Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a powerful tool that streamlines the process of creating accurate quotes for products and services. As an integral part of Salesforce Revenue Cloud, CPQ helps organizations optimize their sales processes, enhance revenue generation, and deliver a better overall customer experience.
However, implementing, developing, and maintaining Salesforce CPQ can be complex, with unique challenges for developers, admins, and CPQ specialists. In this article, we delve into the core challenges encountered during CPQ deployments, and explore best practices to overcome them.
Challenge: Data and Dependencies
Deploying CPQ configuration data is more intricate than deploying metadata, due to the numerous dependencies and relationships between data records.
Unique IDs assigned to records by Salesforce can change when the same record is deployed across different Salesforce orgs. Failing to match IDs correctly can lead to duplicate records, which can cause issues with data integrity, data mapping, missing data, and ensuring all dependencies are included in deployment.
To ensure accurate mapping and deployment of records across various Salesforce environments, it is essential to assign each record an “external” ID. External IDs offer several advantages, allowing you to:
- Cross reference records between environments and even multiple systems.
- Accurately deploy CPQ configuration data for products, prices, price rules, etc.
- Simplify integrations with external systems such as ERP or financial platforms.
- Maintain consistency across all environments and systems.
- Ensure data integrity, preventing duplicates and data corruption.
- Speed up CPQ deployments and improve confidence in the release process.
- Drastically reduce the likelihood of human error.
Challenge: Deploying With Incompatible Tools
As we’ve seen, deploying CPQ changes isn’t like deploying regular metadata. This means tools built solely for deploying metadata can’t be used for CPQ, whether that’s change sets, DX, or most third-party solutions.
But data deployment tools aren’t built for CPQ either, which means, while CPQ configuration can be deployed with these tools, they’re rarely intuitive or successful. Equally, for teams who don’t use any tools, manually documenting all changes and recreating them in the target org means CPQ deployments become laborious, time-consuming, and extremely error-prone.
Choosing a solution that’s built for CPQ can take the pain out of these deployments.
For example, the ability to automatically identify dependencies and keep them intact when deploying changes between orgs, means no more manual cross-referencing which significantly reduces human error. An easy UI that shows configuration differences between environments gives teams confidence and visibility of what changes have been made.
Challenge: CPQ That’s Disconnected from DevOps
Challenges with using generic tooling for CPQ deployments often leads Salesforce teams to have multiple development streams: one for metadata and one for CPQ. This division complicates audit trails, collaboration, and release management, which can derail the continuous integration of work across different workstreams.
In fact, splitting out your CPQ workflow can leave you missing out on some of the biggest benefits of DevOps by slowing down deployment processes and encouraging silos.
A team’s CPQ releases can be aligned with DevOps processes using tooling that supports deployments of Salesforce data and metadata together. By doing so, Salesforce teams can harness the benefits of DevOps deployment best practices to help save crucial time on CPQ deployments, just like deploying metadata changes.
Another way to integrate DevOps and CPQ is automation. For example, automated change monitoring allows teams to keep track of changes and workflows, no matter how many team members are making changes to CPQ configuration.
If you’re looking for a tool to simplify and streamline your CPQ deployments, you’ll get most success from a solution that can:
- Manage external IDs seamlessly.
- Integrate CPQ into the same DevOps process used for metadata development.
- Support the deployment of Salesforce data and metadata together.
- Provide teams with visibility into complex configuration changes.
- Assist teams in identifying and deploying dependencies effectively.
By following these best practices, Salesforce teams can eliminate manual errors, enhance efficiency, and deliver precise quotes and pricing to customers.
For further insights into simplifying CPQ release management and unlocking the full potential of CPQ for Salesforce, download Gearset’s free, ungated whitepaper: Salesforce CPQ Deployments.