Guide to Salesforce Industries CPQ
Salesforce Industries CPQ (formerly known as Vlocity Industries CPQ) is a business solution designed to address the common configure price quote (CPQ) challenges faced by businesses in the Telco and Utilities industries, supporting order capture, customer quoting at scale, and more.
In this guide, I will highlight how Industries CPQ can help reach accuracy and efficiency, and crush common CPQ and order capture process pitfalls.
Common CPQ Challenges for Industries
The CPQ and order capture process at an enterprise level can become very complex. Several systems are required to facilitate the process and when they are not architected in an optimal way with standard operating procedures established there can be severe issues that bubble up to the front-line sales reps and customers.
Complex and lengthy quoting processes can incur sub-optimal business efficiency and impact the bottom line. As a result of complex business and product configuration processes, reps can easily become overwhelmed and frustrated resulting in a degraded sales performance.
CPQ complexities can be caused by the manual enforcement of certain product rules, changes to systems to manually enter or gather information, time-consuming processes, poor user experience, and difficult product configuration processes. As a result, the learning curve and onboarding process becomes more time-consuming and raises the barrier to entry for these types of sales positions.
Quotes often require approval processes when dealing with large clients. In older front office systems, this approval process can be inefficient, laborious, and lack integration with the overall quoting process leading to a decrease in efficiency and a possible loss of deals.
In the context of the Telco and Utilities industry, B2B clients can require service for multiple service locations of various sizes. Sales reps need the functionality in their CPQ system to efficiently handle these instances in an organized and seamless manner to avoid confusing and time-consuming manual data entry.
The accuracy of a quote or order is critical for customer satisfaction and ensuring the operational efficiency of your quoting process. However, making sure things are accurate can be problematic when necessary information such as customer details and service account information is absent. A CPQ solution must leverage customer data to enforce rules on offers and pricing.
Quickness is uber-important for business growth and staying competitive. The ability to implement a marketing campaign or new product offering in your enterprise product catalog with agility is tremendously valuable. Due to complex product configurations and system dependencies, these operations can be extended longer than needed resulting in a reduction in a business’s time to market and revenue leakage.
Personalized experiences are what customers are expecting when interacting with businesses. In order to satisfy customer needs every customer interaction needs to be seamless. This personalization can range from storing details about a customer gathered from previous interactions to seeing the asset history of a customer, geographical information about a customer, and more.
Oftentimes this information is spread across multiple systems and requires navigation between applications to get this information and that is not efficient.
What Does Salesforce Industries CPQ Do?
You may be thinking “wow, there are a lot of challenges for what on the surface looks like a straightforward task”. Introducing: Salesforce Industries CPQ.
Industries CPQ believes every quoting and order capture experience should and can be seamless. It offers a suite of tools to rapidly develop a customized CPQ process for enterprise businesses with industry-specific data models and features.
The platform aims to address CPQ challenges such as:
- Complex CPQ processes
- Order and quote accuracy
- Time to market
Quote management is the backbone of Industries CPQ allowing businesses to improve sales productivity, win rate, and customer satisfaction while also reducing quoting errors, quote creation time, and time to respond.
Industries CPQ enables the prompt creation of accurate, complete quotes to parties with a vested interest either internally or from a self-serve portal.
Pricing management in Industries CPQ has amazing capabilities to ensure a price is produced quickly and accurately.
Prices can be calculated based on different groups and channels, usage of services, and the configuration of a specific product.
Industries CPQ also enables pricing approvals based on defined thresholds and gives the option to alter pricing using promotions and discounts as well as price overrides.
The pricing functionality offered in Industries CPQ improves the win rate, sales productivity, revenue per order, and average order value while simultaneously reducing the deal closure time and time to respond.
Guided Solutions Configuration
Guided solutions configuration enables the CPQ process to guide front-line reps through the necessary actions and steps to collect and communicate the information required in the configure price quote process.
With Industries CPQ logic engines, you are able to configure rules to enforce a feasible selection of products and services based on exclusions & dependencies, validations & constraints, and rules & filters.
Through the use of guided selling principles customer satisfaction and margin per customer can drastically improve. With the implementation of recommendation rules, sales reps will be shown products and services which complement the customer and can thereby improve the add-on attachment rates.
Product catalog management is a crucial element for analytics and reporting functionality. The ability to have a catalog that is easy to maintain and supports complex product and service configurations (leveraging product types, attributes, and recommendations) can also reduce the time it takes sales teams to respond and analyze information.
With Industries CPQ, this is facilitated by the Enterprise Product Catalog (EPC) module, which is TMForum compliant.
Proposal management in Industries allows users to speed up proposal execution and reduce deal closure time through the use of standard templates, terms, and eSignature functionality.
Subscription management is facilitated by the ability to define one-time and recurring charges with varying terms and payment increments. This helps improve renewal rates, accuracy, sales productivity, and overall customer satisfaction.
Salesforce Industries CPQ Features
The best practice for integrating Industries CPQ is to use the out-of-the-box low code configuration frameworks and tools as much as possible. In this section, we will walk through the core features included in Industries CPQ – however, note that this is not an exhaustive list of the complete functionality offered by this Salesforce product.
The product catalog needs to be addressed before we even get to the CPQ process. A rep needs a product, service, or offers to actually quote the customer on – and this is exactly what the catalog is used for.
Within the product catalog, you can define both technical and commercial products, define pricing, configure rules to enforce business requirements, create promotions and discounts, and build on industry-specific data models.
These products are configured in the cart, which is a lighting web component user interface used by reps to add and configure products to a quote or order.
While the cart and products are all fine and dandy, the CPQ process requires more than just adding products to a cart…
Asset-Based Ordering and Order Types
For enterprise-level order capture solutions, businesses expect asset-based ordering functionality. In a nutshell, asset-based ordering is when you keep track of a customer’s current and past assets. These assets are used in different order types.
Order types include Move, Add, Change, Delete (MACD) and represent the operations a customer can perform on their products and services:
- Move: when a customer is moving service locations.
- Add: when a customer is adding a new service.
- Change: when a customer is modifying an existing asset.
- Delete: when a customer removes their services.
Salesforce Industries CPQ supports all these order types and even has sub-order types to further describe the status of an asset or line item.
Service Locations and Multi-Site Quoting
In B2B segments customers can have multiple service locations for where they would like services.
Multi-Site quoting in Salesforce Industries CPQ allows a sales rep to quote a business on services at multiple locations in one quote and process. Just think of how much time and angst this will save a sales rep!
Promotions and Discounts
Promotions and discounts help businesses in the Telco and Utilities industry stay competitive and ensure the growth and maintenance of market share.
The ability to deploy these promotions and discounts is crucial to the enterprise CPQ process. Salesforce Industries CPQ enables this using the Promotions and Discounts framework.
Promotions in Salesforce Industries CPQ are used to aggregate and override the behavior and characteristics of existing offers and bundles such as cardinality, price, and attributes. This means a product admin can configure promotions quickly in Salesforce using the existing product model as the building blocks.
Discounts differ slightly from promotions. They can reduce the price of a product by a percentage or absolute. Discounts can be applied to orders, accounts, and contracts:
- Order-based discounts are applied in the context of a single order.
- Account-based discounts are applied to all orders on a specified account.
- Contract-based discounts apply to orders based on a string of relationships between the contract object to which the discount is related and the order.
Salesforce Industries CPQ leverages the customer 360 experience allowing reps to view all customer information in one place. This information can include account information and hierarchies, contact information, current and historical assets, service address infrastructure, history of interactions with the business, cases, and more.
Equipped with this information a rep is able to ensure they provide the best customer service and give accurate product recommendations to the current customer.
Industries CPQ uses OmniStudio to configure the business flows required to support the CPQ process. OmniStudio provides developers with low-code frameworks to implement guided flows, UI components, data integration tools, and business rule engines.
By using OmniStudio a developer can reduce development time and increase the maintainability of industry and segment-specific business processes.
Salesforce Industries APIs
The core APIs used in the Industries CPQ product are the Cart-Based API and Digital Commerce API. These APIs are used to configure quotes and orders by leveraging the product, catalog, quote, order, and associated line item objects.
The Cart-based API can add, remove, and modify products, promotions, and line items when configuring the order or quote. This API is crucial to the configuration process. Pre and Post invoke hooks can be used to customize cart behavior based on business needs.
The Digital Commerce API is used to retrieve and add offers to self-serve customers. Offers are retrieved based on catalogs and shown to the customer. When the customer wants to purchase an offer, it is added to the basket. Eventually, this basket is converted to a cart and the products are further customized to customer needs.
Digital Commerce API is used for the high level applications of displaying offers and selecting offers before more granular configuration and order submission takes place.
In order to submit an order, the Digital Commerce basket must be converted to a cart so the checkout Cart-Based API method can be used.
Salesforce Industries CPQ: Use Case
In this section, we will review how a popular Flank Telco, located in Dublin Ireland, uses Industries CPQ to improve the sales process and customer experience.
In the Telco industry, the CPQ process is complex. There are dependencies on many things such as customer information, infrastructure, number of service locations, billing and payment information, credit checks, and much more.
Flank Telco has faced complaints from both their customers that while the service delivery is fantastic, the customer experience gives them nightmares. Additionally, the front-line sales reps are not happy with the process themselves since they are required to swivel between several systems to complete an order. Oftentimes orders have errors and don’t get provisioned correctly.
To address their current issues, Flank Telco decides to use Industries CPQ to ensure customer and employee concerns are addressed such that the CPQ process becomes more streamlined and maintainable with less fallout and barrier to entry for new employees.
With the new Industries CPQ implementation when a new customer calls in, Flank Telco can easily set up the new customer with services by launching the new customer account creation OmniScript to gather customer information before configuring the order.
For existing customers the account view allows a Flank Telco rep to see all of the customer’s details such as assets, orders, location, and contracts. The sales rep can launch MACD orders based on customer needs from this screen. Upon launching one of these orders a custom OmniScript will be launched to guide the sales rep through the process.
In the context of a change order, the rep will be brought to the cart interface where they can leverage asset-based ordering to alter existing assets and add new products and services depending on what the customer needs. Product information is pulled from the Salesforce enterprise product catalog.
After the cart step, the rep will continue the OmniScript flow and complete the order. Flank Telco also uses Salesforce Order Management to decompose and orchestrate orders in Salesforce to improve time to market and reduce order fallout.
With this new order capture implementation, Flank Telco has addressed the poor customer experience while also improving business infrastructure KPIs like internal systems, innovation, and business efficiency.
As a result, Flank Telco observes reduced churn and improved revenue.
The Configure Price Quote (CPQ) process can be a complex and challenging task for businesses in the Telecom and Utilities Industries. Accurately quoting complex products or services while ensuring pricing consistency and regulatory compliance can be time-consuming and error-prone, but is essential.
I hope you now understand that Salesforce Industries CPQ is a powerful solution designed to address these challenges and streamline the CPQ process – maybe it’s the right choice for your business.