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CPQ for SAP: What Is SAP CPQ, and How Does It Work?

Configure, price, and quote (CPQ) software from SAP helps SMBs and enterprises manage their sales quotes, profitability, and margins, playing a significant role in revenue operations. At scale, it can be difficult for businesses to know when to adjust their prices or when to cut back on costs. Solutions like SAP CPQ automate workflows to help organizations preserve their profitability. 

With SAP CPQ, sales teams can quickly generate accurate quotes, closing deals faster and giving the business a competitive advantage. However, SAP’s CPQ solution often has implementation issues, which can make it challenging for organizations to quickly embrace this solution. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how SAP CPQ works and how organizations can overcome common SAP CPQ implementation barriers. 

What is SAP CPQ? 

SAP CPQ is a software solution designed to help sales teams generate more efficient, consistent quotes and optimize revenue operations. Without a CPQ, sales teams rely on spreadsheets to pull quotes, which takes more time and increases the possibility of errors. 

Manual quotes can take an excess of an hour or more to create, which takes too much of your team’s time. SAP CPQ removes manual effort by automatically generating quotes based on set parameters in your system. You can create your own approval rules and workflows, which include email notifications for your team to approve or reject quotes in the system. 

Many software providers offer CPQs, but SAP is one of the most popular options on the market. Depending on your subscription, SAP CPQ allows businesses to add on functionalities like: 

  • Subscriptions
  • Rules
  • Approvals
  • Automatic exports

Organizations embrace solutions like SAP CPQ as a way to automate the sales quote process. It creates a consistent framework for sales teams to use across an enterprise, so organizations protect their margins and offer consistent pricing and discounts across the board.

How SAP CPQ Works

While it’s possible to generate quotes manually, this takes up too much time and creates errors across the business. SAP CPQ works to create complex quotes while minimizing errors and protecting margins. The goal is to reduce sales inefficiencies so representatives can focus on relationships, not paperwork or red tape. 

SAP CPQ works by: 

  • Protecting margins: The system includes margin guardrails to ensure your team doesn’t under-price so much that it hurts your profitability. 
  • Scaling quoting capabilities: If you have plans to grow your business, SAP CPQ offers flexibility to change discounts, customer data fields, and other data inputs as needed. This allows businesses to flex the software to fit how they do sales, instead of changing their processes to fit a new solution. SAP also hosts its CPQ in the cloud, which makes it easier to add or remove licenses as needed.
  • Rules-based quotes: SAP CPQ allows admins to create rules for each user. You can specify which options individual sales teams can access, which can minimize confusion during the quoting process. 
  • Integrations: SAP CPQ integrates with other SAP technologies such as SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and SAP CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and SAP Commerce Cloud, as well as many third-party ERPs, CRMs, and enterprise eCommerce platforms
  • Guided selling: SAP CPQ allows you to add cross-sell and up-sell prompts into the sales workflow. This helps sales associates maximize every transaction, automatically. 
  • Reporting: SAP CPQ automatically generates reports based on your reporting rules and requirements. 
  • Proposal generation: The system can create proposals in the format of your choosing, such as PDFs or Word Documents. SAP CPQ also integrates with e-signature solutions, which can speed up the sales pipeline. 
  • Artificial intelligence models: SAP CPQ uses prebuilt AI models to improve the sales process. Its predictive analytics and guided selling features help sales teams optimize sales and streamline their pipeline for better performance.

SAP CPQ Challenges

SAP CPQ can streamline the sales process, but it isn’t without its challenges. Digital transformation often comes with implementation challenges, and SAP CPQ is no exception. 

Businesses frequently face these challenges when they try to implement SAP CPQ: 

  • Too much flexibility: SAP CPQ can mold to become whatever a company needs it to be. However, in the hands of new users, this flexibility can lead users to feel disoriented and overwhelmed.
  • Complexity: SAP’s CPQ might be more intuitive than other CPQs on the market, but it still has a lot of features that make this platform tricky to navigate, especially for beginners. Additional SAP training is available through SAP tutorials and SAP certifications, but these take time. When they need immediate help, users often have to wait for their SAP reps to walk them through demos. 
  • Development requirements: If users want to make changes to SAP CPQ, they may need a developer to make the necessary adjustments. 
  • Lack of support: Users report that a lack of deployment infrastructure makes it a challenge to fully embrace SAP CPQ. There’s little support available, especially for administrators. 

While SAP CPQ can certainly make the quoting process more consistent and profitable, it isn’t without its challenges. If your business wants to leverage SAP CPQ without the growing pains, it’s best to work with an experienced implementation partner like Argano. See how Argano 4 SAP can streamline your move to SAP CPQ or contact us today for more information.

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