Tag Archives: reference data

A photo that complements the benefits of implementing salesforce cpq

The Benefits of Implementing Salesforce CPQ

In this blog, we explain that implementing Salesforce CPQ is more efficient than a manual CPQ system because it costs less time, minimizes manual work, and eliminates errors.

It streamlines the sales process, improves the customer experience, gives your sales team more time, and, as a result, increases revenue. In addition, it offers a more scalable solution that can grow along with your business.

A photo that complements the benefits of implementing salesforce cpq

Advantages to Implementing Salesforce CPQ

Implementing Salesforce CPQ, an automated system for generating quotes in Salesforce, offers many benefits when compared to using spreadsheets or a homegrown system.

Enhanced Efficiency

The manual use of spreadsheets or a system that’s cobbled together from multiple different processes for CPQ is highly inefficient. Why? Because it’s labor intensive, time consuming, and prone to error.

In contrast, Salesforce CPQ automates the configure, price, quote process in one powerful app.

It automatically narrows down product selections for customers to those that are most relevant based on factors such as need and company size. It helps sales reps with any additional configurations. Plus, it can even suggest fitting add-ons like extended service contracts, extra training sessions, or complementary products.

Because you’ve entered your standard pricing into Salesforce CPQ, the app provides guidance for sales reps to add package or line-item discounts. It can even be configured so you can enter a client’s budget and the software automatically generates matching product discounts. As a result, you can create quotes that capture better value.

Salesforce CPQ also generates a customer-ready quote that can include your branding, cover letters, specific T&Cs, and marketing materials.

More Streamlined Sales Process

According to Salesforce, using CPQ software results in:

  • 10 times faster quote generation thanks to automation
  • 95 percent reduction in approval time due to automatically enforced business rules for pricing and configuration
  • 2 times faster moving from quote to cash because sales reps can move faster
  • 30 percent quicker ramp up for new reps thanks to the use of a single automated process

Clearly, the sales process is significantly streamlined compared to using a manual method.

Improved Customer Experience

The customer experience is significantly improved. Why? It’s significantly faster to generate an accurate quote with any additional offers or product suggestions that apply.

So there’s less time between the customer’s exploration of the product and their receiving of an indication of the cost. This shortened time period keeps the momentum going.

At the same time, the customer receives a correct, automatically-generated, branded quotes that contain all the terms and conditions. It’s not a document with text that’s cut and pasted from a bunch of other sources. Instead, it’s a standardized contractual document that has been reviewed and approved before it goes to the customer.

More Time for Your Sales Team

With the automation offered by Salesforce CPQ, your sales reps spend less time on creating accurate, professional quotes and proposals. This means they have much more time to prospect, generate leads, and close more deals.

Scalability and Flexibility

To ensure smooth business growth, you need a CPQ solution that scales along with your CRM—like Salesforce CPQ. Because Salesforce CPQ is a Salesforce-native app, you don’t have to worry about upgrading the integration with your CRM.

Moreover, Salesforce CPQ is highly flexible and lets you easily customize it to add new features and products when needed.

Increased Revenue

We discussed how Salesforce CPQ gives your sales reps more time to prospect and generate leads, as well as a significantly shorter sales cycle. As a result, your business can see a significant increase in revenue. 

Plus, because Salesforce CPQ is cloud based, it’s accessible from anywhere. This provides sales reps with more freedom to generate quotes and close deals on the move.

In addition, by spending less time on the CPQ process thanks to automation, you can reduce your operational costs.

Enhance Your ROI With a Salesforce CPQ DevOps Tool

You can increase your revenue even more by automating the change management process in Salesforce CPQ with Prodly DevOps. Prodly’s state-of-the-art automation minimizes the manual work associated with data and configuration data migration and integrates seamlessly with DevOps Center. 

Using our Salesforce CPQ DevOps tool, you can deploy work 80 percent faster, reduce operational costs, and increase productivity.

Moreover, Prodly offers 1-click scratch org creation and sandbox seeding, built-in work management, and sandbox management. It provides automatic audit trail creation, as well as version control integration with GitHub, GitLab, Azure, and soon Jira. All this together make it the most effective end-to-end DevOps platform for Salesforce—all managed through a single pane of glass.

Salesforce Billing

Accelerate ROI on Salesforce Billing

Prodly and ATG, a Cognizant Company, have launched a new Prodly data set template for Salesforce Billing. Prodly’s lightning fast deployment capabilities and duplicate record prevention measures will help Salesforce admins prevent errors when billing customers. As a result, the template will help businesses accelerate their ROI on Salesforce Billing. 

Salesforce Billing 

Why You Need Prodly’s Data Set Template for Salesforce Billing

Accidental errors when billing a customer are embarrassing and can affect your company’s image, potentially resulting in lost business. 

Although Salesforce Billing is a powerful tool to streamline your billing process, you need to regularly update reference data, also referred to as configuration data, within this application to reduce the risk of billing errors. If the reference data is out of date, your sales and billing teams are forced to make manual changes. If they’re even aware of the error, that is.

Prodly provides an easy-to-use tool for admins to update their configuration data within Salesforce CPQ. This minimizes errors and potential losses. 

Billing Configuration Data Dream Team

Sonia Flamm, ATG’s Salesforce Billing Practice Lead, and Dave “Stuff” Stufflebeam, Prodly’s Sr. Solutions Engineer, collaborated to develop the template. It’s designed to help companies using Billing to succeed with the app self-sufficiently. 

Sonia is known throughout the Salesforce community as a Billing evangelist and guru. She has traveled the world to train hundreds of Salesforce consultants and admins in implementing and maintaining  Billing. 

Stuff, who leads Solution Engineering at Prodly, is a reference data deployment expert and trainer. He has trained hundreds of Salesforce architects, admins, and consultants in deploying Salesforce CPQ reference data. He’s responsible for creating Prodly’s data set templates for Salesforce CPQ, Billing, Advanced Approvals, and Field Service Lightning (FSL).

Salesforce Reference Data: Use Clicks, Not Code

Reference data defines the set of permissible values other data fields may use. Within Salesforce applications, reference data is how admins are able to use clicks instead of code to configure their Salesforce environments. 

If you’re a Salesforce CPQ or Billing administrator, and configure apps like Price Rules and Product Rules, this becomes record data, not metadata. That means you can’t deploy it using a change set. Prodly and the Prodly template for Salesforce Billing are purpose built to deploy reference data from your Billing developer org to QA, UAT, and eventually into production.

Implementation and Ongoing Deployment

During the initial configuration of Salesforce Billing, many companies utilize an implementation partner, like ATG, to ensure the application is properly set up. Regarding implementing Billing, Sonia Flamm remarked, “Billing isn’t simple. It has a lot more relationships between all these objects. There are a lot more interdependencies.” 

There’s tremendous value in a well-implemented and perfectly configured instance of Salesforce Billing. However, it takes time, work, and expertise to get to that point—and can take even more time, work, and expertise to maintain it.

It’s best to perform both the initial configuration and ongoing deployments of Billing reference data using a series of sandboxes. Once the application works in the sandboxes, you can deploy it to production. Here, it will go live so employees can use it to automate billing processes.

You have to regularly review and update reference data. For example, billing schedules may change from monthly to quarterly, and any changes to tax law will need to be reflected in the reference data for accurate billing. Not every object in Billing contains reference data. Some objects, like quote, refund, and payment authorization contain transaction data. Yet others are for internal use only.

Salesforce Billing Objects That Contain Reference Data

In total, there are 70 objects in Salesforce Billing, and 22 of them contain reference data. This configuration data defines the permissible values for each of the objects, ensuring that all bills generated with Billing are accurate to your business.

You can find a full list of Billing objects and their data types in the Prodly Salesforce Billing Reference Data Deployment Guide.

Easily Manage Configuration Data Deployment in Salesforce Billing

It’s challenging to keep up with reference data updates using a data loader and spreadsheets. You have to remap the lookup IDs between related records before moving them from the source org to the destination environment. This process is slow and prone to error. 

On top of that, it can take hours of additional work to prevent duplicates by mapping formal external IDs before updating the reference data in a given org. Not to mention weeding out duplicates that have slipped through the cracks once the update is complete. 

Prodly was purpose built to eliminate the challenges associated with reference data deployment. It offers three external ID upsert methods to simplify this error-prone aspect of the deployment process.

“It’s almost ten times more important in the Billing platform to deploy reference data correctly in the right order. Otherwise, you’re going to mess up your billing information, which is a really big deal,” said Flamm. “Prodly helps somebody who may not be an expert in Billing.”

Prodly’s template for Salesforce Billing makes our productivity-enhancing reference data deployment tool even easier to use with  Billing. The template contains prebuilt data set templates that simplify the deployment process, as well as our complete deployment guide and expert support.

To learn more, request a demo.

Field service lightning - field service worker with tablet

Reference Data in Field Service Lightning

Reference data makes the implementation of Field Service Lightning (FSL) complex. That’s why Prodly released the Prodly Toolkit for Field Service Lightning to offer admins a streamlined, hassle-free data deployment environment. 

Easily Deploy Configuration Data

With the release of the Prodly Toolkit for Field Service Lighting, we’re offering FSL admins the same hassle-free deployment that we’ve provided to admins of Salesforce CPQ. 

Salesforce CPQ’s product catalog, price rules, and discount rules are easily recognizable as objects containing reference data, also referred to as configuration data. However, with Field Service Lightning, it’s no always so clear cut. What objects require updates via reference data deployment, and how do you make it happen?

What Is Salesforce Reference Data?

Reference data defines the set of permissible values to be used by other data fields. It’s used amongst other things in Salesforce applications like Salesforce CPQ, Billing, Advanced Approvals, and Field Service Lightning. In these applications, configuration data allows users to configure their Salesforce environment to their business’s needs without having to code.

The ability to extend the usefulness of Salesforce to meet the unique challenges of your business through clicks, not code, is an extremely valuable selling point. A Salesforce admin may have little or no experience with developing on the Salesforce platform. However, they can still be able to keep the business’s marketing, sales, and customer success initiatives on Salesforce up-to-date and running smoothly.

So what does that mean for Field Service Lightning?

Field service lightning - field service worker with tablet

FSL Implementation and Ongoing Data Deployment

The initial implementation of Field Service Lightning is a complicated process. Many businesses use an implementation partner to ensure the application is set up properly.

First, the implementation partner collects data from existing systems; then they deploy it to a Salesforce sandbox org for testing. Once they’ve confirmed the app is working, it’s deployed to production. Finally, employees can use it to deliver a fast and intuitive service experience to customers.

You need to review and update reference data fairly regularly to maintain a useful data set. Operating hours may change seasonally, for example, or services may be added, changed, or removed. 

However, not all objects within Field Service Lighting contain configuration data. Objects that contain transaction data like service reports and work orders go through a different process during the everyday use of Field Service Lightning.

What Objects Typically Need Updating?

Of the 54 objects used in Field Service Lightning, 27 contain configuration data. The following 20 are most typically updated during a reference data deployment:

  • Operating Hours
  • Time Slot
  • Service Territory
  • Skill
  • Location
  • Address
  • Service Resource
  • Service Territory Location
  • Service Resource Capacity
  • Service Resource Skill
  • Resource Absence
  • Resource Preference
  • Work Type
  • Skill Requirement
  • Service Territory Member
  • User Territory
  • Scheduling Policy
  • Map Polygon
  • Service Crew
  • Service Crew Member

You can see a full list of Field Service Lightning objects and data types in our Prodly Field Service Lightning Reference Data Deployment Guide.

How Do You Manage Reference Data Deployment?

The Salesforce method of clicks, not code allows people without developer experience to manage and update Field Service Lightning. However, the traditional method of using a data loader and spreadsheets is by no means easy.

With a data loader, admins are required to manually remap the lookup relationships between the records and destination org. This is a tedious process that’s prone to errors. 

Moving data between a developer org or QA to production involves repeating this process several times. Failing to test changes can mean a breakdown in production, which can mean angry customers, disconnects, and lost business.

Our new Prodly Toolkit for Field Service Lightning makes Prodly, our productivity-enhancing reference data deployment tool, even easier to use for FSL. With data set templates to simplify the deployment process, our complete deployment guide, and expert support, we’ve made Field Service Lightning as easy to use for admins as it is for customers.

Templates simplify Salesforce CPQ data deployment

Templates Simplify Salesforce CPQ Data Migration

Using templates can significantly simplify the data migration process in Salesforce CPQ. In this blog, we’ll discuss the challenges associated with remapping lookup relationships. We’ll also explain how Prodly makes this process easier, faster, and more accurate. 

Why You Need Pre-Made Data Set Templates

There are 45 Salesforce CPQ reference data objects. It’s fiendishly difficult to deploy them from staging to production. The biggest challenge is remapping the lookup relationships among records in the destination org. Going back and forth with a data loader and spreadsheet is extremely tedious.

Prodly is purpose-built to solve this issue. It automatically reestablishes the source record relationships in the destination org. But there are still other challenges to quick and easy CPQ Salesforce data migration.

It’s time consuming to build a data set that involves dozens of Salesforce CPQ reference data objects, even for an expert. The first time around, it can take two weeks to perfect a Prodly data set for Salesforce CPQ reference data migration. 

Templates simplify Salesforce CPQ data deployment

This is time that most implementation consultants and in-house Salesforce CPQ admins would much rather spend on other things.

Another issue is establishing external IDs for every object to support updating records without creating duplicates. Salesforce CPQ doesn’t come with external IDs. That means implementation teams have to add them themselves.

So what to do? How about using our new pre-configured Prodly data set templates? They’re specifically designed for Salesforce CPQ. You’ll save a ton of time and avoid errors.

Salesforce CPQ Data Migration Templates From Prodly

Prodly has developed a suite of 16 data set templates that cover every aspect of Salesforce CPQ’s reference data—all 45 objects. This was with the help of Gilles Muys, former head of professional services at SteelBrick, now VP of Customer Solutions at Simplus. In addition, it was with demo data provided by the Salesforce CPQ team.

These templates are available at no charge to any Prodly user.

You can easily access the templates from GitHub. You can also download them as a zip file from the Prodly Resources page on our website.

The templates use the standard JSON file format, and you can import them into Prodly with a few clicks. Once you’ve installed them, you’ll see that all the object relationships are preconfigured. Additionally, composite external IDs are assigned to every object.

We’ve also developed the Prodly Salesforce CPQ Data Migration Guide. This is a comprehensive document that provides a detailed explanation of how the data sets are configured.

For more details about the templates, request a personalized demo.