Businesses worldwide are on a constant endeavor for process efficiency and positive customer experience. With the ever-changing business needs and customer demands, innovative software and mobile applications have become the need of the hour.
Speaking of process efficiency, product/service customization is one challenge that the customer-facing sales teams constantly encounter. From a customer's perspective, it is a time-consuming effort to go back and forth with the sales team to request a quote/view billing changes every time there's a change in the product configuration.
CPQ (Configure - Price - Quote) software has become popular in recent times, to address this issue. CPQ is currently the most successful solution that automates the entire product configuration, pricing, and quoting process and integrates with the billing software to provide real-time quote customization for sales teams and customers alike.
Configure Price Quote
The 3 Words that Define a Perfect Sales Transaction
C — Configure
The term, 'Configure' has a multifaceted approach. We are configuring our business models to suit target markets or configuring our product specifications to cater to changing customer needs. The configuration is applicable in more than one aspect regarding any business.
From a sales perspective, Configuration is the first and foremost step to deliver what the customer wants - addressing a basic "need". This is exactly what a CPQ Software delivers - a fully customized, accurately configured set of products addressing "individual" customer needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
P — Price
We are living in a world of constant change, where the demand-supply chain is narrowed down to a single core aspect - Price. In a competitive business market, you cannot go with a standard, flat-rate price all the time. Volume pricing, bundle packages, referral benefits, discount coupons, voucher codes, and wallet credits are a few ways to sweeten the deal no matter whether you are selling pizza or large ERP software.
To keep an eye on the never-ending list of pricing variants is a tedious procedure, when a CPQ software comes into picture. It keeps a track of the prices, discounts, pre-negotiated prices, volume discounts, and more to deliver an accurate price quote in matter of seconds.
Q — Quote
The quote is the memorandum of your pricing discussions, which cannot afford any inaccuracies or inconsistencies. Potential errors on an inaccurate quote are typos, incorrect calculations, mismatched fonts, formatting issues, and more. All these little things could impact the professionalism of the firm, thereby causing damage to its reputation as well.
CPQ software overcomes all these challenges and makes the process smoother, hassle-free, and error-free given the least amount of human intervention. Read the full blog here for more information on what CPQ is?
The sales rep simply downloads the auto-generated quote (that can include an e-signature field), and emails it to the prospect/customer eliminating any chaos in the process of closing a deal.
Now that we’ve got a good idea about how the CPQ software works, we’d like to answer the most simplest question — “Where do I start?”
3 Steps to Evaluating your CPQ Readiness:
- Determine the enterprise strategy & operational roadmap as-a-whole
- List down the principal challenges with your current business processes
- Evaluate the business impact of new operational changes
The above-mentioned steps are elementary to understanding your business need for a CPQ. However, each step has an exhaustive list of tasks to determine gaps in your readiness strategy as well to evaluate the timeline of implementation. Your implementation specialist will take you through a series of questionnaire to assess the impact of CPQ implementation on your current business process.
Steps involved in the CPQ Implementation:
Step 1 — Documentation:
Before you begin the implementation process, it is necessary to create proper documentation describing roles, responsibilities, technical data, business rules for configuration and templates among others. Once your documentation is ready, discuss the same with your implementation partner to ensure accuracy and completeness.
Step 2 — Technical Setup:
In general, the technical aspects of any CPQ implementation project involve the CPQ environment, API integrations, user roles & access rights, configurator back-end setup, configurator front-end UI setup, and output templates (visual and text). Your CPQ implementation partner/specialist will take your project through each of these above-mentioned steps. Meanwhile, you will also be offered mock-ups of front-end Ul, document outputs, and visual CPQ models.
Step 3 — User Adoption:
Ensuring user adoption, is an essential step in the execution of the CPQ implementation project. As your business has undergone a major change with implementing CPQ, driving adoption, and ensuring constant system support & maintenance play a vital role. This involves creating knowledge resources, providing real-time training sessions, and most importantly, continuous optimization of the CPQ program as per user and end-customer feedback.
How to Plan and Execute an Effective CPQ Implementation Strategy?
An efficient CPQ system enables your sales execution teams to perform better, and ultimately transform the way your business operates in the Quote & Billing Management Areas. Planning & Executing a successful CPQ implementation needs support from the Sales Team and the Leadership team. Contribution from the sales teams include, brainstorming pain areas as well as the commitment to utilize the tool to the fullest.
Here's a list of key takeaways for the Sales Team and the Management during the process of Planning the CPQ Implementation Strategy.
- Document Pain Areas related to Product Configuration, Price, Quote Generation, and Billing
- Allocate adequate time, resources, people, and the right implementation partner for a successful project completion.
- Involve team members in the ideation phase, to list bottlenecks that a CPQ system aims to solve.
- Set a system in place to analyze Sales Efficiency, Employee Productivity, and Cost Savings post CPQ Implementation.
- Set clear expectations with the management about the business outcomes anticipated from the CPQ Implementation
- Invest in a Knowledge Transfer session to educate your sales teams on the CPQ system prior to or during the implementation.
- Most importantly, it is crucial to ensure you don't lose sight of why you've chosen this major paradigm shift for your business. At times, we tend to forget that CPQ is not a program, but an executive strategy towards your enterprise's digital transformation.
Learn how to accelerate and simplify the implementation and maintenance of your critical Salesforce applications such as CPQ, Billing, Field Service Lighting, B2B Commerce, and many others. Reach us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can connect with us on LinkedIn.
For a detailed understanding of how the CPQ software works, you may refer to our previous blog article here or request for a complimentary strategy call today!
Published by Rakesh Neunaha, Sobha Rani
Reach out today at email@example.com. Ph : (214) 615-8787