#e8f3f3 #e1e7f5 #edecf2 #b2d7d1 #b2d7d1

CPQ Implementation: 5 Ways To Reduce Time to Value

Author picture

Jenny Stork



7 min

Once there is approval for a CPQ tool to be implemented in your business there is much excitement around the project. The sooner your business achieves its objectives for implementing such a tool, for example, increased speed and accuracy of quoting with a professional proposal every time, the sooner value and return on investment can be realized.

It is likely that there is an expected time your business wants to start getting value from the tool, however, there are many ways that delays can occur. Xait has managed complex CPQ implementations for global companies for over 20 years, and from lessons learned and extensive experience, we want to share with you some ways to shorten the time to first value. Here are five ways for you to consider as you begin to plan your CPQ implementation.

1. Create Vision With Clear Objectives
Start well in advance of project kickoff: When implementing a quote automation tool such as CPQ software, this is often a good opportunity to review processes and many businesses do just this. Ensure this is done well in advance of the project start and not during the implementation. This may sound obvious but this happens often and the result is a delayed project, loss of focus on the project objectives and lost value to your business.

Gather information before the project starts: Collating product and pricing information and documenting the different product combinations and associated rules will take time. This needs to be bulk loaded into the CPQ software during the early stages of the implementation, so start to gather this in the prescribed format well in advance of the project kickoff date.

2. Identify & Prioritize Value Gains
Build a robust foundation for incremental enhancement: There are endless possibilities when it comes to the design and layout of the product configuration screens, including graphics, keep it simple to start with to reduce time, then refine in the next phase.

Set aside the “Nice to Haves”: While the agreed plan is being executed, additional feature requests may crop up that weren’t thought of before the project was started and are outside of scope. If possible, leave these for a “Phase 2” project instead. Before adding to the Scope of Works originally agreed at the project start, the business should ask an important question: is this change request necessary to go live with quote automation for the most popular products? Remember that every day the project is delayed, additional value to the business is being eroded.

3.Involve Others For Maximum Buy In
All areas: Involve all areas of the business who are impacted by the quoting process from the start of the project so everyone has an aligned view of the desired outcome, ideal processes, user experience and an agreement from all stakeholders on what is essential and non-essential to include when building the system.

Don’t forget Marketing: It is important to also involve Marketing from the outset so that branding of the system and the quote templates contain messaging and branding that is consistent with the rest of the customer experience. Keep your quote templates simple to start with and make improvements in a “Phase 2” CPQ improvement project.

User Acceptance Testing: The most crucial and often most time consuming phase, so make sure these people are aware of when they will be needed and for how long so that holidays, other business projects and other work commitments can be factored in and added to the project plan. This part of the project is where unknown issues are often identified and need to be rectified before a sign off can happen. A flexible approach to the time that this stage could take is important, this also means flexibility in terms of people available and their timings due to these unknowns.

4. Use It, Learn, Refine, Fast
Many businesses have an endless product offering, but in most businesses there are products that are quoted more than others.. Go live with only your popular products as soon as possible so that the value is realized as soon as possible. The remaining product configurators can be built out while the end users are getting familiar with the system and providing feedback for future refinement.

5. Effective Communication
Lack of communication is a common area of weakness with too many implementation projects, often the focus is on the technical elements of the tool without enough thought about communication tools and process during the project.

Communication tool: Agree on a communication tool that shows and tracks the project. Feedback can be added by both parties, actions noted, tasks prioritized, file attachments stored and so on. One view of the project by all stakeholders saves time and prevents confusion. Xait’s uses Monday.com and will help to familiarize your team with this software.

Bring everyone with you on the journey: Communicate the vision, the objectives and what problem the business is aiming to solve. All stakeholders in the project need to be aware of this and reminded during the project, including the end users. This project involves culture change across the business which will need thought and effort to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Testing: User acceptance testing is the most crucial part, and using the tried and tested Xait method, communicating feedback in a timely manner and containing enough clear information to be able to rectify any defects will reduce delays.

Cadence: Set a meeting cadence for regular reviews of the project and at crucial parts of the project. Be strict about sticking to the agenda and be sure to keep a risk log that is updated and reviewed regularly. When technical issues become complex, avoid email “ping pong” by scheduling a quick call instead, often complex issues are most efficiently resolved on a call.

We are here for you every step of the way!
The tips we have shared are just a few of the many ways you can reduce delays, we can offer guidance throughout your project as each implementation is unique. Your Xait support team is committed to help you to achieve your objectives in the soonest possible time.

The increased speed and accuracy of configuring products with complex pricing and product rules is essential in today’s market and will set you apart from your competitors. Professional, consistent quote documents are demanded as a norm by customers today. The sooner you can achieve this the sooner you can realize the potential to increase revenue. Good luck with your CPQ implementation and if you want to discuss anything further please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Related article: What is Buyer Enablement?

Securing buy in and budget

Author picture

Jenny Stork

Jenny Stork is Customer Success Manager at Xait. She brings over 20 years’ experience in B2B retail electricity. She has delivered real value to the business through the development of a competitor insight toolkit for the sales force, cultural change management, internal communications improvement, process development and project management. Furthermore, she has valuable customer experience and insight gained through developing bespoke solutions and delivering value to the business through successful complex negotiations.

Etiam arcu faucibus ultrices quisque odio. Venenatis nunc ut blandit urna.