Implementing Salesforce CPQ is a critical, organization-wide undertaking that helps to fulfill the business goal of generating accurate sales quotes quickly.
It impacts multiple teams, stakeholders, business targets and influences the working style of an organization post-implementation.
And the deployment partner is key in all of this. Reason? The right implementation partner enables businesses to automate processes, close more deals, improve productivity and fast track revenue growth. The wrong partner may lead to escalated costs, loss of deals and even hamper the sales reps’ efficiency.
So how can organizations ensure that they are partnering with the former and not the latter? It all starts with doing research, digging into topics like credentials and processes and approaching the tough questions head-on.
Here are the top 9 most important questions to ask upfront when hiring a Salesforce CPQ implementation partner.
Question #1: What are the implementation methodology and process you follow?
The approach used to set up the initial phases of the implementation is one of the crucial parts of the Salesforce CPQ project. An experienced full-solution systems integration partner for Salesforce will follow a tried-and-true implementation (waterfall or agile) methodology.
Also, they should be willing to share information related to design, build, test, launch and offer other details like:
- Defined phases and deliverables.
- Expected outcomes and challenges (if any).
- Number of completed projects.
- Customer references and case studies.
Question #2: Are you Salesforce Certified?
Salesforce releases new system updates every spring, summer and winter. A certified Salesforce implementation partner maintains accreditation through constantly updating services in alignment with the release cycles.
Finding out that the deployment partner is certified by Salesforce is an easy way to ensure if they have the right expertise and newest credentials needed to handle the implementation.
- Official Accreditation like Master Navigator Badges and Salesforce Certifications.
- AppExchange Partner Ratings.
- Salesforce Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
- Collective years of experience specific to Salesforce CPQ & Billing.
Question #3: What will the scoping include?
One of the essential parts of the pre-sales process is the scoping session, also known as the pre-sales design session. Based on our experience of working with different organizations, scoping is critical because clients expect implementation partners to showcase their expertise.
A good scoping session will see an implementation partner:
- Defining the measurable, mutually agreed on success metrics and priorities.
- Creating an articulated path for project success and milestones.
- Advising on components that should/shouldn’t be done.
Question #4: What will be our role in the project?
Expecting the implementation partner to work unilaterally is not the right approach. Hence, we advise organizations implementing Salesforce CPQ to identify and define their role before the project starts.
Find out about:
- Change management strategies that they should or are expected to follow.
- Training or related resources to be provided to admin and users.
- Ways to improve existing communications methods if needed.
- User adoption plan.
Question #5: Who all will be involved in this project?
Having a clear understanding of the teams that will be actively engaged is crucial because that will ensure optimal resource utilization.
While the implementation partner will assign a project or account manager responsible for tracking the project delivery, the customer should assign specific resource (s) who will ensure that the deliverables are happening on time as per the defined project scope.
Find out about:
- Point of Contact (POC) for each phase of the project will be on-site, remote or both from the partner side.
- Time commitment from teams or resources (with specific industry knowledge and specialist skills) needed pre-and-post implementation.
- Role of C-Suite pre-and post-implementation.
Question #6: Would you offer post-implementation support?
Being aware of the post-implementation support the partner will be able to offer is crucial. We advise having that discussion ideally at the start of the project and not after moving Salesforce CPQ to the production state.
Get clarity on:
- Improvements, enhancements and break fixes after implementation & training.
- How the platform can scale up when business grows.
- Platform maintenance.
Question #7: Will you be able to meet the implementation timeline set by us?
Every organization has their own set of business goals to achieve in a set period and selecting an implementation partner that can fit those timeframes is crucial. Considering the project complexity in mind, sometimes deployments are done faster and at other times it may take longer if there are integrations, application configuration, etc involved.
Be sure to find out if the implementation partner:
- Leverages in-house accelerators to automate and expedite implementations and complex integrations.
- Agrees with the delivery timeline set by the business.
Question #8: What is your pricing structure/model?
Pricing is one of the other key aspect businesses takes into consideration when selecting a Salesforce CPQ implementation partner. Having said that, it should not be the only reason for choosing a particular partner.
- Clear quote and breakdown of what is included in the implementation package, mode of payments, payment patterns.
- Detailed fee structure for any customized package.
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), including the cost of the product licenses, services and long-term maintenance cost.
Question #9: Why should we choose you over other Salesforce implementation service providers?
Organizations looking to hire Salesforce CPQ implementation service providers should work with a full-solution Systems Integration partner for Salesforce, specializing in Revenue Operations.
Hire an implementation partner with:
- End-to-end capabilities in Salesforce Revenue Cloud.
- Ability to anticipate complex enterprise processes, systems and integration issues.
- Bolt-on solutions that automate and expedite implementations and complex integrations.
Teaming up with an expert Salesforce implementation partner with a proven track record of delivering successful Salesforce implementation services on different engagement models is important. And to make an informed selection, it is essential to dig deeper, understand the competencies the implementation partner brings in and review them thoroughly.
Forsys is a leader in Lead-to-Revenue business and technology consulting specializing in High-Tech, Manufacturing and Healthcare industries. As we focus exclusively on Lead-to-Revenue, we bring clients both depth of expertise and breadth of experience from having executed over 200+ engagements for global enterprises in the past 5 years alone.
Forsys is a full-solution Systems Integration Partner for Salesforce, specializing in Revenue Operations, and have completed over 200 projects in CPQ, CLM, Billing, CRM, and Digital Commerce.