Salesforce CPQ – A Series! Riding the Discount Comet: Navigating Discount Schedules and Strategies

Introduction to Discounting

Welcome back, Salesforce novices and ninjas! In this part of our expedition into the Salesforce CPQ cosmos, we’ll traverse the intriguing world of discounting. It’s like a cosmic clearance sale, but instead of markdowns on moon boots, we’re talking about strategic price reductions to drive sales, satisfy customers, and outperform competitors in the interstellar marketplace.

In the grand scheme of commerce, whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, discounting serves a vital purpose. At its core, discounting is a strategic reduction in the regular price of a product or service, designed to accomplish a range of business objectives. From stimulating sales and clearing old inventory, to rewarding loyal customers and competing effectively, discounting is a versatile weapon in the business arsenal.

In the Salesforce CPQ universe, discounting is an integral component of the quote-to-cash process. It’s a way to bridge the gap between the list price of an item and the final price a customer pays, helping businesses stay flexible and responsive in a dynamic market landscape.

So, buckle up and prepare for a wild ride as we delve into the celestial world of Salesforce CPQ discounting. By the end of this article, you’ll have the power to manipulate pricing like a master of the cosmic marketplace, applying discounts that attract customers like a supermassive black hole attracts, well, everything! Ready to blast off? Let’s go!

The Role of Discounts in Salesforce CPQ

Now that we’ve safely landed in the world of Salesforce CPQ discounting, it’s time to explore this exciting landscape in detail. Just like astronauts studying new planets, we’ll look at the role of discounts from various angles. And believe me, when it comes to the Salesforce CPQ universe, discounting is as intriguing as a newly discovered exoplanet!

First off, let’s clear up a common misconception: discounts aren’t just about reducing prices to stimulate sales. True, that is one aspect of discounting, but it’s not the whole story. In Salesforce CPQ, discounts play a much larger strategic role.

You see, discounts in Salesforce CPQ can serve as a tool for adapting to market dynamics, rewarding customer loyalty, clearing inventory, or driving specific buyer behaviors. For instance, imagine offering a special discount on a new product to encourage trials and generate buzz. Or consider a loyalty discount for your long-standing customers to express gratitude and promote retention. Discounts, when wielded with precision and creativity, can be a powerful strategic tool in your business arsenal.

Now let’s talk about the types of discounts you can implement in Salesforce CPQ. We have manual and automatic discounts – each with their unique flavor and strategic implications.

Manual discounts are like a handy astronaut’s multi-tool, giving your sales reps the flexibility to adjust pricing in response to real-time negotiation dynamics. They have the freedom to offer discounts at the quote line level, allowing them to respond effectively to unique customer situations.

On the other side of the spectrum, automatic discounts are like the auto-pilot feature on your spaceship. These discounts are automatically applied based on predefined conditions such as product bundles or quantities. This ensures consistent pricing strategies across all your deals without needing direct input from the sales team.

As we move on to our next exploration – setting up and applying discount schedules – we’ll see how these types of discounts come to life in the Salesforce CPQ environment. So, strap on your space boots, and let’s continue our adventure!

Types of Discounts

Buckle up, space adventurers! We’re going to dive deeper into the fascinating world of Salesforce CPQ discount types. Think of this as a journey through a vibrant nebula filled with spectacular colors and structures. Each type of discount has its own unique hue and shape, contributing to the overall brilliance of your CPQ strategy. Let’s explore these discount types in detail.

  1. Volume Discounts: These are the pulsars of our discount nebula. They are meant to stimulate higher volume purchases by offering lower per-unit costs for larger quantities. This discount type is a fantastic tool for promoting bulk orders, driving up average transaction values, and making your customers feel like they’re getting a great deal for buying in quantity.
  2. Segmented Discounts: Segmented discounts, also known as slab discounts, offer varied discount percentages based on the quantity ordered. Think of these as binary star systems: they appear as one from afar, but as you get closer, you realize they are two distinct entities. For example, you could offer a 10% discount for buying 10-50 units, a 15% discount for 51-100 units, and so on. The intention here is to incentivize customers to purchase more to reach the next discount tier.
  3. Term Discounts: These discounts are like wormholes, shortening the path between two points. In this case, they provide an incentive for customers to commit to longer contract terms by offering lower prices for extended commitments. They’re excellent for ensuring revenue predictability and enhancing customer retention.
  4. Promotional Discounts: Like supernovas, promotional discounts make a big, bright, and temporary splash in the sales universe. They’re limited-time offers designed to create urgency and stimulate immediate purchase. Salesforce CPQ allows you to easily set up promotional discounts and ensure they are automatically applied during the promotion period.

Each type of discount can be strategically used to achieve specific business objectives. They offer the flexibility to tailor your pricing strategies to various scenarios, customer segments, and market dynamics. Remember, like celestial bodies in a nebula, no discount type is superior or inferior to others. Their value lies in how aptly they are used given the business context.

Stay tuned as we prepare to embark on our next journey: setting up and applying discount schedules. Let’s keep exploring this captivating Salesforce CPQ discounting cosmos!

Discount Schedules

As we cruise further into the Salesforce CPQ universe, our next stop is the Discount Schedules galaxy. If discounts are the stars of Salesforce CPQ, then discount schedules are the constellations that give them meaning and structure. They provide a systematic way to apply discounts based on predefined criteria, bringing order and predictability to your pricing strategy.

Setting up a discount schedule in Salesforce CPQ is akin to charting your course through the cosmos. You map out your journey based on the quantity or term of a product or service, and Salesforce CPQ handles the rest. This galaxy has two main celestial bodies: Volume Discount Schedules and Term Discount Schedules.

Volume Discount Schedules: These are the space-time fabric of our discount universe, where the quantity of a product sold influences the discount offered. For instance, if a customer buys 10-50 units of your product, they might get a 10% discount, but if they buy 51-100 units, the discount might increase to 15%. With Salesforce CPQ, you can set up these tiers in a volume discount schedule, and the system will automatically apply the appropriate discount based on the quantity in a quote line.

Term Discount Schedules: These celestial objects work by offering discounts based on the length of a subscription term. Like a wormhole that rewards travelers for taking a longer route, term discounts incentivize customers to commit to longer contract durations. For instance, a one-year subscription might have a 0% discount, a two-year subscription a 5% discount, and a three-year subscription a 10% discount.

Creating these discount schedules is a straightforward process in Salesforce CPQ. You’ll find the option within the product record, under the ‘Related’ list. Each discount schedule you create is reusable and can be associated with multiple products.

Don’t forget, the power of discount schedules lies in their ability to automate complex discounting scenarios. This leaves your sales team with more time to focus on what they do best: building relationships and closing deals. It’s like having an autopilot for your discount strategy.

Hold tight, because up next, we’re headed to the exciting world of applying these discounts. Fasten your seatbelts, we’re hitting warp speed!

Setting Up Discount Schedules

Navigating the Salesforce CPQ cosmos, we now find ourselves ready to establish our Discount Schedules. This process involves a sequence of configuration steps, each as essential as the component of a spaceship.

  1. Navigate to the Product: From the Salesforce CPQ app, navigate to the ‘Products’ tab. Select the product you want to associate with a discount schedule.
  2. Create a Discount Schedule: Scroll down to the ‘Related’ list and select ‘New Discount Schedule’. Fill in the required details such as ‘Discount Schedule Name’, ‘Type’ (select either ‘Volume’ or ‘Term’), and ‘Active’ (check this box to make your discount schedule active).
  3. Add Discount Tiers: Once you’ve created a discount schedule, it’s time to define the discount tiers. Select ‘New Discount Tier’ and input the ‘Min’ and ‘Max’ quantities or term lengths for the tier, along with the ‘Discounted Sales Price’ or ‘Discount (%)’.
  4. Associate the Discount Schedule with a Product: Navigate back to your selected product and scroll to the ‘Price and Quantity’ section. From the ‘Discount Schedule’ dropdown, select the discount schedule you’ve just created.
  5. Test the Discount Schedule: Lastly, create a quote with the product to test if the discount schedule is correctly applying the expected discount based on the quantity or term.

Remember that discount schedules can be applied at the product level, so they are reusable across multiple products. Also, don’t forget that you can create both ‘Slab’ (each tier has its own discount rate) and ‘Step’ (all units are discounted at the highest earned tier rate) discount schedules based on your business requirements.

On completing these steps, you would have successfully set up a discount schedule in Salesforce CPQ. Your sales team will now have a systematic, automated approach to apply discounts based on the volume or term of products sold. It’s as if you’ve programmed a robot to conduct your orchestra of discounts!

On that note, let’s prepare for our next journey, where we will explore how to apply these discounts. Buckle up!

Managing and Applying Discounts

In Salesforce CPQ, managing and applying discounts is a nuanced but highly manageable process. Each Quote Line Item represents an instance of a product that’s added to a quote, and each item can have its own unique discount.

When creating or editing a Quote Line Item, there are two main ways to apply discounts:

  1. Regular Discount: This is a straightforward percentage reduction applied to the sales price of a product. To add this discount, you need to enter the desired percentage in the “Additional Discount” field of the Quote Line Item.
  2. Volume Discount: This is where Discount Schedules come into play. If a product has a Discount Schedule associated with it, the schedule will be automatically applied to that product when it is added to a quote.

Once you’ve decided on the type of discount you want to apply, you can input the discount in the quote line item. For a regular discount, simply input the percentage in the “Additional Discount” field. For a volume discount, the associated discount schedule will automatically calculate the correct discount based on the quantity of the product.

In addition to manually applying discounts, you can leverage Salesforce CPQ’s Price Rules to automate discounting based on specified conditions. For instance, you could create a Price Rule that applies an additional 10% discount when a customer purchases more than 100 units of a particular product.

Salesforce CPQ also provides Partner Discount Rules. These allow you to automatically apply discount percentages based on the partner tier level, which is particularly useful in scenarios where different tiers of partners receive different levels of discounting.

Remember, all discounts in Salesforce CPQ are applied pre-tax. This means the tax calculation is performed after all discounts have been applied.

Overall, Salesforce CPQ provides a highly flexible system for managing and applying discounts, enabling you to implement complex pricing strategies with relative ease. It’s crucial to leverage these features in a manner that aligns with your business goals and maximizes value for your customers.

Advanced Discounting Features

Beyond basic discounting features, Salesforce CPQ offers an array of advanced functionalities that provide greater control and precision in your discounting strategies.

Discount Tiers: Salesforce CPQ enables the creation of tiered discounting. This allows you to set different discount percentages depending on the quantity of a product sold. You can define this tiered structure within the Discount Schedule related to a particular product. In practical terms, this means a customer purchasing 100 units might get a 10% discount, while a customer buying 200 units could receive a 15% discount. The tiers can be set up as volume, slab, or term schedules, each suiting different pricing scenarios.

Price Rules and Price Actions: Salesforce CPQ’s Price Rules are an essential tool for advanced discounting. Price Rules can adjust field values, such as price or discount, based on specific criteria. For instance, you could set up a Price Rule that applies a 20% discount to a product if a customer also purchases a warranty. Within each Price Rule, you define Price Actions that specify exactly what changes should be made when the rule criteria are met. The Price Rule activates whenever its conditions are met in a quote, adjusting the price or discount as per the defined Price Actions.

Discount Approval Processes: In Salesforce CPQ, you have the ability to set up approval processes for discounts exceeding a specific threshold. This helps maintain profitability and control over pricing. For instance, if a sales rep offers a discount over 30%, you can set an approval process that routes the quote to a sales manager for review. This is achieved through Salesforce’s native approval process functionality and CPQ’s dynamic approvals which allow for multi-step and multi-tiered approval processes.

Partner Discounting: Salesforce CPQ also caters to businesses that work with partners, offering Partner Discount Rules. These rules help to automate the application of partner-specific discounts based on a Partner’s tier level, deal registration status, and other partner-related criteria. This feature eases the task of managing complex partner pricing scenarios.

By harnessing these advanced discounting features, businesses using Salesforce CPQ can implement highly tailored and complex discounting strategies, ensuring price optimization and business profitability.

Challenges in Managing Discounts

When it comes to managing discounts within a CPQ system, several challenges can arise. The ability to identify and mitigate these obstacles is an essential skillset for any Salesforce architect.

Complexity of Discount Structures: The level of detail and complexity in a company’s discount structure can vary drastically based on its sales strategy and product portfolio. Establishing discount schedules, tiered discounts, partner discount rules, and more, can quickly become complex. Understanding the business model and translating it into Salesforce CPQ’s structure is crucial. Careful planning and documentation are required to create a well-functioning, understandable discount system.

Maintaining Profit Margins: Offering discounts can improve sales figures but also risks damaging profit margins if not controlled correctly. Setting up approval workflows for discounts exceeding certain thresholds can help, but understanding the financial implications requires an astute grasp of both the business’s economic context and the functionalities of Salesforce CPQ.

System Performance: Depending on the number of Price Rules and complexity of calculations, system performance can be a challenge. As an architect, you need to ensure that the system provides accurate pricing quickly, even when handling complex quotes with a large number of line items. This can involve optimizing Price Rules, reducing unnecessary calculation procedures, and effectively using features like Quote Calculation Sequence.

Training and Adoption: The effectiveness of any CPQ system relies on its users fully understanding and correctly utilizing its features. This includes sales reps understanding the discounting options and rules. Consequently, thorough training and clear documentation are vital.

Regulatory Compliance: In certain industries, there may be regulations surrounding pricing and discounting. It is crucial to understand these regulations and ensure that the discounting strategies implemented within Salesforce CPQ comply with them.

Facing these challenges requires a thorough understanding of both Salesforce CPQ’s capabilities and the company’s needs. As an architect, your ability to navigate these challenges will greatly contribute to the successful use of discounting within Salesforce CPQ.

Best Practices for Managing Discounts

A Salesforce CPQ implementation comes with a host of potential benefits, particularly when it comes to managing discounts. Here are some best practices you should consider when setting up your discount management within Salesforce CPQ:

Plan Ahead: Establish clear goals and a detailed plan before setting up your discount structures. This can help ensure that your discounts align with your business’s overall sales strategy. It’s also important to be clear about who in your organization can offer discounts and under what conditions.

Keep It Simple: It’s possible to set up highly complex discounting structures in Salesforce CPQ, but remember – complexity for its own sake can lead to confusion and errors. The aim should be a balance between meeting business requirements and maintaining usability.

Use Tiered Pricing: Consider using volume-based or tiered pricing to incentivize larger purchases. With Salesforce CPQ’s Discount Schedules, you can easily set up different price points based on the quantity purchased.

Set Approval Thresholds: To protect your profit margins, consider setting up approval thresholds for discounts. This could be done with Salesforce CPQ’s approval processes where you can specify the conditions under which a quote requires managerial approval.

Train Your Users: Make sure your sales team understands your discounting policies and how to apply discounts in Salesforce CPQ. The more comfortable they are with the system, the more efficiently they can prepare quotes and close deals.

Review Regularly: Over time, your discounting strategy may need to change in response to market conditions, changes in your product line, or other factors. Regularly review your discounting practices and make adjustments in Salesforce CPQ as needed.

By following these best practices, you can take full advantage of Salesforce CPQ’s powerful discounting features while steering clear of common pitfalls. In the dynamic world of sales, being able to effectively manage discounts can give you a significant competitive edge.


We have voyaged through the universe of discounts in Salesforce CPQ, unraveling its complexity and exploring the hidden realms of its possibilities. We started by understanding the importance of discounts and how Salesforce CPQ simplifies the process, ventured into the various types of discounts and the role of Discount Schedules, then onto the nitty-gritty of setting them up and managing them.

We dared to explore advanced discounting features, faced the challenges associated with managing discounts, and finally equipped ourselves with best practices to navigate these challenges. We have discovered how Salesforce CPQ empowers businesses to create flexible and strategic discounts, effectively manage them, and ultimately drive more sales.

As we conclude this expedition, it’s important to remember that successful discount management in Salesforce CPQ isn’t just about setting up the right tools; it’s about using these tools strategically to align with your business’s broader sales strategy. As you continue to navigate the Salesforce CPQ cosmos, may your journey be marked with increased sales efficiency, higher profitability, and more satisfied customers!

Stay tuned as we continue our journey in the next article in this series, where we will delve deeper into the Salesforce CPQ universe and explore the creation and configuration of Quote Templates. Until then, may your Salesforce CPQ journey be both enlightening and productive!

5 thoughts on “Salesforce CPQ – A Series! Riding the Discount Comet: Navigating Discount Schedules and Strategies

  1. Hi, You’ve mentioned

    “Update Price Conditions (Optional): If you want to apply the discount schedule to specific price conditions, navigate to the ‘Price Conditions’ related list on the product page and update the ‘Discount Schedule’ field accordingly.”

    I do not see Price Conditions’ related list on the product page.

    I thought Price Conditions is only available in price rules. am I missing something?


    1. Yeah I was trying to convey assigning a discount schedule via a price rule but it did not come across. Come to think of it, that’s a bit more complex than should be here. Maybe that’s a topic for another day! I’ve updated the section accordingly. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Hi We have a scenario where we have discount Schedule with one tier starting from lower bound 2 and price is 14 . And this is not working correctly when we clone with particular line . For example if we clone the quantity becomes two so original price is 49 so after cloning as quantity becomes the price should become 42 each but it’s becoming 35 each which is wrong .could your please explain why

    1. It sounds like your discount schedule is taking 14 off the 49 price. 49 – 14 = 35. I would need to see the whole record for your Discount Schedule and the whole record for your Discount Tier to tell for sure but it sounds like it’s configured to discount off total not per quantity.

      Do you have the price field filled in on the tier record to 14? Or is it the Discount ({0}) field? And what is the Discount Unit set to on the Discount Schedule?

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