CPQ stands for configure, price, and quote. Put simply, it’s a solution for organizing your products, outlining price, and delivering specific quotes based on customer choices.
If you’re just getting started with Salesforce CPQ or looking for Salesforce CPQ implementation help, you’ve come to the right place.
We put our brains together and decided on the top five things you’ll want to consider before implementing Salesforce CPQ. It’s a complex tool, but we’ll break it down into manageable parts so we’re not left eating the whole elephant in one bite. Let’s get started.
1. Define Your Ideal Sales Process.
What’s your sales process today? Does your team know it and use it to guide their actions? If not, take some time to map it out. Planning is the key to making a new solution the right solution for your team.
As part of this step, you’ll want to answer what’s prompting you to consider Salesforce CPQ. Most likely, there’s some pain around your current process and that’s why. If so, and as unpleasant as it may be, get in tune with the pain your team is having.
Once you do this upfront, it’ll be easier to solve for it and build a sustainable solution that can scale with your business. It’s also a surefire way to get buy-in from your team by engaging them in the process early on.
Here’s something you may not hear other consultants say — and they really ought to because it can mean the difference between success and feeling like no one is happy after implemention — if you don’t identify, discuss, and solve for current pain with your Salesforce partner, then implementation will only make that pain worse. Not only will it continue to exist in your process, but it will also have a complex tool layered on top of it.
It’s worth the time and effort at the beginning of the project to secure the right solution in the long run. Find a partner who can help shape that dialogue and your users will benefit over the long run.
2. Define What Problems You’re Trying to Solve.
Once you’ve mapped out your ideal sales process and become familiar with the pain points your team is facing, then it’s time to decide if CPQ is the right solution for your needs. If you offer subscription products, bundle many of your products, or give complex volume or tiered discounts, then it just may be.
To make a better-informed decision, check out this resource that walks you through the decision process and includes a visual comparison of the Salesforce standard quoting tool versus CPQ.
If your products are fairly straight forward, you simply need branded quote templates, or you haven’t tried the standard quoting solutions yet, then CPQ might not be right for your needs. The good news? There’s some great functionality inside Salesforce that you can harness for your team! We’ll be happy to help you identify what would work well for your organization and implement that, too.
3. Be realistic about your expectations.
It’s good at this time in the process to determine what successful implementation looks like and make this definition achievable. Demos give you a taste of what’s possible. From there, it’s up to your Salesforce partner and your team of users to make the most of your new tools after installation.
You’ll want the right people on your team to lead this effort. Better yet if you can have a team of dedicated people partnering with your Salesforce consultants to ensure success.
Salesforce CPQ solutions are complex. Reddit user Maert uses car websites as a great example of the complex functionality required by some pricing models. The different trim options, service add-ons, and other choices can make the quote process a real beast behind the scenes. With CPQ, you can get your estimate quickly even with all the complex logic of if x then y and if y then not z.
You’ve probably had the experience yourself when car shopping online. If not, take five minutes to design your dream car online and watch as the different options shape your quote. It’s a great example of the complex pricing models CPQ is designed to handle.
With so many options and possibilities, CPQ configuration needs to support all of them. It’s hard to be simple and support that kind of complexity.
Harnessing your people power and managing expectations for your CPQ project can help keep things on track.
4. Define what will need to migrate into Salesforce.
Planning a successful CPQ project means looking at what’s working and not working in the current system. Like in math class, this is the time to show your messy work in order to get to the answer. We’ve already looked at pain points, but there’s also likely parts of the process that were working and that your team would want to keep.
It’s worth noting that even if you’re already using quotes in Salesforce, data migration is going to be needed. Knowing that data migration will be needed, it’s good to keep your customers in mind as well as your team of users.
5. Think about what your system will look like a year from now.
The goal when implementing and configuring Salesforce CPQ is to make your process as efficient and effective as possible. That’s why our approach means asking lots of questions and getting to the why.
In order to accomplish that goal, it’s important to think about what the system might look like a year from now. Do you have a renewal process? How will renewals be affected by this transition? It can be helpful to think about that early so you can test your renewal automation ahead of when it’s needed.
With CPQ implemented, maintenance shouldn’t be as much of a chore. Your business can grow, expand offerings, and have a CRM that scales with that growth. Getting the balance of customization and maintainability right can be the key to that sustainability.
Having a Salesforce partner who can help shape your thought process, dialogue, and user input can make or break a complex project like CPQ. Want to know how our approach can help foster your success and the health and happiness of your team? Contact us today and let’s chat about your business goals.
Alex has been with Cloud Giants since practically day one. She started as an intern while a student at nearby NC State University and has flourished at Cloud Giants as the company has grown too. An essential part of the team, Alex has moved from Customer Success Analyst to Lead Solutions Consultant and now, Senior Salesforce Consultant. You can get in touch with Alex by email or reach out to her on LinkedIn.