Is Covid-19 recovery likely to accelerate the need for CPQ solutions? If so, what are some specific examples of how you are using them?
I am not sure that Covid 19 will spur demand but there is a clear need for these systems. What do you seen the demand drivers connected to C-19? Is this part of a larger shift to virtual work? Or are economic changes leading customers to be more careful about the configurations they buy, how these are priced and how this connects to the value they will receive?
I do think CPQ systems need to move to the next level of value. For me a good CPQ solution would help to configure the solution that would optimize value to the customer (V2C). This would then help connect the configuration to the price through the value delivered. Configuration solutions should be connected to value models and then should help to search the configuration space for a way to optimize value (not price, price should track value).
A good CPQ system should also help customer success understand why a specific configuration was chosen and then provide context for delivering the value associated with the configuration.
Stephen - my inquiries on elements of Digital renewals is increasing this year. I think Covid has moved the conversation to the front of mind for many leaders as they look for opportunities to build resilience in their operations and efficiency in quoting renewals to customers.
I'm definitely seeing an increased focus on CPQ and other forms of both automation and enablement.
I'm receiving more inquiries on CPQ right now, so I do think companies are looking at either investing in this, or better leveraging a CPQ engine they have. The challenge is traditional product-centric CPQ tools aren't great for services. Where I think CPQ can help is automating and enforcing rules around product and service bundles, pricing, and discounts. Since sales isn't all in the office to discuss this and pass paper around, technology can automate this process more. I think it also can help us be more responsive as many companies are introducing new offers and pricing due to the pandemic, and if the CPQ engine is documenting and enforcing these, you don't have to worry quite so much about training everyone on every new offer, price and discount.
Here's a link to a blog on Services CPQ if you are interested: https://www.tsia.com/blog/cpq-for-services-the-spreadsheet-killer
Thanks John. It's an excellent blog. I'm working closely on this with James Cramer who wrote it.