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PSQuote adoption–easier than you think

Our experts answer common questions about making the switch to PSQuote and what successful adoption looks like.

Here’s the run-down. . . 

“Where do I start?”

When implementing PSQuote, organizations must understand how they sell services today and how that might change as they adopt PSQuote and/or Salesforce CPQ.  A large component of change management in PSQuote implementations is centered around thinking about what your “service offerings” will be.

Carefully analyzing how you sell (and deliver) services is critical.

Why? Because creating a well-configured offering library is central to your quoting solution. It’s the common factor that unites Sales & Delivery and it provides a simple and standard way for businesses to scope & build quotes. Plus, having a well-defined offering library helps you quote faster. The best thing your organization can do is take time upfront during design to really analyze how you define, bundle, and sell your services.

Consider the following best practices when creating your offering library:

  1. What are the most common types of services you provide?
  2. What does the resource mix and resource demand look like for these projects?
  3. Have you accounted for all the ways different groups may build estimates currently?

Remember, PSQuote is flexible enough that if you need to add in custom scope to any of your quotes, you can do this if your resources and rates are defined.

“What has worked well for organizations that have successfully adopted PSQuote?”

Rick Pearson, Solution Architect at CLD Partners, shares the solution: maximizing early exposure to PSQuote when creating the offering library (before it’s even live). He states:

“The intent [of the offering library] is to encourage clients to carefully consider their offering design. We see clients start in one direction without much forethought about where they want to end up, then change once they get some experience with the product. If not caught before the app is live, then this could affect adoption since the initial approach may not address their requirements. Changing the approach/configuration requires time and rework which could impact user adoption in some organizations.” 

We provide clients with experience sooner during implementation (even before UAT, during design) so imperfections are sorted out before going live, mitigating the need to do rework and re-train. 

“What does successful adoption look like?” 

Successful adoption looks like a well-run, cohesive team committed to adopting a new platform and processes to run their business end to end. Most services quoting teams tend to be smaller and therefore, usually involved in the design and testing, making it an easy transition to PSQuote.

The implementation of a thoroughly designed and tested system must be supported by targeted training. With the nature of services quoting and smaller teams, targeted training is easy to create and achieve. Often we’ll find that most teams are adept in PSQuote by the time it’s launched when they’ve been engaged from the beginning of the project.   

Ultimately, success is the team working in the system as it was designed, based on good requirements. Going live with a system that meets the core business needs, operated by trained users reduces the risk of process gaps and poor adoption.

“What if. . .?”

You might be wondering “What issues could come up 30, 90, 120 days after go-live?”

Kelly Michaelson, Consultant at CLD Partners, talks about the real issue that clients might encounter after the first few months after going live:

Services quoting ties together two major processes that act as the backbone of most organizations. There is a lot that goes into connecting the process and sometimes it’s the first time that clients are thinking about this interface. Plus, it’s tough to change when they’ve always done quoting the same way. 

This means issues tend to come up because of new processes rather than the adoption of the tool. Similar to the offering library, sufficient process work must be performed. If the team has not endeavored to understand how Sales & Delivery fit together and what kind of reporting (with the right data available) they need, adoption can suffer.”

For example, one client replaced the quoting tool they had and because of tight timelines chose to implement it without making much change to how they quote services. Now that PSQuote has been implemented, and they’ve had the time to use it, they’re able to make informed decisions about what they truly need. They choose to handle business process improvement after implementation. In this case, they are taking time now to consider how to best (re)configure and extend the tool. 

Every business needs to figure out the logic (structure & composition) of how they want to sell. Adoption struggles if this is not done. So, take time to do the hard work of implementation. Once that’s completed, quoting is easy and the PSQuote handles the behind-the-scenes work and ensures the underlying data is created.  

Just to cover everything—

We’ve alluded to the fact that business processes tend to present the biggest challenge. Even with good processes, adoption suffers when process changes are not communicated well or are made without sufficient representation from the right people during design. Suzanne Lesser, who oversees Learning & Development at CLD Partners, shares a story:

“During UAT [user acceptance testing] an attendee asked specifically about how the needs of his practice were being addressed with PSQuote. I responded that the decision was made by the client lead to simply fold this practice into the standard process because the project volume was low (~10 projects a year).

After talking further with the user, we discovered that even though this practice had a small number of projects, these projects constituted a significant portion of services revenue. Ultimately, the client team ended up prioritizing enhancements to handle that team’s requirements. It was easy to see why the decision was made when only the quantity of projects was taken into account. This story shows that multiple factors should be analyzed as well when discerning mandatory vs. nice to have requirements”.  

Another challenge we’ve seen is related to document generation. This usually manifests in two ways. Rick Pearson says, 

“Sometimes it’s a matter of ensuring the right data is available in the system so it’s available for reporting. Other times it’s a matter of taking the time to create templates with the correct common language. It’s important to include enough content to make the template useful yet flexible enough to minimize unnecessary editing after generation.”

Rick also shares anecdotally: 

“Post go-live it became apparent that one client continued to implement an old business tactic for document generation. Historically, they used their SOW as the main way to capture information as their engagements evolved. Over time, they’d have a fully formed SOW.

When they started using PSQuote, the team continued to use this same process with PSQuote. They would generate a document and then continue to finesse it offline with details. In essence, they were managing the quote process through the file itself rather than fully utilizing the benefits of the professional services quotes in Salesforce. The team found their quoting process lagging until they incorporated all of their process steps into their document templates and the new system.” 

We know change is hard

There is a trend towards parametric estimation, involving the power of artificial intelligence. While this is certainly part of new solutions coming online, our goal is to automate the right steps and configure PSQuote based on your processes because a person still needs to do the “work” of quoting services at the end of the day based on business experience. 

Ultimately, the client owns adoption and change management. You decide what your team should do and we’re here to help.  

Our PSQuote experts advise and train your teams on the best options available. We share best practices and guide you throughout implementation. We help you create the best offering library and doc-gen templates so you can have a seamless adoption of PSQuote.

How are we making things better?

CLD is working constantly to make the PSQuote user experience (UX) easier and better. For example, we’ve recently added more contextual pop-ups and flexibility in the user interface (UI)— including the ability to disable and enable many small features making it easy to configure PSQuote for you. More new features are described in our summer release video

While every business needs to figure out the logic of how they want to sell, sometimes having an external opinion is useful. On several occasions, CLD advised clients to determine the best way to estimate before jumping into implementation. 

What matters most is cohesion and simplification. CLD helps make your process simpler. Then, you can rest easier knowing the process will succeed because it was designed to be natural for the user. Let’s standardize the way you sell, increase delivery margins, and improve capacity planning.

— PSQuote Team

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