How Salesforce CPQ is Empowering Businesses Large and Small

Published by Don Kennedy

On August 31, 2020
CPQ Salesforce and Smartdata

Are you fed up with the traditional process for creating and following up on proposals and quotes? Are you tired of manual processing and error-prone tasks that slow down your business? Don’t worry, here comes the solution for you: Salesforce CPQ, which stands for “Configure, Price, and Quote.“ CPQ helps sales representatives sell more and sell faster by managing and automating the process of quoting.


Explore the CPQ Tool

Let’s explore Configure, Price, and Quote in Salesforce a bit more. 


First, CPQ can be configured to allow sales representatives to select the best mix of products for customers based on criteria. Add-ons are made easy and reps have information at their fingertips to help them make the most of every opportunity.

Price is another important aspect of successful sales that can be configured. Salesforce CPQ allows automatic assigning of the customer’s price with the assurance that the optimal discounts are applied. 

Last but not least, CPQ automatically creates a quote with all Information from the previous steps and can be sent to the customer. No copying and pasting. No mistakes.

Salesforce CPQ can turn your team into a high-performance sales team by adding automated pricing, automated control over discounts, and accurate and formatted quotes with just a few clicks.


SmartData Sales CPQ Homepage Screenshot

What is Salesforce CPQ?

Salesforce CPQ is fully native to the Salesforce platform and uses standard objects and many prebuilt features that you can customize, ensuring easy scale as your sales processes evolve.

Salesforce CPQ can create proposals, quotes, and contracts depending on your business requirement. And CPQ is scalable, so it works for small businesses, as well as for large corporations. 

You create your document once and can update it as you go. Salesforce CPQ creates your quote document in pdf format and as a Microsoft Word document and all documents are tracked in audit logs. Moreover, Salesforce CPQ also generates renewal quotes based on previous quotes, so you don’t have to reenter information, saving time.  

One of the most powerful features of Salesforce CPQ is the reporting and dashboards you can build to garner further insight into your CPQ process.


Where and How to Use CPQ

So far you probably have an idea of what CPQ is. Now, let’s start digging in a bit more to understand where CPQ can make a difference for your business. If you’re tired of managing spreadsheets and handwritten notes for every proposal or quote, let’s see how CPQ can help you out. 

If your company Is following a traditional selling process from lead generation to negotiation to closing the deal, then CPQ is for you no matter how big or small of a business you’re running. By integrating with CPQ, you can boost your business by increasing the proposal pipeline and closing deals faster. Your teams improved knowledge with CPQ about what’s being offered and what’s being sold will show in your KPIs. 


How does it work?

Let’s see how it works by considering a simple example of ABC Company. ABC sells ceramic tiles and they are using CPQ whenever a new opportunity strikes. CPQ starts well before the sale with the team configuring their products and processes. CPQ allows you to configure what product a customer is looking for and what the probable combinations of products might be. 

For example, if a customer wants to buy wall tiles, we know that we have configured a tile jointer as part of the process. The sales rep will not forget this because it is part of their quoting process automatically. 

Similarly, if there are various combinations you can configure CPQ to list products based on previous selections This configuration guarantees that valid products will be included, without making any mistakes.

CPQ allows your sales team to look ahead and provides hints for going beyond the current sale. 

The next step is pricing. We need to specify the price for the tiles and this is where CPQ can help. Salesforce becomes your pricing source of truth. You can also apply discounts on specific products based on client type or holidays, or other criteria that can be defined by you.

The quote is dynamic also. If your quote requires special terms these can appear automatically. All the mathematical work is handled by CPQ , so your sales rep just needs to focus on your customer.

Bingo we are at the final stage of CPQ where you just need to generate a PDF with the quote and detailed information. You can then send the quote to your customer with the click of a button.


Salesforce CPQ Logo


CPQ Tools

Right now there are dozens of CPQ tools on the market. Here are a few of the most popular:



For now, we will talk about two big shots of the CPQ industry: Apttus and Salesforce CPQ.

Apttus CPQ is the most popular and widely used CPQ product. Apttus, however, is built on Salesforce! The irony of the Apttus tool is that it depends on the Salesforce CRM for some functionality. Apttus is suitable for mid- to large-scale businesses.  

Salesforce CPQ is used worldwide because it is native to the Salesforce platform. Initially, Salesforce CPQ was known as SteelBrick CPQ until Salesforce acquired the company and renamed it to Salesforce CPQ. Salesforce CPQ is suitable for small- to large-scale businesses. Salesforce CPQ provides many features like Approval Process Control, Audits, Analytics, and many more.


Return on Investment


ROI is an important aspect of any expenditure. 


“Research shows only 34% of a salesperson’s time will be spent on actual selling. All the remaining time will be spent on generating quotes, Proposals, and gaining approvals “


CPQ will allow you to generate quotes ten times faster and reduce approval times by using the key control features of CPQ. Sales representatives will be able to utilize their time selling rather than managing proposals and quotes.

By following traditional selling methods, there are many chances to create errors. And while you could have someone manually review all your sales quotes for accuracy, this would waste a lot of money. In addition, improper manual configuration of products can be a major loss in terms of revenue or even losing your valuable client by sending inaccurate sales quotes. 

Salesforce CPQ eliminates these issues that plague the traditional proposal and quote processes and automatically increases your business by saving time and money. 



Examples of CPQ Uses


Finance Graphic


CPQ provides leverage to provide complex product configuration for financial services like loans, insurance policies, and mutual funds. CPQ provides product bundling and helps to enhance profit and customer satisfaction.

Any organization that works in financial services deals with manual processes for gathering information and sending documentation. These processes are often lengthy and take lots of time and effort. CPQ automates these processes. 

Consider a scenario where a company’s sales are good in one region and bad in another. The sales team, including the representative, must analyze all the many important factors that determine success in the areas. With all the data in Salesforce, and by using even some of the standard reporting features, this type of analysis is made easier.

We are talking about financial services, so we need to think about regulatory requirements as well. CPQ helps to improve regulatory compliance throughout the process from product configuration to contracting. 


Manufacturing Graphic


CPQ plays an important role in the manufacturing domain. Consider a scenario where you have hundreds of possibilities and combinations of products you deliver. You need to accurately maintain constantly changing price sheets, discount schedules, and other product-related data.

This task makes you crazy sometimes. CPQ has streamlined this task and gives you the ability to configure complex products and services, so you can deliver error-free quote with accurate prices in less time, allowing you to focus on the customer rather than playing around with internal processes. 


Security Services Graphic

Security Services 

Like finance and manufacturing, security services can also boost their business with CPQ. There are many combinations of products and services based on many factors that vary from customer to customer. 

Security service companies can leverage the configuration of complex products through the use of CPQ, even covering tech products like which devices are compatible with which facilities. Your sales reps will produce accurate price quotes and well-formatted documents with just a few clicks. 


Common Use case of CPQ 

  1. Unique standard prices for small deals, bulk sales with quantity-based pricing, renewal sales for existing clients, or vendor re-sales
  2. Manage an external catalog of products and prices that cannot be maintained in Salesforce
  3. Selling professional services with contract types ranging from time & materials to retainers or fixed fee costs, and when consultants enter time, it needs to roll-up directly to something sold on a quote
  4. SaaS or Professional Services sales


CPQ is Good Fit when:

  1. Product pricing is complex
  2. Product pricing relies on complicated Excel worksheet formulas
  3. Extremely dynamic terms & conditions exist
  4. There is a mix of wholesale sales, professional service sales, partner distribution resells, subscriptions, volume-based discounting
  5. Very complicated approvals process or legal review is required


How is Salesforce CPQ different from Salesforce’s standard quoting?

Salesforce does offer an out-of-the-box quoting object, but it is much less robust than what you would get with a CPQ tool. Salesforce CPQ is offered at a cost, but it brings with it much more functionality and flexibility to your sales process.

SmartData would love to help you turn Salesforce into your workflow powerhouse. With the help of SmartData, Salesforce CPQ can turn your team into a high-performance sales team by adding automated pricing, automated control over discounts, and accurate and formatted quotes with just a few clicks. Fill out the form below if you have a question about our solutions, software, features, pricing, need a demo, or anything else, our team is ready to answer all your questions.

Published by Don Kennedy

On August 31, 2020

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