Co-contributors: Dan Buan, CEO, Buan Consulting, and Greg Meyer, Board Advisor, Buan Consulting
A Quote-to-Cash or CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) implementation has a better chance of being successful and delivering positive ROI if it is managed by an experienced systems integrator or consulting firm. But as a customer looking to implement a Quote-to-Cash solution, how do you choose that firm?
There are thousands of consulting and systems integration firms, and standard practice in the consulting industry is for a firm to advertise that they can take on any project. However, when it comes to the implementation of a complex system such as Quote-to-Cash or CPQ, they often fall short.
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating and choosing a consultant that will help you maximize your investment in any Quote-to-Cash implementation.
- Consider Your True Needs. What constitutes a good systems integrator or consultant? Some clients look for a consultant with a local presence. Others are looking for firms with a certain level of experience. At a high level, you can boil it down to one question: Do you want a systems integrator that will simply help you implement the software or do you want a higher-value Quote-to-Cash consultant that will help you optimize the software implementation in a way that truly improves your business? How you answer that question will define your entire project.
- Implementation Fundamentals. Before selecting a consulting partner, be sure to ask them about their methodologies and tool sets. A good firm should be able to show you examples of successful implementations they have completed as well as a repeatable integration process. They should also let you speak with current and past clients to understand how the firm works with a client, deals with day-to-day issues, and overcomes larger challenges.
- Ask Questions. Determine how responsive your prospective consultant is. The firm should be easily accessible and their team should be ready and willing to spend time with you to explain the process and methods they’ll use to ensure a successful implementation. If they’re not willing to spend the time with you while trying to win your business, chances are they’ll be even less responsive after you sign a contract.
- Seek a Quote-to-Cash Specialist. Quote-to-Cash solutions are highly specialized and finding a consulting partner with the proper certifications will help ensure a successful implementation. A recognized certification on the solution set you are implementing is a definite prerequisite. It shows that the consultant has been approved by your Quote-to-Cash vendor and that the firm will provide experienced support during the implementation process. You don’t want them learning it as they are implementing it.
- Seek a Platform Specialist. Most Quote-to-Cash solutions are designed to work within a specific platform, such as Salesforce. Certification on the platform, combined with certification of the actual Quote-to-Cash product, will provide an extra level of experience and capabilities during implementation.
Understanding exactly what you are looking to get out of a Quote-to-Cash solution and selecting a consultant that is both accessible and experienced will contribute to the success of your overall project. You will increase your ROI, the length of the implementation will decrease, and overall risk will be mitigated by choosing the right partner for your implementation.