Having already completed the “Five tips for a successful CPQ implementation project” from the first blog of this series, you’re 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’s marketing strategy. Fortunately, we live in an age of flexible and scalable modern cloud platforms that can handle unexpected hiccups. CPQ software like Oracle CPQ Cloud and Salesforce CPQ & Billing is designed to support change, making it an ideal tool for companies with a large variety of products, or complex pricing models with multi-tiered approval processes. Being aware of this flexibility, and the following best practices, is an important step in the right direction for your implementation.
Don’t be taken by surprise, expect the unexpected. There may be sudden new or previously undiscovered information that will have an impact on your original implementation plan. Some may necessitate major changes – an acquisition might be delaying your plan – while the addition of a few unexpected products or a newly created promotion shouldn’t even slow you down. Regardless, once you determine the parameters of the unanticipated change you’ll be better able to see if the implementation is affected, and come up with a solution. It’s 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
Thorough 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, 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 a single business unit. Same plan, smaller scale. Build the wall slower but make it level and without cracks and you’ll have a solid foundation.
Trust your vendor
You picked your vendor to be your partner for a reason. Remain open to their input and the expertise that they bring. A vendor like Keste will spend significant time and effort working to understand your operation, and can combine that knowledge with years of experience in order to implement an effective solution that uses best practice methodologies. A good partner will help to manage project milestones, making necessary adjustments to ensure a successful implementation and positive experiences 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 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 how new CPQ processes and the 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.