At BrightGen, we’ve been implementing Salesforce solutions for over a decade. One of the more recent products we’ve started to implement is a Salesforce CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) solution previously known as Steelbrick, and now referred to as Salesforce Quote-to-Cash.
We recently hosted a Webinar, ‘Salesforce Quote-to-Cash Unravelled’ which you can find here here on-demand, and tells you everything you need to know about how the Configure-Price-Quote solution from Salesforce works in practice. It includes a live demo of Salesforce Quote-to-Cash in action hosted by one of our specialist CPQ Consultants, Gavin Palmer.
From speaking to our customers and from the questions during the webinar, there has been a definite pattern to the information you’re looking for. CPQ sounds great - but is it right for you, and your business?
CPQ by its very nature is complicated, because when used in the right way it absorbs all these complications for users and presents a simple working solution. Therefore, a variety of factors can come together to make the investment in CPQ worthwhile.
So we’ve put together a little Q&A to help you make an initial assessment of whether CPQ might be a good fit for you and your business.
First things first - what is CPQ?
In brief, Configure-Price-Quote is the term for a process that leads up to generating a sales proposal for companies selling complex products or services.
In our on-demand webinar, Gavin uses the example of a company selling computers and related products to other businesses. You can put yourself in the Sales users shoes - they have an interest from a potential customer or a specific detailed opportunity, and the CPQ tool walks them through the sales cycle. They start with everything available and gradually filter down, offering only compatible products as the cycle moves on, or applying discounts at different stages, or when certain circumstances become true - like a bulk buy. There are even nudges to upsell.
CPQ and You
If you answer yes to any of the below questions, CPQ could be a benefit for your business.
Do you regularly add promotions or change prices and have to filter that information throughout the business?
CPQ would allow you to update a price and see that immediately filtered to all users without the need for a memo. You could also add a short term discount, for example at the end of the month, that you then remove again
Do you sell to other businesses?
Whatever you sell, B2B Sales processes are the most CPQ compatible. CPQ is designed for guided selling, and it should be noted that it is not an e-commerce platform
Does your sales process involve building packages, and matching products?
In the BrightComputers case study in the webinar, Gavin uses the example of choosing a US or UK keyboard while purchasing your laptop, or a compliant power adaptor
Do you offer discounts?
If you offer bulk discounts, package discounts or other price incentives as part of your quote building, then CPQ can take the pain out of this for you
Do your sales users complain about the sales process?
If a regular comment from your users is that they could sell more if they could get through the process quicker then CPQ could help. Especially if they comment that there are repetitive and laborious stages to the quoting!
Is your sales process structured?
If your sales process is completely different for every interaction and every customer, it may be difficult to fit CPQ to your needs. But a sales process that follows the same structure for most customers is a perfect fit for CPQ
Do you sell subscriptions?
CPQ is also fantastic for supporting subscription selling because Salesforce Quote-to-Cash has built in subscription support, including contract amendments and renewals, with support for a large number of the complexities that come along with this
Do you have customers with their own unique prices or contract terms?
CPQ can be configured to apply these prices automatically for the Account rather than having to manually update from the standard price list
Do you have a supervised sales process with approvals escalated before a quote can progress?
CPQ can be configured to automatically escalate for approval when certain conditions are met - and approvals bounce straight back too
Do you need management to have visibility of sales at different points in the process?
Using CPQ and standard Salesforce functionality like Dashboards, you can report on the sales cycle at any time and any stage rather than requiring all your Sales users to update you. CPQ provides a full breakdown of all stages of pricing, including the list price and any discounts given
Do you send out a standard document during the quoting process?
CPQ includes a document generation engine, with configurable templates, that populate automatically. This can even be integrated with various e-Signature providers to allow simplicity and speed in the contracting process
Is getting a quote out as quickly as possible a competitive advantage for you?
The aim of CPQ is to increase efficiency and help your team get quotes out faster, so if this is a benefit for you then CPQ could give you the competitive advantage
If you answer yes to any of these questions, your business could benefit from CPQ and we would recommend a brief assessment call. Set up an assessment call with Gavin.
Benefits in brief
Improved Customer & Employee Experience
CPQ is designed to make the selling process more simple for the user, which in turn has a positive effect on the customer experience. The sales user is able to focus their attention on the customer interaction, identify opportunities and provide a far superior service.
Customisable to meet your needs
CPQ is a fully customisable solution by design - the intention is that you invest some time at the beginning getting it right for your needs, and then reap the rewards. However - in most cases it is also very quick to implement, easy to update and can grow and develop with your business.
Better visibility and control
Compared to using spreadsheets - often multiple - and other reference information, the business has increased control of the quoting order and process. This provides greater visibility, easier reporting and has a reduced risk of user error.
A word on Salesforce Quote-to-Cash
We are unashamedly big fans of Salesforce at BrightGen, and the CPQ solution from Salesforce, ‘Quote-to-Cash’ is no exception.
Being native to Salesforce, it will almost always be the best fit for any existing Salesforce users as it’s familiar and interacts seamlessly with the rest of the platform. But more than this, you get all the standard functionality of Salesforce, including Dashboards and Reporting, Lightning Experience, Mobile compatibility and three yearly release updates.
Salesforce Quote-to-Cash also differentiates itself from some CPQ solutions by integrating with billing for even greater efficiency.
Check out the Webinar on demand to find out more about Salesforce Quote-to-Cash