5 key points for a successful CPQ project
After implementing a dozen of CPQ projects, I would love to share the 5 key points that I gathered for a successful CPQ project, I hope it will help you with your CPQ implementation.
1. Out of the box is not a Cliché
Salesforce CPQ is a very smart package, but it needs to be addressed as a “Black box” that we can’t intervene with – therefore using what’s already there is critical.
Two of the strongest out-of-the-box tools in CPQ, that can be very helpful when using correctly, are Price rules and Twin fields.
Each of them can help us achieve precise calculations on our quote and help manage data in one relevant place.
We need to always keep in mind that CPQ has behind the scenes process we can’t access – so the less code you have the better you use this smart machine.
Happily, Salesforce CPQ is a young app and is constantly growing – it’s not unreasonable to think that your dreamed feature is a release away.
2. Go General
This is a key point in every implementation project, but in CPQ is has to be even more in mind – we want every future change to be easy and quick and won’t require new design.
In CPQ implementation we are using declarative tools to preform different actions, for example update values using Price rules or hiding products using Product rules – by using general attributes we can address different products using only one action or condition! Also, we can use Lookup objects or custom setting to help the customer admins manage their pricing.
3. Know Your Limits
Salesforce CPQ has its limits, and from the beginning they need to be very clear to the customer, as we can’t control it. The tricky part in CPQ is that some of the limits are unknown and depend on implementation and design – this mean a project could potentially ‘hit the wall’ if things are getting too complex.
Salesforce has published some of CPQ limits as public information, but other limitations are learned as you go – a good experienced partner can help a customer know the limits of CPQ from his past experience! Don’t take it lightly…
4. Test and then Test again
When working with complex logic we can get into narrow corners and edge cases, to avoid fails we need to take testing with high priority. As CPQ is based mostly on Data and not Metadata, testing while deploying between environments is critic to a project success. In related to my previous saying – to get to know your limits you have to test the system with your worst cases.
5. Do not forget the Lifecycle
Salesforce CPQ is not an isolated island – it is part of a complete Sales cycle in Salesforce platform. It is important to understand the flow of data in the quote lifecycle and what are the business unique needs. CPQ solution need to consider renewable vs. onetime deals, business with legacy data vs. whole new system, order and invoice interface to ERP system, Account prices based on contracts, etc.
CPQ is opening new and important capabilities to make sales process batter and easier to both the sales rep and the customer.
Enjoy and Good luck!
By Shani Nevo – SalesForce Business Analyst and CPQ Expert