In this blog, we are going to focus on the world’s best CRM software i.e., Salesforce, and understand what Salesforce CPQ is.
Despite the Covid situation, businesses want to get things back to normal, like they were before Covid. However, many businesses have already achieved that state, and many businesses were just affected for a very short period. Integration of IT in the business operations helped them through this tough period. The IT solution all businesses resorted to, is CRM.
According to Gartner, revenue in the Enterprise Software segment is expected to reach more than US$230 million by the end of 2021. Businesses are discarding the traditional CRMs to keep up in today’s tech era.
CRM stands for Customer Relation Management. CRM software systems are cloud solutions that integrate all your business needs in one software, from first-time potential client contact to the final handshake. Marketing and sales teams can have control over all aspects through one single platform.
The following is the list of topics we will cover in this blog to cover all the key aspects of Salesforce CPQ.
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What is CPQ?
CPQ stands for configuring, pricing, and quoting. CPQ software is used for configuring the prices of the products. It is used by almost every business to configure the products offered, set prices, and create quotes. Sales teams need to manage the prices of the products rapidly according to the business requirements. It reduces the arbitrary load of administrative tasks and increases the overall efficiency of sales cycles.
CPQ software increases the speed of tasks such as monitoring prices and product proposals. It also accurately delivers accurate prices to different customers and configures the products accordingly.
CPQ is an extension of CRM software and businesses use it on many scales.
So, let’s see the key advantages of CPQ and understand how it helps in various tasks.
With CPQ, the specific configuration requirements are dealt with without any errors. When a customer has a specific requirement, this can be quickly fed into CPQ. Once the requirements are received, the team can start working on the specific requirements of the customer as and when required.
CPQ comes with a multi-layer discounting logic. This helps the company accurately calculate the price of the model requested by the customer. It gives the sales team the opportunity to use all the various levels of discount like distributor, volume, etc. The discount and warranty information can be updated when required along with the expiration date of a discount.
Once the price gets approval, a quote is generated and sent to the customer for review. The customer can go through the terms and conditions and alter anything that they require. This is then sent back for approval. When the quote is generated, the customer is required to sign it electronically and the QA team, sales team, requirement team, etc, are intimate. This helps both the company and the customer as it reduces time.
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What is Salesforce CPQ?
Salesforce CPQ is incredibly valuable to manage the client’s problem areas, including membership items, volume limits, and item packaging. Regardless of whether you’re running an association of ten or a Fortune 500 undertaking, if those of the previously mentioned points are the trouble spots for your business, integrating Salesforce CPQ Software would be an effective solution.
Salesforce offers the capacity to move quotes to invoices and configure pricing. Since CPQ is coordinated into your Salesforce CRM, you can pull sales, item, and statement information into your bigger sales and execution reports.
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Salesforce CPQ Features
Salesforce CPQ has been a market-changing functionality for the market-leading CRM software. Salesforce’s CPQ makes it easy for businesses to utilize it across the whole environment. It is highly recognized and utilized because of the features it provides. CPQ is a key factor for businesses to keep track of sales and aid the sales team with the tasks in the pipeline. Let’s discuss some of its features in each of the CPQ domains:
- It allows the developer to create product bundles consisting of various features and options that become the categories and components of the bundle, respectively.
- Options can be made an essential part of the bundle, accessories, or other related products that may support up-sell and cross-sell situations.
- It supports dynamic and real-time addition or hiding of the components in a bundle that is being configured.
- Block-based: for example, if the price for 1-50 units is 50 USD, then the price for 50-100 units can be 100 USD.
- Cost-plus tasks markup: In addition to pricing it also supports product costs.
- Contract: It supports account-based discounts and contracts.
- Real-time: Sets a base price on certain solution bundles.
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- Inbuilt quote document generator
- Easy integration with E-signature tools
- Generation and customization of quote templates
Other key features:
- Automation of renewal opportunities initiation that helps in managing accurate pipeline projection and helps sales teams in rapid follow-up.
- It provides products in the modern rapid lightning experience.
- It provides Salesforce1 mobile.
- It gives access to CPQ functionality that supports communities.
- Supports integration of custom search fields.
- Scripting and guiding customers to the best products.
These features help the sales team to achieve the targets and manage the customers easily without worrying about administrative tasks. Today every business needs to manage its customers digitally. Salesforce CPQ helps them manage business rapidly and automate the tasks which take more time otherwise.
Let’s understand the advantages Salesforce CPQ provides in detail with the help of a use case scenario.
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Why do organizations use Salesforce CPQ?
To understand how Salesforce CPQ helps organizations, let’s study the use case scenario of Cloudera.
Cloudera is an enterprise data management company, mainly focusing on big data solutions. It is a one-stop solution for big data solutions such as Data Warehousing, Data Analytics, and Machine Learning. It provides enterprise software for data-related solutions that can run on the cloud or on-premise.
Cloudera’s products are used by IT, Banking, Healthcare, Education, Finance, and various other industries for efficient data analytics solutions. In 2021, Cloudera generated over USD 794 million in revenue. It continues to grow as industries continue to rely more and more on data solutions in this digital era.
To gain more customers and retain the current, the work structure of inside sales was becoming more complex. The sales representatives were performing their key tasks such as quote generation manually. So first, let’s see what were the issues Cloudera’s sales teams faced before they started using Salesforce CPQ:
- Manual tasks: Sales representatives had to generate quotes and write emails manually for deals with their customers.
- Errors: Due to large amounts of manual quote generation and emails, often errors occurred in the deals.
- Time: The large complex structure took longer to complete and representatives were spending more time on arbitrary administrative tasks.
Lars Nilsson explained that he had previously implemented CPQ solutions for various vendors. For Cloudera, he decided to integrate Salesforce CPQ across the organization to solve the above errors. Let’s see how Salesforce CPQ solved the above-discussed issues for Cloudera:
- Minimal errors: Salesforce CPQ quote generation feature ensures maximum accuracy, irrespective of the scale.
- Automation: It automatically generates quotes for sales representatives for various clients with minimum errors. It helps sales representatives to provide quotes to the clients in real-time.
- Simple structure: As mentioned by Lars Nilsson it is easy to deploy and sales representatives can easily start utilizing it without any hassles.
“Previously, I had implemented CPQ solutions from several vendors,” said Nilsson. “While some vendors offer a thousand points of functionality, I needed to focus on the features that matter to Cloudera. It was also clear to me that the implementation of Salesforce CPQ is vastly less complicated, faster, and less expensive than other CPQ software.”
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Salesforce CPQ helps sales teams and overall organization in several ways, let’s see some key benefits of salesforce CPQ:
- Representatives may accidentally provide unapproved pricing or products that are not available anymore. Businesses silo data, it’s difficult for teams to track, analyze, and forecast accurately. Salesforce CPQ organizes data for teams and gives the sales teams a clear understanding of what they can provide to the clients.
- New revenue models: Nowadays, customers need flexibility in how they shop, so companies are introducing new revenue models such as subscriptions. Salesforce CPQ is the best CPQ software that supports such models.
- Front and back office teams can easily work in-sync across the company. Companies can streamline sales data and quote details are easily passed downstream along the pipeline.
- Salesforce CPQ has an easy step-by-step process and it trains the sales representatives along the process. It contains all information about policies and changes in prices, hence, increasing accuracy.
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Advantages of Salesforce CPQ
CPQ provides the following key advantages to businesses, especially the sales team.
- Time: Sales representatives are stuck, depending on excel sheets and emails with regards to the last phases of their sales cycle. Rather than proceeding to their next bargain, they may waste a lot of their time getting contract approvals or quoting the prices of products. Salesforce CPQ changes this by giving sales representatives access to the data they need to accelerate the quotes.
- Customer Satisfaction: Salesforce CPQ helps the sales teams to achieve their CRM goals. Salesforce CPQ gives alerts whenever a product is upgraded or contract renewal is required. These advance notices can help teams to cross-sell or up-sell. Salesforce CPQ would then be able to help the sales teams in suggesting the best items and services to the client. This speed and accuracy help block-based attain a significant level of customer satisfaction.
- Manage: It gives full control and visibility to sales teams. Many sales teams operate in a disorderly manner. Many times teams accidentally give unapproved pricing or promise products that are no longer available. It becomes difficult for teams to track, analyze, or forecast accurately. Salesforce CPQ organizes data and gives sales representatives a clear picture of what they can offer customers in an orderly and accurate manner.
- Accurate: Salesforce CPQ helps increase sales by giving accurate quotes. It helps automate the time taken by teams in going back and forth, discussing new projects. All the configuration and pricing data is already fed into the Salesforce CPQ and hence, it helps the sales team to crack a deal in less time while maintaining quality.
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How does Salesforce CPQ work?
Let’s take an example of a company that sells custom software. The company would have a set of teams running the operation. There will be a sales team that would connect to the customer, take down their needs and then pass it on to the design and development team who create the software for the customer. The company is also required to quote a price for that at the same time.
In a regular scenario, this would be a long process. The sales team will get in touch with the customer and note down their requirements carefully. This would be then passed on to the design and development team who would study the requirements and quote a price accordingly. There is a huge margin of error in this scenario. The information could be lost, the time taken to generate a quote could be too much and a quick-tempered customer might be lost as well.
It is here when the Salesforce CPQ comes in as the savior. When the customer gives the requirement to the sales team, the sales rep can quickly feed that information in Salesforce CPQ. This information is quickly sent to the design and development team who start building on the customer’s requirement. The design can be altered as and when the customer wants. There is a very slim chance of the information being lost in the process.
Once the requirements are taken down, Salesforce CPQ’s discounting logic comes into play. This will help the sales rep to accurately generate a quote based on all the parameters that are taken into consideration. This entire process is done in a much shorter time with the help of Salesforce CPQ.
Salesforce CPQ is a key part of the quote-to-cash apps from Salesforce. It helps companies to easily manage the entire process, from quote generation, configuring orders to collecting profits. Salesforce CPQ and Billing lets companies capture full ROI in weeks instead of months, substantially decreasing the time. Therefore, increasing revenue faster than ever before.
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