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Is Your CPQ Solution Running Yesterday’s Technology?

July 15, 2014


Albert Einstein said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius— and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”

For me, Einstein’s words capture the spirit of the many attempts made to simplify the sales quoting process. I’d wager that most sales people have worked at more than one organization that has thrown yet another spreadsheet into the mix because “it will make quoting easier.” Did it?

When you sell complex products and services, the last thing you need is a quoting process that adds complexity. Manual quoting, which requires the collection of spreadsheets, product sheets and people to reconcile endless pricing variables, leads to complications and costly mistakes. Eliminating these errors is one of the main reasons that forward-thinking organizations choose to automate their quoting process by adopting a configure, price and quote (CPQ) solution. However, it’s not the only reason.

Beyond accurate quotes, sales users also need to quote faster. Automating CPQ can make configuring a product quick and accurate. Just how simple this will be relies upon the rules engine that drives the CPQ solution. Many rules engines make quoting accurate but also more complex than it needs to be.

Most CPQ solutions on the market today use sequential rules engines as the backbone for their solutions. While they’re intended to be simple, the very nature of sequential rules engines increases complexity for administrators and users. Sequential rules engines rely on an explicitly specified order of rules and rule families. In these deployments, the rule firing sequence is critical to accurate configurations and it requires fully and clearly expressed rules for each product and option. In short, there are more rules to write, test and upkeep.

There is a better way. REVVY CPQ leverages a sophisticated constraint rules engine that minimizes the total number of rules needed to model the configuration. This simplifies the process for administrators and sales users, delivering better results.

Let’s explore a couple ways that REVVY’s constraint rules engine outperforms other rules engines.

(1)    Shows what you can do, not what you can’t. Sequential rules engines evaluate rules after an option or product is selected and then allow you to select incompatible or invalid options, which causes sales people to get frustrated, and rightfully so. No one wants to be told after they’ve selected options that the options are not available or not allowed.  The REVVY rules engine already indicates in the UI whether a certain option is valid by only showing the valid options, which saves time and prevents errors.

(2)    Explains invalid options so you can give customers what they want. Sometimes customers want options and products that invalidate other products or options that they still want. REVVY rules engine allows users to see the cause of invalid options and choices to fix all options that might conflict with what the customer wanted.

(3)    Faster response time. Sequential rules engines re-fire all the rules in the same sequence multiple times in an attempt to make up for shortcomings. However, this degrades performance and takes more time. REVVY constraint rules engine detects dependencies and thereby optimizes the time it takes to evaluate all rules. This can as much as half the time it takes to execute results.

It’s not easy to make things simpler. It took genius and courage to develop the REVVY CPQ rules engine. But, it is absolutely worth it. This will make a huge difference for administrators and sales users because simpler for them means better, faster and more effective quotes.

You can learn more about why configuration technology matters and how REVVY constraint-based rules engine outperforms traditional solutions.

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