The Salesforce community has of late been very excited with new offerings integrated into the platform. One such offering is Salesforce’s CPQ module which makes CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) functionality natively available on the force.com platform.

CPQ products have been very well established in the market place for a long time, but the reality is that many of these products run externally and need to be integrated with Salesforce platform. There have been some products in the marketplace that were built as native apps, and the Salesforce’s CPQ solution (the Steelbrick CPQ acquisition) is very much part of this league.

Here is a quick overview of some of the key features of the Salesforce CPQ solution, which help customers implement various scenarios that are part of their quoting process.

 

Product configurator features

  • Enables the creation of products bundles with features and options. Features are the categories for the bundle, and options are the components of the bundle.
  • Options could be made an integral part of bundle (components), accessories or even other related products that would support up-sell and cross-sell scenarios
  • Support for cardinality (min/max number of components in a bundle), inclusion and exclusion rules (called option constraints)
  • Real-time processing engine which can support dynamic addition or hiding of components as a bundle is being configured

 

Pricing features

  • Provides support for multiple pricing scenarios such as :
    • Block based pricing – E.g. quantity of 1-50 units could be priced at say 100 USD, 50-100 units could be 150 USD. Similarly there is an option of tier based discounting (1-50 units discounted at 10% whereas 50-100 units discounted at 20%).
    • Cost plus markup based pricing – Support for product costs in addition to price
    • Contracted pricing – A great use case for this is supporting account based contracts
  • Real-time price simulation – Support the use case of targeting a price (goal seek) for solution bundles
  • Custom formulae – Aspects like margin calculation can also be shown to the user is in the process of pricing/discounting.

 

Quoting features

  • Integrated quote document generator
  • Quote templates- These includes different sections to be configured such as header , footer, quote line items section and also quote terms
  • Ability to integrate with E-signature tools

 

Productivity features

  • Guided selling – Ability to script questions and guide sales users and customers to zero in on the best possible product fit
  • Customizable product search – Ability to include custom fields when searching for products

 

Other Value add features

  • Renewal Opportunities – Automatic generation of renewal opportunities which can drive accurate pipeline projection and timely follow up by sales teams
  • Availability of product in the modern Lightning user experience
  • Support for communities enabling access to CPQ functionality for partners and customers
  • Availability on Salesforce1 mobile

 

As we can see based on the key highlights of the product, Salesforce’s CPQ solution is a compelling option for clients on the Salesforce platform that have a fairly sophisticated quoting process.

As with all new product releases, the CPQ product will continue to evolve and future releases will continue to deliver more feature functions and remove existing constraints for meeting highly complex scenarios. The good news is that since this is a native force.om platform, it is significantly easier to customize the solution to meet unique business needs!

For more information please refer to:
Salesforce site: https://www.salesforce.com/products/quote-to-cash/overview/
Steelbrick community: https://community.steelbrick.com/