When considering a new CPQ solution, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, research the types of deployment methods a solution offers, whether that be on-premise, hosted (managed services), or on-demand (SaaS). Next, take a look at the cost, security, customization, and implementation of said solution.
Let’s first take a look at each deployment method a bit more, then review key considerations to keep in mind for each so that you can make a more informed decision.
While researching potential solutions, first focus on what deployment methods each solution offers, whether that be on-premise, hosted (managed services) and/or on-demand (SaaS).
1. On-Premise (On-Site)
On-premise deployment allows companies to manage and host their software on computers at the business’s physical premises (office, warehouse, etc.). This is usually the most expensive deployment method, due to hardware and support staff costs, but provides the control and flexibility that some organizations require. It can also offer only so much value, as other methods (like on-demand/cloud) can provide unlimited storage space.
2. Hosted (Managed Services)
This method allows companies to use the cloud while still retaining some of their data on-site. That means you’ll still experience some of the heftier up-front costs associated with on-premise deployment, like installing software on local hardware.
3. On-Demand (SaaS/Cloud)
On-demand, SaaS/cloud deployment allows easy integration with whatever software solutions you’re already using. What’s more, this method allows for unlimited storage space, both now and in the future.
For today’s CPQ vendors, the focus is on cloud-based hosting; that’s because many B2B organizations are looking for the flexibility that a cloud-based solution provides. However, it’s important to consider your business’s immediate requirements, capabilities, and long-term goals. Do you require a quick, easy, and less expensive solution? Or does your business prefer a solution that’s more customizable and provides greater control over your data?
Answering these questions will help you better understand exactly what your organization needs.
Next, ask potential providers if it’s easy to migrate between these methods. This will help you weed out vendors that aren’t able to meet your business’s future needs.
Once you know the types of CPQ deployment methods offered, there are four key things you need to take into consideration before you make a final decision.
This is obviously always one of the top considerations. Ensure the solutions you’re vetting offer competitive pricing. Third-party information can help with this research.
For organizations with complex requirements, customization is a top consideration.
The implementation process shouldn’t be exhaustive. Understanding the ease-of-use, what it will take to implement the solution, and how it will work with existing tools will give you a good idea if it’s a good fit or not.
Ultimately, consider vendors that can provide the flexibility of a multi-tenant, cloud-based solution, as well as the security and customization that you would expect from an on-premise solution.
Choosing a solution based on the aforementioned key considerations will ensure you’ll soon see improved order accuracy, cycle time, close rates, deal sizes, margins, and revenue.