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Siddhesh Kabe is one of BrightGen’s technical leads, who knows his way around CPQ. We asked Siddhesh to write about his experience and provide our readers with a quick beginner’s guide to CPQ.
Siddhesh has a rock solid, award winning 12 years of consulting, training, designing, developing and advocating Salesforce platform. He is a certified implementation expert and believes that with enough coffee, anything can be hacked into.
My first brush with a CPQ software was with a global insurance company before Salesforce offered any CPQ solution. Looking at an external quote configured to generate quotes for a customer, the insurance company had close to 4,000 different product configurations spread across five brands. They provided additional services, such as replacement vehicles for breakdowns and emergency plumbing services for house insurance. On top of that, they had a convoluted discounting routine which started from marketing discounts (based on many TV adverts), partner discounts to ‘i-kinda-liked-the-customer-that-one-time’ sales agent discount.
The company used Salesforce for their customer service – a vanilla service cloud implementation that included social media monitoring. We ended up recommending them an ISV implemented CPQ solution that helped them shape up the sales cycle. At that time, the customer had expressed regret that if only salesforce had natively built CPQ solution.
Today, that regret has vanished! Salesforce does offer native CPQ solution as part of its Revenue Cloud offering. Before we delve into the details, let’s take a step back and understand what a CPQ is?
CPQ is an unimaginative short form of Configure Price Quote. This software solution, now bundled with Salesforce Revenue Cloud, allows us to configure products based on product rules, apply accurate pricing based on pricing rules and finally generate error-free quotes. Using CPQ software enables an organisation to have shorter sales cycles, faster and error-free quotes, a higher close rate and increase revenues.
Product Configurator in Salesforce CPQ provides features such as Search Filters and Guided Selling. These allow us to search and identify the unique combinations of products and services according to the Customer’s needs.
Use the product to configure a bundle with a specific set of selectable options using Product Options and Product Features. You can also set dependent products or restrict exclusions using Option Constraints.
Configure different Product Rules, to ensure that only valid combinations of options and features are selected, and the system prompts error messages or warnings while selecting incompatible products.
This allows the sales team to focus on their strengths, sell products and close more deals, instead of wasting time figuring out the combinations.
Salesforce CPQ pricing engine calculates accurate pricing of the products added to the quote, based on the PriceBook values and pre-configured set of various pricing rules. The sales user can also use the intuitive Quote Line Editor that allows users to easily adjust the price of a specific product by applying Manual Discounts either in flat amounts or in percentage values.
You can also set volume or term discounts using Discount Schedules and configure them using Price Rules. CPQ ensures that the pricing is accurate and optimised. No one wins if the sales user is stuck on the field doing maths.
Revenue Cloud also comes with additional feature packages like Advance Approvals that allow parallel approvals and auto-approval rules. This process speeds up the entire sales cycle, and the sales user can be confident of the sale as it runs through the approval cycle.
The quoting process allows users to use fully customizable, pre-configured Quote Templates, Template Sections, Template Contents and Line Columns. This will generate professional-looking quotes and proposals, containing all the products, along with their pricing. Quotes are company branded, have billing and shipping information and product-specific terms and conditions. The sales user does not have to waste time aligning the quote templates and can send it to the Customer with just one click.
The parting thought is this: CPQ software can automate a lot of time-consuming and repetitive tasks for the sales team. You can use this along with your favourite features of the CRM and create a comprehensive and robust solution. And this is just the primary offering of the revenue cloud.
After many years, I met my Insurance Client last year at the Salesforce world tour. The sales team were happy and did not have to ruffle through complex spreadsheets to work out discounts. There was uniformity of quotes and streamlined their sales processes. He expressed that he cannot imagine a time when they never used a CPQ.
Want help implementing CPQ at your organisation? Get in touch.
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