Salesforce introduces Steelbrick’s CPQ to Service Cloud Lightning


On 6th September 2016, Salesforce extended Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) to the Service Cloud Lightning, enabling companies to provide a smooth buying experience to their clients which enhances the company’s power to close deals swiftly. Salesforce acquired Steelbrick in late 2015. It has powered its Service Cloud Lightning with their CPQ tool, officially welcoming Steelbrick as active member of the Salesforce family.

Salesforce Wholesome Mission and the Role of CPQ

For any B2B enterprise, CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) is a critical step that reflects the revenue stage of your sales journey. Salesforce has constantly evolved towards installing a 360-degree view of the customer. The quoting process of the revenue stage in organizations is either manually managed by using tools like Excel or companies operate self-made CPQ systems whose construction and maintenance involves huge amount of time and money. Both the methods not only bring in the risk of errors, they are also slow and could put up poor user experience. CPQ systems like Salesforce CPQ address such problems beforehand.

Why CPQ?

Before we elaborate on the specific functions that CPQ tool can fulfill, let us walk through why Salesforce might have been motivated to invite CPQ into the Service Cloud Lightning community. CRM is the pursuit of holistic customer experience that brings together marketing, sales and service. As sales and service functionalities are becoming more and more interconnected, it is necessary for companies to equally enable their marketing teams with these features. Gradually, service representatives are gaining greater power to answer their customers. Situations like reconfiguring or repricing of orders through service reps is becoming common.

Suppose that a company buys several printers for its business units. When the delivery arrives, some of the pieces are defective. The company calls the sales reps. They create a case-token and send it across to the service department. The service team goes through the case and issues the company a CPQ including a considerable discount for inconvenience caused. The service reps can go through this entire process without having to involve the sales team, thus un-complicating a task that might have involved way-too-much workforce earlier. This shows how CPQ is geared towards bringing together marketing, sales and service for creating a holistic journey for users’ clients.

Service Reps have more Power!: CPQ for Service Cloud Lightning

CPQ extends the quoting capacities to service teams where representatives can offer the appropriate upsell or cross-sell solution to their customers instantly, during service communication. The service representatives can also edit contracts and build-send quotes. Once the CPQ technology is handed over to service reps as well, they will have more time to sow new deals and germinate a seamless buying experience for their customers.

Large Orders are no longer Complicated!: CPQ with Order Management

CPQ permits a single quote to be split into multiple orders through Order Management. This allows companies to easily manage large orders and to pitch in changes to already-registered orders. With CPQ, companies can place different shipping dates within a single order.

Shortening the Customer-Service Queue: CPQ Product Bundle Upgrades

Previously, service reps would have to send across new products, service bundles and upgrades independent of one another, resulting in a complex process of many steps. In CPQ method, with only a step, you can send these across to the customers. This step also allows service reps to increase or lessen the quantity of products’ bundle and update the pricing.

Is CPQ-via-AI looming in the near future?

Imagine the entire CPQ tool embodied through an artificially intelligent system. Though there are no official reports on whether this is on their agenda, it is imaginable that Salesforce could pull something as big as this.

The AI would be capable of deciding exactly how much discount a customer must get, in order to be satisfied after an inconvenience. It could also profile the customer to understand the quoting customizations. At the risk of being mildly far-fetched, the AI-powered CPQ tool could even guess the original price of an order depending on the city’s record and implied willingness to pay.

So, how is Salesforce planning to make the best out of CPQ in Service Cloud Lightning? Leave your opinion.

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Author : Sahana Rajan Date : 13 Oct 2016