7 Best Practices to Consider During a Salesforce CPQ Implementation

February 23, 2024


Closing deals is every sales team’s goal—but closing deals quickly is the difference between an efficient, revenue-driving sales team and one falling behind. 

Enable efficient sales processes with swift and accurate price quotes by configuring CPQ (configure price quote) engines. Salesforce CPQ, in particular, leads the pack as the top solution in the market—and for good reason. 

Salesforce CPQ allows sales teams to minimize the time it takes to close a deal, especially when integrated with customer relationship management (CRM). But to take full advantage of these benefits, you’d be wise to follow a few Salesforce CPQ implementation best practices.

1. Define Your Goals and Plan Out the Process

When implementing a CPQ, it's important to remember that Salesforce CPQ works seamlessly and can help achieve these common goals:

  • Reduced time to sale
  • Faster quote provision
  • Increased repeat customers
  • Improve sales success rate

Whatever the goal, ensure you establish measurable targets. In other words, progress must be defined and tracked by quantitative or qualitative measures. 

Then, with the goals in place, you can set up your methodology and sales procedure to meet them. This includes detailing how your products relate to each other, what the priority of sales is, and how discounts, pricing, and approvals work together. It also includes matching protocols to Salesforce standards and allocating resources to backend database management.

2. Configure Salesforce CPQ Features and Rules

Another key consideration before and during implementation is aligning sales processes and terms with Salesforce CPQ protocols. If you plan to implement Salesforce CPQ, it's important to understand the CPQ process and align your sales processes accordingly. Examples include establishing product rules and summary variables for efficient presentation and robust analysis.

It helps to understand the underlying mechanics of the rules, as well. For example, Salesforce CPQ product rules are prioritized by evaluation order (highest to lowest).

3. Test the Implementation and Configuration to Ensure It Meets Your Organization's Needs

Prioritizing CPQ features is crucial to allocate resources and focus on the most important functionalities. To ensure a successful launch, it’s important to conduct extensive testing on different CPQ modules included in the CPQ package. 

Software testing methods vary widely, including baseline acceptance testing to confirm functionality and more advanced performance and regression testing to ensure processes hold up over time and across updates. Additionally, Salesforce CPQ offers approval processes that can be tailored to your specific business needs, ensuring every quote is authorized before it is sent to the customer.

4. Integrate Salesforce CPQ With Existing Systems

Upfront resources need to be allocated to properly integrate Salesforce CPQ with the other systems your sales team uses, like CRMs and contract lifecycle management (CLM). This integration work makes Salesforce CPQ a more useful sales tool for your sales reps, as it enables them to generate more accurate and customizable quotes.

Similarly, a key part of integration is training. Staff designated to use Salesforce CPQ need to be educated on exactly how it works and how it will optimize their workflow. Training should include dynamic exercises in which sales teams create and adjust quotes in real time based on variables like customer profiles.

5. Migrate Pricing Data into Salesforce CPQ

Organizations also need to approach the act of transferring data into Salesforce CPQ with care, especially when it comes to sales operations and the sales cycle. Data migration best practices to facilitate this part of the process include:

  • Leveraging Salesforce’s data-related tools like Data Loader for smaller implementations
  • Utilizing third-party software such as Talend or Jitterbit for larger projects
  • Picking between “Big Bang” (all at once) or “Trickle” (gradual) processes
  • Mapping data to account for data relationships and transformations during the migration
  • Validating and testing data to ensure accuracy and integrity

Working with a consultant or team of experts will help prevent pitfalls at this stage.

6. Launch Your Salesforce CPQ Solution for Users

Once internal processes are solidified and internal stakeholders know how to make the most of them, it’s finally time to launch its client-facing functionalities.

Incorporating pricing bundles and pricing tiers into the mix helps increase user adoption, allowing for generating accurate, personalized quotes near-instantaneously in almost any outreach situation. Early communications with leads should incorporate quotes sooner, and nurturing conversations can be aligned with data-driven (read: non-intrusive) cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

7. Measure and Continually Improve

The only way to appreciate CPQ’s actual ROI is to track it. Paying attention to metrics like Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) empowers sales teams to understand user adoption and customer experience on a granular level. It enables accurate assessment of a sales pipeline, impactful improvement over time, and optimization of proposal processes.

This is often why setting up a CPQ tool without a proper DevOps pipeline is a recipe for disaster, leading to inefficiencies in sales reps' productivity due to manual data entry.

Mistakes to Avoid During Implementation

Despite the near-endless benefits a Salesforce CPQ can bring to your organization when it’s implemented effectively, there are some critical mishaps that can arise. Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Poor or lacking collaboration: The entire organization needs to be on board and unified in their approaches for a Salesforce CPQ implementation to work.
  • Inaccurate or outdated data: Bad data inputs create bad outputs. There needs to be a process to validate products, prices, and other information.
  • Bad perceptions of quotes: Teams need to understand the working mechanics behind a quote (pre-sales processes, product catalogs, pricing rules, etc.) to provide accurate information that prospects and clients will fully appreciate.

The best way to avoid issues like these is to work with a quality team of consultants who will facilitate all Salesforce CPQ implementation process elements.

Optimize Your Salesforce CPQ Implementation

Implementing Salesforce CPQ is one of the best options for any organization aiming to streamline and supercharge its sales process. But that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest thing to do, especially for teams less familiar with the platform.

That’s where we come in.

Operatus is a team of Revenue Operations (RevOps) experts committed to simplifying the process for you. We’ve helped countless sales teams reap the benefits of Salesforce CPQ with support before, during, and after implementation.

Get in touch today to provide more accurate quotes and engage customers faster.