You implemented CPQ for your organization and something unexpected happened. Somehow, those slick demos your CPQ vendor presented during pre-sales never came to be. What you have doesn’t quite do what you were told it would do. And this highly imperfect, not quite right job it does, it does very slowly. So slowly, you are afraid your sales will never use it. Not just afraid, you’re pretty darn sure they won’t.
Why would they? How can you tell your sales team to abandon their familiar spreadsheets that bend to their will to create any quote they want with great performance with this limping million dollar dog? And all this, after a six to eight month implementation project that was kicked off with such fanfare and anticipation for a CPQ that promised to accelerate your “business transformation” and bring about so many other impressive buzzwords.
This is not what you bought yet this is what you have. And this is after you spent a few hundred thousand dollars, maybe a million or more, on software licenses and services.
What can you do? First, you should do a little post-mortem to understand why things went so wrong. There’s a serious purpose to this. If you want to fix this and you definitely must, then understanding how you got here is the first step in your recovery process.
Six Steps Troubled CPQ Recovery Process
- Finding Options
- Identify and Target Areas for Improvement
- Find a CPQ Vendor who can improve your target areas
- Implement a better CPQ
Step 1: Acceptance
Like any recovery process, Step 1 is admitting there is a problem.
Step 2: Education
Get educated about what went wrong with your previous software and how to select the software you need. It’s far from rocket science. It just requires performing basic due diligence with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Most likely you didn’t make this decision on your own. You and your team, you’re all in it together. You really need to fix this. And the good news is there are better solutions out there.
Step 3: Finding Options
Realize you have options. And yes, you do have options.
Take a fresh look at the vendor technologies available to you. Keep in mind you are not alone. The renewal drop out rate for some vendors in the Gartner “magic quadrant” was reportedly 59%. That means almost half of CPQ implementations from some top vendors are thrown out after the first contract expires. But don’t despair. This vendor switch has become common and companies are coming up with great solutions for your situation. You can fix this!
Step 4: Identify and Target Areas for Improvement
In theory, at least, the second time around you should be better at this. Practice makes perfect, right? After 10,000 hours of practice you become an expert at anything. And it definitely feels like you’ve done your 10,000 hours by now.
And now you have perspective. You have experience. And you know what to look for. It’s much easier to diagnose the problem when you have the corpse lying right in front of you. Talk to your team and identify what you need to fix. What are the key problems you need to fix and look out for when looking for a better solution.
Here are some of the most common problems we’ve seen with current CPQ implementations. If you are unsatisfied with your CPQ you surely have one and likely more than one of the following:
- Poor performance
- Lack of personalization
- Inability to support multiple channels
- Difficulty making changes
- Lack of standard features you thought would be there but were achieved through dangerously uncontrolled custom code.
- Laggardly time to market for your NPI
Step 5: Look for CPQ Vendors who can address your specific pain points
At Veloce, we cannot claim to know all the qualities of all the CPQ vendors on the market. You will have to do your own research to find the vendors who are best suited to fix your specific pain points. But we can present, as an example, how Veloce can address the common problems listed above.
Stay tuned for our next blog: Final Step 6: The Veloce example of a superior CPQ