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Salesforce + CPQ: How the Right Partner Makes All the Difference

By Ann Armbrust 05.28.20

Picture this: You’re an accomplished, experienced and certified Salesforce Administrator. You know your team needs to be able to quickly and accurately generate quotes for orders within Salesforce. You’ve worked tirelessly to vet business requirements and selected Salesforce as your Configure Price Quote (CPQ) vendor of choice. You’ve done the Trailhead; you’ve implemented all standard configuration for your company and many complex business processes. So why would you need a partner to implement CPQ??

Let me tell you a little secret about CPQ: It looks like Salesforce. It smells like Salesforce. But it isn’t Salesforce. It clearly comes from the same cloth; however, the patterns aren’t an exact match when closely compared. CPQ relies on a lot of the same infrastructure, but the rules aren’t the same. In Salesforce land, you’re used to managing automation via process builder, flows, triggers or workflow rules. However, in CPQ land it’s data and metadata that create the automation, set discount rules and a whole host of additional functionality. All of which can certainly take some adjusting, no matter your level of expertise.

The Salesforce ecosystem has gotten to a size where a system such as CPQ is truly its own focus area. It takes a lot of work and experience to become an expert in the layered complexities of this specialized tool. Partnering with an experienced team of experts can help even the most seasoned Salesforce pro uncover opportunities and identify previously unknown challenges to tackle. 

Collaborating with a managed services team can free up your time and your team to focus on doing the work, rather than maintaining the tool. How? Here are just a few examples of how Navigator, Silverline’s managed service solution, can help.

Product Workbook Setup

The keys to the CPQ castle lie in understanding your company’s product workbook inside and out. For most companies, simply documenting the entirety of the products, rules, discounts, approvals, various partner pricing models, etc. is a project in and of itself. Here at Silverline, we’ve often had clients tell us “We don’t know what we don’t know – that’s why we need you.” 

Knowing the requirements for a successful CPQ implementation up front helps you to avoid problems downstream. Working with a partner who has previously completed such implementations immediately puts you at an advantage. We know the rules! 

Discounting

CPQ is a powerful tool built to manage all manner of discounting rules. Special partner discounts? No problem! Scaling discounts based on quantity? Pshhh, with one hand tied behind its back! But it’s important to note that documenting these use cases and implementing them are two different stories.

Do you have a discount that should always be applied — except for when it shouldn’t? Does this discount always require an approval or only sometimes? Can these discounts be applied in combination? Automatic application, automatic calculation, manual overrides, and proper information included on the quote output document for the end customer — these are all important items to work out (and even more important items to thoroughly QA!). We’re here to help you make sure these complex rules are all working together with the appropriate controls.

Integrations

It is likely that if you are implementing CPQ, then your Salesforce instance is also integrated with an ERP. This means there will be a set of system requirements to consider as you implement CPQ depending on how this integration was set up. Do you need to adhere to the current integration? Do you need help adjusting this integration to consider new inputs now that CPQ has entered the picture? We have integration specialists on hand to help you make these decisions and ultimately create the change you need.

User Experience

You’re an #awesomeadmin who knows that reducing clicks and keeping the user at the heart of the design is going to help engage even the most difficult-to-convert users. It’s always good to make sure that there are lots of “productivity carrots” for end users that make them feel the benefit as well as see it. Our team knows a lot of tricks to entice your end users into loving CPQ.

  • Are there products we can bundle together to make selection a breeze?
  • Are there clues in the opportunity or account that can help us serve up exactly what an end user would want to see when they’re ready to add products to a quote?
  • Can we help you sort and visualize your products in a logical way, or pre-select the most likely items your users want 90% of the time?
  • How should the proposals and contracts generated out of CPQ ultimately look to your client?

Admin KT for Ongoing Maintenance

Ultimately, our goal is to make sure you are set up for long-term success as your organization (and price book) grows and changes. Once the foundation is laid and your users are happily creating quotes, we want to ensure that your organization knows how to maintain your new CPQ instance.

And when you’re ready for the next round of enhancements or are wondering what other like-minded organizations are implementing, our Navigator team is here to make sure you’re supported every step of the way.

Why Silverline is the Salesforce + CPQ partner you deserve

Our team of experts are laser-focused on every aspect of your Salesforce journey — from technical strategy and business alignment to supplementing your own in-house skills. With hands-on Salesforce support, we help your team get the maximum benefit from investment in the Salesforce platform and your specific CPQ needs.

If you’re ready to take your Salesforce org to the next level, we’re ready to help.
Reach out today.

 

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