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10 Best Practices for Salesforce CPQ Implementation

10 Best Practices for Salesforce CPQ Implementation

Published on: 29 Sep 2022 10 min read

Our recipe for successful CPQ implementation is a mix of technical and process-oriented best practices. Read on to find out more.

You can significantly enhance your sales cycles by implementing Salesforce CPQ business software. The right product design and set-up, project strategy, and combination of highly skilled resources and real user adoption are key ingredients for your CPQ (Configure Price Quote) implementation.

10 best practices for Salesforce CPQ implementation – start with defining your project goals and take it from there.

1. Define Project Goals

The first and most critical step in the CPQ implementation process is identifying project goals and objectives. Establish measurable targets for your CPQ implementation by understanding your sales process requirements. Define what your sales process is missing and what you would like to improve.  

Your CPQ implementation is an opportunity to evaluate your sales team’s difficulties and provide effective solutions. Don’t make the mistake of concentrating solely on technical issues – you also need to focus on the business process objectives and needs. Set your goals and specify them by quantitative or qualitative measure. This will come in handy when calculating your CPQ’s actual ROI. 

Make your goals clear and specific: Faster sales cycle. Shortened response times. Automated quoting process. Enhanced efficiency and productivity. Improved win and renewal rates.  Improved accuracy and zero errors

Set measurable targets:   20% improvement in renewal rates 60% improved accuracy

2. Choose Implementation Methodology

Pure Agile is not a good idea for your CPQ implementation. Using the Hybrid model of Waterfall and Agile methodology would be more appropriate due to the complexity and interdependency between the different product modules. Try following the Waterfall methodology at least in the design phase and decide how to work further for the Development phase.  

Different CPQ modules rely on each other and cannot follow the iterative design approach simply because they should work together in a unified process. If you design it in iterations, you will end up constantly reworking previous modules. The Waterfall approach works best throughout the design phase.  

3. Project Commitment  

A wrong mix of resources is the main reason Salesforce CPQ projects fail. Lacking a suitable skill set, time, and resources is a recipe for disaster. The client and service provider should commit to the project, maintain continuous communication and discuss upcoming challenges.  

Stakeholder involvement is one of the main ingredients for success. That is why regular communication with stakeholders and being proactive with the core implementation team is a must. The project will suffer if the team does not have the right mix of skills and a communication approach.  

4. Make the Right Feature Trade-Off  

Don’t try to implement all the product features just because they are available. Stick to the business needs and processes discussed during the requirement workshops with your stakeholders. When there is clarity about the customer goals and processes, you can prioritize CPQ features.  

Adhere to the out-of-the-box features and try to avoid customizations when possible. The ideal strategy is to accept the “out-of-the-box” features first and ensure everything runs smoothly before adding additional capabilities and customizations. 

5. Plan Your Data 

This is a very critical stage since CPQ requires data from different sources. You must determine what data is needed for the CPQ process and where you can obtain it. Data related to product tax rates, discount rates and tiers, and pricing bundles may rely on integration with other systems. Make sure that Salesforce CPQ works seamlessly with the other ERPs. Manage the backend database properly and provide adequate storage, resources, and backups. 

6. Install Right 

Before installing Salesforce CPQ, enable important settings in your Salesforce org:

  • Enable email deliverability to all users: 

Go to Setup > enter Deliverability in the Quick Find box > Click on Deliverability > click Edit > select ‘’All Email’’ Access Level > click Save

Enable email deliverability to all users: Setup > enter Deliverability > Click on Deliverability > click Edit > select ‘’All Email’’ Access Level > Save

  • Enable Chatter: 

Go to Setup > enter Chatter in the Quick Find box > click on Chatter Settings > click Edit > tick ‘’Enable’’ > click Save

Enable Chatter: Go to Setup > enter Chatter in the Quick Find box > click on Chatter Settings > click Edit > tick ‘’Enable’’ > click Save

  • Enable Orders: 

Go to Setup > enter Order in the Quick Find box > click on Order Settings > tick ‘’Enable Orders’’ > click Save

Enable Orders: Go to Setup > enter Order in the Quick Find box > click on Order Settings > tick ‘’Enable Orders’’ > click Save

  • Enable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) content: 

Go to Setup > enter CRM in the Quick Find box > click on Salesforce CRM Content > tick ‘’Enable Salesforce CRM Content’’ > click Save

Enable CRM content: Go to Setup > enter CRM in the Quick Find box > click on Salesforce CRM Content > tick ‘’Enable Salesforce CRM Content’’ > Save

Install or Upgrade Salesforce CPQ

Install or upgrade Salesforce CPQ from your package installation link. 

After installing Salesforce CPQ 

  • Authorize the Salesforce CPQ calculator from the installed packages configuration page.

The user profile that authorizes the calculator must have specific permissions such as Customize Application permission, access to the CPQ quote and all related objects (e.g. Quote Line, Quote Line Group, Opportunity, Opportunity Products, Quote Document, etc.). In addition, the user must also have access to all objects that are updated via triggers, workflow rules, and process builders when the above objects are created/updated. Salesforce recommends keeping a non-human admin user to avoid issues in case a human user leaves the company and deactivation is required: 

Go to Setup > Installed packages > Configure > Pricing and Calculation tab > untick “Use Legacy Calculator” > click ‘’Authorize new calculation service’’ link > click Allow

Authorize the Salesforce CPQ calculator: Go to Setup > Installed packages > Configure > Pricing and Calculation tab > untick Use Legacy Calculator

Authorize the Salesforce CPQ calculator: click ‘’Authorize new calculation service’’ link

Authorize the Salesforce CPQ calculator: click Allow

  • Assign permission set licenses to your users.  

Go to Setup > enter Company in the Quick Find box > click Company Information > go to Permission Set Licenses > click ‘‘Salesforce CPQ License’’ link > click Assign Users > select all the users that you want > click Assign

Assign permission set licenses: Go to Setup > enter Company in the Quick Find box > Company Information > Permission Set Licenses > Salesforce CPQ License

 

Assign permission set licenses to your users: click Assign Users

Assign permission set licenses to your users: select all the users that you want > click Assign

  • After installing the CPQ package, repeat your post-installation scripts if they initially failed: 

Go to Setup > Installed packages > Additional Settings tab > Post Install Steps > click ‘’Execute Scripts’’ button

After installing the CPQ package, repeat if initially failed: Setup > Installed packages > Additional Settings > Post Install Steps > Execute Scripts

  • CPQ installation in Salesforce Professional Edition orgs requires additional steps.  

You can find more details about the installation process in the official Salesforce CPQ implementation guide.

7. Configure CPQ Features  

Once you’ve installed your CPQ package, review some common objects and features. 

Approvals 

To ensure that everyone understands how a quotation progresses from one approval level to the next and which quote attributes influence each decision level, be sure to diagram this flow. 

Company branding 

To use your company logo in your quote templates, you should add it to the Documents tab in Salesforce so you can reference its Document ID when needed. 

Discounting 

You can set up volume discounts based on the quantity or terms of your products. Salesforce CPQ offers a proportional discount to the net amount for that quote line when you include those products in your quote. 

Package Settings 

Below you can find a list of frequently used package settings that you might want to change: 

  • Enable partner discounts on quote lines
  • Modify the decimal places used in your unit prices
  • Create folders for your quote documents
  • Sort search results for the quote line editor by shared fields
  • Create solution groups for selection across any quote 

Page Layout Set-up 

Add the Primary Quote field, Quotes related list, and Quote Documents related list to your opportunity page layout. 

Products and Price List

Salesforce CPQ uses Salesforce products and price books. 

You can set up your products as bundles in Salesforce CPQ if they come with add-ons and optional features. And then configure bundles with options, features, and option constraints.  

  • Options: Products within the bundle that contribute to the bundle price, for example, CPU and RAM for a laptop. 
  • Features: Group your product variations, such as different colors and sizes in features. 
  • Option Constraints: Defines whether feature options may be purchased together. 

Quote Templates

The quote documents your sales representatives send to customers can be formatted using Salesforce CPQ quote templates. You can also customize them with your logo, company name, and terms and conditions.  

Quote Status

Modify the quote’s Status field with your company’s specific status values to align Salesforce CPQ with your quoting procedure.  

Sandbox

To test all of your CPQ capabilities without compromising production data, set up a full sandbox org. You can also use it for testing during UAT, training sessions, and demos. 

8. Deployment Sequence  

If you want a successful and widely used solution, CPQ deployments must be taken into consideration just as much as the functional solution itself. Unlike metadata, moving data records between environments is quite complicated. Distributing changes between environments is challenging because of the large number of data relationships between CPQ objects.  

Essentially, you will be working with CPQ object data spread over several orgs, with each record having a distinct CRM ID for each org. Purchasing a paid deployment tool can be a time-saving approach. To avoid issues during the migration, carefully plan environment set up and data sets deployment.  

Furthermore, do not forget post-deployment steps such as trigger activation or other manual changes. Have a dry run of deployment activities to detect any possible challenges in advance and run your test scripts after deployment.  

9. User Adoption 

Make sure to spread the news, prepare demo sessions and training materials, and even involve power users before your official system launch date. User adoption is critical, that is why sales users should feel comfortable switching to the new system.  

Users will not embrace the change if the system is difficult to use or guidance is hard to find. This may impact or slow down your return on investment. Make sure to support the user adoption process with tips about the system, training materials, and real-life use cases, and outline the benefits and gains for their daily work.  

10. Measure Your Progress 

Once CPQ deployment is complete, you would need to evaluate your success. Regularly monitor your major KPIs and compare them to your initial goals. To determine whether the technology works for your team or not, you can performconduct user satisfaction surveys.  

  • Is your sales cycle faster?  
  • Are your quotes error-free? 
  • Is your sales team happy about their new weapon? 
  • What can be improved for future releases? 

Ask questions based on the goal you set at the beginning – this could help you measure your success and plan continuous improvements. 

Conclusion  

Salesforce CPQ is a powerful tool that benefits your sales digital transformation by optimizing the sales process and increasing revenue. Start your journey by clearly defining your goals, collaborate with an experienced and certified Salesforce implementation partner, and make sure to inspire and support your new users during the period of transition to the new system. 

Scalefocus has significant experience in CPQ implementation, Salesforce integrations, and data migrations. We are a certified Salesforce and Conga (formerly Apttus) partner that helps companies take their business to another level.

Contact us today and let us discuss how you can leverage our expertise, too!

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