5 Common Mistakes in CPQ Implementation
Implementing a new software system may not always start on the right foot, even with a versatile tool like Salesforce CPQ. When implementing Salesforce CPQ on a large scale, errors are common. In this blog, we will discuss the top five mistakes that you should be aware of while implementing CPQ for the very first time.
What is Salesforce CPQ?
CPQ stands for Configure, Price and Quote. Salesforce CPQ as the name suggests acts as an extension to your organization’s Salesforce CRM to build an organized and standardized sales process in your company. This user-friendly tool cuts short your sales process and eliminates all chances of quoting errors. It automates business processes and increases the overall efficiency of your sales team.
What are the Challenges Addressed by CPQ?
- Removes the painful process of tracking and sourcing data from multiple spreadsheets and sources.
- Avoids sales time lost in complex calculations like discounts, pricing models, product catalogs etc.
- Takes second guessing out of the approval process and makes it streamlined.
- Avoids erroneous quotes due to pricing mismatch.
- Ensures better compliance since all T&C are centrally controlled and verified.
- Avoids data silos between finance, service and marketing teams.
Common CPQ Implementation Mistakes
#1 Overcooking It
Salesforce CPQ is often criticized for its complicated and long setup, leaving sales teams overwhelmed with new processes. Such an issue, however, can be the result of mindless project goal-setting.The implementation team doesn’t take enough time to simplify the process before implementing a CPQ system. Don’t expect your existing processes and systems to be perfect. As your company grows, the complexity increases and so do the dependencies over time. If you decide to build a completely automated CPQ tool on top of these complexities, you are in for a tough ride.
Pro Tip: The right time to cleanse your processes is before you start implementing your CPQ system. Design your system to fit the needs of your people, processes and the CPQ platform.
#2 Using Irrelevant & Wrong Data
If the data that resides in your CPQ system is not updated, accurate and clean, you may face problems when you hand out those proposals filled with irrelevant and confused information. Regardless of whether you create automated or manual proposals, it is important to maintain clear and accurate data.
Pro Tip: Make sure to source and import all crucial data from your current systems before starting the CPQ implementation process. Analyze all the integrations with your Salesforce CRM and import all details required to Salesforce CPQ.
#3 Lack of Collaboration and Transparency
Companies who have started thinking about CPQ implementation and are collecting requirements sometimes do not give a say to everyone involved from the organization. CPQ is at the heart of your sales, order management and the back office processes. Hence it is important to encourage everyone to share their expectations out of the CPQ implementation project. Not taking inputs from each user group may eventually create confusion and aversion to using the CPQ software.
Pro Tip: As the first step, get clarity on CPQ ownership. Then plan your company-wide CPQ system objectives. This will enable you to create the metrics and the KPIs that you will use to measure CPQ success.
#4 No Continued Support
Many companies still don’t fully understand continued support and the effects it has on user adoption. Once their CPQ implementation project has gone according to the plan, they leave it right there and think everything will work on its own. This will result in wrong configurations, cluttered processes and errors in the system. You will witness your business processes breakdown in a short span of time. Users will eventually ignore that it even exists.
Pro Tip: Conduct in depth CPQ software testing before the official roll out. All your internal and third party systems should be in sync with the CPQ software and you can eliminate all chances of database errors.
#5 Lack of User Training and Change Management
Salesforce CPQ is certainly easy to operate, but some companies tend to underestimate the power of user training. This puts them at a disadvantage with low user adoption and an increase in CPQ success rate. There is a certain time frame that your employees deserve to get accustomed to the new system and if you coax them to start immediately, you are bound to pay the price later.
Pro Tip: Make sure to support the learning curve of your employees and create a team and the materials needed to help them with the transition. Take the help of a Salesforce Consulting partner to organize company wide user training programs and get everyone including sales, marketing and IT teams accustomed to the newly implemented CPQ system.
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