The ABCs of CPQ Part VI: Top 5 Things to Remember When Shopping for CPQ

December 27, 2019

You now know that CPQ software can not only accelerate your sales team, but also enhance your eCommerce experience for your customers. In this final video of this series we’ll look at the top 5 things to remember when shopping for CPQ software.


Welcome back to the last episode of the ABC's of CPQ. Today, what I'm gonna be talking about is the top five things you need to remember when you're shopping for CPQ software.

Number one. What type of CPQ architecture do you really need? To be able to determine this, look in your organization and identify what type of CRM solution are you using? Do you have multiple CRM's? Do you have multiple sites? The type of architecture is important because, if you have a CPQ solution that can only work with one CRM, you will not be able to deploy that CPQ solution to other sites. This is sometimes known as a native or hybrid architecture. Native architectures are typically tied to the sales force platform. Hybrid architectures, are flexible. They can go with sales force or they can go with like a dynamic 365 CRM. So remember, identify what type of CRM solutions you have and where you are gonna be deploying CPQ to.

Number two. What type of configuration engine does that CPQ solution have? Why is it important? Well, if you've got a very very simple product set that doesn't require complex configurations? Then, something like a rule space engine will work perfectly fine for you. But, if you have a product set that requires complex configurations. To take for example, lets say you are configuring something as complex as an excavator. Or, you are providing you customer with the option to design their elevator. A configuration engine that's a constraint-base engine, works even better for these types of business use cases. So it's important for you to understand, what products am I selling? And do my products need configuration? If they are simple products and they don't require complex configurations, a rules engine will work for you. But, if they do require complex configurations then you definitely wanna go with a constraint-based engine. Oh, final tip. Do you have to have a rule space engine for simple products? No you don't. You can actually use a constraint-based engine to administer your simple products, or complex configurations. So, constraint-based engines cover both use cases.

Third thing you need to look out for when shopping for CPQ software. Is the performance of that software. Why does it matter? Well if you think about it, if your sales team is just putting together a quote with one or two products. You probably can find a software that can keep up. But, if your sales team has got put together quotes, with thousands of products on that quote, they can get severely bogged down by software that just cannot keep up because you have way too many products in the quote. You wanna make sure, that as you shop for CPQ software, that you actually get a demo, with the worst case scenario. So the worst type of quote that your sales person might need to put together. This can be a thousand products, ten thousand products. Make sure you find software that can actually keep up with your sales team.

Fourth thing you need to look out for. Is what type of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques does that software actually have? If you think about it. In the last video, I talked about how AI is now the buzz word. And I talked about some practical applications that you can you actually use AI for. However, the question you've got to answer is. Is my AI able to keep up as my business changes? What this means is. Is my AI able to learn from some of the inputs that the sales guys are providing about the customers, and make adjustments in the algorithms, to further tailor the recommendations that it's providing? Make sure you get CPQ software with AI that actually learns and adjusts as your sales team grows.

Last thing to look out for. Can the CPQ software that you are evaluating, plug in to your E-commerce portal? Why is that important? A couple of videos ago, we talked about how E-commerce was a growing channel for lots of businesses. Well, you wanna make sure that you are empowering your customers with the same capabilities that your sales person have. If your customer has got to pick up the phone and call the sales person before they execute a sale? Then, you are not giving them a true fortuneless experience.

When you integrate CPQ software into your E-commerce platforms, your customers now have the same great capabilities such as, guided selling to helping to helping your customers to find the products that they might need. Or, helping them to put together complex configuration and do it accurately. So, don't forget, you wanna make sure that you have a CPQ solution, that is scalable and that can actually be plugged into E-commerce environment for your end customers.

That wraps it up for the series of the ABC's of CPQ. Thanks for watching. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out and I will be more than happy to answer them. You can also check us online at, to learn about how PROS SMARTCPQ can help to accelerate you sales processes and make you sales teams not only faster but smarter.



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