6 Tips for Diving into SteelBrick CPQ

Here are six beneficial tips for diving into SteelBrick CPQ:

1. Ensure you get Salesforce | SteelBrick community access ASAP. The knowledge base is available to the public so take advantage of it. Getting full community access should be your priority. Doing so will give you access to the support team and case module, which will come in handy for the inevitable bugs. For consultants, see if you can get dedicated support hours with one of their implementation consultants or other dedicated support reps. They have made a huge difference in the projects where I’ve used them. I highly recommend them for those just getting started with CPQ.

2. Check out the support forum in the community and consider submitting one. The ideas community is growing rapidly and participation is a MUST Salesforce users.

3. Don’t overdo it from the get-go. Get the fundamentals down first: the product and pricing structures, the end-to-end quoting process for new and existing customers, and the contract and asset management. After that, build out the customer and partner pricing, the renewal sales process configuration and/or the contract amendments mechanisms. It is beneficial to approach a CPQ implementation with an emphasis on administrative feasibility, user efficiency and actionable reporting. Don’t over-build (follow KeepItSimpleStupid), and test with real-life end users (prioritize enhancements carefully). Focus on under ten reports for a dashboard that drives enthusiasm and provides practicable insight.

4. When it comes to pricing, discount schedules are fairly simple to setup and handy for volume or tiered discounting. Price rules are where the fun, and mishaps, tend to happen. While price rules can accomplish a lot, strive to simplify the pricing logic if possible. Keep in mind that the CPQ platform has its limits. Be careful with the lookup query pricing tool. It is extremely handy to solve some of the more complex pricing schemes, but SOQL performance and limitations must be taken into consideration.

5. The quote templates functionality is not a full contract management application. It will often require a large amount of HTML/CSS/Visual force coding to create sales contracts. This can increase complexity and costs, and still doesn’t deliver redlining capabilities without other third party apps. Instead, nail the quote proposal and deliver a contract that is feasible and within the limits of the output file size of 1.5 MB. Try the word output functionality to allow finance/legal to manually modify the language and terms. If a more robust output documentation is higher in the pecking order, then look to use other third party apps like Conga Composer.

6. Persevere, no matter how frustrating it may get. The tool is incredibly useful and, while it may have its quirks and hassles, it’s only going to keep getting better with each new release.

I encourage you to share your experiences to help grow the community and make it easier for everyone yet to “jump into the fire.”

Learn more about my SteelBrick CPQ experience in my blog, SteelBrick CPQ: Journey into the Fire.

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It’s safe to say that there isn’t much that I haven’t seen or discussed when it comes to Salesforce, given my 9 years as a Salesforce employee, and almost 3 years at Figur8. I’ve been around projects, programming, and software for over 20 years and I like to break down complex concepts and situations into simple, understandable terms. In another life, I may have been a teacher. In my spare time, I like to tinker with my classic British roadster and go for long country drives with my significant other.