CPQ systems have quickly become the must-have software solution for any business that has to create price quotes and invoices. CPQ systems, overall, will streamline a business, allow workers to work more efficiently, and will keep business owners in the loop as to the state of their business and the market as a whole.
With that being said, picking a solution that will work for your unique business can seem like a daunting task. We’ve collected a few common questions that anyone considering a CPQ system should ask themselves before fully committing to a system solution.
What do you actually need out of the software?
A lot of times, you might feel like all the bells and whistles of a software solution is a good idea. Some businesses will require a ton of different processes and features, while others are better off using a bare bones software that can simply support the CPQ needs of the company. Be honest about what your company does on a daily basis, and how you wish to integrate the CPQ system you are looking into. A good representative should be able to steer you in the direction of a system that will work well for your specific company. For example, if you are regularly sending out price quotes or updating price sheets, you’ll want a software that can deal with these rapid changes. If you are looking to better monitor your inventory and the market in general, you’ll want to find a system that can run in-depth reports.
Do you have pre-existing software you want integrated?
Remember, not all CPQ systems are created equal, and the feature set on each is different. Don’t just assume that the new system you are looking at will seamlessly integrate with your pre-existing software. This can be a time-consuming and costly oversight, so ask questions and know exactly what you are already using in the way of software. You may want to look for a system that integrates with the CRM system you are already using, for example. By ensuring these two software products can work together, you’ll also be deriving additional value from each of them, and additional value is always a good thing.
Consider an Integrated Payment System.
Sure, we just said above that not all businesses need the bells and whistles attached to high-end software solutions, but integrated payment options are features that you will want to look into. Online payments are growing each day, and more people are becoming comfortable with making payments through online portals. If you are not already accepting online payments, you’ll want to look for a system that supports the technology. If you are already accepting online payments, you’ll want to look for a CPQ system that will integrate that payment system into the software. Online payments have been shown to increase sales, so finding a CPQ solution that will fill that need is never a bad idea.
What are your integration and training plans?
Some companies will need a system that can be integrated into their business quickly. For those who are looking for this type of solution an “off-the-rack” style software system is best. Not only are the quick to implement, but they are also easy to train individuals on. For a company that has very niche needs or does business in a niche field, a customized software system is probably a better option. Realize, however, that integration and training may take longer in this scenario.
If you are running a business that utilizes price lists or sends out regular price quotes, you can greatly benefit from the use of a CPQ system. Not only can a proper system help you streamline the business process, but it will raise efficiency and accuracy. While many businesses need this type of software system to compete in their space, these software solutions are not one size fits all. Simply take into consider these four tips, and you'll find a solution to perfectly fit your business' needs.