In a workforce where 45% of professionals say that they prefer their jobs to remain in the status quo, change can be very difficult. Getting buy-in for CPQ is no less challenging; CPQ implementation requires alignment between multiple teams and months of planning. This means, that in order to get and maintain buy-in you will need to have a plan long before you start your project.
You’ll need to not just figure out the technical complexity of CPQ, but also the emotional motivations of your teams to unlock successful adoption.
Here are four ways you can get your team involved early, and drive continued adoption of CPQ at your organization.
1.) Align on motivations and goals for your CPQ software
It can be hard to get buy-in if your team doesn’t understand exactly why you’re considering CPQ. Change is hard, and many may not want to learn new software, or put in the level of effort that CPQ software requires without knowing how it benefits them. Make sure that all teams are aligned on:
- The benefits of CPQ software for the organization, and each team
- Friction points currently experienced by each team that CPQ would solve for
- Goals for CPQ for each team, and the organization as a whole
Getting all teams together to document the above and allow all stakeholders to weigh in with their thoughts can help everyone feel like they’re a part of the planning process. You never want your team to feel like they’ll be “burned” by the implementation of new software. According to PMI, “Stakeholders may not have the same version of ‘success’ from previous projects, or may have been negatively impacted in one or more ways by their delivery.”
To avoid resistance early on make sure all stakeholders in your project, and teams affected, know what CPQ promises them. Then deliver on those promises in every step of your implementation and beyond.
2.) Get teams involved early
While it may be tempting to only get technical teams involved in the CPQ software selection process, you’ll need to consider all of your end-users. Getting input from sales and manufacturing team members who may be affected by implementation early can ease friction later on. Ensure that you have representatives from every team that CPQ will impact as a part of your software selection process. Including:
- Sales teams
- Manufacturing teams
- Engineering and technical teams
- Support teams (technical and non-technical)
- Channel partner or distributor teams
You should also be sure that each team member who will be impacted by CPQ software implementation understands the timelines, and roll-out process early so they can be prepared for what is to come.
3.) Determine an implementation team
Time should be put into assembling the perfect CPQ implementation team for your business. Assess whether selected team members are willing, capable, and have the time available to dedicate to the project. You’ll need to consider multiple skill sets when thinking of individuals for the job, such as:
- Technical background and ability to develop your configurators, and maintain them
- Sales process knowledge, and knowledge about your pricing models and buyers journey
- Insight into manufacturing capabilities of your products in all their complexity
- Operational background and the ability to see the big picture of where CPQ software fits into your organization’s processes.
Assemble a team with a healthy mix of all of the above to ensure you maintain buy-in from all teams.
4.) Identify a C-Suite champion
Getting buy-in from executive leadership early can make for a smooth CPQ implementation process. Having buy-in from above helps you to gain the time, people, and financial backing to bring new software to your company. All of these things help your team not feel strained by the effects of implementing new software.
Once your CPQ project ends, make sure that you maintain buy-in from not just your teams but also your executive champion. Keep your champion looped into discussions pertaining to improving and maintaining your CPQ program. Regular communication with this person can help you ensure your team has what they need long after launch, such as continued financial support for maintenance and technical support.
Apply the four tips above paired with creating a solid implementation plan will bring you closer to success. Ready to get started? Learn how with our complete implementation guide.