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As ‘Efficient expertise’ and ‘Progressive agility’ are two of our core company values, we remain focused on sharing our insights to delivering innovative CPQ solutions in an ever-changing environment and empowering our customers to operate based on a forward-thinking and progressive project approach. 

As the experts with the relevant CPQ experience we would therefore like to share some of the recurring questions that we get asked by customers and our answers to them. 

Can I use CPQ with a custom CRM?

Yes, however, using out of the box CRM objects will simplify the architectural design, aid quicker delivery and ensure that quarterly upgrades can be delivered with minimal effort. Use of non-standard objects increases the need for bespoke solutions and integrations and as a result, complexity increases. This will also drive a need for additional support and maintenance effort for changes and upgrades in the future.

Can I generate quotes based on processes and templates we already use?

Yes, you can, but we would strongly advise a standardised approach. Where possible, agree one template and process to be followed. Again, having multiple quote types and related processes will extend the development effort required initially and result in a greater ongoing maintenance effort if standardisation cannot be applied.

Can I generate a quote from CPQ directly?

Experience shows that all quotes should have a corresponding CRM opportunity to avoid integration issues and reporting anomalies, amongst other things. In addition, CPQ often inherits CRM accessibility permissions via integration so direct access to CPQ would create additional maintenance to manage user access.

Can I do my reporting from CPQ?

CPQ is a transactional tool and therefore the data is transient, where CPQ reporting is available, it is often basic. CPQ should be seen as part of your wider business architecture, thus we would recommend that reports which need CPQ data are sourced from existing tools and data repositories. To support reporting, APIs can be leveraged or, in order to manage performance, data exports from CPQ can be defined.

Can we manage changes to CPQ using nominated administrators?

Walpole Partnership is happy to provide administrator training. Training is aimed at senior users with relevant elevated permissions. More complex administration can be managed by Walpole as a service, as this requires specific advanced technical knowledge that is continually evolving and being updated. If your organisation wishes to become self-sufficient in administering your system, Tech Vendor Courses are available, and Walpole will suggest the minimum training requirements needed for a viable handover.

Can I define product selection criteria?

Yes – you can define how your products are searched and selected. We do suggest approaching this requirement with simplicity in mind. Try to avoid dependent or ‘nested’ selections – too many tiers can cause system performance issues and are more onerous to maintain. Recent developments in CPQ support ‘type-ahead and ‘fuzzy logic’ searching more effectively than in the past.

Can CPQ manage discounts?

Yes. We recommend applying your discounts at line level or at the bottom line to avoid over-discounting. Keeping the discount structure simple will make onboarding of Sales personnel easier too.

Can I set up a bespoke process related to notifications?

Yes you can, but standardisation in your notifications is recommended to maintain simplicity in the tracking of workflows and ongoing maintenance. Although notifications can be set at any level, we strongly advise setting them at company level to avoid additional costs.

Can I manage approvals within CPQ?

Yes, but triggering approvals only in exceptional circumstances is best practice. This will allow your sales personnel work though quotes at a greater speed allowing them to spend time on value added activity and rather than chasing various levels of management for approval. This will in turn reduce management overheads and increase sales personnel morale.

Does CPQ manage exchange rates?

Yes, but we advise avoidance of a dynamic exchange rate in favour of aligning the rate with CRM or ERP on an annual basis. This will help to avoid customer confusion during billing or when using any centralised reporting.

Can output document templates easily be translated?

Translation functionality is often available for output documents. We recommend translation functionality over having multiple formats/ language specific versions. This approach will drive consistency and reduce the maintenance effort when something changes.

Can I design rules for configuration?

Yes, but we need to ensure that rules are designed in a way that means they do not conflict with each other. Each time a new rule is required, existing configuration rules should be reviewed. These rules are important to ensuring a smooth process for your customers.

We have a difficult use case that always causes us issues, can CPQ manage our edge cases? 

Yes, but overengineering a solution for an edge case will increase delivery timeframes and add complexity to your solution for little return. You should conduct a realistic benefit review before introducing requirements to support exceptional processes. CPQ does allow you to save a quote, for example as a PDF and insert it as an attachment so that you can leverage the core processes while managing the complexity of the quote elsewhere.

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‘CPQ FAQs’ was written by one of Walpole Partnership’s Project Managers, Gareth Williams.

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