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Accelerate successful implementation and adoption of Salesforce CPQ

by Erich Rusch

At 36% of the market share, Salesforce CPQ is the most widely utilized Configure, Price, Quote solution in the world. Even with that soaring number, how many of those users are actually using the product happily and to its full advantage?

The implementation of Salesforce CPQ is only part of the equation. You have to ensure that you have designed an environment that enables users’ ease-of-navigation and productivity. Let’s take a look at some of the key points that Simplus keeps in mind when marrying implementation and user adoption.

 

Functionality is key

At Simplus we put the user experience of any configuration at the forefront of the implementation of Salesforce CPQ. Generally, we believe CPQ should help sales reps make decisions as opposed to forcing them to possess all of the tribal knowledge to make product selections.  We leverage the context of your configuration to make helpful recommendations on add-on, service options, warranties and even legal verbiage.

We also make the implementation of guided selling a priority.

Guided selling is a departure from the prices of selecting difficult to interpret SKUs towards answering questions based on business outcomes.  The answers to these questions help in the process of refining the list of products, thus making the decision easier for the user. We want sales reps to focus on relationships, account management, and empowering them with the right information at the right points in the process, not interpreting opaque SKU codes to build valid configurations.  At Simplus we believe you should automate as much of the process as you can to eliminate guesswork for the user.

 

Tailor the project to the users

The requirements of different user groups can vary widely within one company or organization. Therefore, it’s important to spend time understanding the different specifications and needs of those user groups. Such examples could be global user groups with different configuration needs, local language support, or multi-currency requirements of different business units. No matter the variance, you need to make sure you incorporate business unit specific requirements to meet departmental or cultural needs to increase adoption amongst your users.

Once you have these requirements segmented, we can change things in Salesforce programmatically based on context and circumstances. A really basic example of this is that machines in Europe and America have different power outlets, so maybe you would want to exclude an American power cord from the European user group’s product catalog, and vice versa.  You would be amazed at how many companies we work with spend time getting the proper power cord out to their end customers! We want to tailor the application to the specific users engaging with the product.

As you roll out the project, you want to make sure that you are constantly supporting the users so there’s never a lapse in coverage. Establish champions for the project in each region or department to respond to and shepherd users through base questions. Allocate resources for a “hypercare” period in which you are well-suited to endure a high volume of cases, user problems, and troubleshooting.

 

Place high priority on training

At the end of the day, we as implementation and change management experts are trying to make the process as easy as possible from a user experience perspective. However, it’s still a complicated piece of enterprise software. Inherently, there is an undeniable degree of uniqueness to each project.

As such, you want to place a fundamental focus on the element of training. In today’s complex world, you need to ensure you’re doing all you can to provide resources and materials to educate your users on process changes. Place emphasis on initial user training sessions, training the trainer, and designating champions in each region. We also utilize a change management methodology with integrating content, frameworks, and messaging for rollout strategy.

We recommend taking a multi-platform approach to training. This means the utilization of a Learning Management System (LMS), file sharing platforms, videos, multimedia, and walkthrough demonstrative tools. Leverage tools such as WalkMe that provide users with tooltips, pop-ups, and snippets of information so they understand the context of functions in the application.

With proper attention to functionality, user experience, and training you too can succeed in your implementation! Before you start, be armed with these three tenets, and join Simplus on the journey to take your org from low adoption of Salesforce CPQ solution to full utilization and optimized productivity!

 

Erich Rusch is Director of CPQ Presales Solutions at Simplus. Co-founder and CSO of CirrusOne until joining Simplus, Erich has years of experience in the CPQ space and has an unparalleled expertise in cloud solutions.

erich.rusch@simplus.com

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