Companies that have invested in a CPQ solution are more likely to have the most efficient sales teams. A CPQ solution is designed to support a wide range of sales processes. These processes include sales objectives and incentives, quote generation, management of sales channels, and customer and territory management.
Because not all CPQ solutions are created equal, it is wise to research not only the software programs but the vendors who will provide the support for the software. The CPQ solution should allow your company to scale your selling, pricing and fulfillment service strategies in a fraction of the time it takes with your current configure, price, quote method. Additionally, it should provide the capability to bundle products and services, provide the most current product pricing and generate an error-free quote in less time.
When considering the purchase of a CPQ solution, these are the top ten things you need to know:
1. When choosing the software will the vendor provide a trial use of the software?
Because all CPQ software does not provide or have the same capabilities, it is important to ask for a trial of the software before purchasing. You will want to see exactly what you are getting before making the investment. Buying the software without first trying it out is taking a very expensive risk.
2. How much will it cost and how long will it take to maximize ROI?
What are your CPQ needs? Purchasing software with options you will not use or do not need can result in unnecessary expenses. Purchase a solution that has the features and complexity that your business requires.
3. Will the CPQ software integrate with your current CRM program?
You will want a CPQ solution that works with your current CRM. Ideally, you will want to purchase a CPQ solution that is native to your CRM program. In other words, software that is native does not require integration.
4. Is the software scalable?
You will want to purchase a CPQ solution that can grow with your business. While you do not want to purchase more options than you currently require, the software you purchase should be capable of being upgraded to meet your business needs in the future.
5. How long should implementation of the software take?
Discuss implementation time with the software vendor. Talk to others who are using the software to find out the amount of time implementation took. The complexity of the software can depend on the length of the implementation.
6. Is the software easy to use?
Your sales team will find the CPQ software easier to use if it has the same interface as your current CRM system, which can help you see the ROI on the software faster.
7. Does the software provide real-time data?
A CPQ solution provides real-time sales data. This real-time data helps to prevent pricing errors, misquoted discounts, and allows quotes to be completed and sent to the customer faster. It also permits sales managers to see quotes as they are being sent out and what is in the pipeline without waiting for reps to write sales reports.
8. Do other businesses in your industry use this CPQ software?
Ask vendors for references of other companies in your industry that use the CPQ software. Analyze the information carefully to be sure they are using the same version and if the complexity of their business is similar to your own.
9. What are the software upgrade policies?
The software should include automatic upgrades at no additional cost. If the vendor tells you upgrades are available at an additional cost, then consider looking for another vendor.
10. What software maintenance is provided and what is the cost?
Software maintenance should also be provided at no additional cost. Again, if the vendor tells you upgrades are available at an additional cost, then you may consider looking for another vendor to meet your needs.
In addition to the above considerations, consider choosing a CPQ solution that allows your team to make changes to the program, makes it seamless to configure and price an order and makes it easy to quickly generate an error-free quote.