5 Reasons Your CPQ Implementation Fails

CPQ Implementation Fails

Today, we’re diving into the world of CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) implementation in this blog. I’m Tessa, an experienced CPQ implementation consultant at Elfsquad, and I’m here to share my experience and guide you through the often challenging but ultimately rewarding process of implementing a CPQ solution. We will explore the five crucial implementation challenges and uncover effective strategies to overcome them.

1. Failing to Get Stakeholders Onboard – Your Salespeople

When it comes to CPQ implementation, one of the most critical aspects is getting your stakeholders, particularly your sales team, onboard and fully engaged. Your project team can be all hyped but your salespeople and dealers need to be involved. I’ve witnessed firsthand how the lack of stakeholder involvement can pose a significant risk to the success of a CPQ implementation. Picture this: you invest time and resources into implementing a CPQ solution, only to find that your sales team and your dealers are hesitant or resistant to adopting it. The result? Friction, low user adoption, and missed opportunities.
To address this challenge, we emphasize the importance of open communication and collaboration from the very beginning. By involving your stakeholders which includes your sales team, IT, project, and product engineers in the decision-making process, understanding their pain points and requirements, and showcasing the benefits of CPQ, we ensure they become advocates for the implementation. At Elfsuqad, through workshops, training sessions, and ongoing support, we empower your salespeople to embrace the new CPQ system.

2. Not Creating a Defined Scope

As with any project, scoping is crucial for a successful CPQ implementation. It’s essential to align the scope of your CPQ project with the size and needs of your company. One common pitfall is either overreaching or underestimating the scope, leading to delays, budget overruns, or functionality gaps.

During the Proof of Value (POV) phase, we guide you in understanding and defining the optimal scope for your CPQ implementation. We analyze your business processes, identify pain points, and prioritize key functionalities to deliver quick wins. By focusing on the core requirements and leveraging our expertise, we ensure scalability and flexibility for future growth. Our goal is to strike the perfect balance, providing you with a CPQ solution that meets your immediate needs while catering to your long-term strategic objectives.

3. Not Choosing the Right Product to Start With

We often see that people start implementing CPQ with the most simple product. We have a different approach at Elfsquad. During the Proof of Value, we choose your most complex product, which means the product that requires the most complex logic, and implement that as a start. Although, we make sure it’s a standard product with well-defined modules.

We see that this is a different approach than any other CPQ vendors but it helps tremendously with the rest of the implementation phases. Once we tackle the hardest part together with the customer, it makes them independent for the future implementation and maintaining their own CPQ system. Additionally, you are less likely to run into unforeseen issues later.

Similarly, we often encounter a situation where customers are eager to include everything in their CPQ system. Elfsquad helps you to standardize your sales process. In some cases, you can sell 80% of your products through Elfsquad so your Sales and Engineers can focus more on the other 20% which are custom-made.

While the configurator’s main purpose is to sell your products, implementing Elfsquad brings more than just sales. It offers a bunch of other benefits that you can take advantage of. So, I believe that having a good CPQ solution is only the beginning, the choices you make during implementation can make a good solution great.

4. Trapped with Outdated Systems

In the rapidly evolving business landscape, legacy software can become a significant obstacle to CPQ implementation. Outdated CRM or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, for instance, lack the necessary integration capabilities or fail to meet the dynamic demands of modern CPQ processes. Identifying and addressing these legacy software challenges is crucial for a smooth transition.

As an implementation specialist, I’ve encountered various cases where organizations struggled with legacy systems. By conducting a thorough IT landscape assessment, we uncover the telltale signs of legacy software and evaluate its compatibility with the new CPQ solution. We create integration strategies that minimize disruption and ensure a seamless data flow between systems. This helps the customers to update their legacy systems such as outdated ERP with ease after implementing CPQ.

 CPQ Implementation

5. No Designated CPQ Team for Long-Term Alignment

Implementing CPQ is a collaborative effort that requires a dedicated team comprising representatives from sales, IT, marketing, and operations. This cross-functional team brings diverse perspectives and expertise to the table, ensuring a holistic approach to your CPQ implementation.

Building the right CPQ team is crucial, regardless of your organization’s size. In larger enterprises, involve multiple individuals with specific roles and responsibilities, while in smaller organizations, team members may wear multiple hats. However, the key is to nurture a culture of collaboration where everyone shares the vision and works together. Additionally, assigning dedicated individuals as responsible persons for CPQ implementation prevents underestimating the effort required for a successful implementation. Typically, someone already managing the ERP system, such as a project/product manager or IT representative, takes on this role. Recognizing the importance of a designated responsible person ensures the implementation process receives the necessary attention and focus it deserves.
Throughout the implementation journey, we help you build and maintain a strong CPQ team. We provide training, facilitate effective communication, and offer ongoing support to ensure team members remain engaged and aligned with the project’s objectives.
Furthermore, I’ve seen that including Millennials or Gen-Z in the team can help with the implementation project. These two generations have a natural intuition for software and show a willingness to explore and engage with technology. However, it is important to note that age is not the sole determining factor; the level of tech savviness of your CPQ implementation specialist also plays a crucial role.

Overcoming Challenges During the Proof of Value

In conclusion, the Proof of Value (POV) stage within our Elfsquad Proven Process is the defining moment where we tackle the implementation challenges head-on. We have created the Elfsquad Proven Process based on our extensive implementation experience with more than 150 customers. Through each implementation, we carefully analyzed what went well and identified areas for improvement. As a result, our Proven Process is a refined and tailored methodology designed to address the specific pain points mentioned in this blog.

CPQ implementation is not a walk in the park, but with the right partner by your side, the journey becomes more manageable and rewarding. Honesty is crucial during this phase; by openly discussing the potential challenges and being transparent about the risks involved, we can better prepare and mitigate them together.

 CPQ Implementation Proven process

During the POV, we give you full access to the Elfsquad experience with hands-on sessions tailored to address your specific challenges. It’s a collaborative effort where we work closely with you, sharing our expertise, and evaluating the fit between our organizations. If, after the initial session, we mutually agree that we’re not the right fit, you won’t receive an invoice. Our focus is on finding the best solution for your needs.

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