I was lucky enough to get this book about Salesforce CPQ implementation before its official release day. If you want to skip all those TLDR – if you are about to implement CPQ or just want to learn something new, this book is definitely worth it. And one particular thing I liked – it also, briefly, covers the Industries CPQ, which is in fact completely different product and that can surprise you (there is a trial you can use).
This book is intended for Salesforce professionals who have standard Salesforce platform knowledge and readers who are interested in learning about CPQ. This book helps administrators, business analysts, functional consultants, sales managers, and Salesforce architects understand CPQ configurations and customizations. This book also provides the foundational knowledge needed for any CPQ implementation project. Most of the CPQ concepts are explained using simple use cases.
The first thing I probably speak about with every single customer who got a quotation for CPQ is – will we really be able to use it? Is it worth to double our spend with Salesforce? And quite often we aren’t really sure it is worth it because they have just a few products, simple pricing, no discount structure, nothing. But Madhu calls the usecase quite clearly and I 100 % agree:
When there is a need for product bundling, validations, automatic pricing, and discount calculations, standard Salesforce requires heavy customizations that are hard to maintain
She describes all the part of CPQ, pricing rules, product rules, field sets, twin fields, custom buttons, approvals, bundles, product options. You name it or find in the certification exam or in the app and it is here, described, screenshots included for your reference, easy to understand.
I didn’t even know that there is a connector package which can be installed for Service Cloud and will extend the functionality by using Service Contracts instead of the normal Contract object and that it supports Entitlements. I learnt something new!
Another interesting extension – Salesforce Labs extended CPQ with the Cancel and Replace functionality.
Implementing CPQ is like building a home. You first need to lay the foundation for it. Understanding the data model is like building this foundation. Then, you can build relationships using CPQ with the products, bundles, options, features, price rules, product rules, approvals, quote templates, and so on that we have learned about so far in the previous chapters. For your convenience, you can configure some of the aforementioned stages in parallel too, but you need to be aware of the interdependencies in the implementation. In this chapter, you will learn about the CPQ data model and the interdependencies
It covers the implementation strategy as well, with things like „Design for the rule not for the exception“, which clients love to hear but hate to follow, Iterative Design, MVP, Engage users early and often or go for Low-hanging fruits. All true, all worth to follow, some hard to explain to customers.
And also things which still scare me as I hoped we already have a systematic solution for that and don’t need to do it the old way -> “ Make sure you maintain a deployment sheet from the beginning of a project. This ensures that you don’t miss any components during the project deployment.“
CPQ implementation is a major change in the way reps sell products and deliver quotes to customers. It is more than a system deployment; it’s an organizational change.
It is just 280 pages , but it will guide you through the whole CPQ including Billing (even though just briefly) and a few best practices to follow.
And now I’m curious what is the Salesforce CPQ foot print at customers, I remember a few years back I heard there are like 3000 CPQ customers and maybe 400 Billing customers, not sure how many more there are now-a-days. It is definitely product which can simplify and standardise life of your sales reps.