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Salesforce CPQ Implementation – Best Practices

September 26, 2023

Table of Contents

    Instantly generating quotes is no piece of cake. Understanding the client’s requirements, projecting the bandwidth, and planning the availability of resources consumes a lot of time.

    When the scale of projects is large, it is vital to recognize all the essential related factors and include them in your Quote. From collecting upfront data to drafting quotes with pricing rules, Sales managers & reps are responsible for ensuring everything stays on track.

    Fortunately, with the presence of Salesforce as a popular CRM platform, businesses can deploy CPQ in their Sales operations. This tool is specially designed to promote the B2B industry and Salesforce Sales Cloud to automate and boost your sales process.

    Salesforce CPQ has recently turned out to be of more use. Want to know why? The answer to this is the partnership of automation and innovation, which is helping companies quote accurate prices for different ranges of products via CPQ software.

    What else can organizations do with Salesforce CPQ Implementation? Find out everything in this guide.

    What Is Salesforce CPQ?

    In 2015, Salesforce acquired Steelbrik, later improvised by Salesforce with the name of Salesforce CPQ, which works well with the Salesforce CRM.

    Salesforce CPQ or Configure, Price, and Quote software is a sales tool that empowers the sales team to provide accurate pricing information for any product or service-related configuration scenario. CPQ applications consider factors like account optional features, quantities, customizations, discounts, etc., and prepare the price quote quickly and precisely. CPQ, being a cloud-based platform, provides an added advantage to access it from any location.

    To know more in detail about what is Salesforce CPQ, its features, and pricing, read our previous blog.

    Salesforce CPQ Implementation Partners

    Stats and Industries Representing the Significance of Salesforce CPQ

    Salesforce CPQ, a cloud-based software, is a key player in the Configure-Price-Quote landscape, catering to a diverse range of industries across the globe.

    Stats about Salesforce CPQ

    In 2023, it boasts a clientele of over 3,001 companies, with the United States accounting for 68.54% of its customer base. Prominent industries relying on Salesforce CPQ include Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Retail, and Financial Services.

    Some major platform users include Exxon Mobil, Apple, CVS Health, IBM, and Cisco. Impressively, this tool serves over 1 million users worldwide.

    Geographically, Salesforce CPQ has made a significant impact, with the USA leading at 59% adoption, followed by the UK and France at 16.5% and 4.6%, respectively. Notably, the Professional Operations sector comprises 29.2% of customers, while Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Retail also feature prominently.

    The utility of Salesforce CPQ shines through diverse industry applications:

    • Consumer Goods: Empowers complex product catalog management, dynamic pricing, and branded proposals.
    • Media: Facilitates digital and physical product sales, subscription management, and multi-channel distribution.
    • Retail: Enables personalized recommendations, online-offline integration, and tailored promotions.
    • Energy: Streamlines complex sales, contract management, and pricing optimization for energy solutions.
    • Financial Services: Enhances diverse product sales, risk management, and value-added solutions.
    • Public Sector: Streamlines procurement processes, fosters transparency, and enhances citizen engagement.
    • Education: Supports course sales, enrollment management, and student support in educational institutions.
    • Healthcare: Simplifies medical product sales, patient billing, and quality healthcare delivery.
    • Nonprofit: Facilitates fundraising, grant management, and impact reporting for nonprofit organizations.

    Remarkably, companies using Salesforce CPQ report an average revenue of $1 billion and an impressive 200% ROI, underlining its pivotal role in boosting operational efficiency and profitability across sectors. With its wide-ranging applications and proven impact, Salesforce CPQ remains a pivotal asset for businesses worldwide.

    Tips for Successful Salesforce CPQ Implementation

    how to Implement Salesforce CPQ

    Every business must be cautious in setting prices and creating quotes because you must be adequately entertained to avoid encountering too many implications.

    It would be best to have expert advice to ensure that Salesforce CPQ implementation is easy and successful for your business. You can always rely on the Salesforce Implementation Services, who not only take over the entire implementation process but will ensure there is no room for errors during the process.

    Quote generation has become one of the most crucial functions the sales team performs as it requires providing industry-level customer experience with deep personalization.

    Refer to these CPQ implementation tips to install Salesforce CPQ correctly in your system and avail yourself of all the benefits that come along:

    1. Know More About Customers’ Needs

    The customer is the king. Once you know their behavior, needs, and problems, you can serve them what they are searching for. Unlike other available software, Salesforce CPQ enters with tailored solutions for the different needs of the sales team, which ultimately help them offer the best experience to their customers.

    These are some questions that will provide you a better ground for defining customer and CPQ implementation needs for your business:

    • What Product or service is influencing the buying pattern of the customer?
    • Do my customers prefer purchasing bundled services or a la carte offerings?
    • Is my customer base constrained to a specific location, or Can my business plan for a global implementation strategy for the international consumer?
    • What bottlenecks are present in the current process that cause delays?

    2. Invest In Automation Of Workflows

    Faster generation of accurate, customized sales quotes directly impacts the sales team’s productivity. It takes hours or sometimes a couple of days to perform cumbersome admin tasks, which later slows down the lead conversion process, and you might lose a good client.

    Once the implementation goes well, Salesforce CPQ takes care of a lot of tasks:

    • Speed up the quote generation process
    • Automation of workflows like sending follow-up emails and approval processes
    • Manages contract renewal to eliminate deficiencies in the process.
    • Accelerate revenue generation
    • Increase productivity.

    With concrete CPQ implementation, your sales team can generate quotes with 10x speed and land maximum clients to your business.

    3. Keep Your Prices Consistent And Dependable

    Facing pricing errors can put all your hard work at risk of offering customer satisfaction. It can directly impact your profit margins, the sales team’s performance, and your organization’s reputation in the market. Another challenge is to keep up with frequently changing pricing rules, and this variability might contradict the customer’s interest.

    Your CPQ should be capable of establishing proper pricing rules and taking your customer immediately to active offers and discount options. This will make your pricing appear consistent and trustable throughout customer interactions.

    4. Put Faith In The Concept Of Guided Selling, Cross-selling, And Upselling

    Two efficacious techniques for extending the size of a deal and opening up more opportunities for revenue collection are Cross-selling and upselling.

    It would become more accessible for Sales agents to connect with customers when they have a guided sales process, including customer needs-based questions and a proper catalog of customizable products and services.

    Businesses can benefit from guided selling capabilities that list products, upgrades, and prime price recommendations per the buyer’s requirements.

    5. Get Acquainted With The Deployed CPQ

    Understanding the CPQ solution is crucial, especially for your Sales team, or all this can be in vain.

    Once you get acquainted with the features & true potentialities of CPQ solutions, your team will be more driven to utilize them to increase accuracy, productivity, and revenue.

    With the implementation of the new solution, there will be inevitable challenges in getting familiar with processes, functions, and tools. And you couldn’t agree less that providing training and support is far better than dealing with the bumps coming along the way in carrying out the proper sales process with CPQ.

    Salesforce CPQ Implementation: Step-by-step Guide

    1. Firstly, we have to install CPQ Packages in our Salesforce org.

    For installing the CPQ Package in your org:

    A. Go to https://install.steelbrick.com/ then click on the Salesforce CPQ Summer 23 Production/Sandbox (according to users org) link.

    install CPQ Packages in our Salesforce org  1

    B. Clicking on this will take you to the login page of the Salesforce org. Please log in to the org where you wish to configure the CPQ.

    C. We can observe the installation of the configured CPQ onto the org by clicking on the Quick Find box > Packaging > Installed Packages.

    installation of the configured CPQ 2

    2. Configure the CPQ settings within the org.

    A. Click on configure in the installed packages of CPQ. A Setting editor page of Salesforce CPQ will be displayed.

    Configure the CPQ settings 3

    B. According to the requirements, additional settings will be configured into the package.

    3. Steps to configure

    A. We have to create an Account Record for the customer.

    create an Account Record 4

    B. Create an Opportunity related to the Account. While creating Opportunity, you should fill in the PriceBookID of the PriceBook you want to add because the Price Book on Quote is taken from Opportunity.

    Create an Opportunity 5

    C. Create different Product records according to the requirement of the User

    For Ex. The User wants a Tablet Product, so for the Quoting process, we need to create a Product record for this.

    Create different Product records 6

    These steps should be done on the Product :

    • Create a Price Book for each Product, which is a related list on each Product object.
      Create a Price Book 7
    • Choose which type of Price Method should be applied to the Product; this field is present on the Product
      Price Method 8

    D. Create a Quote record by clicking the ‘NEW QUOTE’ button on the Opportunity record. You should create a Primary Quote by clicking on the Primary checkbox on the Quote record at the time of creation.

    Create a Quote record 9

    E. Click the Edit lines button to add the Product to the Quote. Edit lines are the Quote Lines in CPQ. By clicking on Edit Line, it will redirect to the QuoteLine Configuration page.

    Click the Edit lines 10

    F. To add products to the Quote, click the Add product button on the QuoteLine Configuration page; this will redirect to the Product Selection Page, where we can add Products to the Quote based on user requirements. By checking the checkbox on the Product, then click on the Select button.

    Product Selection Page 11

    G. By clicking on the Select button, it will redirect to the QuoteLine configuration page. All the quote lines are saved with the Quote by clicking the Save button.

    Quote Line configuration

    H. After successfully creating the Quote and Quote Lines, we must order the Quote. Order will be generated by checking the Quote layout’s checkbox related to the Quote record.
    Quote record 13

    Quote record 14

    I. After creating an Order, we will contract this order status as active the order and check the contract checkbox on the Order record.

    Order record 15

    J. Contract is only created if there is at least one Product in Quote, which should be a subscription product, and a non-subscription product is converted into an asset attached to the Account. A contract is related to the order record.

    Product in Quote 16

    G. There are two main functionalities after creating a contract :
    Amendment: Amend your contracts when a customer wants to add new products or change products that you’ve quoted or sold.

    Steps for creation of Amendment:

    • To create an amendment quote, click Amend on your Contract or Amend Contract on your Opportunity.
    • Salesforce CPQ creates an amendment opportunity and amendment quote.
    • The amendment quote contains all the products from the order you contracted. You can adjust the quantities of these products or add new products.

    2. Renewal: Renew your Contract when your Contract is close to end Date

    Steps for creation of Renewal of Contract:

    1 . Check the Renewal forecast checkbox on the Contract. This will create a Renewal opportunity.

    Renewal forecast checkbox 17

    2 . Check the Renewal Quote checkbox on Contract. This will create a Renewal Quote.

    create a Renewal Quote 18

    Common Mistakes To Avoid During Salesforce CPQ Implementation

    Success is not the result of overnight efforts; it’s a combination of some successful attempts and overcoming a lot of mistakes. Achieving successful Salesforce CPQ implementation is what you desire, but it’s also necessary to deal with potential challenges and overcome them to disseminate the risks. Some of them are:

    mistakes to avoid during Salesforce CPQ Implementation

    1. Lack of Collaboration

    It is a common challenge that every business might face during the implementation of Salesforce CPQ, i.e., getting the full participation of all the departments. In lack of collaboration, it will become dismaying for CPQ software to assemble all the essential information. Mostly, demand and supply prevailing in the market are all looked forward to by the Sales Manager and reps, and the marketing department handling which offers and discounts should go on the floor regularly. Another important department is finance, which manages all the inflow and outflow of funds. What makes it all work is the active involvement of all the concerned employees from all these departments.

    2. Putting Irrelevant Data To Use

    The success of Salesforce CPQ implementation can only be derived when the relevant data gets utilized to its fullest extent. Accessing concise, updated, and well-maintained data is not always possible. The same scenario goes for configured data, as the information stored belongs to past years, making data look less trustworthy from the company’s viewpoint. The sales team must always be well-equipped with the updated product catalog and pricing to prepare the quotes accordingly and provide clients with faster and more accurate services.

    3. Breaking The Perception Of The Quoting

    A complete CPQ includes detailed product info and pricing. CPQ covers Configure, Pricing, and Quoting. Sales involve Pre and post-phases. Pre-sales personalize quotes with branding, orders, bundles, and pricing rules. Post-sales handle contracts, updates, renewals, and subscriptions. Both phases demand attentive customer treatment by Sales Managers & reps to maintain loyalty.

    Salesforce CPQ Implementation Services

    Real-World Use Cases of Salesforce CPQ

    Explore real-world scenarios where businesses leverage Salesforce CPQ to gain from a sales tool delivering precise pricing for any product configuration:

    Business OverviewImpact on business after implementing CPQ by Salesforce

    This business has expertise in developing mechanical movement and power management products for various industries, such as IT servers, Consumer Appliances, and data centers.

    Challenges Faced

    The client was facing the following challenges:

    1. Create region-based pricing management — They were facing an issue where they wanted different prices for different regions to charge according to local pricing and local currency without repeatedly selecting prices for different products in multiple regions.
    2. Customer-based pricing — The client wanted to charge different prices to different customers based on the customer relationship. For, if a customer is permanent, he will automatically get a discount, whereas the other customers will be charged the regular price.
    3. Custom quotes & Customizable terms management — Their high-priority requirement list included custom quotes with customizable terms to be managed. They wanted fully customizable terms where they could use a single quote with different terms for different customers to reduce the redundancy of quote templates.
    4. Approval for discounts — The client wanted a system wherein they had total control over the limits of discounts offered to customers, so if a salesperson exceeds the approved discount limit, they will need approval from higher authorities. Approval depends on the discount, so the level of approvals may vary.

    Solutions Offered

    We implemented the following solution to overcome the above challenges for our client:

    1. PriceBook & Region dependency — Implemented the different prices for the different regions so that when the Region of the salesperson changes, he will see product prices accordingly, and the salesperson in one Region can not see other regions’ price books.
    2. Contracted Pricing — We have provided a solution such that when a permanent customer comes, he will get a discount based on his subscription with the company. In contrast, all the other customers will be charged based on the regular price.
    3. Customizable Terms on Quote — Provided a lightning component using which the salesperson can change terms for each Account or choose from the predefined terms set. These quote templates are created on visual force pages, so quotes are colorful now and fully customizable according to quote type.
    4. Advance Approval — If a sales guy discounts a product more than the allowed discount limit, an approval request will be initiated and can go up to a certain level depending on the discount.

    Results delivered

    1. Reduced time elapsed in managing products by 80%
    2. Faster Checkouts resulted in increased completed purchases by 80%
    3. Faster Quote Generation by 40%
    4. Reduced time elapsed in managing discounts by 90%

    Wrapping Up!

    With Salesforce CPQ, your sales team can quickly generate and provide accurate and reliable quotations. Cyntexa is one of the best partners for a successful Salesforce CPQ implementation in your existing systems. The sales process will be streamlined and help gain total control over it.

    When you implement Salesforce CPQ for the first time, our experts understand there will be a significant learning curve. As a result, we expedite implementation and assist your in-house teams in becoming acquainted with the implementation’s usability.

    For more information, book a call with our experts today.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Salesforce CPQ or Configure, Price, and Quote. This CPQ solution supports the sales team in generating accurate quotes and eliminates the existential redundancies in the current sales process. Tools available in Salesforce CPQ can optimize features like customizations, optional functions, quantities, and discounts and enable the sales team to curate sales quotes concisely and quickly.

    Industries that use Salesforce CPQ include Information Technology & Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Education Management, Financial Services, Marketing & Advertising, retail, life sciences, etc.

    CPQ software is used as a sales tool by an organization's sales team. They frequently use it for faster quote generation with complete accuracy for the orders received by the customers. Quotes generated by CPQ software are automatically directed towards a pre-programmed set of rules guaranteeing error-free pricing. Salesforce CPQ blends well with CRM & CLM platforms, ERP software, and other business-related software that lets businesses integrate to maintain data accuracy.

    CPQ implementation brings many benefits to a business, such as enhanced productivity, perfection in quoting process, complete control over the pricing of products and services, and the improved ability to create more customized quotes. This CPQ solution provides businesses with insightful information like customer preferences, behavior, etc.

    Salesforce CPQ implementation is the tool that brings advancement in your existing sales process and encourages your Sales team in directing their focus on more productive tasks. Making this happen requires a justified amount of time which varies from business to business. When we talk about small-scale businesses having fewer complexities, implementation can take a couple of weeks. But when it’s medium or large-scale businesses with high complexities, a couple of months must be required for successful implementation.

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