CPQ for Renewals? Wouldn’t you rather have a big K.I.S.S.?(1)
Head in the cloud or not, your new CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) system, intended for net new sales, will make everything and anything useful and happy. Or so you thought!
Once installed, CPQ’s can be as easy as opening a cracker box. Put in the data, set up your business rules. No matter how complex, there’s a place for everything. All those many places to add and collect data..
In the portal goes CPQ data. Out pour all the configurations, quotes, reports, tracking, sales scaling and new product development your teams have been waiting for.
Or so you were sold.
If you bought CPQ to support your net new internal and channel partners sales, it’s an OK start. CPQ software is designed to support net new sales.
A great first step into automated business processes from spreadsheets, CPQ opens a portal where direct sales, distributors and VARs can be guided, step-by-step, to enter everything needed for generating accurate quotes.
Everything you need for admin, upsell and future offerings, reports and projects can be entered and managed there.
Everything, that is, except for add on, crossgrades, upgrades, renewals or end of life sales.
A KISS is just a KISS. Unless you try to make it something it’s not.
Because they are fundamentally different from net new sales, renewals need more (and less) than allowed/generated by CPQ.
You may be dealing with dozens, hundreds even in the case of some of our customers tens of thousands of channel partners and their sales people who generated sales over the past year. Unlike these net new specialists, your Renewals Team is tasked with the renewal quote/contract itself, but also any and all revisions, changes requested by any member of the channel.
In sheer volume alone, CPQ systems are not scaleable, can’t swallow all the data, interpretations and nuance in a global channel. Let alone pass intelligent data in a form your Renewals Specialists can easily digest and convert into a smart, timely renewal process.
Why? A typical vendor could have to take into consideration dozens of specifications, including, but not limited to:
- Distributor Program Level Discounts
- Reseller Program Level Discounts
- Distributor Default Margins
- Margin Adjustments
- Header & Line item Additional Manual Discounts
- Channel specific pricing procedures
- Category Price Lists
- Product Group
- Partner Level
- End Customer Account Class
- Service Duration
- Service Start Dates and End Dates
- Programmatic Multi Year Discounts
- Channel specific pricing procedures
- Reseller Operate Specialist Discounts
- Distributor Operate Specialist Discounts
- Prorated end dates
- Re-instatement fees
- Product Migration
- Certification levels
- Exchange rates
CPQ, although ideal for selling net new products with pricing rules, discounts, etc., is essentially a basic quote system.
Augmenting and filtering it through the above list, even if it was complete for every company, every customer, would take much of the automation out of the automated business processes.
In other words, the sheer volume and variety of data needed for smart automated renewals processes would instead see its complexity serving up lost opportunity. Where a smart, streamlined automated data management process could feed the company for years.
When kept simple, profits are a many splendored thing.
A healthy product life cycle business gets its nourishment from its ability to automate a myriad of calculation rules, filtered through many, varied time periods. CPQ or no CPQ, a smart Renewals Management Platform already manages these and many other specific, often complex pricing modules. No brush-off kiss, it can produce a high volume of highly varied renewal reminders, quotes – even “anniversary” spiffs for Direct, Indirect Sales and Distributors.
What a shame to overlook the simplicity of work flow automation in the face of CPQ, what too many shortsightedly consider their one true love of annuity products.
- KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid, US Navy acronym. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle