Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is the leading solution for generating quotes used by businesses all over the world. Integrated with Salesforce's CRM platform, it streamlines the quoting process with a number of advanced features, including pricing rules, discounting, and approvals. It’s also highly customizable so businesses can tailor it to their specific products.
While Salesforce CPQ can satisfy the needs of many businesses, professional services quoting remains particularly challenging in the platform.
What makes professional services quoting difficult?
Let’s take a look.
The complexities of professional services quoting
Professional services involve complex, customized solutions for each client, rather than standardized products which Salesforce CPQ is optimal for. This makes it difficult to define and configure services in a system that's designed for tangible products.
The variability in service delivery
Unlike physical products, the delivery of services vary depending on the project, client needs, and service provider. This makes it unlikely to establish a standard pricing model.
Time and materials pricing
Many professional services are billed based on time and materials, which can be difficult to estimate accurately upfront. Salesforce CPQ is better suited for fixed-price products.
Integration with Other Systems
Professional services often require integration with project management, time tracking, and resource management systems. Ensuring seamless integration with CPQ can be challenging.
Regulatory and Compliance Issues
Depending on the nature of the services, there might be regulatory and compliance issues that need to be factored into the quoting process, adding another layer of complexity.
To overcome these kinds of obstacles, many organizations fall back on Excel to meet their quoting needs. Functionally, Excel is a very capable and customizable tool for managing complex data. However, it means taking their Salesforce data offline and editing it on local devices - which often introduces a number of versioning, hygiene, and data security considerations.
So what does this mean for professional services shops that have taken on Salesforce CPQ or are considering implementing it?
Are they stuck with a solution that won’t work for them? Or should steer clear of Salesforce CPQ altogether?
Not at all.
Leveling up Salesforce CPQ for professional services quoting
Salesforce has a rich ecosystem of technology in the AppExchange that elevates its capabilities. Recognizing the versatility of Excel and the importance of Salesforce as a single source of truth, tools like Valorx Fusion help professional services get the best of both.
Fusion bridges existing spreadsheets with Salesforce to enable live CRM data management directly in Excel. Now professional services can quote in their spreadsheets with live data from Salesforce. This enables a simple but powerful means to work around the constraints of Salesforce CPQ, to keep data where it belongs (online, in your CRM), and to get the best of Salesforce’s and Excel’s capabilities in one place.
Get the Guide
To learn more about Salesforce CPQ and how to make it work for professional services quoting, check out The Complete Guide to Optimizing Salesforce CPQ.