Salesforce CPQ – A Series! How to Set Up Salesforce CPQ


Hello again, Salesforce voyagers! As we continue on our cosmic journey through the Salesforce CPQ universe, it’s time to put our newfound knowledge to the test. But before we can soar through the galaxies, every starship needs a solid launch pad. For us, that launch pad is setting up Salesforce CPQ correctly.

Now, you might be thinking, “It’s just a setup, right? How important could it be?” Well, to put it in perspective, imagine trying to build a skyscraper on a weak foundation. No matter how brilliant the design, without a solid base, the whole structure could collapse. Similarly, a well-organized setup in Salesforce CPQ ensures that the entire sales process operates smoothly, efficiently, and to its fullest potential.

In this part of our journey, we will demystify the Salesforce CPQ setup process, giving you the tools you need to establish a robust foundation for your CPQ operations. From creating products and setting up Price Books, to designing Quote Templates that reflect your brand, we’ll walk you through the crucial stages that make your CPQ solution a well-oiled machine.

Our intention isn’t just to provide a step-by-step guide, but to help you understand why each step is important, and how it contributes to the overall efficiency of your sales operations. By understanding the “why” behind each process, you’ll gain a holistic understanding of the system, enabling you to optimize and troubleshoot your CPQ setup independently.

So, strap in as we prepare to blast off into the exciting world of Salesforce CPQ setup. This journey might seem complex, but remember, even the most intricate constellations start with a single star. Let’s start building your CPQ universe, one step at a time!

Creating Products & Product Options

Ready to make some Salesforce magic? Our first stop on this setup journey is the creation of products and product options. Think of products as the stars in your Salesforce CPQ universe, each one unique and brimming with potential. But without a clear constellation to fit into, a star can seem insignificant, lost amidst the vast cosmos. Similarly, products, no matter how amazing, need to be structured and categorized thoughtfully within Salesforce CPQ to shine their brightest.

The Product Catalog in Salesforce CPQ is where this magic happens. Creating a product within this catalog involves more than just naming the product and adding a description. It’s about understanding your product’s nuances, its possible combinations, and how it fits into the grand scheme of your offerings.

When creating a product, consider the multiple dimensions that define it – its features, benefits, pricing, and possible combinations with other products. These considerations form the foundation of the product’s profile within the CPQ system.

Now, imagine a star with multiple neighboring stars, each offering unique possibilities for creating new constellations. These neighboring stars represent Product Options in Salesforce CPQ. Product options are those additional offerings that can be combined with the main product to create a custom solution for your customer.

Creating product options helps your sales reps craft more personalized, relevant solutions for each customer. This customization not only caters to the specific needs of the customer but also allows you to upsell and cross-sell effectively.

But remember, like stars in a constellation, both products and their options must be mapped out with careful thought. A poorly structured product catalog can lead to confusion, inefficiency, and lost sales opportunities. However, a well-organized one can illuminate the path to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

The creation of products and product options is the first big step in setting up Salesforce CPQ. It forms the base of all subsequent stages and is essential for the smooth operation of the CPQ system. So take your time, plan carefully, and start creating the star-studded product catalog your business deserves.

Setting Up Price Books

Having journeyed through the creation of our product stars and constellations, our next stop in the Salesforce CPQ setup odyssey takes us to the realm of Price Books. Think of Price Books as the gravity that gives weight and value to your products and product options. They don’t just tell us how much a product costs, but provide context and flexibility to your pricing strategy.

In the Salesforce CPQ universe, setting up Price Books is akin to setting the rules of gravity for your sales galaxy. They set the standard pricing for all your products but also offer the flexibility to accommodate unique pricing scenarios. This could be anything from a temporary price reduction or a discount offer for a specific region, to a tailor-made pricing model for high-volume customers.

To create a Price Book, you first establish a Standard Price Book, which contains the list prices for all products in your organization. This serves as your baseline, your universal law of sales gravity. It’s the ‘default setting’ of your pricing strategy and is often used as a reference when setting up custom price books.

But in the vast expanse of the sales universe, one-size-fits-all solutions often fall short. This is where custom Price Books come into play. These allow you to set unique pricing rules for specific scenarios or customers, granting your sales reps the flexibility to adapt to different sales situations. It’s like tweaking the gravitational pull to make sure your sales process is as smooth as a spaceship’s journey through zero gravity.

Creating and managing Price Books in Salesforce CPQ is a critical aspect of your setup process. It directly impacts your sales strategies, pricing models, and ultimately, your bottom line. A carefully constructed Price Book not only enables flexible and dynamic pricing, but it also ensures your sales reps can quote prices confidently, knowing they align with the overall business strategy.

Remember, in the cosmic dance of sales, products might be the stars, but it’s the gravity of Price Books that keeps them in harmony.

Building Product Rules

As we further explore the Salesforce CPQ cosmos, our next destination is the fascinating world of Product Rules. In the realm of Salesforce CPQ, Product Rules are like the laws of physics, governing how your product options interact with each other. They help maintain order in your product catalog and guide your sales reps to create quotes that make sense and deliver value.

Imagine a scenario where a customer is buying a high-end laptop from your store. They want to add some accessories, and your sales rep suggests a basic mouse. It’s not a perfect match, is it? Here’s where Product Rules can play the part of a wise oracle, advising your sales rep to recommend a high-end gaming mouse instead – a much better fit for a powerful laptop.

Creating Product Rules involves identifying combinations of products that work well together and those that don’t. These rules can then guide or restrict the product options shown to sales reps when they are building quotes, ensuring the final offer is sensible, valuable, and beneficial for both you and your customer.

There are four types of Product Rules in Salesforce CPQ – Validation, Alert, Selection, and Filter rules. Each type has a unique function, but all aim to streamline the quote creation process. Whether it’s stopping incompatible product combinations (Validation), giving warnings about potential issues (Alert), auto-adding related products (Selection), or narrowing down the list of options (Filter), Product Rules help keep your sales process on track and error-free.

Setting up Product Rules is like charting the course for a space voyage. The better the planning, the smoother the journey. Just remember, Product Rules aren’t about limiting possibilities but guiding your sales reps towards creating better, more profitable sales solutions. In the grand scheme of the Salesforce CPQ universe, Product Rules ensure your sales process is a harmonious symphony, rather than a cacophony of mismatched products and disappointed customers.

So, take control of the laws of your Salesforce physics and start building Product Rules that will power your sales journey towards success.

Guided Selling Setup

Let’s voyage further into the Salesforce CPQ cosmos, and our next stop is the world of Guided Selling. Imagine being a star explorer with a reliable AI companion always ready to offer advice and point you in the right direction. This is precisely the role Guided Selling plays in your Salesforce CPQ journey.

Guided Selling is like a navigational system for your sales reps. It provides a set of customized questions that help reps understand the customer’s needs, guiding them towards the most suitable products and solutions. It’s not just about selling more; it’s about selling smarter, by ensuring the solutions offered align perfectly with the customer’s requirements.

Think of it as your in-built sales GPS, ensuring your reps stay on the right path, and more importantly, guide your customers down the right path. Guided Selling leads your sales team through the product maze with a personalized map for each customer, significantly improving the likelihood of closing a deal.

Setting up Guided Selling involves defining the questions that your sales reps will ask customers. These questions should be designed to reveal the customer’s needs, preferences, and budget. Based on the customer’s answers, the Guided Selling system will recommend the most suitable products, add-ons, or bundles.

It’s like programming your spaceship’s AI with an understanding of various celestial bodies. When you tell it your destination, it will recommend the best route, considering fuel efficiency, speed, and safety. Similarly, Guided Selling uses its understanding of your product catalog and the customer’s needs to recommend the best sales solutions.

Implementing Guided Selling in your Salesforce CPQ setup process can significantly enhance your sales process, making it more customer-centric, efficient, and ultimately more successful. It’s time to supercharge your sales with the power of guided selling. After all, in the vast expanse of the sales universe, having a reliable guide can make all the difference!

Discount Schedules and Price Rules Configuration

Journeying deeper into our Salesforce CPQ universe, we now encounter the twin forces of Discount Schedules and Price Rules. These powerful tools allow you to flexibly and dynamically alter the pricing of your products, much like celestial bodies are influenced by the forces of cosmic winds and gravitational fields.

Discount Schedules allow you to set quantity-based discounts on your products. Think of it like a loyalty rewards program for the cosmos. The more a customer buys, the bigger the discount they receive. Setting up Discount Schedules involves deciding on the tiers of discounts and the quantities required to trigger each tier. It’s a great way to encourage larger purchases and reward your most loyal customers.

Imagine a customer considering buying one of your products. They’re on the fence, but then they see a tempting offer: “Buy 10 more and get a 20% discount!” It might just be the nudge they need to increase their order and boost your sales. It’s like the gravity assist technique used in space travel, where a spacecraft uses the gravity of a planet or a moon to accelerate and achieve a boost in speed. The more significant the planet (or in this case, the order quantity), the more substantial the acceleration (or discount).

Next, we have Price Rules, a tool that enables dynamic pricing changes based on various factors. It could be a discount applied to a product bundle, a promotional offer for a particular period, or a special price for a specific market segment. Price Rules offer the flexibility to adapt your pricing strategy to a multitude of sales scenarios.

Setting up Price Rules is like setting up navigation beacons in the cosmos of Salesforce CPQ. These beacons can guide your pricing decisions based on the conditions and actions you specify. For example, you can set up a Price Rule that automatically applies a 10% discount if a customer buys a particular bundle of products.

Both Discount Schedules and Price Rules are powerful tools in your Salesforce CPQ setup. When configured correctly, they can enhance your sales strategy, providing the flexibility to adapt to various situations and customer needs. So go ahead and manipulate the forces of your Salesforce CPQ universe. Remember, when it comes to pricing, flexibility is the key to staying competitive in the ever-changing sales cosmos.

Quote Templates Design

In the vast Salesforce CPQ cosmos, Quote Templates are your ambassadors, the spacecrafts that carry your proposal to the client’s world. They reflect your brand, your professionalism, and your value proposition. As such, designing effective Quote Templates is a critical step in your Salesforce CPQ setup journey.

Layout Design

First impressions matter, and that’s especially true with Quote Templates. The layout of your quote should be clean, professional, and consistent with your branding. Salesforce CPQ allows you to customize the look and feel of your Quote Template, from the header and footer to the inclusion of your company logo and colors.

Information Inclusion

Next, determine what information to include in the quote. Essential elements typically include the quote number, quote date, validity period, company details, client details, line item details, pricing details, terms and conditions, and signature lines. Salesforce CPQ’s Quote Templates are highly customizable, enabling you to choose what information to include and where.

Line Columns

In the line item section of your quote, you decide which columns to display. These could include product name, product code, quantity, unit price, discount, net price, and others. The Salesforce CPQ allows you to tailor this to your needs, showing the most relevant information for your products and customers.

Terms & Conditions

Your quote also needs to include the terms and conditions of the sale. These cover payment terms, delivery details, return policy, and any other conditions relevant to the sale. Salesforce CPQ lets you add this information directly to the Quote Template or link to an external document if needed.

Summary and Totals

At the end of your quote, you’ll need a summary section. This section will display the total amount, any taxes, and the final total. You might also include other calculated fields like the amount of any discounts provided.

Additional Sections

Salesforce CPQ’s Quote Templates are flexible enough to include additional sections, such as a cover letter, a section for special notes or instructions, or an appendix with detailed product specifications or warranty information.

Remember, your Quote Template isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a reflection of your company’s professionalism and commitment to quality. So take the time to create a Quote Template that not only provides the necessary information but does so in a way that reinforces your brand and impresses your customers.

Exploring Lesser-Known Salesforce CPQ Features

While we’ve covered some of the main components of Salesforce CPQ, there are still several lesser-known features that can provide significant benefits to your sales process. Let’s shed some light on these hidden gems.

Advanced Approvals

The Advanced Approvals feature provides a robust, flexible approval process for quotes. It allows you to set multi-tiered approval matrices based on factors like quote amount, discount percentage, or any other quote field. This ensures that quotes matching certain criteria go through necessary approvals before they are sent to the customer, minimizing errors and protecting your profit margins.

Contracted Pricing

With Contracted Pricing, you can establish special pricing for specific accounts, which gets automatically applied when a sales rep generates a quote for those accounts. This is particularly useful for businesses with contractual agreements for certain customers or customer groups.

Amendment and Renewal Automation

When it comes to contract amendments and renewals, Salesforce CPQ automates the process, making it hassle-free. When a contract is up for renewal or needs amendment, the platform creates a new quote with the same products, ready for the sales rep to modify as required. This saves time and improves accuracy.

Revenue and Subscription Schedules

Revenue and Subscription Schedules in Salesforce CPQ provide a clear view of the expected revenue from subscriptions or other time-based products over their lifespan. This can be a powerful tool for forecasting and managing your company’s cash flow.


Salesforce CPQ’s Localization feature allows you to generate quotes in multiple languages and currencies. This makes it a versatile tool for businesses operating in multiple countries.

Each of these features brings unique value to your sales process, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and customer service. While they might not be as well-known as other Salesforce CPQ features, they’re just as valuable when navigating the sales cosmos. So don’t forget to explore these features and leverage them to power up your sales journey.

Testing your CPQ Setup

As we near the completion of our Salesforce CPQ interstellar journey, it’s time for an important and non-negotiable step – testing. Like pre-launch checks for a spacecraft, testing your CPQ setup ensures that everything works as intended before you go live.

Functional Testing

Begin with functional testing, ensuring all aspects of your Salesforce CPQ setup work as intended. This involves testing each feature individually – from product setup, pricing rules, discount schedules, guided selling, to quote template design. You’re looking for any errors or glitches that could impede your sales process.

Remember, in our cosmic metaphor, each component of your Salesforce CPQ setup is a part of your spacecraft. And you wouldn’t want to launch with a malfunctioning thruster or a faulty navigation system, would you?

Integration Testing

Next up is integration testing. This phase checks that all the separate components of your Salesforce CPQ setup work well together. You’re ensuring that your data flows correctly from one process to the next. For example, does the guided selling feature correctly recommend products based on the rules you’ve set up? Do your discount schedules apply correctly in the final quote?

This is akin to checking if all systems in your spacecraft interact as they should. You want to ensure your navigation system communicates effectively with your engine, your life support system works in harmony with your spacecraft’s power supply, and so on.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

The final frontier in your testing journey is User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This step involves your end users – your sales reps – testing the system. They will follow typical sales processes to create quotes and close deals, providing feedback on any issues they encounter. This step is crucial because it tests the system in real-world scenarios and from the perspective of the people who will use it daily.

Comparatively, this would be like your astronauts doing a dry run of the mission. They would simulate the journey, identify any issues or discomforts, and provide feedback to the ground crew for any adjustments before the real launch.

In conclusion, just as rigorous pre-launch testing is non-negotiable in space missions, thoroughly testing your Salesforce CPQ setup is a crucial step in your implementation journey. It’s the best way to ensure a smooth launch and a successful mission in the vast sales cosmos. So, buckle up and embark on your testing journey. After all, it’s better to face and fix issues now than encounter a catastrophic failure in the middle of your sales journey!

Tips and Best Practices

Consistent Product Catalog Management

Maintaining consistency in your product catalog is crucial. Ensure all product-related information, including names, descriptions, codes, and pricing, is consistent and up-to-date. This helps avoid confusion and errors during the quoting process.

Optimal Use of Product Bundles

Leverage product bundles to upsell and cross-sell. When setting up bundles, think from your customer’s perspective. What products or services naturally complement each other? How can you create value-add bundles that cater to your customers’ needs and increase your average deal size?

Effective Price and Discount Management

Avoid overcomplicating your pricing structure. Too many price rules or discount tiers can lead to confusion and errors. Keep it simple and intuitive. Also, consider setting maximum discount limits to protect your margins.

Leverage Guided Selling

Make use of Guided Selling to assist your sales reps in recommending the right products to customers. This not only improves your customer service but also helps increase sales by ensuring the customer’s needs are accurately met.

Customize Quote Templates

Your quote is often the first formal communication a prospect sees from your company. Customize your quote templates to reflect your brand image and include all the necessary information in a clear and concise format.

Regular Testing and Maintenance

Finally, just like you would regularly service a spaceship, carry out regular maintenance and checks of your Salesforce CPQ system. Regular testing will help you identify and rectify any issues early on, ensuring the smooth running of your sales processes.

By following these tips and best practices, you can make the most of your Salesforce CPQ system and propel your sales to the stars!


As we reach the final frontier of our Salesforce CPQ interstellar journey, we can look back and see the universe of opportunities that this powerful tool offers. From streamlining your product catalog, pricing rules, and quote templates to implementing guided selling and comprehensive testing, Salesforce CPQ has the power to revolutionize your sales process.

While it may seem like a complex task, like navigating through an unexplored cosmos, remember that each step is designed to propel your business forward, to help you reach new heights and conquer new territories in the vast marketplace.

So, buckle up, set your sights on your business goals, and launch into your Salesforce CPQ journey. No matter how intimidating the journey may seem at the start, remember that even the longest voyage begins with a single step. Keep our practical tips in mind, navigate through each setup process systematically, and soon, you’ll find yourself among the stars, reaping the benefits of a well-implemented Salesforce CPQ system.

This voyage into the Salesforce CPQ universe is not a one-time journey. It’s an ongoing expedition, exploring new features, understanding better ways of doing things, and continually improving your sales process. And as you continue this journey, remember that you’re not alone. There’s a whole community of Salesforce CPQ explorers, sharing insights, experiences, and solutions. So, engage, learn, and share.

As we conclude our series, we hope that this guide has served as a valuable map for your Salesforce CPQ journey. Here’s to many successful sales voyages ahead in the Salesforce CPQ cosmos!


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