This is the first post in a three-part series on How to Secure Funding for Your CPQ Project.
You’ve decided to implement a CPQ solution in order to better enable complex configuration, automate and streamline processes, scale transaction volume, upskill employees, and more.
You know it’s the perfect fit for your company, but how do you 1. Demonstrate you know what you’re talking about, and 2. Get others on board?
What You Have to Get Across
Before you pitch your CPQ project to these seven stakeholders, it’s important you know what elements of the solution will really bring it home for them.
First, think of the pain points it will solve:
- Complicated, customized product packages need to be configured, priced, and quoted in an efficient manner
- Your current sales and order fulfillment processes are fragmented, inefficient, and—at times—painful
You know you need something that will:
- Help sales, finance, and sales operations work better together
- Make buying and selling processes easier for sales teams, partners, and customers
- Deliver immediate ROI in the forms of higher sales totals, bigger margins, and a streamlined IT footprint
You need to be the CPQ subject matter expert, which means you’ll have to take stakeholders through the discovery process of the current problem, and how it can be solved:
- Demonstrate that you know how the configuration and pricing processes currently work: Where does data come from, who makes pricing decisions, how are configurations done?
- Show whether the product and pricing data is current and accurate, and how the data flows (or doesn’t) through the existing configuration and quoting processes.
- Be authoritative: You fully understand the complexity and priority of your current processes and can clearly state the problem(s) you are solving, describe the vision of an improved future state, and explain why CPQ is the appropriate solution.
- Articulate (and, ideally quantify) the revenue loss, the cost in time and resources, the risk of lost revenue and margin, and perhaps the loss of entire deals if you don’t take action.
- Explain how a CPQ solution alleviates these risks and offers benefits in greater revenue, cost savings, and faster turnaround.
You know the benefits CPQ will bring to your organization—but you shouldn’t go it alone and expect success. You’ll want to take the time to understand precisely how your company goes about making decisions around buying new technologies.
70% of CPQ buyers saw longer-than-expected delays in their CPQ approval process, driven most frequently by a lack of consensus. Which is why identifying and communicating how key stakeholders will benefit from CPQ is so essential.
Therefore, make sure you hear stakeholders’ concerns at the beginning of your initiative, rather than waiting to do so further down the line. This could stall and even kill your CPQ project.
On your road to building consensus, it’s important that you:
- Know who’s likely to support you and what they expect from CPQ.
- Know who’s skeptical, understand their initial objections and work on strategies that can help you overcome them.
- Be very clear on whose “yes” is the final word in the approval process.
- Learn how your company’s Capital Expenditure (CapEx) committee evaluates and purchases new technologies to ensure you follow procedure.
Remember, the order in which you approach stakeholders is very important. How you orchestrate buy-in depends largely on whether the decision for CPQ approval is more likely to be made by the business side or by technology teams.
Learn more about this in part three of our series: “How to Secure Funding for Your CPQ Project: Getting to Yes”.