Best practices for successful Salesforce CPQ implementation

In our earlier articles, we have discussed choosing the right CPQ (Salesforce) for our business. In that, we have known how salesforce CPQ use can maximize sales efficiencies and can help in generating greater revenue. Not just that, you can also find tips on selecting the right CPQ for your Industry. But just selecting and using the software is not enough; instead, we need to focus on implementing it effectively into our business so that we make the most out of that software. So in this article, we shall understand some of the best practices you can follow so that CPQ implementation brings in success to your sales business.

If you’re just starting with Salesforce CPQ or looking for support with Salesforce CPQ implementation, you’ve come to the right spot. But before we roll on to the steps for successful CPQ implementation, let’s have a brief understanding of what CPQ is? Why it is very much needed and how its benefits.

What is CPQ?

CPQ is the abbreviation that stands for “Configure, Price, and Quote.” CPQ is a sales tool that expands the customer relationship management framework. It is a more organized tool that promotes the selling process through a precise generation of quotes for orders. It is the best solution that helps sales representatives organize the right product combinations, manage discounts, plan pricing, automate approvals and deliver customer-based specific quotes.

The need for CPQ software and its benefits

CPQ has become one of the essential selling tools needed for today’s fast-growing market. CPQ simplifies, speeds up, and organizes the sales process, enabling you to sell more products more quickly. CPQ software facilitates the work of sales representatives by consolidating sales data and providing them with a distinct view of what they can offer to the customer. The tool also suggests them with any extra configurations, add-ons, training sessions or complimentary products.

Watch this video to understand the importance of Salesforce CPQ.

In the recent study report done by Salesforce, we can see that the use of Salesforce CPQ and Billing has delivered improved accuracy, efficiency, and speed in their Quote to cash process.

The market results show that sales business has witnessed

With our extensive experience in CPQ implementations, we have outlined some of the best practices that will lead you to effective Salesforce CPQ implementation.

Establish CPQ targets

Firstly, you need to set realistic targets for CPQ based on your sales process needs. The targets you set will help you decide whether the CPQ delivers the real Return on Investment (ROI). You need to set specific objectives like lowered time spent on selling, the shortened processing time for quotes, a standard increase of the order value, precise quote generation, improved win, and renewal rates. On achieving these goals, you can set the new targets that will further optimize the process continuously.

Design and prioritize CPQ features

Knowing your customer is vital to successful sales. Design the product model carefully to create configurations that best suit consumer purchasing behaviours and execute a process geared towards reducing process delays. Prioritize your sales targets and incorporate selected Salesforce CPQ features that can satisfy your essential business needs. Intuitively bundle products; to help sales reps integrate products and services to address particular customer demands uniquely.

Upgrade data and initiate system integrations

When you have set your product model and pricing, you need to concentrate on what data is required for the CPQ process and from where it should be derived. Ensure that the information is updated and verified for reliability and accuracy. Import product tax rates, discount rates, price packages, and template details into the CPQ and ensure a smooth integration of the Salesforce CPQ with your other ERPs via API integrations.

Measure and improvise progress

Salesforce CPQ is a complicated tool with multi-functional features and is more challenging to drive adoption due to its complexity. The ideal way to ensure continued engagement with the project is to set some intermediate targets to ensure rapid progress and tracking the impact of the CPQ implementation. You can measure the metrics by conducting sales team satisfaction surveys capturing various tool aspects.

Have the staff trained and the tool tested

Sales practitioners should be well-trained and qualified to implement the CPQ tool in order to achieve full benefits from the tool. A well-trained staff can maximize guided sales, perform smart catalog searches and geo-based sales to boost productivity by expediting routine tasks. The CPQ requires thorough pre-implementation testing of functionalities, integrations and workflows with real-life scenarios.Salesforce CPQ is undoubtedly one of the market’s most flexible tools that can improve your ability to streamline sales operations.

In your CPQ implementation journey, Estuate can be your ideal Salesforce CPQ implementation partner who can help you make the most out of your CPQ. Estuate has implemented many enterprise-grade CPQ ventures for some of the most prominent and competitive organizations over the last decade. Our skilled salesforce consultants work closely with stakeholders, and IT teams to reduce the time and complexity involved in delivering CPQ solutions.

Key factors driving the adoption of Managed Services

One of the prime concerns of most companies today is whether or not to hire a third party to manage their regular day-to-day IT operations. In this rapidly advancing  IT world,  companies find it challenging and complicated to have their own internal IT departments managing everything so that they can take better advantage of technology. Organizations are conscious that their IT staff invest a significant portion of their time on everyday routine support activities, rather than focusing on creative thinking and offering innovative approaches to achieve business goals. At this pace, organizations often struggle to maintain their operations at optimal efficiency.

The inability to keep up with technology merely holds back the business’ efforts to expand. That’s where the need to adopt Managed Services (MS) comes in. Managed Services – a core outsourcing business model is a hotspot for a significant percentage of today’s IT companies. Managed services are usually preferred by organizations, as it helps bridge gaps and facilitates businesses to resolve hurdles. Adoption of managed services will add value to companies by cutting costs and enriching the efficiency of their operations. MS is on the rise as enterprises pursue a more proactive approach to achieve improved performance and sustain their competitive advantage.

What are Managed Services and their Benefits

Managed IT Services refers to a method of delegating specified business processes and IT operation responsibilities to a qualified third party organization known as Managed Service Provider (MSP) to improve operations and optimize costs. MSPs are skilled at handling business IT systems. MSPs continuously monitor, transform and operate business operations in exchange for a flat fee for the delivery of their services over a fixed time, ensuring that they comply with all company regulations and business demands at all times. Managed services enable a business to focus on its core functional areas, thereby increasing its competitiveness and performance in its target market.

Top reasons to adopt Managed Services

Managed Services usually offer contractually defined services to clients, who share a long-term relationship with the service provider. The concept of managed services works exceptionally well with processes, staff and environments that are expensive to maintain and are not strategic differentiators. 

So, Let’s focus on some of the significant reasons for understanding why this business model should be adopted.

Managed Services:

Offers better-purported value to clients

Most importantly, Managed services relieve the vital IT workforce from regular operations management and help them to concentrate more on strategic initiatives and core business competencies. The business leaders enjoy great peace of mind by outsourcing IT services as it provides them with the room to plan for potential businesses. Working with an MSP will ensure that the organization minimizes the risks associated with maintaining customer data and other confidential information.

Better cost management

Managed services typically charge a fixed monthly fee for subscription-based services, and it lets the business estimate the cost effectually while budgeting. For some instances, this could turn cheaper than the equivalent cost of hiring in-house staff, because MSPs offer comprehensive, controlled services that cover everything from alert to problem-solving. MSPs also provide round-the-clock coverage and businesses do not have to pay overtime costs if they need to provide 24/7 assistance to remote users.

Increases operational efficiency and profits

Clients achieve improved efficiency by using a managed service with reduced downtime. In the hands of managed services, organizations run their IT efficiently with fewer problems and productive solutions as they face and workers experience less interruption due to IT failures in the corporate network and equipment, thereby increasing their efficiency. Managed services are highly proactive in their ability to detect and address issues before they impact business, thus helping to improve productivity and maintain business continuity.

Bridges the Skill Gap

Often the existing staff of an organization may not be acquainted with new technology or may not be adequately capable of managing maintenance checks, upgrades and repairs. Managed services can support growing enterprises that can not afford to hire additional permanent staff for their IT systems at every stage of growth by providing essential resources at affordable rates. Managed services can meet potential needs as they enable the in-house strengths of the client to be enhanced with the expertise of professional consultants to deliver customized operations.

Manages competitive threats

Managed Services through proactive means aim at maintaining the technology in excellent condition, ensuring optimum IT system efficiency by proactively addressing issues before they become long-term issues. Companies can alleviate risks and keep up with cutting-edge technology by taking advantage of managed service experts. Professionals in charge of your IT operations are always up-to-date on the latest technologies, developments and processes to ensure that the network remains smooth and efficient in the future.

We may infer from the above factors that managed services are more scalable, predictable and flexible, bringing higher profits to the organization. The overall impact of all these benefits is that it makes your job easier, giving you tranquillity so that you can concentrate more on future business plans. With a professional service provider like Estuate, you can implement advanced and emerging technologies to improve business processes. With deep expertise in state-of-the-art technology, our expert IT consultants can help you meet a wide range of IT requirements while optimizing costs, reducing risks and ensuring a faster return on your IT investment.

Managed Services VS Staff Augmentation: What’s better for you?

Managing IT projects in a fast-paced and agile environment is challenging. A major trouble faced by IT enterprises is ensuring enough technical staff to meet dynamic project demands and varying customer expectations. Hiring a permanent resource is not a viable option always. Some projects are time-based and could only last a few months.

In such situations, enterprises often seek third-party support to acquire the required technical competence. The two most popular approaches of filling this gap are IT staff augmentation and Managed Services model. While staff augmentation mainly refers to bringing in additional resources from outside, Managed Service model refers to outsourcing the technical requirements to an external IT services provider.

Both these approaches are defined by some specific features suitable for different projects. It is therefore essential to understand your business requirements well and make the right choice between the two. With this article, we try to help you make a well-informed decision while selecting a solution to fulfill the growing IT demands of your enterprise.

IT Staff Augmentation – What are the benefits?

Staff augmentation is a common strategy used by IT companies to bring temporary workforce to assist with certain operations or projects. This potentially has several benefits.

Cost-effective

Staff augmentation helps you cut company expenses in several areas. By bringing in resources to meet project specific demands, you can reduce recruitment expenses like employee benefits, taxes etc. Since these resources are usually hired based on their technical competence and know-how it also helps cut down technology and process training costs.

Fills special roles

Finding skilled and experienced IT resources for special roles is not easy. Staff Augmentation helps you fill special roles in IT projects like DevOps Engineers, Scrum Masters, Business Analysts etc. quicker and with less effort.

Gives you control on project

Augmented staff could work from your office or sometimes remotely. But they have their duties, roles and responsibilities well-defined just like your regular staff. It therefore ensures that you have complete control on your project so you can monitor and execute the project effectively.

Helps meeting strict deadlines

Staff augmentation is especially beneficial when you’re bound with time constraints and strict deadlines. In such crunch times, it is a good option to hire extra hands or temporary resources through staff augmentation. It helps you meet deadlines on time and implement the project smoothly.

Helps building a strong team

Software projects are dynamic in nature and customer expectations are always on the rise. You need skilled resources to carry out these IT projects. Staff augmentation helps you find and hire skilled technicians for a temporary basis. This allows you to evaluate their performance over time and retain good resources for future projects, building a strong team in the long-run.

Managed Services – Why outsource?

On the other hand, outsourcing IT services to third-party solution providers, aka Managed Service vendors also has its own benefits.

Convenient pricing models

Managed Service providers usually offer their services on a subscription model. Also, there are varied pricing models to suit your unique project requirements and you just have to pay for the services you utilize. Some popular managed service pricing models include tiered pricing, pay per device, pay per user, al a carte etc.

Expert services

One of the best advantages of outsourcing essential IT processes to a Managed Service provider is that activities are carried out by professionals who are trained and experienced experts in software delivery. You can stay assured that they will perform their tasks efficiently, leading to the success of your project.

No infrastructure and maintenance costs

Outsourcing IT processes releases you from the burdens of building an IT team, investing in IT infrastructure and maintaining it regularly. All you have to do is outsource it to a third party vendor and they will manage and maintain your processes remotely as well as upgrade you to newer technology as needed. You can trust these experts and entirely focus on your business goals.

Security and Compliance

The software industry is vulnerable to security attacks and you must adhere to the industry security and compliance standards to keep your information and business processes safe. Managed service vendors have the expertise to prevent and control such security threats and follow industry regulations and compliance procedures to keep your data, networks and systems secure reducing the risk of cyber-attacks at your enterprise.

Scalability

As your business grows and projects become more complicated, you need to scale your resources up and down as time demands. MSPs offer flexibility and extend support and to handle growth spurts or emerging IT problems. Additionally, you can increase your engagements with your managed service vendor when the demand for expert services rises.

Which is better for you?

It could be tricky to understand which solution suits you the best. Both Managed Services and Staff Augmentation have their own pros and cons, so it is important to make a wise decision. If you’re a small enterprise carrying out time-based IT projects where lesser number of skilled resources are required for a short duration, staff augmentation is the best option for you. You can hire resources on a temporary basis and even retain them in future if needed.

However, if you’re a growing business that needs skilled teams to work on a regular basis on multiple projects, it is best to hire a Managed Service provider and gain technical expertise from dedicated professionals without having to worry about building and maintaining your own teams.