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Understand the 10 Most Common CPQ Product Rules


Product Configurators and CPQ Product Rules

A product configurator is software that automates the configuration and customization of engineer-to-order products. It makes it quick and easy for users to narrow down vast, complicated product catalogs into carefully optimized customer-specific selections. In the process, users gain a clearer understanding of your products and connect with them on a deeper emotional level.

Product configurators are nothing without the Configure Price Quote (CPQ) product rules that govern how they operate. When cleverly constructed, CPQ product rules provide businesses with many game-changing benefits. These include:

  • Eliminating human error: CPQ product rules prevent users from configuring technically or financially nonviable products. Fewer mistakes mean fewer delays, returns, and chargebacks and increased customer retention and satisfaction.
  • Simplified sales processes: Reps no longer have to learn an entire product catalog to provide expert-level customer service. They simply follow the rules. New hires can be brought up to speed in days, and sales cycles shortened dramatically.
  • Enhanced collaboration between sales and engineering: No more back-of-a-napkin sketches, no more communication breakdowns, no more back-and-forth between the customer, sales, and engineering. All the relevant product information is captured upfront and disseminated to each party in a language they understand.
  • Larger order values: CPQ product rules guide users through calibrated questions and prompts that push for upsells, cross-sells, and more profitable deals.

10 Types of CPQ Product Rules

Ten types of CPQ product rules define how product configurators behave when users interact with the interface (clicking around, checking boxes,

entering data into fields, etc.) The possibilities are endless when CPQ product rules are assembled in different combinations.

    1. Message CPQ Product Rules: Message CPQ product rules transfer data along two key pathways. The first is between your product configurator and the web page that contains it. For example, once a user submits their configuration, the web page displays a “thank you” message. The second route is between your 3D scene and its configurator. For instance, if a user clicks on a 3D object, the configurator displays a new page.
    1. Loaded CPQ Product Rules: Loaded CPQ product rules execute only when your product configurator initially loads. If you have different user roles with varying user privileges, then loaded CPQ product rules come in handy. For example, you can stipulate that sales executives gain access to specific discount options that lower-level sales reps don’t see.


    1. Naming CPQ Product Rules: Naming CPQ product rules are used to change a configured product’s name or add detailed contextual information. If you use smart part numbers, for example, then these rules ensure that the correct number is assigned to all configured products.


    1. Page Changed CPQ Product Rules: Page Changed CPQ product rules apply each time a user clicks to change a page. Therefore, their effects are wide-ranging, encompassing everything from changing a product color to shifting a camera angle.


    1. Pricing CPQ Product Rules: Pricing CPQ product rules govern price calculation as users make changes within the product configurator. Pricing CPQ product rules can be broken down into “price items,” including discount percentage, labor cost, lead time, weight, and various other custom rules. Price items can then serve as BOMs for configured products.
    1. Submit CPQ Product Rules: Submit CPQ product rules execute when users submit their finished work in your product configurator. Such rules might specify that a product should be saved and added to a quote, for example, or that the UI should close.
    1. Validation CPQ Product Rules: Validation CPQ product rules identify problems with configured products and communicate them to users. If a user enters a value into a field that exceeds the threshold (trying to add three wheels to a motorbike, for example), validation CPQ product rules can label the field as invalid, add a message to describe the problem, or offer to “fix” the problem for the user.


    1. Value CPQ Product Rules: Value CPQ product rules change or fill out fields according to your business logic. Calculating the volume of a cube once a user has entered height, width, and depth into the relevant fields is an everyday use case, but these rules get as sophisticated as you need them.


    1. Visibility CPQ Product Rules: Visibility CPQ product rules govern which options are shown/hidden or enabled/disabled according to your business needs. Sometimes, specific options become irrelevant once others have been selected—if your user opts to configure a motorbike instead of a car, you don’t need to ask them for tire options on wheels three and four.
    1. Resize CPQ Product Rules: Resize CPQ product rules are executed whenever a browser window containing your product configurator changes in size. This might happen when a user switches devices, rotates their screen, or reduces the size of their tab. Under such circumstances, you might want to change the number of options or sizes of icons to improve the user experience.