Tips and tricks for a successful CPQ implementation

Tips and tricks for a successful CPQ implementation

Ida Hallmén, Content Manager
Ida Hallmén, Content Manager

Has your company decided to implement a CPQ system? Congratulations! You have already taken a big step forward. A CPQ implementation will give you completely new conditions and facilitate the company in many different ways. In the previous article, we talked about the seven most common mistakes companies make when starting up CPQ projects. Now, we will instead explain how you can create the right conditions to succeed with your CPQ implementation. We will also go through which preparations are important to carry out before the project starts.

Define clear goals

To succeed with a CPQ implementation, it is very important to clearly define your goals. Before the project starts, it is therefore good to be able to answer a couple of questions. For us at Animech, it is super important to really encourage our customers to reflect and clarify a few things before we start a project. What type of project does the customer want to do? What are the problems the customer wants toi solve? What goals should be achieved? Are the goals realistic? When should the goals be achieved? Also think about who the user is and whether the tool is meant to work as a sales tool or as an inspiration tool. Also make sure you have the right competence and resources in place.

SMART

It is important to set measurable goals and continuously monitor how the project proceeds. For example, you can investigate how many users interact with the system, which configuration is most common and what choices your customers most often make. By analyzing the data traffic, you can optimize the entire sales process. Why does everyone quit at the same place? Can we improve or simplify somehow? Is there something that is unclear, for example a selection nobody seems to choose? By setting goals according to the SMART- goals framework, the chances that the CPQ implementation goes smoothly increases:

Specific
What do we want to achieve? Make sure that it is clear what is to be achieved, that the goal is as concretely formulated as possible and easy to follow up.

Measurable
The goal must be measurable. Also make sure to agree on how goals and results should be measured even before the project starts.

Achievable
It’s important that everyone involved understands what the project will mean for the company. It is also important that everyone has an interest in achieving the goal.

Relevant
Is the goal possible to achieve? The goal must be realistic, relevant and achievable.

Timebound
Is it possible to reach the goal within a reasonable time? Do not forget to set a deadline when the goal must be met. Make sure everyone involved agrees with the deadline.

Involve Staff

Starting a CPQ project affects all departments at the company. Therefore, it is important to involve everyone in both the project’s planning and development and ensure that everyone has a common vision. This makes it easier to make effective decisions and maintain focus. Something that is particularly important is to clarify that this is something that will be of great help for the employees and not something that will replace them. Be responsive if there are concerns and discussions and explain what changes this will mean and why you are doing this. Implementing a CPQ tool is a way to modernize the company and take a big step forward.

Have the right people in place

Ensuring that you have the right skills and experience on site is extremely important for the project to succeed. It will facilitate and accelerate the implementation. You will need to involve CPQ experts from your supplier but you will also need input from your best seller and expertise from all departments of the company. It is intended that this project will seam the entire company together and therefore it’s important to involve everyone.

Measure and optimize your progress

To measure progress and find out what works best, you can for example, work with A-B testing. By asking the questions: “Can we sell more without hiring more salespeople?” “Does the tool make the sellers’ everyday life so efficient that they can work with qualified sales instead of making small updates in quotes all day?” Another thing that is easy to measure is how long it takes between quotation and order.

Because the CPQ tool simplifies the sellers’ work by reducing much of the seller’s administrative tasks. This allows the seller to focus more on active sales instead and thus shortens the sales process. When the customer is allowed to configure their products, the customer’s understanding of the product increases and this means that the customer comes much more informed to the seller and ready to buy the product. Once the customer is ready to talk to a salesperson, it may only take one meeting since the customer already feels confident in the decision. If you want the customer to carry through 80 percent of the buying process on their own, it is important to have an engaging sales tool that is user friendly and stimulating to use.

Focus on supercritical CPQ features

A CPQ system with its many features will provide huge benefits to your business. Initially, it can be good to focus on a couple of the features and not implement everything at once.

Select the most basic and important to be able to reach your current sales goals. Then you can gradually implement more and more functions.

For the CPQ project to be a real success, it is also important that the system is seamlessly integrated with other important systems such as CRM (Custom Relationship Management system). By integrating the two systems, you collect all important data in one place. Last but not least: Make sure that the users, i.e. your customers, are satisfied!