At BrightGen, we’ve been implementing Salesforce solutions for over a decade. One of the more popular products we implement is a Salesforce CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) solution. This has now been incorporated into Revenue Cloud. If you want a beginner’s guide to CPQ, read Siddhesh Kabe’s more recent blog.
CPQ sounds great – but is it right for you, and your business?
CPQ – by its very nature – is complicated. 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 worthwhile.
We’ve collected some Q&A to help you assess whether CPQ fits your business.
What is CPQ?
Configure-Price-Quote is the term for a process that leads up to generating a sales proposal. This is for companies selling complex products or services.
Put yourself in the Sales user’s shoes. They have an interest from a potential customer or a specific detailed opportunity. 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. They apply 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 allows you to update a price and see that 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. The tool is designed for guided selling – it is not an e-commerce platform.
Do you offer discounts?
For bulk discounts, package discounts or other price incentives as part of quote building, CPQ does this for you.
Do your sales users complain about the sales process?
If your users say they could sell more if they could get through the process quicker, 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, CPQ may not fit your needs. A sales process that follows the same structure for most customers is a perfect fit.
Do you sell subscriptions?
CPQ is also fantastic for supporting subscription selling. Salesforce Quote-to-Cash has built in subscription support, including contract amendments and renewals. It has 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?
You can configure CPQ to apply these prices automatically for the account. That way you no longer have to manually update from the standard price list.
Do you have a supervised sales process with approvals escalated before a quote can progress?
You can configure CPQ 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, you can report on the sales cycle at any time and any stage. You do not have to wait for your Sales users to update you. The tool 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. It integrates 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, it could give you the competitive advantage.
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, we would recommend a brief assessment call.
Benefits in brief
Improved customer & employee experience
CPQ makes the selling process more simple for the user. In turn, that has a positive effect on the customer experience. The sales user can 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 tailoring it, and then reap the rewards. In most cases it is quick to implement, easy to update and can grow and develop with your business.
Better visibility and control
Compared to using spreadsheets 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.
An extra tip 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.
CPQ is native to Salesforce. So any existing Salesforce users will almost always benefit from it. It interacts seamlessly with the rest of the platform. Additionally, you get all the standard functionality of Salesforce, including Dashboards and Reporting, Lightning Experience, Mobile compatibility.
Salesforce Quote-to-Cash also differentiates itself from some CPQ solutions by integrating with billing for even greater efficiency.
See our Salesforce AppExchange listing for more information on our customer ratings and projects completed.