Learn how one company saved their sales team’s sanity

Billy Weisgerber
By Billy Weisgerber | Solutions Architect, Mountain Point
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Using Salesforce CPQ to simplify complex quoting processes

8-minute video

In manufacturing, quoting is rarely straight forward. Vast product offerings, frequent model changes, discount pricing tiers, and specialty contracts are the norm.

So even quotes on stock items can be difficult to compile quickly and accurately.  

And quoting custom manufactured products is often enough to drive your inside and outside sales teams crazy.

See also: Configuring Salesforce CPQ for Manufacturing Companies

Such was the case with Custom Truck, a company that makes, well… CUSTOM trucks. With numerous design and configuration options, compiling a quote for a customer required not only extensive product knowledge but also design and engineering expertise.

Here are the players:

  • The outside sales team meets with the customer and facilitates the deal.

  • They hand off the customer’s wishlist to inside sales, the team that is responsible for generating an accurate and timely quote.

  • Inside sales works closely with the design-build and engineering team to configure the product to meet the customer’s needs. 

Can you imagine the back and forth process this creates? If you’re in the engineer-to-order or custom manufacturing business, the chaos is probably all-too-familiar.

Enter Salesforce CPQ.

With CPQ, Custom Truck can give their outside sales team dynamic guided selling tips on their mobile devices. So no matter what type of product the customer wants, outside sales knows just what information to collect and what questions to ask.

And because they can enter that information in real-time in Salesforce, inside sales immediately has the information they need to get started working with engineering and design.

Even better, engineering can put parameters in the system so that incompatible components can’t be selected together. That helps both sales teams avoid making promises they can’t keep.

Want to see it in action? In this episode of Q&A Friday, we run through a 7-minute demo on how CPQ can be set up for configure-to-order products. Plus, our CPQ specialist offers straight-forward advice on the benefits and limitations of the system.

The takeaway

With Salesforce CPQ, custom manufacturers can streamline the quoting process and align their inside sales, outside sales, and design and engineering teams.

See also: Accelerating your sales process with Salesforce CPQ

Have a question you’d like answered?

Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll talk through it on a future episode!


 

What's the ROI? Just a few months after launching CPQ, Novatech was closing 26% more deals thanks to their accelerated quoting process. 

Video: See how Novatech closed more deals 

 


Transcript: Using Salesforce CPQ to Simplify Complex Quoting Processes

Jessica: Hi, and thank you for joining us for another Q&A Friday. A regular series where we chat about issues facing manufacturing companies and the new world of industry for a clean aisle.

Jessica: I'm Jessica Vodden, a team member here at Mountain Point and I'm joined by Billy Weisgerber, our Senior Solutions Architect.

Jessica: Hi, Billy.

Billy: Hey, Jess.

Jessica: Today you're going to show us a little bit more about Salesforce CPQ and for those of you listening, Billy is our resident CPQ expert and is certified in the solution.

Jessica: We know from previous episodes of Q&A Friday, which we'll link to in the notes, that CPQ is a great solution for standardizing your quoting process, taking away a lot of the guesswork, and the back and forth that often accompanies quoting.

Jessica: But the solution can also be stretched beyond fulfilling quotes that are based on standard or stock items. From what I understand, Billy, today you're going to show us how we can extend the product a little bit so that it can be used to fulfill or create quotes for engineer to order processes?

Billy: Yep. Just to give a little background, a lot of times when we talk through CPQ and manufacturers products there's normally three categories that they tend fall in.

Billy: The first is stock, which is something that's already built or pre-configured and is ready for sell.

Billy: The next is a custom stock product where there might be one or two components that can easily get added and doesn't matter where it gets installed, but if it's something that can just be added without a problem in that manner.

Billy: Then the last is more engineer to ordering. I'm going to talk through those three different examples on how CPQ can cater to each one of those. While CPQ may not be hitting the full mark for engineer to order, there is some things that you can do to at least get part of the way and maybe use an extra tool to finish that or integrate it with CPQ then to get the full engineer to order functionality.

Jessica: Awesome.

Billy: The first thing is stock and so they actually use guided selling a lot. Some companies like to help their sale reps to maybe think through the collections that are needed to determine what product is best.

Billy: Right now they only have three collections available and they have a dynamic so that if I change the product family, it removes that one option right now.

Billy: But I'm just going to go ahead and say pre-configured because that's their stock label. I'm going to click suggest and it automatically filters to this one product. I'm going to go ahead and select it. For me, this is already a pre-configured dump truck. I have all the components already on there that I know of. You can see that now I have the same thing that's up here, but it's now added down here as well.

Billy: That's how quick and easy a stock item can be added and then you can generate a quote on multiple stock products if a customer is asking, "Well, everything's great, but can we add something to this?" You can definitely do that and that's where we're getting into the custom stock aspect. I'm going to go ahead and re-configure this.

Billy: Within CPQ you can choose which products are able to be re-configured and which ones are not. If you know that this stock product can have maybe a couple accessories added on to it, you can definitely do that. I'm going to go ahead and fill out this required field.

Billy: We're going to just jump over to additions and say they want the catwalk rail for this and that's the addition that they wanted and click save.

Billy: That's the quick transition from stock to custom stock. Couple clicks and you already have something added on for that customer that they wanted to add on.

Jessica: Very cool.

Billy: I'm going to go ahead and do a quick save of this so I'm not losing any of my products. But then now, maybe I'm on the phone with a customer. We're talking through the different options and everything. I'm going to go ahead and remove my pre-configured filter.

Billy: They say, "Hey, Billy. I want a 15-foot dump truck body." Great. Now we're going to talk through the whole configuration process. They're going to tell me the side thickness and you can set up your configuration process based off of maybe what's needed first before you can see me down the line.

Billy: That's how we currently have their full configuration process set up. Though we have rules, we have limitations in place to limit that aspect of saying, "Well, I can't choose an electric charge system if I have a manual charge system." All those different items that way. For one, it doesn't mess up when it goes to the shop floor in terms of the work order. Those are things that also encourages the customization of letting the customer pick and choose exactly what they're looking for.

Billy: Where it may not be hitting the marker engineer to order is if there's something specific that fits that customer's needs. Either it be for what they do on a daily basis or what it may be used for. That's where CPQ really can't help with, but you can at least put in the description of what that customer's looking for and if you have maybe an internal quoting team or someone that is on the engineering team that will help finalize this quote, they can review those requirements and then capture those in a description or comments field so that then you're maybe 60%, 70% of the way there. Capture the rest of the requirements and send it off to the engineering team or inside sales team and let them help generate the quote that they need to finalize and sent to the customer.

Jessica: Yeah. It seems like it would cut down on a lot of the back and forth that so often accompanies the sales and engineering communication process because I know so often we hear from the engineers, "I'm not getting all the information that I need from the sales team," and the sales team is saying, "I can't predict all the information of the engineers are going to need."

Jessica: This identifies that up front and at least helps, like you said, get them 60% or 70% the way there so that they have a good launch pad for those conversations.

Billy: Right. That was a common complaint about those customers especially was that their outside sales team would be visiting customers and filling out a quick form and submitting a quote request. The inside sales team that does the quotes couldn't really decipher everything that they were putting in or wasn't enough information.

Billy: So the transition plan that we're working on right now is encouraging the outside sales team to get the quote together as much as possible that they know of. If they need to, then it will get some inside sales team to generate the quotes so that one, it helps ease the workload, and helps turnaround time for more of the custom quotes than the stock quotes.

Jessica: Yeah. I can see where that would save a lot of time and really clear up the communication side of things.

Jessica: Thank you so much, Billy, as always for walking us through some of those solutions that you've built.

Jessica: For those of you listening, if you have a question or problem that's been keeping you up at night, and are eager to find out some ways to solve it, let us know.

Jessica: You can hit us up on social media on our website via email and we're happy to talk through those issues in future episodes of the Q&A Friday series.

Jessica: Again, thanks, Billy, and happy Friday.

Billy: Thanks. Happy Friday.

 


 

What's the ROI? Just a few months after launching CPQ, Novatech was closing 26% more deals thanks to their accelerated quoting process. 

Video: See how Novatech closed more deals 

 


Topics: CPQ, Digital Transformation, Manufacturing Cloud, Custom Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing

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