What is the best Quote to Cash (CPQ) Tool for Salesforce?

Our Salesforce consultants are often asked what is the best quoting tools in Salesforce.  There are multiple options including standard Salesforce and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions.  They both have pros and cons so your specific situation will need to be evaluated for the best fit.  Below are some of our top pics and a brief overview when to choose which option.

What is a Standard Salesforce Quote?

A quote is basically a record showing proposed prices for any product or service. When we add a product into an opportunity, Salesforce will automatically link our quote with the product and allow us to generate and email the quote to the customer. We can have multiple quotes associated with a single opportunity, but only one of them can be synced with the opportunity record, this your primary quote. Only the details associated with that quote and its line items are synchronized with the opportunity.

Why Use a Custom Salesforce CPQ Solutions over Standard Quoting option?

Salesforce standard quoting is going be the best options for small to mid-sized companies that are looking to get the most bang for their buck.   The price per user is going to be less and it is fast and easy to setup.  However, we are seeing that for many companies with more complex pricing the standard Salesforce quoting setup does not meet their requirements.

Clients with more complex pricing need a more robust Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution.  They typically have larger product catalogs, complex price lists, configurable products, complex approvals, product based legal terms and leverage tiered or bundled discounts. Configure Price Quote (CPQ) helps you bridge the gap between your front and back-end systems, elevate the accuracy of your quotes, and keep approving, bundling and discounting up-to-date.quote-to-cash

CPQ picks up where Salesforce CRM leaves off by making all of the complex product, pricing and business rules centralized, automatic and available in real-time, so sales have everything they need at their fingertips when trying to configure and quote a deal. With Salesforce CPQ, your reps and partners are more efficient, more effective, and have the tools they need to move the deal along, get the quote approved and get to a signed contract.

A real-world example is would be when a sales rep is cross-selling products from multiple business units and is required to create a quote with legal terms based on the products selected.  Salesforce CPQ makes this process simple and easy.

Top Picks:

  1. Salesforce Standard Quotes
  2. SteelBrick CPQ application
  3. Apttus CPQ application
  4. Callidus Cloud CPQ application

The recommendations starts with number #1.  For organizations selling only a few products or services with straight forward pricings salesforce quotes normally more than enough.  They can spice up their quotes using Visualforce templates to get the exact branding needed and will provide the lowest cost options.

For customers with more complex selling processes and products our Salesforce consultants normally recommend Steelbrick or Apttus.  We feel that these are the two standout leaders and offer the most value and ease of installation.

CPQ Implementation Best Practices:

  1. Create Global Template – drive the organization to a Global CPQ template to keep consistency for all business units and to promote cross-selling.
  2. Products & Pricing – look at products and pricing requirements from a global perspective.
  3. Review governance – consider discounts, approvals, and workflow at the enterprise level.
    * Discounts need to be considered at the product vs total contract level
    * Volume discounts, partner discounts, bundle discounts
    * Promotions, coupon codes, term of contracts discounts can apply
  4. Product configuration – the rep UI is very important to determine guided selling vs product searching capabilities.
  5. Legal Terms and Conditions – define all legal requirements.
  6. Quote Templates – customizable templates will need to be analyzed for the following.
  7. Branding, layout(s), legal compliance, marketing and audit requirements
  8. ESignature – integration with eSignature applications will streamline the end of the quote to cash process.
  9. Renewals – All of the above have to be defined for both new order and renewals early in the process.

To see how your organization can benefit from a powerful Salesforce CPQ solution contact us at www.cirriussolutions.com/contact.