You’re likely overwhelmed if you’re in the market for a CPQ application.
Considering current trends, Gartner predicts the CPQ market will continue to grow at 20% per year.
There are 100s of CPQ applications on the market — many of which claim to have all the features you need. How do you decide?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the checklist for evaluating the CPQ solution to make your decision easier.
Define What You Need In Your CPQ Solution
Before evaluating CPQ solutions, it’s essential to define your problem first.
For example, if your goal is to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction, allocating resources toward building an integrated data warehouse would be more valuable than investing in leading-edge optimization capabilities.
Or maybe you need a modern software solution that integrates with other products in the market; if so, you might want to consider using an open-source tool rather than one provided by a vendor.
Scalable Pricing Models
Some of the more advanced CPQ solutions can be expensive, but they also allow you to scale your pricing model as your business grows.
It is an excellent option for companies that anticipate significant growth over the next few years and want to avoid paying for an expensive upfront implementation.
The ability to change the pricing model anytime also allows you to match it against your sales goals and needs.
Suppose you find yourself needing more services or support than initially anticipated. In that case, you can adjust your plan accordingly without going through another lengthy approval process or getting stuck with a higher-priced plan (or worse yet—no plan).
Identify Key Stakeholders And Their Business Needs
It would be best if you also understand each stakeholder’s business needs. For example, a purchasing manager might want to use the CPQ solution to create custom quotes and purchases. In contrast, a sales manager is likelier to use it for creating and managing quotes.
Another thing you should consider is what data they will need access to fulfill their role. For instance, purchasing managers are often responsible for approving orders or invoices. They need visibility into specific types of data (like price lists) that may not be relevant to other roles within your organization or outside of it.
Use Your Wish List To Choose the Right Vendor
Now that you clearly understand your business needs, it’s time to use your wish list to help determine which CPQ solution is right for your business.
To do this, write down the requirements critical for making your CPQ solution successful. These could include:
- Cost: How much does it cost? Is this something that can be implemented within our budget?
- Timeframe: When will we be able to get started using the system? Are there any dependencies on other projects that must be completed before we can implement them?
- Features and functionality: What kinds of features does our team need for them to do their jobs efficiently and effectively?
Define the Evaluation Criteria That Best Align With Your Requirements
You should define the evaluation criteria that best align with your requirements. It will help you understand what’s important to you and whether or not a particular solution matches those needs.
- Business needs: You need to consider your users’ capabilities to succeed.
- Capabilities: You must understand how much their product covers out of the box and how much additional work would be required during implementation if they don’t meet all of your business requirements upfront through prebuilt functionality & configurations alone.
- Make Sure Your Choice Will Integrate With Your Existing CRM, ERP, and Other Platforms Without Issue
If your choice of a CPQ solution does not seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM and ERP systems, you’ll waste time and money trying to make it work. In the long run, this can cost you more than buying the wrong solution in the first place.
Integration should be seamless if possible but often isn’t due to differences between vendor approaches or customizations that partners have made over time.
While it may seem like a no-brainer to make sure that any new system “plays nice” with other parts of your business, there’s no guarantee that this will happen—and there is so much more at stake than compatibility issues if they don’t.
Get A Demo And See What It’s Like To Use The Software
You should always get a demo of your chosen CPQ solution before buying it. You need to know how the software works and if it’s user-friendly and easy enough for your team to use regularly.
If you invest in a new product, you should see what it’s like before spending it.
We hope this list has been helpful and you’re closer to deciding on your CPQ solution.
Remember, every company is different, and so are its needs.
A CPQ solution can give you a fivefold increase in revenue. Don’t be afraid to ask for as much information as possible until you feel confident in your choice—and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t be scared to change course.
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