In today’s IT industry, there is no shortage of new technologies that can completely revolutionize business operations. Ultimately, though, a new technology needs to provide significant ROI, or else it’s not worth your time.
When applying this idea to configure, price, quote software (CPQ) offerings, the potential benefits of CPQ are clear. However, you need to make sure you can deploy your CPQ offering in a manner that maximizes ROI. Read below to learn a few tips for how you can help make this happen.
1. Make sure you fully understand the requirements
While CPQ may be a powerful tool to support your sales processes, it’s not a magic wand. You can’t expect better sales results just from buying a CPQ offering. Instead, take the time to learn what you’re getting yourself into, and be prepared for a detailed implementation process. Also, make a plan to help employees understand the new solution as quickly as possible. A new solution can only be successful and drive high ROI if employees are able to comprehend it quickly.
2. Provide support for mobile and offline operations
Today’s employees expect to be able to work on the go. Ensuring support for mobile devices is especially important when it comes to CPQ software, because sellers are mobile by nature.
For the same reason it can be helpful to include support for mobile devices, it’s also a good idea to provide certain offline capabilities. While many people assume that Wi-Fi access is available everywhere, there are still many places — on airplanes, for instance — where your employees may go without Internet access for an extended period. Offline operations help keep them productive during these periods.
3. Integrate with other systems, such as CRM and ERP
Your CPQ system can only function at its highest level if you arm it with the most detailed information possible about your customers and processes. In order to provide this information to your CPQ system, you must make sure that the system can integrate successfully with your existing systems.
By integrating with CRM systems, your CPQ solution can get a 360-degree view of your customers, helping you understand and serve those customers better. By integrating with ERP systems, your CPQ solution can gain an improved understanding of your company’s processes, and how these affect configuration and pricing practices.
4. Take advantage of limitations, but allow for some independence
One of the key features of a CPQ solution is the ability to set limitations on your sales reps: Any time they try to price an offering at too low of a discount, the system can detect this and potentially stop the sale from occurring.
While such functionality has clear benefits, it’s important to not set your limitations too tightly, as you still want your sellers to have some degree of independence. Your CPQ solution is best used when it helps your sellers do the best work they can, not when it’s controlling every aspect of their behavior. Instead of shutting down sales altogether, consider setting up a special management approval workflow for discounts over a certain threshold.
Like any other tool your business uses, there is a right way and a wrong way to use your CPQ solution. Following the tips outlined in this post will help align you for success, in order to maximize the return on your investment.