Who Are the Top 2019 CPQ Influencers?

By Gideon Thomas

As the sales tech industry continues to evolve, so does the CPQ marketplace. Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software is no longer considered a “nice-to-have,” but is now a “need-to-have” for businesses seeking every opportunity to increase revenue through more effective and efficient sales processes.

As the sales tech industry continues to evolve, so does the CPQ marketplace. Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software is no longer considered a “nice-to-have,” but is now a “need-to-have” for businesses seeking every opportunity to increase revenue through more effective and efficient sales processes.

The minds behind the CPQ software revolution have led the charge, resulting in the exponential growth of the CPQ market.

Market Adoption

Although CPQ has come a long way in the past decade, only 51.1 percent of enterprise companies have a CPQ in place according to a report from Miller Heiman.

CPQ Market Movements

Within the past 10 years we have seen a number of CPQ acquisitions by market-leading CRMs:

Big Machines > Oracle: $400 million

Steelbrick > Salesforce: $360 million

CallidusCloud > SAP: $2.4 billion

In the attempt to broaden and connect their product suite offering, these CRMs decided to bring the CPQ software in-house. In terms of market share, of course, this gave them greater revenue generation opportunity for cross-selling from their core competency.

From a user point of view, this news is mixed. In some cases, these legacy CRM systems have grandfathered in software architecture from the previous decade, which can sometimes be characterized in simple terms as being slower to implement, slower to make changes, and with a higher price point.

This is unavoidable for two reasons: These CRMs need to recover their cost of acquisition, so keeping the price high helps. In addition, the C-level leaders who built and grew the original product moved onto new pastures post-acquisition. Many companies experience significant changes in product roadmap and leadership post acquisition, and this changes the nature of the company.

A New Breed of CPQ Has Arrived

Given everything we have already addressed, it’s encouraging to know that a new breed of CPQ has arrived that addresses the pains of legacy systems:

  • Native integration to CRMs
  • Dynamic product architecture
  • Lower price
  • Ease of use

You can see the majority of these new-breed software platforms on the G2 Crowd Grid for CPQ.

Meet 10 CPQ Thought Leaders for 2019

  1. The “Godfather” of CPQ, Godard Abel, is now the CEO and co-founder of G2 Crowd, but previously held two significant CPQ roles: first, as co-founder and CEO of Big Machines (now Oracle CPQ), and then, later, as CEO of Steelbrick (now Salesforce CPQ). Two significant acquisitions for the CPQ marketplace.

  2. Apttus CEO and Chairman Kirk Krappe deserves respect for being one of the first significant ISV partners to move out of Salesforce to also work with Microsoft. There is a great quote in this Diginomica article that sums up this shift: “There’s a saying in the tech industry that, when a small vendor partners with one of the giants, it’s akin to dancing with an elephant – you should always be careful of getting trodden on. Dancing with two elephants at the same time is unprecedented.”

  3. DealHub’s CEO and co-founder Eyal Elbahary is regarded as a leader in the “New Breed of CPQ” solutions. He has successfully created a new mindset of how CPQ solutions are implemented and tailored for fast-growth sales teams.

  4. CallidusCloud’s thought leader is their VP of CPQ and CLM Service Delivery, Tarkan Dolen.

  5. PandaDoc CEO Mikita Mikado has more recently added “CPQ light” to their software offering.

  6. Joe Morgan is the director of CPQ at DXC Technology. DXC is now ranked as one of the leading professional service partners for Microsoft Dynamics 365 users.

  7. Frank Sohn is the president and CEO of Novus Consulting, a company that prides itself on sharing new CPQ content amongst its community as well as providing related services.

  8. Yossi Haimov is the CEO of Prodware, the largest Microsoft Dynamics implementer in Europe and a key thinker in evaluating which sales tools are essential in this stack.

  9. Gartner’s Mark Lewis and Melissa Hilbert are the creative minds behind Gartner’s CPQ Magic Quadrant.

  10. Louis Columbus is a contributing writer at Forbes on CPQ; and, although he is not from a dedicated CPQ background, his technical experience and somewhat unbiased thinking gives a fresh take on the CPQ industry at a time where evolution is as needed as honesty.

While there are, no doubt, other important voices within CPQ that may not have made it onto this list, you now have a good starting point to continue your research and discovery.

Moving CPQ Forward

You can’t help but feel that, for such an important market, the list of active thought leaders is highly focused. We need great content that helps move our thinking forward from what used to be a technically challenging area of sales software to something that is now much more accessible and ready to use.

How do you see the CPQ marketplace advancing and growing? Businesses are hungry for resources that empower them to use the right tools to improve sales operations and increase revenue. Share your knowledge with us. We want to help you be the next CPQ thought leader.

As vice president of growth at DealHub.io, Gideon Thomas is extremely passionate about helping companies gain a more informed and actionable understanding of the changing landscape within sales engagement. He is a regular content contributor in this area of expertise and draws inspiration from the latest trends and statistics influencing sales engagement.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at SellingPower.com.
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