Salesforce.com Offers Configure, Price, Quote Tools on Service Cloud Lightning

Salesforce.com today announced the extension of its configure, price, quote (CPQ) capabilities for the Service Cloud Lightning interface, to give service professionals the means to better handle sales-related functions.

According to Godard Abel, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Quote-to-Cash, CPQ is an essential process for driving revenue in business-to-business (B2B) organizations, as it aids them in tending to key parts of a sales life cycle. Such technologies can help users determine, for instance, what particular items are appropriate to offer a customer; access pricing and discount information; manage and send proposals and contracts; and handle billing processes. But despite this, "all too often, companies are either managing their quote process through manual tools like Excel or running homegrown CPQ systems that are expensive to build and time-consuming to maintain, resulting in a slow or error-prone quoting process,” Abel wrote in a blog post. This approach is flawed, he notes, because it can slow down a rep's responses to customer requests, and as a result have a negative impact on the customer's perception of, and experience with, the brand.

With access to Salesforce CPQ in Service Cloud Lightning, customer care professionals are able to view recommendations for upsell and cross-sell opportunities, access and amend contracts, and send branded quotes, all while they are on service calls. The CPQ Product Bundle Upgrades feature allows users to offer new products and service upgrades, increase or decrease quantities in a product bundle, and update their prices in fewer steps through a streamlined process. A potential benefit of arming service reps with these tools is that it allows customers to avoid having to refer to a sales rep if they'd like to buy something during a service interaction, which in turn gives those sales reps more time to focus on creating business with new customers.

In the past, managing large orders and making changes to them as needed has required a complex series of steps, claims Abel. CPQ with Order Management aims to simplify the process of handling orders. Users can split quotes into several orders and offer different ship dates for the items within the same order, for example.

Salesforce CPQ is available today beginning at $75 per user a month.

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