Did you know that implementing a CPQ system will involve several departments in your company?
If not, that’s because this probably isn’t the message you’ve heard from other vendors who say how easy it is to implement their CPQ solution.
While other vendors may position CPQ as a simple, easy, add-on to a broader platform of solutions, you should see CPQ as a comprehensive solution that will touch many, if not all, of your systems and processes company-wide.
We’re not saying this to scare you, but to arm you with realistic expectations when heading into your CPQ project. After more than 30 years of implementing CPQ and working with customers from a variety of industries, we’ve seen it all.
That being said, such a solution can vastly improve your business from the perspective of direct sales, partner, and indirect sales enablement, as well as facilitating broader digital transformation strategies like an ecommerce initiative designed to improve customer and user experiences.
The process improvements and greater efficiencies produced by your CPQ project will reverberate throughout the entire organization, benefiting sales, marketing, IT, operations, manufacturing, engineering, accounting, and others.
But how do you start reaping these rewards? It all begins with getting a few key stakeholders on board.
Getting Stakeholders on Board
Since CPQ touches almost every area of your business, you’ll need to assemble a cross-functional team of key stakeholders and gather input from them.
These stakeholders include:
- The IT team
- Channel management
If you don’t include all stakeholders in the decision-making process and drive engagement from the start, you risk project derailment when a stakeholder comes late to the table and needs to be brought up to speed.
As we discussed recently, a study commissioned by FPX that surveyed 71 decision makers in the purchasing of CPQ platforms found that, at 44%, one of the biggest challenges they had when sourcing a CPQ solution was needing to include more stakeholders than originally thought.
Including all stakeholders from the get-go also allows you to address objections upfront. Some of these objections might include:
- Prioritization of budgets and technology projects across the enterprise. (In the same study, 55% of decision makers said underestimating the scope of the project was the biggest budgeting challenge.)
- Why not implement a minimal viable product?
- Preference for a potential CPQ vendor that already provides another key application in the IT ecosystem that may not have a long-term future as part of the tech stack. (42% of decision makers noted “competing interests between stakeholders” as a challenge when sourcing CPQ.)
Be prepared to address these objections so all stakeholders can buy into the strategy and goals of CPQ. Having input — and agreement — will help keep your project on track.
And keeping your CPQ project on track means crossing the finish line and seeing greater efficiencies, improved user experience, process improvements, and more faster!