There is no doubt that Salesforce CPQ comes with loads of benefits— it’s flexible, easy to manage, and not to mention, the world’s largest web-based platform. However, integrating Salesforce CPQ can be tricky if you don’t have experience with the platform.
If you’ve found yourself at the starting line of the great Salesforce race, don’t panic! Here’s a simple Salesforce CPQ implementation guide for beginners:
Step 1: Establish Your CPQ Goals
One of the most important first steps to your Salesforce CPQ implementation should be to establish your goals. The process of integration will be that much more successful if you outline measurable objectives and do so in a qualitative and/or quantitative way.
Some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you might consider are:
- Reduce selling time
- Reduce quotation turnaround time
- Increase average order value
- Increase win-rates and renewal rates
- Improve accuracy of quote generated
Understanding and prioritizing your goals is the first step toward implementation and can be a guiding factor in designing the CPQ.
Step 2: Design the CPQ
Because CPQ implementation deals largely with automated aspects, it’s easy to forget that Salesforce was designed to be customized and tailored to individual requirements.
In reality, developing a persona-based design is one of the most effective ways to maximize the benefits of Salesforce CPQ. Additionally, employing personas for Salesforce users makes certain that the CPQ is operating to the advantage of your sales team.
Know Your Sales Team
When designing the CPQ, it’s important to have a firm grasp on the challenges of the sales team so that it can be built to solve them. This is a chance to define your current quote-to-cash process and to explore ways in which to improve it with your team’s workflow in mind. Without knowing your team, it’s almost impossible to determine what CPQ features will best fit their needs.
Strategically Choose the Features
Salesforce CPQ is complex and garners many “out of the box” features. But rather than implementing all of them, try prioritizing them by order of importance. You might, for example, begin with some of the basic features that are pre-configured and easily adaptable such as price book, product catalog, product bundles, order management, and guided selling.
More capabilities can be implemented when needed, but this initial set gives your team time to fully understand and adopt the functionality of Salesforce CPQ without feeling overwhelmed.
Keep in mind that going overboard on the initial customization of CPQ can lead to complications and greater maintenance in the future. That’s why it’s important to begin with basic features and make adjustments or additions later on.
Step 3: Prep Your Data
Inputting the data is one of the most important steps to full integration. You’ll need to:
- Source the data– Determine the data you’ll need along with its source. You may, for instance, obtain customer and deal data from the CRM or input details of product tax rates, discount rates and tiers, and pricing bundles and templates from offline sources
- Review the data– As the data will most likely originate from various sources and formats, you’ll want to clean it up before implementation. This includes scanning for quality and accuracy.
- Update the data– Check that the data is up-to-date and is continually managed in real-time to prevent unnecessary losses in sales. Let’s say you decide to launch a summer sale with discounted pricing but forget to input the updated price in CPQ; because the expected discount won’t apply, customers will likely not buy the product.
- Supervise the data– Assign the role of ‘data manager’ or owner to ensure that the data stays up-to-date, organized, and accurate
Step 4: Implement a Change Management Plan
Salesforce CPQ is multi-faceted, which can make adoption by your team quite challenging. That’s why it’s so imperative to have a plan in place to ensure success. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind during the planning process:
Don’t forget to take advantage of the abundance of aid and tools around CPQ implementation. You can opt for traditional training, such as Salesforce’s very own Trailhead, an interactive learning platform, which usually takes place prior to or during implementation.
Another great option is onboarding an external Salesforce consultant team, such as ITequality, to personally assist you and your team as your Salesforce CPQ implementation guide in real-time.
Defining short-term milestones to reaffirm that project goals are being met or are in the process of being met is crucial in order to encourage both the sales team and any stakeholders involved.
Creating opportunities for ‘quick wins’ will help to ensure continued dedication to the project. For example, a ‘quick win’ might be:
- An increase in the number of tasks automated
- Improved efficiency in responding to clients
- Freeing up sales bandwidth
Each CPQ milestone should be specific to the long-term goals of your sales team and overall business.
Step 5: Measure Progress and Optimization
Once Salesforce CPQ has been implemented and integrated into the sales workflow it’s important to maintain a close distance to ensure the software is producing the results needed.
Consider employing a precise method of measurement, such as a user satisfaction survey that discusses the platform’s usability and quantifies improvements in efficiency.
Remember, Salesforce CPQ is not a set-in-stone system, which means your team has the ability to pivot if need be. Agility is key— if the integration of CPQ is not resulting in improving your team’s efficiency, then you should consider refining it where needed.
Maximize Your Salesforce Investment
For people who are trying to learn the ins and outs of Salesforce at an entry-level, the process can be tedious and somewhat overwhelming. But with the right help, implementing Salesforce CPQ can be a major game-changer for your team. That’s where ITequality comes in.
ITequality’s Salesforce Architects can help you customize your project and take you through the entire CPQ integration. ITequality’s team teaches you how to teach yourself, which is one of the many things that sets their consulting methods apart from the rest. With ITequality giving you an extra hand, you’ll be crossing that Salesforce finish line before you know it.