web
counter

CONTENT AND IDEAS

Complexity Made Easy

Imagine a powerful, accessible, collaborative and engaging solution that enhances the whole ‘Lead to Order’ process and enables organisations of every size to adopt modern practices easily and quickly. Introducing... BlueprintCPQ

For internal use only!

Our WHY

We are passionate about making a very real and positive difference to our existing customers, future customers and employees lives by challenging the status quo and thinking differently to our competitors.

We believe the whole lead to order process should be one of a ‘pull’ not ‘push’ culture whilst bridging the efficiency gaps between marketing, sales and operations.

Elevator Pitch

We help companies move their 'Lead to Order' process from a 'push' to a 'pull' culture - no matter how complex the situation.

In other words; we encourage and inspire people to want to 'buy' from you.

To help with this transition we have developed a great cloud based software tool called BlueprintCPQ.

Who we help

We primarily help two types of business:
Hi-Tech Start-up's
These are organisations that are usually well funded (possibly with VC funding), where they have a need to scale their business rapidly, yet cost efficiently. Typically we will engage with the CEO.

Traditional, Established Businesses
These are organisations that have been around for many years and built a reasonable revenue stream. They are probably doing things in old fashioned ways and seeking to introduce change. Typically we will engage with IT and Sales Operations Directors.

Why our clients should bother and care...

Our vision is to make a strong contribution to high tech start-up businesses and traditional companies which are seeking to develop a culture within which their customers are motivated to buy from them, rather than being sold to.
Work smarter - encourage people to want to buy from you
Few people like to be sold to, but we love to buy. Encouraging people to want to 'buy' from you will, by definition make selling easier, increasing both revenue and profit. This shift from a 'push' culture to a 'pull' culture will transform the way businesses operate. We have already seen this approach begin to be adopted for lead generation with the advent of 'content marketing', however, the principle should continue throughout the buying cycle.

BlueprintCPQ enables business to introduce, enhance and refine these principles across their entire Lead-to-Order process.

Focus on your buyer - ensure their experience is seamless across all marketing, sales and operational activities
A focus on the buyer experience will drive the following change into an organisation.

1- It will encourage and enable a joined-up experience as the buyer moves from initial enquiry, through lead follow-up, quoting and ordering - including repeat orders.
2 - Marketing, Sales and Sales Operations will use the same database to eliminate operational silo's.
3- The learning curve for customer facing staff will be faster. If a customer or partner can use the system to generate quotes and orders without training then so will an employee.

BlueprintCPQ provides a platform for the organisation to embrace the 'buyer experience' concept to grow their business and reduce costs.

Make buying easy - engage people in your entire 'Lead to Order' process
Encourage interaction with people at the earliest opportunity, engage with them throughout their journey to show you care and compel them to say YES.

1 - Create interactive web page content that encourages engagement
2- Use the information captured to help the prospect progress
3- Provide sales with detailed feedback to discuss things that matter to the buyer
4- Collaborate on-line with all interested parties through the negotiation stage
5- Create detailed, clear proposals that can be signed off and ordered with 'one click'
6- Make -re-ordering timely, predictive and easy.

BlueprintCPQ makes it natural and easy for people to buy from you.

Stand out from the crowd - offer a point of difference before your competitors
Make it easy for people to decide they want to buy from you - give them a reason to do so. Where there is no difference between competing products and/or services the decision will often be based upon price alone or worse still they will make no decision. BlueprintCPQ enables you to differentiate your business in several ways:

1 - Introduce new products, features and pricing quickly and easily
2 - Know which features or products people relate to and use this information to drive on
3 - Provide interactive, engaging content on your website that drives enquiries
4 - Enable one click ordering or enquiry submitting with detailed information on their requirement.

BlueprintCPQ introduces an easier way for organisation's to embrace change, gauge market feedback in real-time and adapt for competitive advantage.

Fast results - easily reduce complexity and cost from your ‘Lead to Order’ process
We make even the most complex situation as easy A,B,C. Our tried and tested methodology for introducing BlueprintCPQ means you can be enjoying the benefits fast. And because BlueprintCPQ is built on a powerful engine it can cope with any rule or calculation - so you can refine the automation or introduce it to each stage of the 'Lead-to-Order' process at a pace that suits you.

A - Enable all items to be quoted from within BlueprintCPQ using our built-in 'Part-Picker' feature. Generate automated proposals.
B - Enhance the 'Part-PIcker' rules further to auto-populate based upon certain criteria.
C - Build bespoke solutions where demand justifies.

BlueprintCPQ brings a low-risk, easy way for businesses to introduce best practice for a rapid return on its investment.

How we do it. The Blueprint for CPQ success...

We do this by providing Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software and consultancy that is so designed and implemented that our customers' customers are attracted to buy products and services.
Guide and encourage the selection of items and options to generate compelling value
Buyers and sales personnel are guided through every step to ensure ease of use as they build error free, tailored solutions and compelling proposals.

It is vital to engage users with stimulating, intuitive and valuable help such as visual representations and professional advice as you guide them towards an inevitable sale. As the cycle progresses collaboration will become more important as deals are negotiated and value communicated.

We know that early engagement and easy collaboration leads to more orders, at a higher price for less cost.

Provide access wherever, however and whenever it is needed
Users demand access 24/7 on any device. Because BlueprintCPQ is a cloud based app it is available for use anywhere in the World at any time via a desktop / laptop PC or MAC, Tablet, device or smartphone.

Further we built the system API first which means that it can integrate with virtually any other system. Sales people can use it with their CRM system, Partners can use it via a customer Portal or a website. End users can access it and buy online through eCommerce.

We believe knowledge, help and guidance should be available whenever and wherever it is needed. That is why we made BlueprintCPQ so accessible.

Capture and maintain business rules and calculations in one place
There is a great deal of knowledge within your business. This will be in locked in peoples heads, stored on multiple databases and all often restricted for use within departmental silo's.

BlueprintCPQ provides one place for a business to capture, store and maintain this 'business knowledge and rules' and then importantly, makes it available for all to use in ways best suited to their role in the Lead to Order cycle.

From the simplest to the most complex rule, BlueprintCPQ is offers the Power to scale up and grow.

Bring years of experience to introduce modern, best practice principles
We were one of the first to understand the importance and capability of a powerful configurator - long before the term Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) was coined.

Over the years we have amassed tremendous knowledge and experience across a range of industries and scenarios. We have used this knowledge to design a tried and tested formulaic and incremental approach to introducing our system quickly and easily into virtually any business.

Your problems might be complex, but the solution should not be complex. It should be low cost, fast and easy.

What we do...

BlueprintCPQ is breaking new ground in the Lead-to-Order process, helping users with automated content at key buying stages through easy to use, engaging and intelligent web-based forms.

We can capture any rule or calculation and are trusted by some of the world's largest companies to generate their internal and customer facing documents and web content.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

What is your pricing model?
We offer two license types, both employ the 'Software as a Service' (SaaS) model where customers pay a monthly fee.

Named Users: These are users that enjoy the full benefits of the system from within a CRM system that they log into. They are able to view and edit new and existing quotes. Each named user requires a licence. Pricing is tiered based upon the total number of users

eCommerce: Users are 'one-time' or very infrequent users that will use the app to prepare one quote. They may revisit that quote or create a completely quote as many times as they choose. The key difference is that they do not have access to a history of quotes through an account. Pricing is based upon usage i.e. each visit is counted as a usage. Pricing is tiered based upon the expected total usage per month.

Organisations can purchase one or both License types.

A budget should also be allocated for a one-time on-boarding service. A straight forward 'quick start' project would require something in the region of 40 hours. This covers a scoping exercise, initial prototype, and a series of 4/5 planned workshops.

Our hourly rate is £125 / $200.

Support services are also available on request at the same rate.

How long does it to take to get started
It is impossible to be accurate with estimates for implementation as each company's situation will differ. Also their definition of complete will differ. We are clear - the path to perfection is never complete.

However, we have learned over the years that there are some common issues across most businesses and we have built our software in such a way that templates can be applied following our proven process that will deliver a series of benefits to an organisation quickly - within days. Further change can then be introduced at a pace to suit your business.

How many customers do you have?
Our app is used and trusted by over 1,000 users around the world. Clients range in size from from 5 users to hundreds of users.

We choose to work with a small number of companies at any one time who are all committed to and believe in changing their business from a selling culture (push) to one where their customers want to buy from them (pull).

Can we host ourselves?
In theory, yes you can host the system yourself on any NT Server with a SQL database; however, you should be aware of the following:

we will require remote access to the server for maintenance at all times
we will incur additional overhead to maintain an externally hosted system
the licence price is higher than if we host as there 3rd party licences that must also be installed on your server.
For these reasons most Clients will prefer that we host for them. For this reason we offer the following options:

Duplicate (synchronised) database to a location of your choosing for reporting or filing purposes.
USA or EU hosting
A 'stand alone' instance within our hosting environment.
We use Amazon Warehouse Solutions (AWS) for all our hosting and monitor performance within the license fee.

Is your App native to the Salesforce platform?
Our app is what Salesforce describe as "composite" solution. Salesforce recommend this route for "large, complex calculations", "Storage-intensive solutions" or where there is a "Need to integrate with another service". Our app meets all three criteria as we need to handle very complex rules and calculations, alongside quotes of scale.

For clarity, all the data can be held on the Salesforce platform so it is available for reporting in the normal way - although there are good reasons why you may choose to hold some off platform. It is just the heavy lifting that is done off platform where the power and speed is not available on the platform.

Going forwards will I require a sales team?
Whilst some of our clients have no 'sales teams' as such the answer for most will be 'Not in the immediacy'. However, over time, it may be both possible and practical to reduce headcount significantly - and in some cases to zero.

 A focus on the buyer is designed to make your products and services easier to buy, which will in turn help your sales team. The result of a 'pull' strategy is that the mindset of a sales person shifts - its all about the buyer, not the seller. Purchases will flow, not a sale.

Our rules are so varied we haven't worked them all out yet
This situation is common. This is precisely why we have built a number of 'quick start templates' that can be used to enable all your products and services to be quoted within the system from day one. This means you get the benefits of better documentation and one central database immediately.

BlueprintCPQ enables clients to apply strict rules where appropriate and known, yet keep things loose where rules are yet to be defined. These 'loose' areas can then be enhanced as the rules are defined and at a pace the business is comfortable with. We also find that the done this way (incrementally) that the results are often better as the organisation will learn more about the system capability and what works best for them.

Do you offer a free trial?
Certainly. We actively encourage trials as this is the best way to experience how BlueprintCPQ will help you.

To get the most from your trial we will provide an initial scoping session and from that provide a tailored 'quick start' training schedule for you to follow. We will allocate a dedicated CPQ expert to help and guide you should you need it.

Will I be tied into BlueprintCPQ?
No, you are free to leave whenever you wish, although whilst payment is monthly there is a 12 month contract to ensure the best rate.

Should you wish to leave we will provide you with a zipped copy of all your data (SQL Database).

The Blueprint for CPQ success

Implementing integrated CPQ applications
It is well documented that implementing integrated CPQ applications can deliver huge benefits and a rapid return on investment, particularly to organisations providing complex products or services. However, there are several key design and best practice issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure a successful implementation can be achieved.

Organisational Readiness
Organisations and every level of their staff must have a clear and full understanding of exactly what CPQ can do and the organisational and personal benefits that these systems can bring to streamlining the Quote to Order process. This requires a detailed analysis of every process currently used throughout the organisation that will be affected by the deployment. This will require input from every relevant department and effective project management to ensure that time and budgetary constraints are met throughout the changing development process.

Resource Readiness
In addition to the design and development of new processes and procedures, there are technical issues that need to be addressed to successfully integrate CPQ applications with the existing CRM and/or back office system. However, this can often present challenges as internal staff focused on business as usual will rarely have surplus capacity to take on board the change management initiatives or the experience to develop an effective and workable roadmap for change required. They may also not have the experience of this level of technical integration. The involvement of a skilled CPQ practitioner, who understands the software capabilities and processes, can greatly enhance the results and speed of benefit delivery. When skilled practitioners work alongside in-house product and systems experts, this sharing of resources and knowledge results in more successful outcomes.

Market Readiness
Will this new system be for internal use only or will it also be extended to channel partners, distributors, resellers, sales agents or even end users themselves? Organisations must have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve by providing these external channels with access to a CPQ system. They must also understand the needs of these external channels and how, why and where they need to access CPQ tools. Of course, the only way to ensure that the Quote to Order process meets the requirements of both groups is to ensure that they have been asked for their thoughts and the system has been designed to accommodate these needs.

Product Readiness
The success of a CPQ implementation depends on the readiness and ability of the product or service range to be automated in this way. There needs to be a hierarchy and structure that lends itself to automation will rules that can be applied for each product or service.

Top-Down Commitment
Getting commitment at the highest level is essential if a new Quote to Order process is to be successfully embedded across the organisation. The appointment of a senior champion, preferably at board-level, who can drive the risk management process at every level, is something that has proven to enhance project success. This champion should have an extensive understanding of the products and processes, provide high levels of support and have the authority to ensure that all relevant functional areas provide the required level of information and feedback.

Ongoing Management
It is not just a one-time project to ensure that a CPQ implementation continues to deliver the expected level of benefits over time. A member of staff must be charged with the ongoing management and control of the system to ensure that all product updates and changes are implemented on the system to ensure that it continues to be accurate and usable.

In summary, addressing the Quote to Order complexity challenges can deliver rapid results with benefits flowing straight through to the bottom line providing the gaps that exist between existing processes are understood and correctly addressed. This should be subject to regular and ongoing review to ensure that the new processes continue to deliver the required results

The Case for CPQ
The Quote to Order processes used by most organisations are typically either based on the product, customer and market knowledge of a few key people or they rely on restrictive and outdated reporting methods based on historical sales data. Whilst this approach may be fine for financial analysis, they do not provide the high quality product, customer or market information that is needed for fast, informed decision making in the front office. Historic sales analysis, even if it does enable drill down detail of product options and permutations, is by definition out of date and only reports on successful sales. It does not provide qualitative information to show why orders were won or lost, sales trends or customer data to show which accounts are likely to generate the highest business volumes. It’s a little like attempting to drive somewhere by using the rear view mirror.

Organisations cannot really plan their strategies for growth purely based on what has happened in the past. Looking toward future sales, analysis of leads and enquiries can be a far more useful indicator of marketing performance. The management of opportunities, potential projects and sales team activity is equally helpful, but not quite real enough to add to the bottom line.

The problem with analysing leads and enquiries is that they are too distant and vague giving no real indication of potential sales. Forecasts from sales people can be equally unhelpful. At best they can be misleading, whilst at worst they can be a complete fabrication. For organisations to derive value from the Quote to Order process, it needs to be more “real” and provide high quality information to enable more informed decision making.

An effective way of doing this is to analyse the sales pipeline at the quotation stage. This can deliver huge benefits to organisations particularly if it is detailed enough to allow drill down into specific product options. This approach provides relevant, real and timely information at an early stage that enables clearer decisions to be made regarding the components that are likely to be required.

This may be an effective way to obtain more realistic information but it will only deliver the required level results if organisations operate direct sales models. The fact that many organisations sell through a variety of channels including direct sales, channel partners, distributors, resellers and sales agents changes the picture and makes the process of gathering data from quotations more difficult. However, with increasing product ranges and complexity, these remote channels now have a greater reliance on the manufacturer for expert technical support and advice at the pre-sales stage. This of course presents an ideal opportunity to gather the required information.

Some organisations are deploying CPQ applications that make it easier to empower their channel partners to be self-sufficient at this pre-sales stage. These systems have been enthusiastically received by channel partners, enabling them to rapidly obtain the support they need and provide suppliers with high levels of key sales data. These systems also enable manufacturers and suppliers to free up valuable internal technical resources to provide more personalised support to customers.

Product Configurators have been around for a while but it is only relatively recently that they have started being used in the selling environment. They provide the front office with high levels of knowledge, flexibility and scalability without the limitations traditionally associated with traditional Bills of Materials (BOM). These limitations become clear as soon as organisations need to add new product variations and options, a process that multiples the number of permutations available from which to select. Managing these lists and preparing detailed, accurate quotations becomes extremely time-consuming and resource sapping. Creating a BOM as products are ordered may at first glance appear to be a practical way to address this challenge. However, in practice it restricts a business to only sell products where a full BOM has been created.
Share by: