February 20, 2018

Introduction to Salesforce CPQ: Your Questions Answered

EMPAUA Salesforce Partner

CPQ has received a lot of attention recently however the amount of information out there is rather limited. There are some misconceptions and secrecy around the product that prevents its massification.That’s why we're answering 5 questions about CPQ that hopefully will shed some light about this powerful tool.

What is CPQ?

Let's start with the most basic question, the acronym CPQ stands for Configure, Price and Quote. We sometimes picture this tool as the journey that the sales rep undertakes from the configuration of the products to the signing of the offer. Going more into detail: Configure takes care of the multiple product options, features and setups that are available in our product catalog. This means full flexibility when creating offers. Two good examples of this section are Bundles and Guided Selling. Price can be difficult in Sales Cloud, luckily, CPQ comes to fill up the gap. There are so many things one can do with the pricing model such us bulk discounts, time periods discounts (i.e. apply a percentage from the second year of the contract), give away units, account level discounts, etc. Also, different pricing levels can be established along the supply chain, such us partner and distributor discounts. Quote: this feature adds even more flexibility to the quote-to-cash process. Making use of workflows, the quote document can be created and sent in just a few clicks and at the same time remain super flexible to edit.Extra documents such as presentations or brochures can be attached, as well as e-signature.[caption id="attachment_492" align="aligncenter" width="952"]

Automate your CPQ billing processes with Salesforce Lightning. Source: salesforce.com[/caption]

What are the CPQ benefits for the admins?

Setting up CPQ can be difficult, it isn't a walk in the park. There are countless things to consider in the process but once everything is done, maintaining it is much easier than the regular sales process. To name a few of my favorites features:

  • One template fits all: Say goodbye to countless templates in different languages, with or without watermark, with minor changes in the terms and conditions, etc. All that and much more can be tackle within the quote object and rules can be established that increase the efficiency of the process.
  • One price book for the whole organisation: Let’s say your company sells laptops and peripherals. With the right product rules, you can restrict to the sales team in the UK only the right keyboard option or power outlets. This means less errors and time spent while quoting.
  • Point-and-click-administration: All the configuration in CPQ can be done without coding, following Salesforce’s filosophy.
  • Approvals rules: These got a step further, providing more flexibility in the configuration and the same level of transparency.

What is the most challenging part for the admins?

As usual, introducing something new to the system generates certain resistance from the users. This will vary based on the culture of the company, the level of changes to be implemented and also the change management strategy. When implementing CPQ, the involvement of all key players at the early stage of the planning is crucial, this will reduce the amount of “small changes” when deploying the tool. In addition, training and feedback sessions are key when dealing with resistance. Make use of champions in each team and highlight always the benefits of the new process. Less time doing paperwork means more time selling.

Which companies benefit from CPQ?

  • Subscription based models: There represents one of the biggest improvements in the Sales Cloud. Offers can be split by time periods such years, months, etc or recurring and one time fees. Detailed information about the contract can also be distributed easily.
  • Basic products and new features: Companies that have, for example, an app or system that is basic and constantly releases new add ons or versions would benefit from this tool. As the configuration of the offer by the sales rep is easier thanks to the guided selling, this reduces the learning curve of the team when new items are added to the catalog.

Lastly, companies with a big budget for CRM as the pricing is not on the cheap side.

What are the CPQ pricing models and licenses values?

According to Salesforce there are 3 different options to choose from: TypeCPQCPQ+CPQ + BillingFeaturesProduct Catalog, Selection, and ConfigurationGuided SellingBundles and Nested ConfigurationPricing and Discount ManagementDocument GenerationContract & Subscription ManagementBasic Order ManagementCPQ to Service Cloud IntegrationAdvanced Approvals**All CPQ Edition features plus:Advanced ApprovalsAdvanced Order Management3rd Party Portal / Website**CPQ Self Service via Customer Community**CPQ Self Service via Partner Community** c**All CPQ+ Edition features plus:Advanced Billing ConfigurationInvoice Consolidation and GroupingUsage Rating & ProcessingRecurring and On-Demand InvoicingAutomated Payment CollectionAccounts Receivables ManagementAllocating and Re-allocating Cash ApplicationsRevenue RecognitionPrice$ 75USD/month/user*(billed annually)$ 150USD/month/user*(billed annually)Custom* All per user products require an annual contract. 10 user minimum.** Available at an additional cost.Source: https://www.salesforce.com/products/quote-to-cash/pricing/ Once again, this is just an introduction to the CPQ universe. More information will follow in next posts, including tips, experiences and ways to improve the current set up.About the Author: Federico is a Senior Salesforce Consultant at EMPAUA. Haling from Argentina, Fede's been using SFDC for over 4 years. Outside of work, Fede is an experienced runner and hobby chef.Header Source: Mike Kononov, unsplash.com

Tell us what you'd like to know about CPQ in the comments below:

Salesforce Partner EMPAUA

We create solutions that drive your business success.
Salesforce Partner EMPAUA

Do you need Salesforce support?

Request a Consultation and let our experts advise you.

Want to join the team?

Take a look at our job openings and be part of our mission.

Explore more articles