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McAfee chose Simplus to advise their CPQ process. Here’s why.

Carlos Montejo is widely known in our company as the expert when it comes to Advisory Services. Under his leadership, we had the opportunity to work with McAfee, one of the world’s leading independent cybersecurity companies. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make the world safer. By working with other security players, McAfee is leading the effort to unite against cybercriminals for the benefit of all.

The Challenge

McAfee was beginning to notice difficulties in several areas of the sales process. As a result, McAfee asked us to help them drive a decision around a CPQ platform to streamline its internal operations.

  • Archaic Infrastructure: McAfee was experiencing siloed, disparate systems and technical limitations that were leading to process inefficiencies in its quoting, pricing, discounting, and approval operations.


  • Negative Sales and Channel Partner Experience: McAfee heads up a high-touch, manual pricing & discounting process. Due to a lengthy “lead to order” cycle, it was unable to get a quote to customers in a timely fashion. Meanwhile, a competitor could get a quote back in a fraction of the time. There was little standardization in discounting policy, and therefore, customer discounting was inconsistent. This was, in turn, driving low cross-sell and upsell revenue.


  • Lack Business/Pricing Intelligence: Limited CPQ capabilities, pricing intelligence, and data quality drove inefficiencies across sales, operations, nance, legal, and product management. Developing GTM strategies was difficult and costly as a result.


  • Internal Issues: McAfee required advisory services to address pain points and challenges surrounding its business processes before implementing CPQ technology.


The Solution

In order to solve these CPQ issues, we rolled out a discovery phase as the foundation of a CPQ platform. We helped construct an RFP for both CPQ platform selection and Implementation Services Provider and provided CPQ industry best practices to help McAfee shape its CPQ Program. Our recommendations were as follows:

  • Simplify Price Books: Allow for channel self-service and reduce overhead.


  • CPQ Accuracy Validation: Utilizing CPQ functionality, McAfee would be able to reduce sales cycle time, improve user experience, and validate quote data before being sent off for approval.


  • Single Source of Truth: Define one single product master and develop hierarchy for accounts and contacts,


  • Pricing Waterfall: Enable full visibility and understanding of discounted price and all pricing rules.


  • Build Product Configuration: Eliminate quote network due to configuration errors.


  • Streamline Processes: Eliminate quote network due to noncompliance with business rules, reduce quote cycle time, and use installed base data to drive cross-sell and upsell opportunities.


  • Leverage Simplus Expertise: The Simplus team leveraged years of CPQ delivery experience to identify those pitfalls that commonly delay CPQ implementations and provided coaching on how to avoid them.


The Results

We were able to provide McAfee with these deliverables:

  • Overview of Process: We helped McAfee identify its current pain points and challenges, in addition to what process improvements or business capabilities it would like to enable in a CPQ program. We also developed a concise idea of success for a CPQ program and discovered organizational challenges or adoption concerns that may impede the success of a CPQ program.


  • Current State Workshops: We conducted 15 workshops across 15 process areas, which were attended by 52 participants covering 17 cross-functional teams based on RACI role. We also documented workshop notes, compiled findings, and analyzed themes.


  • High-Level Capabilities: We developed and documented 95 RFP capabilities categorized by domain, capability, and role. We also conducted four requirements review sessions to validate and update capabilities as well as one findings summary readout meeting.


  • Organized Business Development: We helped McAfee analyze its business processes before introducing CPQ technology to ensure that business processes drive the CPQ platform decisions, rather than technology driving business practices. In so doing, we discovered a pragmatic and cost-effective approach to save money.


We’re fortunate to continue our advisory services with McAfee and will address some of the recommendations as part of our strategic engagement. We are currently in Phase 2 of advisory services and are helping McAfee streamline their approval, renewal, and order validation processes.


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