We all know that there are huge advantages of installing CPQ systems, which include faster quotes and proposals, accurate orders, protected margins and simple compliance. Part one of this article explored the benefits of implementing a new CPQ solution one piece at a time and in part two we are going to suggest how as the client you can best prepare for the process of introducing a new system bit by bit (or bite by bite!).
Let’s start with an example of how it can work in practice. At Walpole Partnership our consultants have worked on projects of all sizes and shapes. Recently we helped a large client develop and execute a bite-sized plan. We moved them quickly through a short proof-of-concept phase to help them show the basic benefits of CPQ to a few key users. Next we built out a quick integration to their existing Oracle Service Cloud system which opened the capability up to more users. This allowed us to source real feedback from users, and build out new requirements that were a lot more realistic, more detailed and more relevant to the business than we could have achieved by trying to design on a blank sheet of paper. As we progressed through this project we were able to educate the client’s admin team on CPQ best practices, and show them the strengths and capabilities of the tool. In return we gained much more clarity on their real requirements, were able to challenge some areas of complexity and worked together to resolve them, and left them feeling more confident in their abilities and more capable on CPQ development.
So in practice it worked very well introducing the system in small stages, but as the client, how can you best prepare for implementing your new CPQ system in this way?
Firstly, you need an in-house team who eventually want to take ownership of the development to get the best from a bite sized approach. You also need an implementation partner who can be flexible, and nimble and is willing to educate your team until the stabilisers are off.
Secondly, you need to accept that some re-work is inevitable. In traditional IT thinking this is often considered inefficient the desire to build once and build right is understandable, but compare this to the original Facebook mantra of Move fast and break things. I know they’ve matured that a little now, but they were at 1.28 billion users before they felt the need to slow down. If we can get a CPQ client to that level, we’ll be very happy.
Finally, choose a CPQ platform that has capabilities far beyond what you think you’ll need for the first phase of the approach. For SaaS CPQ systems you can keep the costs down by starting with a smaller number of users, and you’ll reach bigger benefits faster this way. Furthermore, you won’t find yourself limited in functionality later on, and won’t be faced with an expensive re-implementation on a more capable platform.
Taking a CPQ project in small, definable, achievable, justifiable and beneficial steps is a great way to build a successful system that can transform your business. If you think you could benefit from this approach to implementing your CPQ system, please get in touch and we’d be happy to share our experiences with you.
Click here to read part one of the article.
“Bite Sized CPQ” is written by Andy Pieroux, MD of Walpole Partnership