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Add Excel to CPQ? Seriously?

May 30, 2017

Most people implement CPQ solutions to eliminate spreadsheets!

CPQ solutions simplify and streamline the quoting process. They make the most relevant and up-to-date information easily accessible. And they eliminate errors in configuration and pricing. It’s an interesting paradox, after years of promoting the benefits of CPQ over the use of spreadsheets for quoting, that one would suggest adding Excel to your CPQ.

However, Excel is one of the most widely used applications in business. It’s familiar. Easy to use. Super flexible and it’s probably already being used somewhere in the periphery of your pricing or quoting process now.

So why would you ever consider keeping those old spreadsheets around a CPQ solution?

One reason we’ve seen is to avoid customizations. Advances in CPQ are coming to market fast, but invariably companies consider customizations when they implement. In some environments, such as massive multi-line item quotes, that Excel interface might actually be a little easier and faster.

Another reason might be to enable “what-if” analysis or deal modeling. Trying to muscle your own unique brand of complex scenario modeling into a CPQ system can be done, but then you have the enhancement and maintenance legacy. Again, more capabilities are being built into CPQ, but Excel is already good at this type of application, and pretty quickly updated.

Now we wouldn’t be proposing this paradox without some expectations of a well – integrated approach that ensures use of consistent Excel templates, enforces common security and privileges with the CPQ application, and integrity of data. That’s why we built Model N X-Data. You can read more about this in our eBook “4 Reasons Why Adding Excel is Better Than Customizing CPQ.”

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