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    Why Enterprise CPQ Implementations Fail

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    Why Enterprise CPQ Implementations Fail Why Enterprise CPQ Implementations Fail2 3Why Enterprise CPQ Implementations Fail 3

    When Pulling the Trigger on CPQ Software... You’ve reached a certain point in the evolution of your company and you know it’s time to invest in a CPQ system.

    But buyer beware:

    There’s a certain misconception around CPQ systems as being plug-in devices or turnkey-ready overlays of your existing infrastructure, or a simple app you sign up for and that’s it.

    (COUGHING: Not.)

    Yes—the best ones do not require heavy IT resources to get them up and running. But even the best ones require certain things to happen to make their implementation and rollout successful, and most companies, despite the best-laid plans, usually get torpedoed by one of the following issues.

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    1. Bad Data This could be one of the most easily avoidable reasons CPQ implementations fail.

    If the data your new CPQ system is using is outdated or inaccurate, it’s not going to end up working well, and your sales reps aren’t going to like using it.

    This applies to configuration data, for example. You don’t want to be using last year’s data to configure a product.

    Before you even hit “go” on your CPQ implementation, you need to establish a data update process and build that into the actual implementation plan, with the right owners and stakeholders of specific data ensuring their respective data is current, verifiable, and transparent. You also need to make sure the data you’re working with—across systems—is reliable and also centralized.

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    2. Implementation Team Communication Breakdown

    There are many facets to getting a CPQ system running in your enterprise. Since so many groups and departments are part of the sales cycle, to expect your CPQ system to function well without the detailed input of all of these groups is unrealistic.

    A lot of times, though, the lack of a coherent plan or the involvement of all groups doesn’t rear its ugly head until it’s too late and you have a system that doesn’t meet the needs of either your reps or the people they’re selling to.

    As with the data, the keys to making it work are centralization and transparency.

    You need to build a project-leading team comprised of the decision-makers from each department, and establish clear lines of communication between these people, with each of them representing their own users’ interests. And don’t forget to keep the END USERS—the sales reps and their customers—in mind, and get their input from the very beginning. That way, there are no hangovers, regrets, or redos.

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    3. Overloading of Complexity Yes—a CPQ solution is meant to handle your pricing, configuration, and quoting complexity. But a lot of companies make the mistake of over-burdening their new CPQ solution with complexity and rules. What then happens is that a tiny percentage of the configurations you’ve asked your CPQ solution to do end up taking 90% of the implementation time.

    Don’t expect 100% of the configurations to be handled by the CPQ system. Instead, shoot just for most to be handled by it and use sales team training to deal with the rest.

    And in the meantime, use this process to simply your configurations a bit and try to find more efficient ways of doing things. Your CPQ system—and your sales reps—will thank you for it.

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    4. Choosing a System that Relies On IT

    While a certain degree of IT involvement is going to be required to set up most CPQ solutions, you really don’t want to be having to continually tap IT’s shoulder once you’re into the rollout phase. The whole purpose of your CPQ system is to add fluidity, accuracy, efficiency, and better user experiences to your sales processes, so if sales ops or marketing have to wait on help tickets every time a new product or promotion is introduced, it’s going to trickle down to a slower, inefficient sales process.

    Make sure you choose a CPQ solution that’s easy to use and maintain by the business user.

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    Consider this New Acronym for “CPQ” It’s the last thing you need, right? Another acronym to deal with. But for implementation’s sake, let’s see “CPQ” as standing for

    Collaboration, Processes, and Quality.

    That is—clear and open COLLABORATION between ALL users and stakeholders.

    ESTABLISHED PROCESSES for this collaboration and for the CPQ implementation.

    And of course, QUALITY DATA from the get-go.

    Using this new interpretation of CPQ, you will arrive at successful CPQ implementation.

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    About CallidusCloud Callidus Software Inc. (NASDAQ: CALD), doing business as CallidusCloud®, is the global leader in cloud based sales, marketing, learning and customer experience solutions. CallidusCloud enables organizations to accelerate and maximize their lead to money process with a complete suite of solutions that identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution, enable sales forces, automate configure price quote, contract redlining, and streamline sales compensation -- driving bigger deals, faster. Over 5,800 leading organizations, across all industries, rely on CallidusCloud to optimize the lead to money process to close more deals and make more money, faster.