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  • Writer's pictureViktorien Banić

4 Ways to Get Your Calculated ROI from a CPQ Implementation

Coins stacked to resemble a column chart with rising figures

There are multiple reasons for introducing a new system like CPQ. For example, you want to increase the speed of creating an offer, or you want to simplify the product configuration for the sales reps. Whatever your reason may be, you are trying to solve a problem (or multiple problems) with the introduction of CPQ, and solving a problem means changing the current state. Therefore, introducing a new system often goes hand in hand with introducing a new way of working.

This new way of working isn’t always embraced by the impacted employees. For example, some employees are close to their retirement and don’t see the added value of learning an entire new system, some employees had the status of excel-configuration expert and don’t want to lose this part of their identity and others just don’t like the new way of working. Of course, there will be employees who see the benefits and are happy with the upcoming new system, but even they can have some doubts. This is why the calculated ROI of such projects isn’t always met after the go-live.

In a recent study, it was also shown that people don’t perceive change in the same way. For instance, 43 participants categorized different situations as small, medium or complex changes. There was no consensus about these situations, meaning that some participants thought about introducing a new system as a complex change and others as a medium change. Here are some easy change management steps you can put into practice to minimize the chance of a failed implementation:

1. Don’t make it a happy news show

You have decided to go for CPQ, and it can solve a lot of currently existing problems. However, CPQ will not magically solve all problems and make everything better. Some tasks that are disliked will still remain necessary. Therefore, don’t oversell the solution to your employees. Rather, be honest and transparent about the benefits you see but also the possible disadvantages.

2. Don’t assume you know what will work best for your employees

You as a company or manager can decide to switch to CPQ. However, don’t assume you know the job of sales better than they do. Involve impacted employees as early as possible in decisions on the outlook, approval processes, configuration process, quote output, etc. If you listen to your employees and take their voice into account, you’ll share the responsibility of successfully implementing the system.

3. Give regular updates about the CPQ project

It is not because you involved employees at the beginning of your project that you are off the hook. Actively involve them in the process, show them regular updates, ask them for feedback and adjust where possible based upon this feedback, etc. All of these small things will help you towards a smoother transition.

4. Let them explore the system

The sooner you start training employees (this can already be during small review sessions) the more confident they’ll be about working with the system. Build in some time in your project, so employees have the time to explore CPQ and play around with the possibilities. Having to learn something new gives people pressure to get it. If you give people room to play, there is less pressure and actual learning is achieved much faster.

Change management is often perceived as an additional cost on top of the project that doesn’t add any value. However, if you don’t actively manage the introduction of a new CPQ system, you’ll lose valuable time after the implementation convincing your employees it is worth a try. If you introduce a change process during the project, you’ll have faster results and on top you’ll have happier employees.

Do you want to learn more about the setup and implementation of SAP CPQ? Sign up for our free 'Ultimate CPQ Implementation guide'. Want to hear more? Or want to share your experience? Or find out even more about how CPQ fits in your sales process and the CANGURU way of working? Reach out!

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