The 10 Biggest Pitfalls in CPQ Processes

The 10 Biggest Pitfalls in CPQ Processes

Several elements affect the ultimate success of a CPQ implementation. A conversation with Maudy van Eldik about the 10 common pitfalls in CPQ processes. Good news: they are relatively easy to avoid.

1. Not setting clear and measurable CPQ goals and KPIs

“As an organization, you must make sure you properly define what you want to achieve with the CPQ implementation. It’s about optimizing your quotation and sales processes by removing ‘waste’. Make sure you have clear and measurable objectives. These depend on the organization. Examples of KPIs are ‘increasing the success rate for sales opportunities from 40 to 50%’ or ‘shortening the processing time for submitting a quotation from one week to two working days’. An additional advantage of clear and measurable CPQ goals and KPIs is the ability to make timely adjustments in the process.”

2. Paying insufficient attention to the right preparation

“Stakeholder availability within the process is important from the start. Various roles are involved in a CPQ implementation, such as product owners, sales colleagues, developers and IT architects, as well as administrators, integration and solution architects. The knowledge of colleagues – for example, in the field of sales processes – must end up in the systems. Good preparations have a major impact on the success of the CPQ implementation. On a closing note: also don’t forget to involve the future end users in the process from the beginning. That way, you ensure they are truly committed.”

“Good preparations have a major impact on the success of the CPQ implementation.”

3. Not coping well with changes and expectations

“As briefly mentioned under the previous pitfall, the success of the CPQ implementation is also determined by the commitment of the end users. You create support by involving that group at an early stage. Also aim to have a part of the team consist of experts who are also responsible for maintenance and management of the CPQ environment after implementation.”

4. Wanting to do everything at once

“Avoid doing everything at once during a CPQ implementation. Focus on streamlining one flow. Once that’s OK, you can expand. A phased roll-out also offers you clarity and prevents unnecessary risks that occur when you ‘replace the engine while flying’.

 5. Expecting technology to solve everything

“Remember that a CPQ solution is a toolbox, but not a ready-made solution. Every organization has its own environment and processes. Moreover, you’ll often still find legacy in the organization. These variables must be taken into account. A successful CPQ implementation brings everything together and takes into account the environment and systems of the organization.”

“A successful CPQ implementation brings everything together and takes into account the environment and systems of the organization.”

6. Building the same system again

“Change requires the necessary effort from all those involved. There is a risk that the organization will eventually build the same system they initially wanted to get rid of. Fortunately, you can significantly reduce that risk by first sketching the ideal scenario in terms of the desired objective. For example, maximum flexibility, an increase in turnover or a shorter processing time for a quotation. Do not be limited by current working methods and take the end user as the starting point.”

7. Ill-considered choice between standard solutions and customization

“It is important to test to what extent the existing landscape with processes can be recorded in CPQ and whether customization is required. To answer this question, you first need to get the right insight. A chain landscape map (CLM) can help with this. This tool gives you insight into existing processes and landscapes and it ensures a high level of commitment: you produce the CLM with the entire team and thus gain joint insight into the chain of quotation and order processes.”

8. Not providing room for POCs and an MVP

“The basic principle is to quickly get the organization used to the new approach. Making the first version available is therefore a requirement. A Proof-of-Concept (POC) allows you to test whether the chosen direction is correct. POCs can be big or small: they provide a good picture and enable you to make timely adjustments. With a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), you provide a first specific form of the product. An MVP shows the rest of the organization what you’re working on and it helps build trust.”

In depth

Make sure your preparation is thorough, with practical guidelines and best practices: download the CaseNine Expert Whitepaper ‘CPQ Software: Where to start?’ free of charge. Download CPQ whitepaper here

9. Insufficient research into the right supplier

“Remember that a CPQ process is in most cases a business-critical process. This is reflected in the choice of the right supplier. Opt for a proven solution, find out which customers are already using the solution and ask which organizations the supplier already uses . Continuity plays an important role: after all, this is a long-term investment. Aspects such as annual turnover, number of employees and growth are good indicators.”

10. Too little attention for the human factor

“Ultimately, the people make the difference in the success of the CPQ implementation. Get the right people on board, both within the organization and beyond. As for the supplier: choose a party that has the knowledge at both a global and local level. This way, you will have a team that you can actually build on and trust.”

Want to know more about the benefits that a CPQ solution offers in practice? Click here for more background information or  contact us directly for a consultation.

Maudy van Eldik
Expert // Maudy van Eldik

Maudy van Eldik is founder of CaseNine and CEO of the organization. In this capacity he is responsible for the general processes, but also closely involved in the various customer projects.

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