In my last blog post, I introduced CPQ and explored its place and value in a company’s technology stack. Here I’ll be digging deeper into six of the key benefits to implementing Salesforce CPQ...
Quote faster and more accurately, even by reps with little or no training
Speed matters. So many things are a function of speed. Can you beat your competitors to the punch when a deal hinges on the customer’s urgency? How many employees do you need in order to produce the volume of quotes that is required to achieve your revenue goals? How much of a rep’s valuable time will be wasted on administrative time-suck activities instead of relationship building?
Every CPQ feature is geared toward streamlining and automating processes that slow down reps, from product selection to pricing to document generation. Imagine cutting down the time per proposal from thirty minutes or an hour down to less than five. These sorts of results are easily achievable with the right implementation of Salesforce CPQ. And it won’t continue to take weeks of technical or product training for your newly-hired reps to ramp up—instead, selection, constraint, validation, and pricing logic guide users to the right answer every single time.
Be honest. Do you think all of your reps know what products to offer your existing customers to boost margins and ACV? Do they understand what products are related and what business cases each might address? Some might, but you know you’re leaving money on the table day after day. You can solve this by establishing product relationships, utilizing a customer’s prior purchases to enforce or recommend new products, and automatically generating renewal and amendment Opportunities. Let Salesforce CPQ push—don’t force your reps to pull.
Your business isn’t static, and the tool you use to enable your sales operations shouldn’t be either. Salesforce CPQ, while not designed to fit every use case, is flexible enough to handle a very broad range. Even beyond the initial implementation, you need a tool that will absorb your next acquisition and introduce your next new product line with relative ease. There’s no need to maintain separate tools for separate entities or business units. Salesforce CPQ’s data model allows for complex and varied product and pricing structures to live and thrive side-by-side.
Allowing sales reps substantial flexibility in how they sell and price products can cause a lot of headaches. Even with—conceptually—a very small product catalog, it can make it hard to understand what you sell. Training also becomes difficult. Even if you can document a best practice, there probably isn’t enough reinforcement to see it take hold. Setting expectations becomes subjective. Channel partners find it more difficult to support you. Your systems become disjointed. Everything is a mess, and the loss of a few key individuals with institutional knowledge becomes an outsized risk to the continuity of your business.
By establishing your master data source and by codifying your pricing calculations and business logic, Salesforce CPQ will help ensure that you have a well-defined product catalog, standardized pricing, and documentable, repeatable processes that enforce important guardrails. This is one case where technology will force you to improve your business operations, and every team from marketing to finance to legal will benefit as a result.
Nothing wastes time or kills productivity like unnecessary or duplicative manual data entry. With your quoting tool now baked into your existing CRM, the same invaluable 1st and 3rd-party applications from the App Exchange—think DocuSign and Salesforce Billing—and powerful Salesforce APIs enable you to glide from lead to cash. Even after the payment is received, data produced by the Salesforce CPQ application provides service reps easy insight into the products owned by your customer. A single source of truth and a unified end-to-end process offer a powerful competitive advantage.
Salesforce CPQ unquestionably makes life easier on your reps. But there are also numerous advantages for management. It’s incredible how much information you can glean using standard Salesforce reports and dashboards with Salesforce CPQ data—and a good deal more when paired with Einstein analytics. Think common subscription performance indicators like ACV and churn or granular feedback on customer responsiveness to different pricing strategies.
What you come up with is mostly limited by imagination—the data is all there. You can even forecast with incredible accuracy, taking into account uplifts, renewal-specific pricing, quantity ramps, contracted prices, and anything else that makes it otherwise difficult to project the true value of deals many months or even years in the future.
In my next blog post, I will explore some of the best applications that extend Salesforce CPQ. Stay tuned!