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The ABC’s of CPQ – Part 2: Efficiency through Knowing How to Administer

Today’s blog post was written by Justin Concepcion, Diego Gallego, and Troy Oliveira at Sonoma Partners.

Salesforce CPQ (formerly Steelbrick) is one of the most advanced Configure-Price-Quote software available on the market today. Built natively on the Salesforce platform, it can drastically improve the efficiency of your sales organization with fast and easy quoting that leads to more revenue for your business.

In this 5-part blog post series, we breakdown the “ABC’s of CPQ,” listing out the most notable functionalities, features, and best practices of this impressive platform. In Part 1, we covered features from Advanced Approvals through Discount Schedules. Next up are letters “E” through “K”:

E is for Efficiency

Efficiency

Gone are the days of spreadsheets and long approval processes. Combining the rules-based logic of a CPQ platform with the power of Salesforce, salespeople can quickly and easily create quotes and submit them for approval without ever having to navigate between applications. Efficiency means that quotes that used to take days or weeks to complete can be reduced to hours, all with higher accuracy and more oversight than ever before.

F is for Favorites

Favorites

Whether due to word-of-mouth popularity or customers that just want “the usual,” some products are sold more frequently than others. Favorites can help save time when selling these products by letting the user set a product, or a group of products, as a “favorite.” From then on, you can easily add those favorited products to your quote with a simple click of the button. Anyone who finds themselves selling the same products over and over again will want to use Favorites and will find it to be a huge time-saver.

G is for Groupings and Guided Selling

Groupings

Groupings allow users to group together Quote Lines in their Quotes and set a name and description for each group. This helps users organize their line items into categories that make sense. Groupings can also help users save time by applying discounts, mark-ups, or changes to any Quote Line field to the entire group at once. While users can create and manage their own groups for their quotes, administrators can also set up default groups known as Solution Groups. Businesses selling products that easily fall into a few categories will especially find this feature of value.

Guided Selling

Guided Selling allows administrators to set up Quote Processes that will recommend products to sales reps based on what the user inputs. Users can first select a Quote Process, and, from there, answer a series of questions that will ultimately show them the products they are looking for. For example, a business that sells notebooks might have a large variety of models of notebooks. To help sales reps select the correct model of notebook they need, they can use Guided Selling to input a paper size, cover type, etc. to find the right model. Businesses that sell many variations of the same product will find Guided Selling very helpful, ensuring that sales reps add products correctly and quickly to their quotes.

H is for Hierarchy and High-Volume Quoting

Hierarchy

Products in Salesforce CPQ can be part of a hierarchy through bundles, where some products can be added to one bundle product, and that same bundle can be nested into an even larger bundle product. To help sales reps keep track of this hierarchy, enabling the “Visualize Product Hierarchy” package setting will add indentations to the product names in your quotes to show this hierarchy. Any organization with more complicated bundles will want to enable this setting to help their sales reps visualize their product hierarchies.

High-Volume Quoting

Timing is very important in order to keep up with high volume sales at your organization.. Your sales team needs to be able to grow the business by quickly providing accurate quotes to new clients while still making sure not to neglect existing customers. CPQ’s MassQuoteDocumentSender functionality will let your organization automate the process of generating and emailing documents to  existing customers. It is possible for a developer to create this functionality if you don’t have Salesforce CPQ, but using the built-in tools will allow you to schedule automated execution as needed so that Primary Contacts will be sent Renewal Quotes in short order.

I is for Inherited Pricing and Imports

Inherited Pricing

Inherited pricing means another less thing to worry about – if you have children accounts under an account with contracted pricing, those accounts will automatically obtain the contracted pricing from the parent account.  No need to worry about manually configuring the children accounts with the same pricing. A big distinguisher with CPQ though is the ability to rely on the account hierarchy for the pricing, or treat each account individually. In the case where a child account has its own contracted pricing, there is no need to rely on inherited pricing – Salesforce CPQ allows for the contracted price on the account to override the inherited one.

Imports

Sales reps may need quote lines from older sales systems brought in to their Salesforce CPQ quotes. Rather than recreate them, CPQ can be configured by an Admin to allow self-service: the sales person can use a CSV format to import Quote Lines (many at a time) and continue their quote within Salesforce CPQ. The quote lines can then be used going forward, leveraging the power of Salesforce CPQ with no additional administrative or programmatic need to configure, and the sales rep has exactly the quote lines they need.

J is for “Just How I like It” (Field Sets) and “Jump for Joy Because of More Sales”

“Just How I Like It” (Field Sets)

Every customer is different. Utilizing the power of Salesforce Field Sets, companies can tailor the CPQ line editor to their needs. Need a new field? Add it to the Field Set. No need to call a developer to add more code. Salesforce CPQ even allows for companies to set up different Field Sets for different sales processes, given the sales team what they need to see when they need to see it. Every company has their own unique requirements, and no two implementations of Salesforce CPQ are going to look the same. Customizing the Field Sets is something that every company should do.

“Jump for Joy Because of More Sales”

Being able to quote quickly and accurately is just as important as providing the right product for your customers. If sales teams can reduce the time it takes to produce a quote, not only can they get the quote in their customer’s hands sooner, but they also have more time to spend focusing on generating new leads and opportunities. Streamlining the quote generation process allows sales teams to focus more on selling and building relationships with prospects and customers and less time filling out paperwork and handling the boring task-driven side of their job.

K is for Knowing How to Administer

Knowing How to Administer

At its core, Salesforce CPQ is based on the same “Clicks Not Code” foundation that Salesforce was built upon. That means that the Salesforce Admins out there can keep their CPQ implementation up and running largely without high development costs. Nearly everything that most companies will need to do with CPQ can be done within the data driven architecture or making use of native Salesforce configuration, field sets, approval workflows, assignment rules, etc. To supplement the native know-how of a good Salesforce Admin, Salesforce CPQ provides a very active knowledge base and community of uses to help get questions answered and provide the details necessary to keep the wheels running. You can find them at https://community.steelbrick.com/.  This is also an excellent place to go to find out information about new releases.

Stay tuned for the next post in our series to read more about the features Salesforce CPQ can offer for fast and efficient quoting.

Questions or looking to get started? Contact us.



This post first appeared on Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM And Salesforce.com B, please read the originial post: here

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The ABC’s of CPQ – Part 2: Efficiency through Knowing How to Administer

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