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10 Things to Do When You Implement Salesforce CPQ


Joyce Joseph

February 08, 2019

Congratulations! You have made a smart decision to move your entire quotation process to Salesforce. Surely, you must now be looking to do this in the best way possible! You probably have even heard that Salesforce CPQ is the newest quoting tool and are wondering how to proceed. In this blog post, I have enumerated a list of all the items you need to bear in mind before you transition to the Salesforce CPQ universe!

  1. Know Your Existing System Well!
    You could be using the standard Salesforce quote process, or you may even be using excel to get your quotes ready to your clients. Either way, every organization follows a certain set of stages or business processes that all their quotes follow, before they are converted into contracts or the goods you are selling are delivered. Keep a list of these stages ready before you begin implementing CPQ. Sounds straightforward and basic, doesn’t it? However, quite a few CPQ implementations have been known to go off-track simply because organizations did not have clarity about their quote stages at the beginning and needed complex modifications once the system was already in place.This can result in quite a bit of do-overs, having serious implications on project budget and even user adoption!
  2. Keep Essential Data Ready
    Have all the goods/products (product names, codes, SKUs, pricing, document structure etc.) along with their pricing documented in a single place. This makes it easier to decide what kind of bundles or product packages will need to be built out, thus reducing the overall back and forth discussions around the same and eliminating the overheads.
  3. Plan on the Data That You Want in The New System On Day 1
    You may already have several active contracts and quotes with existing clients. Do you want them moved to Salesforce and say goodbye to your existing system or do you want to phase it out? Your decision will determine the budget, timeline and complexity of your implementation so make sure it is a well thought one.
  4. Requirement for Additional External Plugins
    While Salesforce CPQ has almost everything you need to get up and started with creating beautiful, accurately priced quotes in no time, sometimes you might need additional help from external systems like Conga, DocuSign etc. to enable you in your quoting process. Make sure you or your decision-making team has thoroughly studied the different systems available make an informed decision about the best fit for your organization.
  5. Know Your Users
    Before you start the actual CPQ implementation, you will need to decide your budget. Salesforce CPQ is priced by each user using the system on a per month basis. Carefully plan how much you are willing to spend on the initial implementation of CPQ, who needs to use the system and choose the best plan from the 3 plans available in Salesforce CPQ. You can find the Salesforce plans here https://www.salesforce.com/in/editions-pricing/salesforce-quote-to-cash/ OR https://www.salesforce.com/in/products/quote-to-cash/pricing/
  6. Get Your Drawing Board Ready
    If you are an existing Salesforce user, you already know that any new implementation will need a separate sandbox org which will most probably be a copy of the existing production functionality. The new Salesforce CPQ implementation will need to be set up and tested in a separate sandbox org to ensure that none of your existing functionality is inadvertently affected, ensuring Salesforce CPQ can merge in seamlessly with the existing Salesforce instance. Make sure you plan and procure the number of developer and test orgs required well in advance.
  7. Be Hands-On
    You might be planning to implement Salesforce CPQ yourself, or you might have hired a team of experts (like we have here at Eternus Solutions) to set up Salesforce CPQ for you. In both cases, be involved to ensure that your vision for what you need out of Salesforce CPQ is what you are finally getting. Also, be sure to clearly state out exactly what you need versus what the system can do.
  8. Train Your Users
    Most often, Salesforce CPQ is extensively used by the Sales Reps. Have a plan in place to train your Sales Reps on using the system. This stage will be a little tricky, since most people are averse to change and will take a while figuring out what they need to do. But once your people are trained and become adept at using Salesforce CPQ, you can start reaping the numerous benefits of a wonderful new system.
  9. Review Regularly and Thoroughly
    Once your Sales Reps are adept at using the Salesforce CPQ system, certain problems or improvements that you might not have thought of initially will surely come up. Plan on conducting regular reviews and user adoption feedbacks and decide on which of these changes you want accommodated within your system. This will help you stay abreast with the constant changes in your business and have a system that is updated, useful and productive.
  10. Update! Update! Constantly Update!
    Keep a lookout for new features that might become available in newer releases and see how that could improve or break any existing functionality.
    Just like any other technology, Salesforce CPQ keeps coming out with updates and new features regularly. Keep an eye out for these features, note any pieces of Salesforce CPQ that might become deprecated over time and have a contingency plan ready. While Salesforce will always inform you well in advance of any major changes, it serves organizations well to plan out well in advance.

Whoa! Quite an overdose of DOs and DONTs! Here’s a small something for reading through my blog and being patient through all the ‘gyan’ I doled out, some CPQ tricks and implementation tips learnt the hard way.

Did you know that Salesforce CPQ is built to be both Lightning enabled and Mobile friendly? So, you do not need to worry if your sales reps will be able to quote on the move. The package handles it all for you.

  1. When setting up your bundles, if you have done everything correctly and yet the values are not being carried from product/ product option to quote line, use the execute scripts button available in the package settings.
  2. When moving images used in Quote Templates from one org to another, make sure you update the image IDs in the Quote Template Sections and formulas as well. Initially, this might not cause any issues, but once your developer and test orgs are decommissioned, your documents might suddenly stop opening.

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