Starting with CPQ: 8 Most Common Reasons for Customization

You’re considering bringing on Salesforce CPQ. You’re facing the pressure to improve orders and renewals but aren’t sure where to start. You know the platform can set the groundwork to improve these processes but aren’t sure how to set it up. After more than five years of scoping, architecting, and configuring Salesforce CPQ solutions for OpFocus clients, I hear the same question asked time after time. “What are the most common customer requests that result in customizations to CPQ?”

In this article, I’ll outline the 8 most common use cases for Salesforce CPQ that require customization and how your team can start configuring the platform today.

The 8 Most Common CPQ Use Cases that Require Customization

Quote Output Documents

There are no pre-configured customer-facing docs, so any docs are configured to the customer’s specifications. This often involves the configuration of custom fields that are mapped to the docs, custom quote terms, which are often conditional based on unique customer criteria. 

Approvals Processes

Any approvals must be configured either with Standard Salesforce Approval rules or using Advanced Approvals. As with customer-facing documents, this almost always includes the configuration of custom fields. 

Custom Price Calculators

Customers whose pricing model does not align with the standard Subscription or non-subscription models will require a custom calculation to be configured using Price Rules, and often custom fields. Also, any pricing tiers will need to be configured.

Non-Co-termed Amendments

As a best practice, all amendments should be co-termed to the Contract’s End Date and the pricing prorated. If the customer’s processes require that amendments are not always co-termed, this can be configured, but because it exposes the potential for some undesirable user behavior, this requires additional configuration of rules to prevent those behaviors.

MDQ

This is becoming more prevalent and requires a considerable amount of configuration, particularly when using custom dimensions. If the desire is to report on renewal expansion and contraction, this requires custom configuration.

Renewal Uplift

Although CPQ offers a Renewal Pricing Method of “Uplift,” the out-of-the-box uplift functionality is not ideal since it uses the Additional Discount field on the Quote Line, which is also used for entering discretionary discounts. After the first renewal, this is extremely confusing. We recommend a custom solution that separates the uplift calculator from the discount calculation and allows override at the time of renewal.

Measuring Renewal Expansion, Contraction, Add-on, Churn

This is a very common request, but this requires a good deal of configuration of currency fields and calculations that initiate on the Quote Line and passed to Subscription and Contract fields so they may be later consumed by Amendment and Renewal Quotes and Quote Lines.

Exceptions and overrides!

Many customers identify rules and processes they wish to be enforced but simultaneously list exceptions and the need for workarounds. As a result, we must configure for the enforcement of the rule or process but also configure the system to allow overrides or workarounds under specified conditions or by specific, authorized users. All of this work is custom.

How do I start with CPQ customization? 

Once your team is ready for CPQ customization, you’ll need someone experienced with the CPQ platform to handle the implementation and configuration. If you have the in-house CPQ expertise, this is likely the option you’ll want to go with. When you don’t have the expertise in-house you’re presented with 2 options. Either hire a full-time CPQ specialist to join the team or bring on a consultant to configure the platform. I’ve seen teams go with both options but many lean towards a consultant due to faster ramp-up time and reduced internal commitment from teams new to the platform. 

Even when working with a consultant like OpFocus, I recommend you complete CPQ trailheads and a training class for a deeper understanding of the platform. Once completed, you’ll understand what’s going on as the implementation takes place. This knowledge prepares your team to use the platform once configured. 

Start by connecting with my team. We’ll discuss your team’s long-term goals and what’s holding you back from growth, then determine which configurations are best for your team. 

Getting Started with Salesforce CPQ

David M

about the author

David Movsesian

As the Director of CPQ Consulting at OpFocus, I lead the CPQ consultant team, and also stay close to the technology through delivering CPQ and Sales Cloud projects for OpFocus clients. I’m passionate about the benefits of Salesforce CPQ, and have been involved in leading high-value, customized, successful CPQ implementations since 2013.

I’m a graduate of the University of Maine, and have obtained certifications as a Salesforce Administrator, Sales Cloud Consultant, and CPQ Specialist.

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