<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=187049&amp;fmt=gif">

How To Maximize CPQ Through Integrations

By Eric Wood | July 16, 2019

Digitally mature organizations recognize that the value of software is greatly diminished if the software requires manual entry of common data between systems. Any software requiring significant human resources to operate in accordance with the larger business processes effectively introduces a bottleneck limiting the maximum throughput of that process.  Integration is, therefore, a critical aspect of any Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ)  solution as part of the overall quote to cash process.

 

For CPQ software, there are three general categories of integration to consider:

 

  • Backend integrations with CRM and ERP systems
    • Ensuring accurate and up to date data account and product information is available in the CPQ software and provide the ability for configured/quoted products to be entered as orders with minimal human data entry.
  • Frontend integrations with commerce sites and customer portals
    • Allow B2B consumers direct access to product data and literature, configure the product and place an order with minimal direct sales involvement.  These experiences are an emerging trend in B2B commerce.
  • CAD integrations support the quote to cash process for complex engineered to order systems by providing engineers with an opportunity to review configurations without the need for manual entry of the configuration in the CAD system.  With engineering often a bottleneck in the sales process, reductions in engineering effort result directly in improved quote to cash speed.

 

CPQ systems can provide integration capability in 3 ways:

  • Point-to-point native integrations - Many CPQ systems will have native integrations to the most popular CRM and ERP systems.  This necessarily limits the IT ecosystems in which the CPQ software can deliver maximum value.
  • APIs - Most CPQ systems supplement the native integration capability with API access to their data.  This requires expertise in the organization or the assistance of a system integrator or Value Added Reseller in order to develop and maintain the necessary integrations.
  • Integration platforms - Some CPQ systems incorporate integration platforms that can be used to facilitate integration with other systems through “drag and drop style experiences”.  3rd Party integration platforms can also be leveraged by organizations to facilitate integration of systems. This has the advantage of providing a homogenous integration experience instead of relying on potentially different integration platforms native to different systems.

 

The digitally mature buyer will ensure that their software solution supports the development and maintenance of the necessary integrations to maximize their return on investment in CPQ software.

 

Check back for future blogs where we will dive deeper into more integration categories!

Subscribe Here!