How long does a CPQ implementation take?

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How long does a CPQ implementation take?

If you are looking for a CPQ implementation, you are probably wondering how long the implementation will take. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every organization is unique, with ditto requirements and needs. In general, you can deliver an MVP within a few months, which you can then build on. A truly successful CPQ implementation takes time. It's good to keep that in mind when you get started improving your company's sales processes.

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At CaseNine, our typical CPQ implementation process is divided into five phases. We'll go through the phases here to help you understand how the process works. This will give you an idea of approximately how long it may take for your organization.

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Phase 1 - Design of the CPQ implementation.

Project outline

The design phase is crucial when implementing a software solution. During this phase, we determine the requirements for the project and create a plan for how we will meet those requirements.

If this phase is not done correctly and thoroughly, it can lead to many problems during the project. Think missed deadlines, incomplete or incorrect solutions, and ultimately dissatisfied customers. For this phase to run smoothly, it is important that we have a clear picture of your needs.

Team building

One of the most important aspects of a CPQ project is assembling the right team. Once we have a good idea of your needs, we begin assembling the team best suited to meet those needs. Our experts have a great deal of experience with CPQ and complementary technologies and are therefore well suited to handle even the most complex projects. And because we use an Agile development process, our team adapts at lightning speed to changes along the way. This is how we ensure that the final product meets our customers' expectations.

Defining your quote process

Every organization handles their bid process and contract management differently. Together we will work to understand how those processes work within your company. Once we really understand that, we can create a solution that fits seamlessly into your environment and can be implemented successfully.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

When designing a new product, it is crucial to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is a product version with the essential features needed to function properly, but otherwise stripped down to the bare minimum. Using the MVP, we can test the product as quickly as possible. We use user stories to get feedback and make improvements before putting too much time and resources into the final product.

Of course, determining what is in the MVP can be challenging, but it is an essential part of the product development process. By taking the time to identify the MVP early in the project, we can save ourselves a lot of time and effort in the long run. The MVP is a good starting point to build on.

Phase-deliverables

When we get to the end of this phase, we prepare a set of deliverables that will help us roll out the project properly. Examples include project setup and delineation, methodology, scrum board setup, project coverage, a draft of scrum sprints and a story map.

Once the deliverables are mapped out, we have a much clearer picture of the project. Because the baseline has been determined, we can keep a close eye on progress. An additional advantage is that this also allows us to plan and execute our sprints more efficiently.

 

Phase 2 - Preparing

Product Design

Now that the CPQ project has been mapped and designed, the next step is to develop the actual CPQ implementation. This involves working out the product model, defining the rules and logic that govern product selection and defining the APIs.

Pricing Method

Now we get to work on clearly defining the pricing method. There are several pricing methods available in both Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce Industries CPQ. Salesforce Industries CPQ has our primary focus because it offers pricing methods such as rule-based pricing, price lists, loyalty and attribute-based pricing. Which method works best varies from product to product and service to service.

CI/CD Pipeline

The CI/CD Pipeline consists of a series of steps performed to deliver new software. The first step is to define the software delivery pipelines for the customer. In our CaseNine Library, we already have all the tools and systems ready to get off to a good start with this. Then we set up continuous integration when changes are integrated into a shared repository. This automatically tests and gives us early feedback if there are problems with the code. The earlier we notice problems, the faster we can fix them. 

The next step is continuous deployment, when the code is automatically implemented in a production environment. Thanks to this method, we can update quickly and reduce the risk of errors. By continuous monitoring, we ensure that the system is working properly and that no errors are made. By following these steps, we ensure that the new CPQ implementation is fast and efficient.

Deployment models

The deployment model we choose for our integration process depends on several factors. First, we look at the size and complexity of the project. In addition, it is important to look at the resources available and the timeline.

We usually start by delivering a single-product solution. This approach allows us to start the project quickly. Then we incrementally add additional products and services. In most cases, this is the most efficient and error-free approach, especially if your bid or product catalog is large or complex.

Sometimes a more complex deployment model may be necessary from the start. In that case, we work closely with our customers to identify the best solution for their needs.

Understanding your environment

Many organizations use Salesforce as their CRM platform because of its flexibility and customizability. However, this can also be a challenge when designing and building a CPQ implementation.

To create a CPQ solution that meets your specific needs, we need to have in-depth knowledge of your Salesforce environment. We try to get the best possible understanding of how you build your data and what your organization's specific processes are.

Phase Deliverables

We are almost at the end of this development phase, which means we have a number of deliverables to complete. We have a pipeline ready to deliver software, system access and mapping between systems.

While this is an information-intensive project phase, it is also one of the most rewarding. Our hard work is paying off and we start using the software we have developed. We also see how well our system works with other systems.

 

Phase 3 - Building the CPQ implementation

Sprints

We are now in the middle of the process, time to get started. We have gathered most of the information and processes we need, and we have defined our sprints. 

Validation of user stories

Since we, like most tech companies, work in Agile, user stories are an important part of our process. To make sure our user stories are correct, we need to validate them regularly. Your product owner should stay in touch with relevant stakeholders to see if the story is still relevant and valuable. If it is, we can continue to build it. If it's not, we need to adjust or delay the story or scrap it altogether. Our user stories stay purposeful using this process, so we are always working on the most important things.

Alignment with the business

We will contact the appropriate stakeholders to ensure that our software solution is properly aligned with the business and their needs. We want to make sure we tailor the right CPQ implementation for each business.

Deliver

We now have well-tested and functioning software. We have validated the user stories and built the products. Now it is time for the implementation phase. We will deliver a working software solution, a test and validation report and an implementation plan for the final solution. 

 

Phase 4 - The CPQ Implementation.

Implement Story

By using the Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment method, we can make changes to our software quickly and efficiently without disturbing our users. We keep our software up-to-date with the latest features and bug fixes by automatically integrating and deploying changes.

This method helps reduce the risk of errors and downtime by automatically testing and deploying changes. Therefore, using the Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment method is an essential part of our development process.

User Training

Now that we have built the CPQ product, we need to start the training process for your organization. This process is important to ensure that all stakeholders are properly trained to use the product and understand the documentation. We will teach stakeholders how to use the product and make sure they understand it. We will also provide documentation for the product so they can refer to it when needed.

After we train your employees on how to use the software, we return the responsibility of managing the system to you. In doing so, we move all user data and configurations to the cloud. Once the transfer is complete, you can manage the system using the same tools and processes we use. We will provide you with a full set of documentation for this.

Phase 5 - Successful implementation

Demos

During the demos we will explain to you the processes, flow and efficiency of the software. After using your new software solution, you will be able to quote faster and take your business to the next level.

Feedback

Now that all sales people are using the software, we can start collecting feedback and creating new user stories. It is normal for there to be changes and adjustments after the software is fully rolled out. Working with the sales team, we collect feedback and validate new user stories.

Follow up

CaseNine's software engineering team is focused on providing the best possible service to our customers. We understand that your business needs can change quickly, and we are always here to help you keep your software up-to-date. Our engineers will contact you to discuss any issues or updates that need to be addressed.

We value your input and feedback and will work with you to ensure your software always meets your needs. 

Conclusion

A CPQ implementation can seem like a daunting task, but our team of experts at CaseNine is here to make that process, with you, as smooth and efficient as possible.

Interested in what we can do for you?

Contact our experts directly. We'd love to hear from you!

Or discover the answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions by our current clients and improve your project success. Download Project Handout today.

 

Colin Hammer

Colin Hamer is a Software Engineer at CaseNine. He is responsible for various Salesforce projects at clients.

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