When should you not use Salesforce CPQ?
Salesforce Sales Cloud has long been the go-to solution for sales teams looking for easy-to-use, customizable CRM software. However, Salesforce Sales Cloud doesn’t offer much in the way of Quote-to-Cash (QTC) automation. For that, you need Salesforce Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ.)
What Is Salesforce CPQ
Your business is starting to boom. Your top salespeople are doing well at a trade show. They’ve generated many contacts and have already started converting them.
The next logical step is quoting. But quoting can be time-consuming. Studies show that today’s salespeople spend only 34% of their time actually selling. The rest is the administrative side of the process: quoting, data input, closing, keeping them away from their customers, and getting in the way of hitting their quotas for the year.
This makes it easy to see why sales managers begin to look for solutions to save time for them and their people. The more time they input data for quotes, the more time they’re not chasing leads and closing deals.
That’s where CPQ solutions come in.
CPQ, or Configure, Price, Quote, is software that can help businesses increase their sales. It provides a streamlined process for creating and issuing quotes and orders.
Salesforce CPQ is a powerful sales tool that helps sales teams streamline the entire QTC process, from proposal generation to contract management. However, Salesforce CPQ is not suitable for everyone and can be costly to purchase and implement in your organization.
There are a few situations where your organization might not need or be able to justify integrating Salesforce CPQ.
Why you might not need Salesforce CPQ
Your company only offers a few standard products
CPQ is best for companies with hundreds and thousands of products and services. It also works great when you’re dealing with very complex products. If you only have a few products in your catalog, you really don’t need a CPQ solution. Generating quotes for a few standard items is generally pretty quick.
Your products don’t offer configuration
It’s right there in the name. Configure-Price-Quote. If your company keeps it basic, CPQ won’t offer you the value necessary to justify the cost. CPQ technology excels at complicated configurations and pricing structures, such as selecting options for a car or computer build. Sell generators with many different fuel and output options? Salesforce CPQ is perfect for that. Sell one generator that only lets the customer choose between black or yellow frame color? Probably not. It will work fine for that; it’s just an expensive path to get there.
You don’t need to create quotes quickly
If you’re in an industry that can take its time to close the sale and remain competitive, this isn’t for you. Salesforce CPQ helps generate quotes from a lot of options in a fraction of the time a human can with fewer errors.
Your budget is tight
CPQ technology can save you a lot of time and money, but it also costs you money to license and implement. There isn’t a guaranteed ROI just by integrating Salesforce CPQ. If your budget doesn’t allow you to comfortably afford the monthly/annual service fees, you might want to go in a different direction. While hiring a firm like CaseNine to create a CPQ solution can save you a lot of headache and money in the long run, it’s still going to cost you to get rolling. Make sure to make a solid internal business case. You can read our blog Everything you need for the internal business case for valuable tips to make a solid business case.
You like a hands-on approach
Salesforce CPQ automates as many parts of the quoting process as you set it up for. If your org is small and you like your team to keep their hands solidly on every step of the sales process, verifying, double checking, taking your third coffee break, and then verifying again before sending the quote off, CPQ technology might not be a good fit. Efficiency and accuracy are the secret middle names of CPQ software.
You don’t already use Salesforce Sales Cloud
While this might seem like an obvious one, if your organization doesn’t already use Salesforce Sales Cloud, you should start researching what Salesforce product fits your business needs. Salesforce, offers now Salesforce Industries products. It offers pre-built solutions on the Salesforce platform that solve the needs of particular industries for instance; Energy & Utilities Cloud, Communications Cloud. In those solutions CRM and CPQ are included.
You cover multiple industries under one roof
Salesforce CPQ has tight vertical industries that make setting it up somewhat easier. However, if your organization covers a wide range of industries such as healthcare and energy, you will encounter extra expenses and challenges getting it set up for your org.
You hate change
When you integrate Salesforce CPQ into your sales flow, you and your people must be willing to change some in-house processes. If Hank over in sales has been using the same quoting process for eighteen years, you might receive some pushback when telling him it’s time for an update. CPQ solutions are there to make you more efficient and accurate. Frequently that means overhauling the methods and processes you’ve implemented over time.
Not For Everyone
Whether or not you should invest in Salesforce CPQ for your company is a big decision. It’s going to cost you upfront and continually to license the software. Getting the software set up for your organization and turned into a solution for your sales teams will also cost you. Then you have to train your people on how to properly use it and harness its true power. When implemented correctly, it can truly improve your sales game. More than likely you’ll have an increase in conversions and sales as well as repeat customers. It just takes a substantial investment and time to get there. Again, make sure to make a solid internal business case beforehand and find a good supplier to work with.
At CaseNine, creating CPQ solutions is what we do. If you’re still not sure whether Salesforce CPQ is right for your organization, we recommend talking to one of our CPQ Specialists. They can help you assess your needs and determine whether Salesforce CPQ is the right tool for you. We also have a free CPQ White paper available for download that discusses the challenges and potential missteps of implementing and integrating CPQ technology in your organization.