The Ultimate Guide to Salesforce CPQ

By RafterOne

Salesforce CPQ, an integral part of Salesforce Revenue Cloud, is a powerful platform capable of automating every Quote to Cash process element. If your team struggles with complex pricing models, discount models, product bundles, or time consuming processes for quote creation, then CPQ is a great fit for your organization. 

Even if your team is not struggling with these challenges but you are looking to champion simplicity and efficiency by turning your Quote to Cash process into a competitive advantage, CPQ can help you accomplish that pretty well. 

Salesforce CPQ can drive significant value for your business, employees, and customers. This guide will give you the necessary information to determine if Salesforce CPQ is right for your business. Let’s dive in!

Is Salesforce CPQ Right for My Business?

Review the checklist below to determine if your current configuration is not strong enough to support your quote-to-cash process. 

  • Lost business due to errors in quotes
  • Negative customer feedback on quote format, legibility, or accuracy
  • Missed delivery schedules 
  • Inconsistent practices across the sales team 
  • Complex product bundles and kits 
  • High volume of SKUs 
  • Discounts offered to some customers 
  • Customer-specific pricing or contract terms
  • Complex quote approvals 
  • Subscription-based products with automatic renewals 

Look for pain points in your Quote to Cash process and learn how CPQ addresses them.

Quote to cash activity Current State: Pain Points without CPQ CPQ Core Element & Remedy Future state: With CPQ
Quote Creation
Highly time-consuming and manual
Chronically delayed or late quote delivery 
Quote templates
Automatically populated quotes based on controlled quote templates
Human error eliminated
Quote Reviews & Approvals
Extra burden on product managers, other reps, or sales management as they collaborate, review, and approve complex quotes 
Advanced approvals
Product rules
Product bundles
Price rules 
Reduced need for quote review and approval by automatically managing product compatibility
Pricing Calculation
Manually calculated by referencing external price books and discounts 
Automatically calculated using a calculator or tool, but manually transcribed to quote 
Struggling to handle complex discounts  
Heavy reliance on manual oversight or approvals to ensure accuracy
Price rules
Advanced approvals
Product rules
Automatic price calculations based on selected products eliminate human error 
Discounts are applied automatically based on quantity or other criteria 
Approval scenarios can be more flexible and specific, reducing the overall approval volume 
Greater accuracy through automatic calculation reduces approval time
Customer Satisfaction
Chronic customer complaints related to errors in quotes, product configurations, or pricing
CPQ – Full software
Customers receive accurate, standardized quotes expeditiously
Upsell & Cross-Sell
Missed opportunities to maximize revenue through cross-sells and upsells 
Reliant on sales reps use their knowledge and experience to identify upsell or cross-sell opportunities
Guided selling
Product rules 
Reps answer a series of questions, and Salesforce provides a set of applicable products
Product Compatibility
Incompatible combinations are sold and not caught until installation or delivery
Sales reps use tribal knowledge and personal experience to check product compatibility 
A burdened approval process to review quotes manually
Guided selling
Product bundles
Product rules
CPQ prevents users from grouping incompatible products into Product Bundles
Sales Training and Onboarding
Steep learning curve
The high error rate for new reps 
Significant oversight required 
Slow ramp uptime 
CPQ – Full software
Shorten training time by eliminating the need to memorize information
Reduce total systems used (to one)
Level the playing field for new reps
Tools Required to Support Activities 
Disjointed tools and systems
Excel, Outlook, MS Word, Adobe PDF, and decentralized reference documents (pricing, discounts, etc.)
CPQ – Full software
The entire quote-to-cash process is managed in one place—Salesforce
One interface and platform for users 
More robust data, visibility, and access control for the business 
Translates to a better experience for the customer 


How Does Salesforce CPQ Work?

Configure Complex Deals

It helps accelerate channel partner sales with a scalable process:

  • Easy-to-navigate complex product catalogs to transform reps and partners into advisors.
  • Streamlined quoting approvals, ensuring compliance with product rules
  • Pre-configured or customized bundles to create custom solutions

Manage Recurring Revenue

Enables you to tailor your quotations to the needs of your customers with subscriptions and the options of usage billing in the following ways:

  • Automate contract amendments, usage pricing, and renewals for scalable growth.
  • Offer centralized visibility of subscriptions and entitlements.
  • Streamline upselling and cross-selling with price upliftment.
  • Create automated renewal opportunities for reducing attrition.

Unify Sales and Revenue

Streamline the quote-to-cash process by breaking down back-office silos:

  • Streamline the acceptance of sales orders and the transmission of quote details.
  • Consolidate billable charges into a single invoice for each customer.
  • Spread revenue transactions throughout financial periods and facilitate revenue.

Why Should You Invest in Salesforce CPQ?

Salesforce CPQ automates the sales quoting process, streamlining the way in which your company interacts with prospects and offers superior customer service.

The following are some reasons to adopt the Salesforce CPQ for your business:

  • Automated pricing
  • Accurate and formatted quotes
  • Selling faster and generating revenue
  • Controlling discounts automatically, not manually

Salesforce CPQ Improves the Accuracy and Speed of the Sales Quote Process

It is necessary to identify the key features to quickly understand how it works and what it can do for you. Certain additional features can make sales cycles smoother and faster. 

Configuration Features

  • Create product categories and features, as well as options
  • Add rules and constraints for the possibilities and bundles created
  • Enable real-time configuration of bundles by adding or hiding components of a product
  • Set maximum and minimum limits for bundle components

Pricing Feature

  • Support multiple pricing scenarios. (For example, you can set a discount price for the purchases of a certain number of products, but the unit cost for sales below that quantity remains the same)
  • Provide real-time pricing to help a user to meet a specific target price
  • Support account-based contract pricing
  • Can provide customized formulae for scenarios where a user is in the process of making a discount

Quote Feature

  • Customizable quote templates with sections like header, footer, quotes, and terms
  • Integration capability with e-signature tools
  • Quote generation tool

Additional Features

  • Scripted selling with guiding questions to help identify customers’ needs
  • Option for customized product search that matches a product with a customer
  • Automated renewal prompts for timely customer follow-ups

The Benefits of CPQ

The sales team’s job can be challenging without the right tools to support them. However, the solutions to some of these challenges lie in the benefits of Salesforce CPQ. 

  • Increases the productivity of the entire sales organization 
  • Realizes the maximum revenue on each opportunity 
  • Provides powerful business insights on products 
  • Increases customer satisfaction 

Read on to know if Salesforce CPQ or standard quotes would make more sense for your business. However, if you are still conflicted based on whether to continue using traditional sales processes over Salesforce CPQ, here is how it stands out:

  • Narrows down the list of products for the sales reps avoiding any manual work
  • Assigns prices to products and services automatically, as well as regulate pricing and discounts to save time for sales reps
  • Creates a quote automatically, unlike traditional systems, and also emails clients
  • Advanced approval systems enable sales and legal teams to function more efficiently, assuring the availability of appropriate checks and balances
  • With efficient order management, post-sales teams can offer services on time based on the customer requirements
  • Improved iteration for efficient execution and delivery with Salesforce CPQ’s built-in time allows you to keep better track of your customers

Empower Your Sales Team and Customers the Right Way!

Today, customers prefer personalized engagement and want to render the right level of services at the right time. Salesforce CPQ assists you with processes, relationships, and team management so your business can achieve its short and long-term goals.

CPQ is more than simply a back-office or sales solution; it transforms cumbersome sales processes into a lean, productive system, increasing sales efficiency. Talk to us to understand how Salesforce CPQ can truly transform the way you do business!