Simplifying the Complexity of Salesforce CPQ

Simplifying the Complexity of Salesforce CPQ

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Rakesh Gupta

Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a robust platform, designed to provide businesses accurate pricing with any given product configuration scenario. The platform automates the process of generating quotes for orders, allowing sales reps to quote prices quickly and accurately. Quotes produced with Salesforce CPQ are automated according to a preprogrammed set of rules, ensuring error-free pricing that takes into account quantities, discounts, customizations, optional features of products, multiple revenue types, and incompatibilities.

Understanding the complexity of Salesforce CPQ

Although Salesforce CPQ has a great reputation as a powerful tool that can substantially transform your business, it comes with quite a bit of complexity, and it can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Beyond just being a niche product to learn, the biggest challenges that Salesforce CPQ users have identified encompass hurdles like developing, deploying, and testing new features.

In Salesforce CPQ you cannot use standard Salesforce change sets or other common Salesforce DevOps tools to deploy relational data or metadata. Therefore, you need third-party tools to simplify the complexity and help you move changes from one environment to another. Metadata changes have to be deployed before you can migrate relational data, which can cause delays to deployment or break deployment cycles. 

Additionally, Salesforce CPQ has relational data that impacts the metadata of the configuration, which can add a lot of complexity in the sequencing of testing and releasing components into production. Deploying relational data records is notoriously difficult, time-consuming, and prone to potential errors in any database environment, but when it comes to Salesforce CPQ it is not only very easy to make mistakes and cause downstream of issues, but it is also very risky, since any mistake can directly affect the revenues of the business.

Luckily Panaya ForeSight is offering a solution to help you manage and test any change you make to your CPQ system. It also allows you to quickly debug errors and issues by tracing the root cause of the problem with a simple yet powerful search engine that instantly locates the related source code.

ForeSight provides a full dependency map to the org’s metadata, including CPQ metadata and configuration data. This data enables you to understand the current situation of the org, and helps ensure you are making the correct changes. Because Salesforce CPQ touches numerous core sales objects in Salesforce, it is critical to precisely recognize in advance the impact of changes on your entire Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds along with Salesforce CPQ.

How can Panaya ForeSight help you in your daily CPQ tasks?

Using a tool like Panaya Foresight will show you the connections between all the CPQ-specific components of an implementation to enable you to dig into your configuration and troubleshoot why the system isn’t operating as planned. In this article we will focus on two examples that will demonstrate how can you use Panaya ForeSight for your day-to-day tasks:

Adding new products to your CPQ system

In many cases the easiest and most efficient way to add a new products to CPQ is to create the new product based on a similar existing one. In order to do that, you must cover all the components that the existing product references, to ensure that you are not missing any important configuration for the new product. Although some components will appear in the “Related list”, others may be hidden and will require long and tedious investigation to discover.

Panaya ForeSight helps you easily discover all these hidden components, with just a few clicks. By using ForeSight’s powerful search engine, you can copy the product code of the existing product and find all the components related to this specific product as well as the Salesforce standard components and automations.

You can go deeper into the analysis and perform a “360° analysis” on specific components to see not only the product options and attributes that you could see on the product record, but also find all the product options that this product references that are not seen on the product record.

For example,  you can easily learn from the “360° analysis in Panaya ForeSight if this product is part of a bundle and if a certain formula or error conditions are part of this product configuration or how the product is used as part of an automated process like Flow. To learn more about how you can use Panaya ForeSight to add new CPQ products watch this video.

Troubleshooting CPQ Issues

As a CPQ specialist you find yourselves dealing with issues and errors that you need to resolve immediately, as they can delay or even damage the sales process. For example, errors in price quotes or irregularities in discounts. There can be plenty of reasons for these errors, like a one-time promotion that was not changed or an error in the configuration of a discount. However, finding the source of the problem may feel like finding a needle in a haystack.

Panaya ForeSight can help you easily trace the root cause of any bug or issue. Obviously, you should start by defining the problem, for example – every quote issued for accounts related to a specific industry has an error in the quote amount. Now that you understand the problem you can use ForeSight to discover what causes this issue. In this example, you will be looking for the relevant account’s industry value to understand what defines the behavior on the quote amount. Using ForeSight, you will instantly learn if this “account industry” is part of a Flow, a price condition, or a product rule. From there you can quickly continue your investigation, find the impacting component and troubleshoot the source code that created the issue.

Now that you know the source of the problem you can easily fix the problem and decide how to proceed. Now all you need to do is update the stakeholders that the issue is resolved and you’ll be the hero of the day.

👉  Watch this video to learn more about CPQ troubleshooting with Panaya ForeSight.


Eric Dreshfield: Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame; Founder, Midwest Dreamin’; Leader, Evansville Administrators Community Group.

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