Launching a Product Configurator: 5 Best Practices

Andrew Rieser
By Andrew Rieser | President and Co-Founder, Mountain Point
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Buying from your business needs to be simple. A Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool can help.

Your customers, sales team, and partners want business information at their fingertips during the sales process. So if you're still carrying around line cards, marketing brochures, business card binders, and a pen and notepad to meet with existing or prospective accounts, it's time to make some changes.

(See also: How one company saved their sales team's sanity.) 

According to one study, sales teams deploying configure, price, quote (CPQ)  software solutions create 49% more proposals per rep per month than non-users. 

Does your organization face any of these common challenges in your sales process?

  • Current configuration notes and price sheets are scattered across multiple documents or codebooks
  • Much of the information your reps need to configure products and provide quotes lives in the heads of your engineers, product developers, or senior sales team members
  • The sales team often enters orders with invalid configurations or incompatible products
  • Orders are submitted with incorrect pricing for the selected configuration and quantities
  • The sales team frequently submits orders using expired / discontinued promos or products
  • The process of rolling out a new promotion or pricing update is extremely complex, time-consuming and error-prone
  • Product configurations / bundles are so complex, customers can't order products through your website or partner portal

If you answered "yes" to any of these statements; a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool is something your organization should seriously consider.


 

What's the ROI? Just a few months after launching CPQ, Novatech was closing 26% more deals thanks to their accelerated quoting process. 

Video: See how Novatech closed more deals 

 


One of the best product configurators on the market is Salesforce CPQ. We like CPQ for its ease of use and its ability to wrangle even the most complex products. But regardless of the tool you decide to use, here are some best practices to consider before launch:

5 Best Practices for Implementing CPQ

1. Roll it out in small, manageable steps

Break it down into accomplishable goals. Use an Agile or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to define, design, and deliver in sprints lasting no longer than 30-60 days.

2. Minimize customization

Keep it as out-of-the-box as possible and adjust your processes to the tool. You’ll save a lot of time and money.

3. Focus on the customer journey and experience

The tool and process needs to be simple and natural. Your product might be highly configurable and complex, but the steps to configure, price and quote shouldn't be. Think through the common questions customers ask or the requests they make. Then streamline information and action steps to fit their thinking and needs. Tesla did a great job of this with their "learn, configure, purchase" approach. 

4. Implement a change management methodology

With any new software or process, developing and implementing a change management plan is crucial for for supporting user adoption.

5. Manage the project scope

Clearly define expectations and remain agile. Selecting a trusted partner to help you choose, implement or integrate a Product Configurator or CPQ tool can help keep the project on track. Having a knowledgeable outsider's perspective will keep your efforts focused and efficient and ultimately save your organization time and money.

See also:

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Have you implemented a Product Configurator or CPQ tool recently?  What were your best practices? Let us know in the comments below! 

Topics: CPQ, Digital Transformation, Custom Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing

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