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The weather may be getting colder, but CPQ is still hot

Having attended my 14th annual Dreamforce this year, while it may have looked a little different than in the past, we were still able to dive into the trends that are shaping business post-pandemic.   It was a great experience to be together with the Salesforce Community again, even if it was outside on the street in front of Moscone Center with a small group.  With digital transformation efforts in full force, businesses are looking for a better way to automate manual processes and find solutions that are custom fit to their unique needs. At Dreamforce 2021, CPQ (configure, price, quote) was a hot topic amongst the Salesforce crowd, with service providers creating tools that fit today’s digital-first work-from-anywhere world. Although CPQ has been available for decades, innovation in CPQ software is seen as the newest wave in sales optimization tools. This blog will examine why there is such a widespread need for custom solutions and how the CPQ model is empowering businesses to modernize and transform in the digital era.

A one size fits all business solution will not cut it especially when companies have their own unique set of offerings, challenges, and audiences. Meaning the chosen application must be customizable and be able to solve specific challenges organizations are enduring. CPQ creates a tailored solution for enterprises based on their needs; every time you buy a product that requires personalization, CPQ is involved. By organizing products into Bundles that can include different Features and Options, CPQ can simplify complex product catalogs. CPQ also has the capability of defining Product Rules to limit selections and options that cannot be sold together or validate proper configurations. Additionally, it acts as an extension of your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform and makes the sales process simple, fast, and organized.

As niche markets continue to evolve and grow, businesses are doing more custom-built processes. For example, many teams are stuck relying on spreadsheets when it comes to each stage of the sales cycles. From hunting down data to manual entry, reps can waste hours on mundane practices to try and get accurate pricing or final approvals. With CPQ Pricing Rules and Discount Schedules predefined the sales rep can benefit from automated pricing without having to calculate complex combinations. To assure management that all quotes are valid the Advanced Approval process in CPQ can delegate approvers based on limitless criteria and even control the process of submission to assure sales reps are not subverting corporate policy.  CPQ can take the most important parts of the sales cycle out of spreadsheets and puts them into an automated tool that delivers error-free quotes.

Additionally, the power of the Salesforce Platform enables companies to add necessary customizations to seamlessly blend into the CPQ workflows.   These customizations can apply either prior to pricing, pre-pricing actions, or after the pricing depending on the business needs.  This helps create customized, end to end processes.

From a business perspective, CPQ is automating processes that were unable to be streamlined previously. In today’s market where digital transformation is happening at every business level, the need for agility, speed, efficiency, and cost is driving the adoption of CPQ. Especially as the pandemic accelerated digital transformation across industries, CPQ has gained momentum as businesses look to create custom-made solutions to advance their operations. Additionally, in the new hybrid workforce that is ripe for modernization, CPQ is empowering companies to take their fate into their own hands.

As we move into the New Year and hopefully into a post-pandemic world, I foresee CPQ continuing to heat up in the market. We are in the age of personalization in the consumer world, and I do not think the business world is much different. With a hyper-competitive market and technology changing by the second, CPQ is the tool that will help give businesses a leg up in the marketplace and can help facilitate digital transformation efforts. I’m excited to see what the new year brings to the tech world and the innovative ways CPQ will automate, accelerate, and drive change.

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