RevOps / Admins / CPQ

Why CPQ Could Be the Specialization for You

By Alyssa Lefebvre

Salesforce CPQ or “Revenue Cloud” enables organizations to streamline their revenue functions directly within Salesforce – from quoting to billing, all the way through to the recognition of revenue. Whilst Salesforce CPQ is still relevant on its own, being part of Revenue Cloud brings added features to your Salesforce org, which go above and beyond CPQ. Revenue Cloud removes dreaded “data silos” and reduces manual data entry between systems, as information can be passed seamlessly between objects in Salesforce. 

In this article, we will explore why CPQ/Revenue Cloud is a good specialization to choose if you’re looking to concentrate your Salesforce knowledge.

Why Should You Choose a Specialization?

Whilst it’s important early on in your Salesforce career to gain a broad understanding of the platform and its capabilities, choosing a specialization can make you a huge asset to organizations.

Similarly, in other professions, such as medicine, all doctors understand the fundamentals of medicine, but surgeons specialize in a concentrated subject matter, which allows them to have a deep understanding of their chosen field. Think of yourself as a surgeon for Salesforce!

Choosing the right Salesforce specialization is important for career longevity and overall work satisfaction. You should choose something that interests and excites you, as well as a field that is in demand.

Luckily, Salesforce has numerous areas you can specialize in, so options are abundant. You can take your time to find your niche whilst getting good experience on the Salesforce platform as a whole.

What Is Revenue Cloud?

Salesforce Revenue Cloud is one of Salesforce’s many “cloud” offerings. Essentially, it’s a collection of products that help customers achieve a specific goal – in this case, revenue automation and excellence. But what does that actually mean?

Think about your journey as a customer for any business. I’m sure you could note companies that offer a seamless buying experience versus companies that don’t. This is the same in a B2B setting. Customers expect the buying process to be simple and painless. They don’t want to have to ask for edits on a quote or for mistakes to be resolved on an invoice. Instead, they expect this to all be taken care of by the vendor.

All too often, though, the selling process on the vendor side is disjointed and clunky, involving a lot of manual work and the transfer of data between systems – all relying on good data quality which is often non-existent.

What Salesforce Revenue Cloud does is make the process seamless from the moment a customer or prospect interacts with a company to the moment the revenue generated from their sale is recognized. Of course, parts of this process involve the customer directly, and others do not. However, with a seamless process happening from start to finish, you are much more likely to achieve customer satisfaction.

At a high level, Salesforce Revenue Cloud is an extension of Sales Cloud and encompasses:

  • Salesforce CPQ
  • Salesforce Billing
  • Omni-Channel Self Service
  • Salesforce Advanced Approvals
  • Contracts, Renewals, and Amendments
  • Pipeline Management and Collaborative Forecasting

Overall, Revenue Cloud ties together disjointed processes and helps companies achieve profitable sales faster. Mastering this process is key for every organization to succeed.

Other Areas You Could Specialize In

Of course, there are many different areas in which you could specialize when it comes to Salesforce. Lucy gives us a comprehensive guide in a recent article, 30+ Salesforce Specializations to Consider in 2023.

Platform AreaDemand RatingEffort Rating
CPQ (Revenue Cloud) Sales54
Sales Engagement (formerly High Velocity Sales)

Console & widgetsService21
Field ServiceService22
Account Engagement (Pardot)Digital32
Marketing CloudDigital55
Customer Data Platform (formerly Salesforce CDP)Digital2.53.5
Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio)Digital4*4*
Commerce - B2BDigital4.53
Commerce - B2CDigital54
CRM AnalyticsData42.5
Lightning Web Components (LWCs)Platform41.5**
DevOps Center
Health CloudIndustries23
Financial Services CloudIndustries33
Energy & Utilities CloudIndustries53
Nonprofit Success Pack (NSPS) Industries5 (for nonprofits)3
Education CloudIndustries--
Net Zero Cloud Industries3.53.5
MuleSoft ComposerData13
Experience CloudDigital/Platform32.5
NFT CloudDigital--

As you can see, CPQ or Revenue Cloud has a high demand and relatively high effort ratings. However, there are numerous other specializations to be considered. Check out the full article for more information on the various areas.

READ MORE: 30+ Salesforce Specializations to Consider in 2023

Why Revenue Cloud Is a Good Specialization for Your Career

Now that we know what exactly Revenue Cloud helps customers to achieve, we can look at why it’s a great specialization for your career.

Although data specific to Revenue Cloud growth is publicly unavailable, it’s reasonable to believe that Revenue Cloud is one of Salesforce’s fastest growing “clouds” amongst Salesforce’s 150,000+ customers. This is because it can apply across various industries and is often a process that has yet to go through digital transformation in organizations.

As we see in the graphic above, there is also a high demand for Revenue Cloud professionals in the industry. As a Revenue Cloud specialist myself, I can personally attest to this.

Some other reasons include:

  • High demand and higher compensation: Supply and demand is the oldest rule of economics, and the fact is that Revenue Cloud experts are in high demand and short supply, driving up compensation for those with the required expertise.
  • Job security: When a skillset is in high demand and supply is scarce, this creates natural job security. Whilst no job is ever fully secure, as there are many factors outside of your control to ensure a company’s longevity, having a highly sought-after skill set gives you more security and flexibility.
  • Universal application: Every single company relies on revenue to continue its existence, meaning Revenue Cloud skills will apply to every company that uses Salesforce.
  • Stimulating work: Revenue Cloud touches so many parts of an organization, which means the work is varied and challenging. Revenue Cloud projects are like snowflakes – no two will ever be the same. You will, of course, notice common themes throughout the projects you work on, and that will enable you to advise companies on best practices, common pitfalls, and process improvements.

Revenue Cloud Use Cases

Use cases for Revenue Cloud are abundant. As already mentioned, the revenue generation and recognition process is critical for every organization that operates in a for-profit capacity as it’s crucial to their continued longevity, meaning there are hundreds of use cases for Revenue Cloud. We’ll explore five diverse use cases in this article, but this is certainly not an exhaustive list…

1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing is my personal area of expertise when it comes to CPQ and Revenue Cloud. Manufacturing companies often sell extremely complex and nuanced products that require very detailed quotes and orders, as well as ongoing maintenance contracts that need to be fulfilled.

Many manufacturing companies work off of complex, offline spreadsheets to configure, price, and quote their products, which is often time-consuming and can result in errors.

Revenue Cloud enables manufacturers to produce high-quality, detailed quotations to their customers with the high-level product that they’ve purchased, but equally, they can create very detailed orders which may include additional “back-end” products or materials that should be detailed at the order level. This ensures total alignment between the sales and order fulfillment teams, resulting in a seamless customer experience.

A good example of a CPQ process for a manufacturing company would be a car configuration process. If you go to almost any car company’s website, you will be able to configure a brand-new car to your exact specifications. You may choose various options, such as engine size, color, and seat fabric on the front end, which are simplified for you, the user, but will easily result in numerous materials that are actually required to build your car on the back end.

Imagine the complexity this creates in a system. It would be very inefficient to have this process completed in multiple different systems that do not communicate with each other. Revenue Cloud makes this process seamless and efficient.

2. Professional Services

Another use case for Revenue Cloud is around professional services. Professional services rely on detailed statements of work to be generated, which state exactly what will be done on a project, who will do it, the timeframe in which it will be completed and how much it will cost.

Creating such a complex document can be streamlined using Salesforce Revenue Cloud. In professional services, your products are effectively your people. You have various roles, rates you charge for them, and ultimately, a successful project delivery, which (hopefully) keeps the customer coming back time and time again for your services.

While the product catalog for resources may be simpler than, let’s say, a complex manufacturing product, the pricing logic for professional services is often complex. Rates can often be different depending on the physical location in which the project will be delivered – whether the resources will be on-site or remote and whether or not the project is being quoted as a “fixed price” or “time and materials” contract.

On top of that, billing for professional services is typically done on a milestone basis, such as completing certain phases of a project. Revenue Cloud can accommodate multiple types of billing and revenue recognition and removes the need for data to be entered across multiple systems repeatedly.

3. Telecommunications

Telecom might not seem like an obvious use case for Revenue Cloud, but you’ve probably experienced this in your daily life more than you realize. Have you ever bought a cable TV package or signed up for a new mobile phone provider? If so, you’ve likely interacted with something called “bundles”, which are a staple of Salesforce CPQ and CPQ tools in general.

Bundles are, very simple, a logical grouping of products priced either as a whole or in parts. Think back to that cable TV package I mentioned earlier – it’s likely the provider offered multiple bundles for various prices, such as a standard package, a movie package, or a sports package. All of these had different prices and were different “bundles” based on what you chose.

Another type of bundle is the common offering of television plus broadband services. You seemingly get a ‘discount’ if you buy them together versus buying them separately. This is also a “bundle” offering. Customers may also add more services to their contract over time, such as a mobile phone contract, increasing complexity around contract renewals, and billing even further.

What I’ve described so far is only the B2C side, which you may be familiar with. However, this can get even more complex when you switch to the B2B side of telecommunications. It’s no wonder Salesforce Revenue Cloud is needed to help telecom companies manage their quoting, ordering, and revenue processes.

4. SaaS

SaaS is a perfect use case for Revenue Cloud. SaaS products are sold on a subscription model, meaning a company or person buying the software is contracted to a specific term. This results in an ongoing contract with your customer, one that can be amended throughout its lifetime.

Think about your company’s contract with Salesforce. It’s unlikely you will sign up for a five-year agreement and not make a single change to the contract, such as adding more licenses for an existing product or adding a new product to the contract for the remaining term. These are called contract amendments, and oftentimes, companies make these changes manually to a contract, or worse – they sign an entirely new contract, resulting in multiple end dates for their customer, which can result in a negative customer experience.

In addition to contract amendments, companies selling products on subscription terms also have revenue recognition challenges. Although a customer might pay upfront for a product for a certain period of time, there are different revenue recognition policies that apply from an accounting perspective. For example, if a customer pays for a whole year upfront but has the ability to cancel at any point, the revenue must be recognized monthly to avoid accounting issues due to cancellations.

Revenue Cloud handles all of this complexity, from configuration through to the realization of revenue.

5. Insurance

It’s likely if you’ve ever taken out any insurance policy, you will be familiar with the quoting process. You have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, followed by receiving a quote based on your answers. Products are offered to customers based on numerous factors, and this would be hard to do without a system in place.

Once a customer chooses a policy, they receive policy documents and then need the ability to submit a claim should one arise during the term of the policy. Policies also need to be renewed at regular intervals and renewals usually require automated quotes to be generated based on the answers provided previously.

Imagine doing all of this in multiple systems without a 360-degree view of your customer. It would be challenging, to say the least.

Salesforce provides a true 360-degree view of your customer, allowing you to easily upsell and cross-sell new products to your existing customer base, which results in high revenues.

Career Opportunities with Revenue Cloud

As you can see from the various use cases in different industries, there is no shortage of scenarios in which Revenue Cloud can benefit companies. Job opportunities in this space will be growing for years to come, as more and more of Salesforce’s 150,000+ customers start to adopt the tool.

Revenue Cloud can make for a very interesting and challenging career, one that will ensure you are learning every single day. You will have the opportunity to work in various capacities, depending on your preferences, such as as a standalone contractor, as a full-time employee at a consultancy, or as an in-house Revenue Cloud specialist.

Currently, there is a shortage of Salesforce professionals who have a deep understanding of Revenue Cloud, which is what makes it one of the most attractive specializations for 2023 and beyond!

As someone who has been working with Salesforce CPQ for a number of years now, I can tell you I still find the work exciting and challenging and anticipate I will do so for years to come. As the platform continues to grow, so will the demand for specialized knowledge, so choosing a specialization is a good thing to do for the longevity of your career.


Overall, Revenue Cloud is a growing space within the Salesforce industry and will continue to require specialists for years to come, making it a good choice for a Salesforce specialization.

That being said, specializing in any slightly more niche area of Salesforce (such as Marketing Cloud, Pardot, Field Service Lightning, etc.) can make you a more valuable resource to the organizations using those tools.

The best thing to do when choosing to specialize in something is to ensure you find the work and subject matter interesting and stimulating so that every day you go to work, you feel excited and ready to take on a new challenge!

The Author

Alyssa Lefebvre

Head of Salesforce at Aareon Group & 7x certified Salesforce professional, passionate about Sales Cloud, RevOps & CPQ.

Leave a Reply