Top 7 most common myths about CPQ software - Myth vs. Reality
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software simplifies the sales process for manufacturers by making it easy to configure complex products, calculate the correct price, and generate a quote. Working with a CPQ guarantees that all information is stored in one place and that all departments within a company are linked to one another. However, there are a lot of common misconceptions about CPQ software that need debunking. Let’s take a look at the most common myths and how CPQ software handles these.
1. CPQ software is complex
This myth stems from the - by now outdated - idea that a product configurator is only used internally by the R&D team. Engineers would use the solution for supporting innovations and checking new product compositions. Since the only people who had to use the configurator were experts, the tool didn’t need to be particularly easy to use.
However, the emphasis nowadays is on CPQ software, which is made to be used by a different set of people: sales representatives, marketers, back-office employees, distributors, installers, and end customers are all users of CPQ. The software is supposed to handle the same amount of complexity as a configurator for R&D but should be user-friendly enough to serve a different audience.
Some CPQ software systems are still struggling to find the right balance. At Hive however, we have invested a lot of time and effort into differentiating our CPQ sales platform from a technical configurator for R&D. Setting up the platform and maintaining complex product rules for example can be done independently from the IT department, through our extensive admin application. Hive still allows the option for adding scripts to provide enough flexibility for companies. Our CPQ software is also very easy to use, thanks to the tooltips, icons, and visualizations we have implemented.
2. CPQ software is expensive
While CPQ software is not a cheap system, you should see its implementation as an investment, rather than a cost. Choosing for CPQ will have a favorable impact on the performance of all departments in a company, by making everyone more time efficient. Sales representatives, for example, will be able to automate any repetitive, administrative tasks, so they can spend more time on guiding and helping customers with more complex projects. This results in more sales and thus a higher revenue. Engineers can focus on finding innovative solutions instead of validating every configuration from sales, and the operations department will enjoy a smoother sales process leaving little to no room for mistakes and waste in production.
The many benefits CPQ software brings will therefore have a positive impact on the Return Of Investment or ROI.
3. CPQ software is difficult to integrate
CPQ software needs product and customer data from other systems to function properly. It is often used as an extension of platforms like ERP and CRM. To guarantee a seamless data flow that no longer requires manual data re-entry, you need to integrate your systems with each other.
It is a common misconception that CPQ software is hard to integrate with. Our experience in the industry has taught us that many CPQ’s offer different integration options through API technology and through standard integrations. Having easy integration options is a must in today’s CPQ world, so companies have invested a lot in the easy plug-and-play opportunities.
Hive CPQ integrates with any IT architecture using standard integrations, HiveConnect, and web API’s. Our team will be happy to connect your systems with each other!
4. CPQ software is a cold and unpersonal process
A CPQ platform is often considered to be reducing the human factor of selling. As a result, lots of sales representatives resent a CPQ implementation. Contrary to this belief however, CPQ does not replace sales reps but rather helps them to work more efficiently and to devote more time to customers. Non-selling activities such as creating quotes, configurating products, calculating prices, reporting, and training take up more than half of a representative’s time. A CPQ automates these activities so your teams can focus on selling instead.
Besides, studies have shown that B2B customers no longer want to interact with a sales rep for every purchase. They want to be able to configure, order products themselves and receive the quote at the moment they need it, not when the manufacturer has time. Self-service is a growing trend, 67% of buyers prefer doing their own product research and configuration rather than getting the same information from a product representative (Gartner, 2020). CPQ software gives them the perfect opportunity to do so!
And it is also fun! Try it out yourself here with our robot configurator!
5. CPQ software is not web- or mobile-friendly
The newest CPQ platforms are built as a SaaS or Software as a Service and are therefore also easily accessible on mobile devices. This guarantees that customers, distributors, or sales reps get the right information anytime, anywhere. It also allows easier sharing options, in person or online through unique codes.
6. CPQ software does not provide value for the end customers
CPQ software is first and foremost a sales tool. While it simplifies the sales process for a manufacturer’s sales team, it also makes the buying process a lot smoother for end customers. It allows them to play with configurations in 3D, to understand and compare products, and to inform themselves before needing support.
This significantly increases the customer experience, since they now have easy access to your products, their features, and their accurate prices. Through guided selling, end customers can find the exact configuration they’re looking for and they get a clear visualization of what the finished product will look like. They no longer have to wait for days or even weeks on a quote from a sales representative, they can simply generate it themselves, encouraging quick decision-making.
7. My products are too complex for a CPQ software
Wrong! CPQ software is specialized in making complex products easy to understand, sell, and buy in a user-friendly environment. While the business rules behind them may be complex, the system isn’t. The goal is that even a nonprofessional can make a configuration.
Hive supports products of various product complexity levels: from windows and garage doors to radiators and machines. Configurations are shown in 3D models, so customers get an idea of what the product will look like in the end. Our software also supports complex pricing strategies for manufacturers selling to an international distributor network. There are no products that are too complex for Hive CPQ!
There will always be a minority of doubters and sceptics who reject technological and innovative changes, as a result, it is critical to "bust" these myths and emphasize the usefulness of CPQ. The Hive CPQ software has provided value to manufacturers worldwide. Market demands are constantly changing, and Hive has assisted manufacturers in adapting to these changes.
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