By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager
At Oracle, we’re committed to improving your sales and business outcomes with our software. As a leading vendor of configure, price and quote solutions, it’s painful to watch a company select a CPQ solution that’s unsuitable for their organization. All too often, a CPQ evaluation is weighted in favor of the lowest licensing costs and ignores the importance of vetting a vendor and their implementation expertise. The results often cost millions of dollars and waste countless staff hours and ultimately fail to remedy the original challenge.
Deciding when it’s time to draw the line and call a CPQ project a failure might be difficult. The initial price could have been low and the purchase process was fast and easy. But, just as soon as the vendor provisioned the software and provided user credentials, that’s when the challenges began. I’ll bet there were likely warning signs before the implementation even started.
Here are some warning signs to watch for.
Product Focused - If the vendor’s primary focus is only highlighting software capabilities and not on solving your organizational challenges, look for another vendor. The primary benefit of a CPQ solution is supposed to be the transformational impact on your business.
Pilot Project - Sometimes limited-scope, proof-of-concept projects are leveraged to test the software against one or more use cases. This might seem like a good idea but POCs frequently spend money and time without rendering a definitive conclusion. Vendors that recommend POCs are betting on your escalating commitment during this artificial “honeymoon period”. Unless the vendor can satisfactorily outline one or more implementation options for your high-priority use cases during the sales process, seek another vendor.
Promised Functionality - If your business challenges require the CPQ vendor to augment their roadmap with significant future functionality promised, this indicates either a solution deficiency or an imprecise understanding of how to solve your organizational challenges. Either way, this is a solid warning sign to look elsewhere.
Re-scoping Efforts - When your CPQ implementation progress seems sputter or stop and discussions shift towards changing the scope of the project from the original plan, it’s a solid indication that it’s time to look for another vendor.
Vendor Churn - The CPQ vendor ecosystem is full of upstarts, tentative alliances, crumbling partnerships, mergers, and solid assurances. If you’re apprehensive about your CPQ vendor’s dependability, trust your instincts and look for another vendor.
Oracle CPQ is committed to the success of its customers. For businesses finding themselves in situations where a CPQ project has not gone successfully, our methodology provides a clear path forward. We genuinely want to help you pick up the pieces and get back on track for a successful CPQ deployment.
The path back to success starts with a comprehensive two-day workshop called a Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis, or BOA. The purposes of this workshop are to map your current processes and supporting systems, provide a holistic understanding of the business process flow, identify opportunities for improvement, and engage all organizational functions associated with sales processes. We’ve lead hundreds of these workshops to work through many different transformational challenges with other organizations. The outcome of a BOA workshop is building a sensible, supportable business case based on industry standards, best practices and existing customer reference cases. Picking up the pieces of a failed CPQ project is much easier with a clear path forward that a BOA provides, even if there are highly charged politics and emotions from the previous experience.
Oracle CPQ is trusted by over 600 well-known brand names and used by more than 600,000 employees. Let Oracle help you get back on the right CPQ track with a BOA.
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