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Revenue Lifecycle Management FAQ Series: Question #2

Apr 22, 2024 | Admin, Advisory Services, Latest News

Last month, Salesforce launched Revenue Lifecycle Management (RLM), a full overhaul of features and tighter integration of its various current products serving their customers’ Revenue Operations and Management needs (including CPQ, CLM, Revenue Cloud, and Subscription Management).

RLM has been built on and benefits from Salesforce’s native platform capabilities (such as Genie AI, enhanced workflow automations, intuitive code-free configuration, cross-cloud data sharing, etc.) and the use of the standard Object model. Intending to be an extensible enterprise-grade platform, Salesforce RLM also leans heavily into the use of APIs (business, metadata, tooling, etc.) and composable architecture, and positions itself as an exciting approach and solution for current and potential Salesforce RevOps customers.

There are a lot of questions, however, within the existing (and future) Salesforce partner and customer ecosystem about how this new product fits in or makes sense with their broader RevOps landscape, current or proposed investments into processes, people, and technology, and overall business strategic objectives and challenges.

Through this FAQ series, we’ll offer an unbiased explanation for these questions and provide background knowledge and expertise to inform your considerations of RLM. 


FAQ #2: But will it work for us?


Will Salesforce RLM address the unique needs of my industry or business application?


Of course, the methodical answer to this question would be “It depends on your individual needs,” and this remains a valid response. However, there’s no value in not providing at least a point of view. So based on what RLM is offering from a capability perspective, coupled with the stability and proven maturity curve of the Salesforce platform, the confident answer for 9/10 organizations seriously considering powerful, end-to-end RLM platforms, is “Yes”.

Another development of Salesforce RLM is its enhanced ability to integrate with external systems and data. In fact, a major part of its reengineering is based on ensuring it is far more extensible to back-end technologies or as an input/output to other areas that play a part in the revenue life cycle. This open architecture, combined with the easy-to-use, code-free way RLM is configured using the familiar, intuitive Salesforce native front end, means there really should be few use cases where RLM cannot address uniqueness in process, architecture, or technology.


Salesforce has been building up to this for some time.

Not only has Salesforce always offered incredible flexibility around the way its products can be configured (not coded) to meet unique circumstances, but their strong play into addressing typical vertical-based functional needs (industry-specific clouds and focus) over the past few years has given them and their partners/system integrators critical insight into the nuances that exist moving from one typical operational or architectural standard to another. The conversation has evolved from “a single, capable, massively customizable platform with bolt-on accessories to suit every need” to “a single, massively capable platform with built-in verticalized accelerators and vendor expertise, coupled with extensible and composable enterprise-grade clouds, to suit every need.”

In fact, I would argue that even the more foundational elements of an RLM platform—again, let’s call out CPQ—deliver features that meet most customer needs. However, it is often entrenched and unrelinquished complexity and change adversity in their processes that have atrophied them into blaming self-inflicted “limitations” on what those tools can do for them. One of my favorite sayings is “CPQ works, if you work it.” This means acknowledging, as examples, that the rudimentary way your products are configured must be torn down and rebuilt; the antiquated pricing models that catered to the whims of a top salesperson or preferred customer must be reconsidered; managers must relinquish granular control of sales processes and trust technology and data; and of course, users must be willing to adapt to changes in their systems and escape operational ruts, embracing new ways of working and being supported throughout, from IT teams through to organizational leaders.

It sounds tough, and it can be, but bending technology too far from its proven success path—and the very purpose it is built for—will simply end up breaking it. While research is always recommended and organizations differ from one to another, Salesforce RLM and its forebears have spent over a decade bringing about comprehensive, state-of-the-art features that should serve the needs of and deliver immense value, for any customer looking to implement it properly.

The next question we’ll dig into will be a big one: What impact will RLM have on my current processes, data, automations, and overall established workflows?

We’ll be back next week with the answer (and then some).



Kevin Willemse
Kevin Willemse
Managing Director at | + posts

Kevin is Managing Director in Simplus’ Strategic Advisory Practice, focused on bringing valuable transformation to our customers looking to maximize their investment in through improved systems integrations, enhanced data capabilities, and frictionless business processes.

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