The story of a customer with a great product but bad implementation.
4 years old. Do you remember when you were 4-years-old? You were probably (and hopefully) happy, jumping up and down, being fed, nurtured, and taken care of while bringing joyful moments to your family and friends.
However, today I’m going to tell you a story, a sad true story about a 4-years-old Salesforce CPQ implementation that was far from bringing cheerful times to the managers and their users.
The story begins in 2016 when the company first bought and installed what has become the industry’s leading Quote-To-Cash solution: Salesforce CPQ. Being in the high-tech industry, this company was not a stranger to Salesforce, in fact, they have been running their own Salesforce instance for twelve years!
Note: 2016 was also when Salesforce bought Steelbrick’s quote-to-cash solution, rebranding it as Salesforce CPQ. Everything was in perfect alignment for the move, and ECI was one of the first believers.
However, selecting the best tool in the market has to be complemented by choosing the best implementation partner and having trained resources that ensure your “newborn” is fed, nurtured, and taken care of, so it can grow as your business grows. This was not the case. Best practices were not followed, and data cleaning was left behind and released after the all-new Salesforce CPQ’s features were overlooked and ignored. The result? Things started rotting.
When The Ksquare Group was hired to perform a Technical Review of the current implementation, I was up for the task. Here are some of my findings:
The numbers above confirm the story to the trained and expert eye: the customer is working for CPQ, not the other way around. Some of the key pain points the customer experienced at this point are as follow:
- Clients constantly complained that quotes were not accurate and, most of the time, configured with non-compatible products.
- Sales Rep performing several manual adjustments to prices and on the Quote Line Editor to get the right price for the customer.
- Legal complaining contracts did not include the correct Terms for the type of Client and Products/Services.
- A company losing money due to required maintenance, installation, and guarantees fees not being quoted.
- Stall revenue performance, driven by zero to no visibility for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
Are you experiencing any of these pain points today?
On the technical side, the acting Salesforce and CPQ Administrator had to deal with:
- The time-consuming labor of maintaining the Product Catalog. On average, it took the administrator 3.5 days to upload 50 new products.
- The many unnecessary customizations made years ago were slowing the system down.
- The daunting task of changing a single rule and not knowing what else will be affected.
Our value proposition.
After a two weeks engagement and closely collaborating with the customer, we were able to provide a thorough report and assessment of their current Salesforce CPQ implementation and instance state, along with several guidelines, best practices, and QTC’s industry tips and tricks ranging from quick wins to total overhaul, some are mentioned below:
- Implement a meaningful convention for:
- Product Name.
- Product Code.
- Package Code.
- For Products, determine and enforce:
- Minimum Field Information Policy.
- Bundle Strategy.
- Pricing Strategy.
- Discount Strategy.
- A true Product Catalog hierarchy.
- Move away from the Large Bundles configuration.
- Adopt and use Standard Subscription types (Renewable, One-Time, Evergreen).
- Enable and Implement Evergreen Subscription.
- Enable and configure Line Editor Fields and Line Drawers.
- Implement Search Filters and Dynamic Custom Actions.
- Implement Product Grouping and Quote Line Grouping.
- Implement the right pricing strategy by levering the multiple pricing methods:
- Block Price.
- Contracted Price.
- Percent of Total.
- Cost Plus Markup.
- Option Pricing.
We also provide the customer and strategic business vision of how they can leverage their Salesforce CPQ investment for the best by using Advance Approvals, Contracting, and preparing the ground to use Salesforce Billing.