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CPQ- Beware- Buy Do Not Try to Build

Brett Ames

What is CPQ?

Brett Ames

Verenia CPQ Product Manager

CPQ, or Configure Price Quote software, is a sales tool designed to help companies increase sales and sales process efficiency while reducing overall costs. Leading CPQ solutions also have implementation teams that have--combined--decades of experience in implementing and maintaining live, successful, profitable implementations of CPQ. The implementation of CPQ software involves the writing and validation of all of the sellable product attribute combinations and related pricing of a customer’s product line. But once a CPQ system is successfully implemented, the Return on Investment of the system pays for itself in months, if not weeks. 

CPQ software produces accurate and highly configured quotes for configured or non-configurable products, making all of the complex product, pricing, and business rules centralized, automatic and available in real-time, so sales and service people have everything they need at their fingertips. Great CPQ software extends a complete omnichannel sales enablement and front-end productivity solution.

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Build Your Own CPQ?

As an organization, developing and maintaining your own CPQ solution instead of licensing a leading, third party solution, isn't easy and is rarely a profitable business decision. Even if the initial rollout of a “homegrown” CPQ is a success, the continual product development of your CPQ is likely not tenable. Unless a significant part of your development and product management staff are CPQ Subject Matter Experts who are solely focused on the CPQ solution you have built, new features like Email Integration and Live Quotes that have been released recently in leading CPQ solutions  won’t happen.

A competitive, bleeding edge CPQ solution needs to continue to evolve to meet the needs of the continuously evolving front-end software marketplace, with a full product and development staff working on enhancements defined in a contiguous, agile product roadmap and development process. An efficient, agile, dedicated CPQ development team will be releasing new features, updates and enhancements on a  monthly or even weekly basis to continuously improve the solution and keep it competitive with other providers.   

Having a dedicated CPQ Solutions and Implementation team that has successfully implemented and profitably brought hundreds of CPQ customers live in the Manufacturing, Wholesale Distribution, Retail, Services, Marketing, Software and Services industries is essential for keeping your salespeople equipped with a competitive CPQ solution. As a Sales/IT leader, you need a dedicated implementation and maintenance team that are experts in CPQ and students of your industry. Leading CPQ software applications should and will have this as part of their offering. They will team with you to implement and then continuously update and maintain your CPQ solution to meet your changing business needs.

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As a CPQ decision maker at your company, introducing new products, changing existing ones and adjusting branding is difficult in a system that isn't a managed, enterprise CPQ solution that is designed to do so. Integration of new technologies for importing and exporting data, images, updating customer data and creating Business Intelligence and Analytics applications are costly to create and maintain or even sometimes technically impossible in a homegrown environment. An enterprise CPQ solution is focused at all times in staying current with integrations with third party systems, as well as developing its own systems to address these needs. These are all a primary focus of leading CPQ solution providers. 

Longer term development efforts that require Research and Development teams, like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Interactive Chat and Workflow, will be back-burned without a dedicated CPQ solution, managed by a dedicated CPQ development team. These projects are all on industry leading CPQ Product Roadmaps, have been identified by analysts at Gartner and other market research firms as differentiating, needed CPQ enhancements and are being researched now by all of the leading CPQ software solution providers . It's unlikely that customers who build their own solution will have the subject matter experts or technical resources on new technologies like AI, Machine Learning and other cutting edge applications to research, develop and release these technology enhancements into their homegrown CPQ solutions. 

Impact of Building Your Own CPQ?

The result of all that is outlined above is that in-house built, custom CPQ solutions will ultimately fall behind and fall short. The result will be a slower sales process versus other sellers who have adopted modern CPQ instead of sales acceleration, reduced sales versus competitors who have adopted modern CPQ and increased costs relative to players in your space who have adopted modern, third-party CPQ solutions. Finally, the ultimate cost will be the time and resources wasted building out a now obsolete in-house CPQ solution and the cost of having to tear it out and license a new, modern one.

 


To learn more about Verenia and how our CPQ tools can help you achieve amazing results for your business, please contact us at 800-738-7760.


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