The CPQ in Salesforce (Salesforce CPQ) is a strong contender among CPQ solutions, thanks to its multitude of features, Salesforce’s strong reputation, and the overall quality of products.
For those in the market for a CPQ solution, these reasons may be enough to sway their decision. And we admit. It’s a solid choice.
But there are two sides to every coin. And when it comes to Salesforce CPQ, there are several shortcomings to be aware of and–therefore–room for improvement.
Keep reading for a breakdown of the best CPQ in Salesforce features, including what it’s lacking and how to improve its performance for optimal results.
In this blog, you’ll learn:
- About Salesforce CPQ
- Salesforce CPQ Features: Configuration, Pricing, Quoting
- Downsides to Salesforce CPQ
- How to Optimize Salesforce CPQ
It’s time to streamline your sales to manufacturing processes with a solution made just for you.
Learn how manufacturers are gaining a competitive advantage by introducing CPQ to complex product ordering and manufacturing.
What is Salesforce CPQ?
Salesforce CPQ is the native CPQ software for Salesforce (hence the name). It’s housed in the platform’s Sales Cloud.
Like other CPQ options on the market, Salesforce CPQ aims to shorten the sales cycle, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and help close more, bigger deals–all thanks to the automation of the configure, price, quote process.
With Salesforce CPQ, users can easily pull data from the inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) Salesforce systems. This seamless integration nixes the need to toggle between solutions for all your business needs.
Let’s break down the features in the CPQ in Salesforce according to each stage: configuration, pricing, and quoting.
Salesforce CPQ – Configuration Features
The following is a summary of core features available on the platform when configuring products:
Guided selling uses carefully crafted prompts to “guide” sales reps step-by-step down the path to purchase. Automating the sales process ensures the final purchase matches customer needs with the ideal product configuration.
Guided selling opens the door to larger deal sizes through the use of AI-driven recommendations (think: upsells, cross-sells, etc.) Sales reps that lack experience or extensive product knowledge can become top performers and trusted advisors. Ramping new hires is quicker and easier.
Configuring products and orders in Salesforce CPQ is governed by configuration rules–bits of logic coded into the software’s back-end. Configuration rules ensure the proper configuration of highly complex orders and remove the possibility of non-viable selections.
Thanks to configuration rules, every design that passes downstream from sales to engineering, and, ultimately, the shop floor is optimized for customer satisfaction and manufacturing efficiency.
Dynamic pricing calculates (and recalculates) prices for configurable products in real-time. As reps configure products, dynamic pricing gives them instant pricing feedback, which they can pass on to prospective customers if they choose.
Salesforce CPQ allows users to search, filter, sort, and select items to be added to a quote. All with a couple of clicks.
Salesforce CPQ – Pricing Features
The CPQ in Salesforce boasts some pretty powerful pricing features as well. Here is the gist of a few staple ones:
Salesforce CPQ has the flexibility to accommodate complex pricing models for one-time and recurring purchases.
The platform also lets users manage discounts, at the quote and line level, according to pre-set customer agreements.
Terms and Conditions
The Terms and Conditions feature ensures that sales reps include the correct terms for each deal. This can be customized from order to order.
Moreover, the CPQ in Salesforce makes it easy to renew contracts based on contracted pricing and customer histories.
Salesforce CPQ – Quoting Features
Rounding out our breakdown of Salesforce CPQ features are those used for quoting. They include, but are not limited to:
Quote Document Generation
Once the user is ready to finalize a configured product, the platform auto-generates branded estimates, proposals, and quotes. These outputs include product descriptions with pricing, terms, conditions, and visuals in your format of choice (PDF, XLS, Word).
Users can customize standard quote documents with comments, cover letters, supporting documents, and more, helping tailor quotes to each customers’ preferences and requirements.
Once the quote is generated, it can be converted into contracts as deemed necessary. Again, this cuts down on time needed to provide a personalized customer experience.
It’s easy to get confused when users are tracking changes, working in multiple versions, creating new versions, or reverting to old versions of quotes. Salesforce CPQ’s Version Control feature makes it effortless.
Downsides to Salesforce CPQ
The CPQ in Salesforce is an excellent fit for many companies, especially those that already operate within a Salesforce ecosystem. But it does have shortcomings. Here are some areas in which the platform could be improved:
- Visual product configuration. Configuring products using the CPQ in Salesforce relies mainly on text. It’s a black box. Meanwhile, many of the best CPQ solutions feature visual product configuration. Users configure products by interacting with 3D product renderings giving them an in-depth understanding of every choice they make. This enhances the customer experience and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.
- Self-service. The CPQ in Salesforce is designed for use by sales reps. But we’re entering the “self-service” era where B2B buyers want to configure, price, and quote products themselves. The lack of a customer-facing visual configurator detracts from the Salesforce CPQ solution.
- Integrations. For businesses using native Salesforce applications, integrating Salesforce CPQ is a breeze. For those that rely on software provided by other brands that do not have a partnership with Salesforce, it’s not always so easy.
- Speed. Sales reps commonly complain of frustratingly slow page load speed. Every second counts when your job is to produce as many accurate quotes for highly configurable products as possible.
- Drag and drop for line items. Users can’t drag, drop, or rearrange line items on quotes, which slows things down. Reordering lines means starting from scratch.
How to Optimize Salesforce CPQ with Epicor CPQ
To get the most out of Salesforce CPQ, integrate it with Epicor CPQ.
For seven years, Salesforce and Epicor have been working hand in hand to enhance the CPQ experience for manufacturers of configurable products. Epicor CPQ complements Salesforce’s strengths with robust options for rules, visualizations, eCommerce embedding (digital self-service), and more.
Together, they close the loop between sales, manufacturing, and engineering across B2B industries as diverse as biotech and building supplies.