How important is choosing the right CPQ vendor?
What do we mean by “future-proof”? That takes us to sign number one!
7 Signs a CPQ Vendor is Right for You
1. They have an open platform.
The CPQ solution you choose should integrate with your current applications, but those applications (like your CRM and/or ERP) may change in the future (either due to internal changes or a merger or acquisition).
Therefore, you need to find a solution agile and flexible enough to evolve with your business, not hold it back. In other words, you can “future-proof” your CPQ solution by selecting a vendor with an open platform, also known as a platform-agnostic solution.
2. They’re experienced.
How long has the vendor been in the CPQ game? It’s important you pick a vendor that’s not a complete newbie. That’s because they may have limited experience working with companies like yours; perhaps they haven’t worked with customers in your particular industry or vertical, or they only offer native solutions that don’t apply to your current tech ecosystem. It’s best to select a vendor that has been around, worked with customers that reflect your industry or specific business, and have integrated with systems similar to yours.
3. They use a consultative approach.
A vendor that uses a consultative approach will be better able to address your unique needs. That’s because consultative sellers will work closely with you to identify opportunities for improving your business with CPQ that you may not have considered or even realized were possible. Furthermore, a consultative approach will ensure you have a comprehensive perspective of what you’re trying to accomplish with CPQ, set goals, benchmarks, and better evaluate your success along the way.
4. They know how to deliver quick wins.
When it comes to CPQ, there are opportunities galore for driving revenue, efficiency, reducing costs and streamlining complex processes. While proper implementation takes preparation and a commitment on the part of internal teams as well as implementers, there is low-hanging fruit in terms of quick wins once you get your CPQ system up and running:
- Reduce quote turnaround time (often days or weeks to mere minutes)
- Increase quote output
- Increase average quote value (upsell/cross-sell and guided selling capabilities)
- Reduce order errors (many FPX CPQ customers realize 100% quote accuracy)
- Sunset or retire outdated systems or redundant processes
5. They know how to establish a competitive advantage.
The right CPQ vendor will help you establish a competitive advantage over the long term. This is because, to reference number one, a vendor with an open platform will enable you to stay agile and flexible as the years go on. To reference number three, they’ll also help you and your salespeople adopt a consultative sales approach driven by capabilities like guided selling, cross-sell and upsell, as well as other features. An approach Forrester believes will reign in the 21st century.
6. They properly prepare you for implementation.
In a recent survey of 71 decision-makers, it was found that at 44%, buyers wished the vendor had better prepared the organization for the level of effort required to implement the CPQ solution.
7. They let your team keep working.
Your partner should be able to provide expert consulting to assess your current CPQ process, recommend a better solution, demonstrate the ROI of that solution and aid in implementation. This will reduce the amount of time your team is taken away from their important daily duties, and accelerate how quickly you start generating positive ROI from a new CPQ solution.
The Bottom Line
Don’t be like the many buyers in the survey who wished they had conducted more due diligence into CPQ vendors before choosing a solution. Make sure your chosen vendor ticks all the boxes before proceeding!