what is CPQ in Salesforce?

What is CPQ in Salesforce?

By now, most business leaders have heard of Salesforce, the leading CRM in the world.
But do you know what is CPQ in Salesforce?

Companies around the world follow a similar macro sales process. The first step is usually Lead Generation, followed by Prospecting and Qualification of those leads. Shortly after, in B2B or B2G (business-to-government) sales, businesses Develop a Solution, and offer a Presentation and/or Proposal. Two last steps wrap up the sales process: Negotiation and Closing.

Each stage reduces the number of leads that makes it to the next round, creating a “funnel” effect.

 

Funnel vision. The typical B2B or B2G sales process, in 7 stages

Funnel vision. The typical B2B or B2G sales process, in 7 stages. Source: Fit Small Business

 

Each stage comes with its own set of challenges, selling points, and pitfalls. In particular, many growing businesses struggle with the Proposal stage – which requires business to present a compelling proposal that woos the customer.

To aid in this step, Salesforce, the leading CRM software house in the world, designed a purposely built tool called CPQ. This is how it works and why it may suit your business needs.

Configure, Price, Quote… Go!

CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. CPQ in Salesforce is a software package specially targeted at sales reps, that the entire team can easily use. It is a powerful tool that allows quick and accurate pricing within any product configuration scenario.

Crucially, CPQ in Salesforce provides a lot of out-of-the-box features such as the ability to schedule discounts. One feature product managers will appreciate is the possibility to set pricing rules based on product quantities or to link accounts directly to partners, to reflect changes on their platforms. This Salesforce package also simplifies the process of configurating new products at scale, via its Bundle Products configuration. Also, Contracting and Order fulfilment is easier with CPQ in Salesforce, with ready to use processes to create Orders and Contracts.

The purpose is to shorten larger B2B or B2G sales cycles, which can take several months from first contact to closing. Also, Salesforce has developed a tool that increases the hit rate of proposals, the number of accepted proposals divided by the number of these documents that your company churns out. All this while increasing the team’s productivity by reducing manual tasks and eliminating error-prone activities. For instance, CPQ comes with a Quote Documents feature that allow sales reps to quickly generate Quotes, in pdf format, from a pre-built template. This saves time, eliminates mistakes and, most importantly, increases proposal acceptance rate.

But since no two customers are the same, CPQ in Salesforce considers the need for a customised approach to any sale, so it allows the automation of the process, without sacrificing a personalised experience for your customers. Sounds great, right? But wait, there’s more.

Top benefits of using CPQ in Salesforce

Besides the obvious results–more accurate pricing, quicker and more personalised quotes, and fewer errors and delays in product and client configuration–CPQ in Salesforce offers a myriad of benefits for its users.

Shorter sales cycle

CPQ in Salesforce uses guided selling to direct sales representatives throughout the sales process. The result is an improved quote accuracy that leads to a shorter sales cycle. According to Aberdeen Group, CPQ users out-perform non-CPQ users, specifically in shortening the average sales cycle from over 4.5 months to just below 3.5.

Increased deal size, up-sell and cross-sell

CPQ in Salesforce tracks your customer preferences and–with a brilliant mix of automation and AI–suggests the ideal combination of products and services. This can help increase the deal size, increase cross-sell and up-sell, and build up a stronger customer base.

Resource maximisation

By streamlining essential processes like submitting proposals, or delivering quotes, CPQ in Salesforce helps your sales team to spend more time with the customers, with every contact adding value to the interaction. This means less wasted time and resources, and more focus on other tasks in your sales department.

Boost in sales

The CPQ in Salesforce provides intelligent insights and reports that help you improve your sales endeavours. How? The platform automatically adjusts prices according to drifting market rates. It also produces performance and profitability reports within the CPQ tool. All of which contribute to an optimised sales process.

 

5 tips to take the most out of CPQ in Salesforce

Take advantage of the complete package

CPQ in Salesforce is not only a sales tool. It is a very complete software that works best with other Salesforce software. When used with CRM solutions, the sales process becomes even more seamless, as every step becomes a part of the same workflow. It reduces errors and delays, and your sales reps can send proposals to prospects in record time. Partnering DocuSign, a digital signature app, CPQ in Salesforce can email a contract to a customer requiring a digital signature.

Don’t bail on proper configuration

Most CPQ users focus more on the automation part of the software when they should pay equal attention to its customisation and configuration abilities. With CPQ in Salesforce you can set personal goals for your business, check if those goals are being met, and why or why not. Configuration and implementation is easier with CPQ, which reduces Time to Market.

Live CPQ in Salesforce to the fullest

Salesforce is a universe of possibilities, but some require a bit more expertise than others. Learning about the software is essential to make the most out of it and reap all the benefits. So don’t shy out and seek expert help! At Near Partner we count on a brilliant, dedicated team of Salesforce developers.

The (sales)force is strong with this one. Meet our Salesforce development team.

The (sales)force is strong with this one. Meet our Salesforce development team.

This is what we can do for your business:

  1. DESIGN A PLAN. We’ll fully emerge on your organization and understand your business process to design a successful implementation or re-engineering plan.
  2. CUSTOM CONFIGURATION. Because every business is different, we customize the system to our customer’s needs. We deliver all the fields, pages and workflows you will ever need.
  3. DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATIONS. Once the system is all set, we analyse further custom development and/or integrations with other business critical systems.
  4. DATA MIGRATION. We migrate all your old data to the new system.
  5. After the system is tested and ready to be delivered to your team we deploy the system to production. We also ensure that your team is properly trained and committed to take advantage of this powerful work tool.
  6. Ongoing maintenance and continued improvements are critical for the success of a Salesforce implementation. We offer affordable, reliable Salesforce support services.

Get in touch about our Salesforce Services and know how we can lend an expert hand to you and your business.

Válter Abreu

I'm a salesforce developer passionate about technology and the Salesforce ecosystem. Has taken a front seat into CPQ implementations and how it goes hand in hand with CRM processes.

Project Simulator