Having already done the “Five tips for a successful CPQ implementation project” mentioned in the first blog of this series you are well on your way to being prepared for the next step: the actual CPQ implementation. However, what happens when something affects your preparation? For example, new product introductions or pricing scenarios based on changes in your company marketing strategy. Fortunately, we have entered an age of flexible and scalable modern cloud platforms that account for unexpected hiccups. The CPQ software is able to support change at any point, making it an ideal tool for companies with a large variety of products, with oft-changing products that have a number of options, and companies with complex pricing models and/or multi-tiered approval processes. Keep this flexibility and the following best practices in mind in order to launch your CPQ implementation with a bang.
Don’t be taken by surprise, expect the unexpected. There may be sudden new or previously undiscovered influences that will have an impact on the original implementation plan. Some may necessitate major changes – a burning building or acquisition might delay the process – while the addition of a few unexpected products or a newly created promotion will not even slow it down. Regardless, once you determine the parameters of the unanticipated change you’ll be better able to see if the implementation plan is affected and come up with a solution. It is better to get it right the first time instead of simply getting it done and have to readdress a problem later.
Keep to the plan
Correct preparation means that the original implementation plan will remain valid for the majority of use cases despite any unexpected circumstances. You recognized up front that there would be changes. In fact, you accounted for them as part of the change management process using open communication. Realize that as described above the CPQ software is flexible and scalable enough to account for ongoing changes and that the initial implementation is about constructing a foundation for these future changes. The original plan can be adjusted. For example, you can launch in steps by rolling out a targeted CPQ solution to specific user groups or business unit. Same plan, smaller scale. Build the wall slower but make it level and without cracks, a solid foundation.
Trust your vendor
You picked your vendor to be your partner for a reason. Remain open to the input and the expertise that they bring throughout the entire project. A vendor like Keste will have spent time and effort to understand your company operations, combining that knowledge with years of experience and their expertise in order to help implement a solution using the best practice methodologies . A partner like Keste will help to manage project milestones, making necessary adjustments to ensure a successful implementation and positive experience throughout the organization. Understand that this doesn’t mean that you should avoid questioning things that appear counterintuitive or things that you don’t understand. What it means is that you should trust your vendor has your best interests in the mind. After all, your success is their success.
Make it a celebration
Implementing a system of this magnitude is a big undertaking. Now is the time to ramp up internal communications and marketing to get people excited and engaged for every milestone that you achieve. Continue to emphasize throughout the ramp-up time how the new CPQ processes and modern platform will be of increasing benefit. Be proud, be happy, its CPQ time! Launch with a bang!
Keste delivers sophisticated digital solutions for complex business problems. Our expertise helps you to rethink your process from end-to-end and allows you to realize the value of your CPQ solution. We don’t just implement, we innovate.
This article is part of our “What is CPQ” series accompanying Frank Sohn’s CPQ Podcast featuring Sri Ayyeppen, President, CTO and co-founder of Keste. This blog series explores some of the non-technical aspects of a CPQ system lifecycle from beginning to maintenance.
The CPQ Podcast is a weekly Podcast about what’s new, interesting and worth talking about in the world of CPQ. Listen to Frank’s interview with Sri on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or the Novus CPQ website.