Must-haves of a CPQ solution in 2022
More and more manufacturers rely on CPQ or Configure Price Quote software to sell their complex products online, causing the CPQ market to exponentially grow in the past couple of years. There is now a wide variety of CPQ solutions available, but what are the must-haves in 2022? Which options are essential and will help you get the best ROI? Whether you’re already using CPQ software or still looking into buying one, our top 7 must-haves will help you select the right tool for you.
Before we begin...
Before we dive into our top 7, we want to emphasize that every company is facing a different situation. We therefore highly recommend that you first look into your own business case and make a customized wishlist. What is it that you want to achieve with CPQ? Do you wish to increase your revenue without expanding the team? Do you want to save time and money by automating things? Or are you looking for a way to minimize mistakes in production?
Once you have agreed on your goals, think about the requirements that are needed to help you achieve these. What are you looking for in a CPQ? Take your time to define the scope and set clear KPI’s to ensure you make the right choice. Our list of must-haves will help you determine what you need.
#1 CPQ must be easy to use
CPQ aims to optimize and simplify sales for complex products. While it supports the complexity of the products, the platform itself should be easy to use. A good CPQ is equipped with guided selling tools, tooltips with more information, and 3D visualization to make the experience more user-friendly and to minimize mistakes.
Keep in mind that CPQ’s are not only used by sales representatives. To create an automated order intake, you need to onboard your customers and distributors onto the platform. A user-friendly interface is essential for external users who are not as familiar with your complex products. That way, they can configure and order products without needing help, which in turn improves their buying experience.
#2 CPQ must support complexity in sales
Selling complex products is extra challenging when you’re doing business on a worldwide scale with a complicated pricing structure. Configure, Price, Quote software should support you in all of this. Product rules in all their complexity must be embedded in the platform, so you don’t have to sacrifice any options when selling digitally.
Doing business internationally involves different languages, different currencies, different business rules, different discount options… Make sure you pick a CPQ solution that knows how to uphold all of this and allows you to grow in the future.
#3 CPQ must be easy to maintain
Dreading implementing yet another software solution? A CPQ that is easy to maintain will take a lot of frustrations away. CPQ systems that are sold as a SaaS or Software As A Service already require fewer maintenance since all platform updates are performed by the vendor itself.
It is, however, also important that your team can make changes without needing the help of the CPQ vendor or the IT team. In case there is a new product option or discounting rule, for example, your sales teams or product owners should be able to make these minor changes in the CPQ software themselves. Picking a solution that is easy to maintain will help your team to adopt the service a lot faster and will in turn get you a higher ROI.
#4 CPQ must be integrated with your other software systems
To get the most out of your CPQ software, you need to integrate it with your existing technological environment. This allows you to automate your way of working. For example, by integrating CPQ with your ERP system, you are able to pull product data from the ERP to the configurator, without having to copy-paste all data. It makes sure that if you change an item in ERP, it will automatically be updated in CPQ as well. The connection between ERP and CPQ also allows you to process any incoming orders in a systematic way. By integrating CPQ with CRM, you can quote much faster: add the customer’s information to your quote in one click.
The integrations also give you the option to work with an omnichannel approach: sell your products through your website or web shop, through the CPQ platform, or through your integrated CRM or ERP system. It is therefore crucial that the CPQ you pick supports extensive integrations and makes it easy for you to manage them.
#5 CPQ must grow with your company
The right CPQ solution allows your business to grow, but also grows together with you. Choose a SaaS that continuously invests in biweekly or monthly improvements and updates, to ensure you are using the latest technology to serve your customers. Let the CPQ solution support your long-term goals, and make sure it is scalable.
#6 CPQ must allow collaboration with your distributors and customers
CPQ software can be very beneficial when using it internally, but the true value lies in allowing your distributors and customers to configure, price, quote themselves. Choose a vendor that lets you collaborate with external partners on the software: allow customers to configure products based on their own requirements and have them share the configuration code with your sales representatives who will then make a quote instantly. This feature also gives manufacturers the opportunity to get insight on their distributor’s activity on the platform.
#7 CPQ must provide support from the CPQ vendor
Lastly, it is crucial to pick a CPQ vendor that believes in supporting their customers. The right vendor will think along and will help you come up with and implement the system architecture that will work best for your business. Get help from designated and experienced experts who will assist you in setting up the right buying experience for your distributors and customers. Choose a CPQ solution that doesn’t just provide a good product, but also an outstanding service for you.
These are the must-haves in a CPQ solution in 2022. Do you agree with our picks? These considerations have also been the building blocks for Hive CPQ.
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