How does your business currently handle sales and service quotes? If you’re a small-medium sized business, there’s a good chance your quotes are being managed in word documents and spreadsheets. While there are still numerous business that opt for this antiquated method, it doesn’t provide the efficiency and scale required for fast-growing businesses.

So rather than getting left behind with inefficient sales processes, we’ve seen a multitude of Salesforce customers have begun adopting a more productive and accurate quoting process with Salesforce CPQ.

 

What is Salesforce CPQ?

Formerly Steelbrick CPQ, Salesforce CPQ is a “Quote-to-Cash” solution, built on the Salesforce platform, that quickly delivers quotes, contracts and invoices to your customers. It’s extremely customizable, can handle nearly all product configurations, and is 100% Lightning Ready.

 

Configure-Price-Quote tools like Salesforce CPQ are extremely valuable for those in fast-paced industries where speedy quotes are required, businesses that sell numerous product / service offerings, and complex sales processes that require extreme accuracy. CPQ tools simplify the quoting process for reps, allowing them to quickly eliminate unnecessary product selection based on customer requirements, receive product recommendations based on sales history, and automatically apply discounts based on sales models, all from a desktop or mobile device.

 

 

Once configured, the simplicity and accuracy is what makes Salesforce CPQ such a powerful quoting tool. However, we must not overlook the complexities that accompany implementation.

 

Platform Readiness / Best Practices

The first step to take to ensure a successful implementation is sufficient planning. Salesforce CPQ projects are commonly resource intensive and as a customer, you’ll need to dedicate time during the implementation in order to ensure the project’s success.

 

A major aspect of planning is determining the most effective time to begin implementation. There are several factors when selecting proper start and launch times such as product / service price changes, new product / service offerings, or even new version upgrades. The implementation dates for CPQ software are certainly related to launch dates.

 

Next, you should fully understand your current opportunity process and how quoting will attach to it. Outlines of the current or desired process, a strong understanding of the different product / service combinations, ensuring your product catalog is in order,  determining the hierarchy for approval processes, how are renewals contract amendments, and discounting handled, etc. Since clarity of the sales and quoting process is crucial during implementations, clear documentation, diagrams of potential configuration states as well as flowcharts related to the quoting process will only increase the likelihood of success.
Finally, make sure those using Salesforce CPQ are involved at some point in the process (this includes reps, managers and others willing to help test the system). Including power users during the project may help uncover any hidden procedures and it will allow the employee get familiar with the tool before training.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the application is going to be yours. This means you should have a good understanding of best practices of the platform, the consultant’s implementation process, and dedicate time throughout the project to learn the tool. As with most technologies, Salesforce CPQ is not something you can hand over to a consultant and allow them to take on the majority heavy lifting. Learning and hands-on training throughout the project will not only enhance your knowledge of Salesforce CPQ, but it will allow you to take complete ownership of the tool once the project is complete.

 

MondayCall recently hosted a webinar about the functionality, common questions, and how to get started with Salesforce CPQ. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions.