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Revenue Lifecycle Management FAQ Series: Question #3

Apr 29, 2024 | Admin, Latest News, Salesforce CPQ

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 #3: What about what we already have?


What impact will RLM have on my current processes, data, automations, and overall established workflows?


Without being too blunt, it’s unlikely you’re seriously considering RLM to revolutionize your workstream processes, the data it delivers, the automations in place, and the existing overall RevOps capabilities if they were all humming along in perfect harmony. Why would you? So, therefore, it’s a pretty safe bet that the answer to this is “yes” and likely “a lot.”


RLM is all-encompassing, and it won’t fit into existing processes without effort.

At the risk of redundancy, the importance of established, mature, and well-adopted processes as a cornerstone of any successful revenue operations success has been mentioned a few times, and the same applies here. It is unfortunately naive to think that a tool such as RLM can simply mold around existing processes—even if they seem to be working just fine. One cannot simply shoehorn “business as usual” into this highly sophisticated toolset, which requires precise configuration and adherence to prescribed data models and best practices, assumes well-orchestrated data capturing by trained end users, and connects every aspect of multi-stage revenue management operations to deliver cradle-to-grave insights and analytics. 

At the risk of making Salesforce RLM (or any fully integrated end-to-end enterprise RLM tool) seem “fragile,” it has to be acknowledged that compromising any of the key automations or best-practice workflows that come as standard (“out of the box”, a goal driven by the promise of simplicity, scalability, and lowered TCO that every IT leader strives for) can easily have negative results. Additional workload across functional groups, performance degradation, inoperable functionality, or gaps in revenue insights can emerge by trying to sidestep and not address the changes that need to be made to your current processes, habits, and everyday practices.


Some potential exceptions:

Of course, if you have a suite of Salesforce revenue management tools already in place (Revenue Cloud, CLM, etc.) then it’s likely your organizational process has, to some extent, adapted itself to the way these tools provide (or enforce) certain workflows and procedures to deliver key functionality and insights (or you have significantly customized the products and find yourself in a situation where a lot of this work may have to be rebuilt or discarded for the greater RLM good).

A caveat to the above statement is that all too often we come across companies that have implemented CPQ and similar tools in a suboptimal manner—usually in ways that demanded the tool be overly customized in lieu of reimagined go-to-market practices or rebuilt and refined product and pricing catalogs or best practice adoption around supporting processes. Not only does this limit the experience, capabilities, and scalability of these applications from day one, but over time the constant refinements, adjustments, and further layering of customization create a situation where unwinding this complexity becomes almost impossible, and it makes more sense to rebuild the RLM stack completely; only this time, paying more attention to balancing, protecting, and compromising where necessary the needs and constraints of technology, people, and process.


In summary…

To sum up, it is naive to think that existing ways of working can remain untouched with any flavor of enterprise RLM implementation. If you are introducing new, highly capable technology, this is the opportunity to assess and polish these further, to deliver maximum value and benefit from the overall end product. The delta between these two things is where the real effort lies, and focus should be.

Next week we’ll cover another hot topic surrounding RLM: What realistic benefits and value can I expect from a successful RLM implementation?

Until then, feel free to reach out to the Simplus team today to get a one-on-one conversation going about your unique situation. 



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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