: Think in years not quarters
Investments in software should never be short term. It's important that the software provider has a long-term vision of the market it services so that it can adapt its solutions to new realities. In this light, it's worth ensuring that the software is compatible with some of the following trends:
- Cloud computing: This means that the software can be accessed from anywhere, and the data is updated in real-time across the entire platform. The possibilities of cloud-computing are endless. For example, A sales rep can configure, get the right price and all the purchase documents ready, using data that was updated moments ago by headquarters located half-way around the world.
- Software as a Service: One of the major benefits of a SaaS CPQ is that the software will adapt to ever-changing industry needs.
- Smart Commerce: This is a trend that not only applies to software but rather the manufacturing industry as a whole. Smart Commerce is about a digitally connected buying journey, where data is used seamlessly across the various stages of the buying journey, resulting in an enhanced buying experience with the customer at the center, and improved internal processes that mitigate overheads and prepares organizations for industry 4.0. [link to our industry 4 survey]
4) Ask yourself: what capabilities/features do you really need?
It’s a good idea to return to Research Papers like Hype Cycle and Magic Quadrant. These are great sources to get an overview of the features and capabilities that your organization may need.
Here are 3 CPQ features that are worth looking at:
- CPQ integrations - the ability to connect the CPQ to the CRM (i.e., Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365), or an ERP (i.e. SAP) or even a PLM. This allows the ease of data to enable a smooth transition from a purchase order, to a production order together with all the documents needed (ie. eBOMs etc.).
- Visual Configuration - That is, the ability to configure a product and see the changes in a 3D or AR model in real-time.
- CPQ analytics - This is the ability to tap into the data generated during the buying journey. You can use this data to improve the buying experience, the sales process or even the product itself.
5) Check out Peer Review sites:
Gartner does have its own peer review site called Peer Insights, where you can find a ranking of the various CPQ software solutions.
Warning: Remember to take peer-review sites with a grain of salt. It’s important to remember that sometimes reviews are very subjective and that a 1-star review is at times more about their own problems than an objective judgment on the service.
6) Most important: Demo the product. Convince yourself
One of the most powerful ways to learn is by doing. In other words, it’s important to CPQ out for yourself.
Most CPQ providers will offer the possibility of booking a demo of their product. We also offer tailor-made demos.
Configure your own Truck: www.tructon.com
Configure your own Elevator: parkerlifts.com/
If you’d like to demo our AR visualization capabilities, download our IOS app and scan the QR code for the demo environment.
Tacton also has many customer examples that you can on our resources page.
Choosing new software like CPQ can be overwhelming. We hope these tips have helped you refine your search and shine some more light into your buying process.