Salesforce CPQ in the Service Cloud Expands Data Integration Strategy

Salesforce CPQ in the Service Cloud Expands Data Integration Strategy

SQDM shares an article by Eric Borthwick that informs about the new possibilities of customer data integration, available through Salesforce CPQ in the Service Cloud.

Today, most CRM systems share a common goal: to improve the customer experience by empowering sales, marketing and service teams with more effective customer data.

All companies should make their customers’ shopping experience as easy as possible. One of the obvious ways to remove an obstacle is to make every employee a potential member of the sales team. This allows employees – whether in sales, marketing, or any other department – to use customer information to cross-sell and provide better customer service.

Salesforce has had this vision for some time now, and made it more real in early 2016. The Lightning development platform was introduced for all Salesforce platform clouds and also Steelbrick CPQ (Configure Price quote), an application that Salesforce purchased for its sales cloud

Today, six months later, Salesforce has taken another step towards unifying sales and service by introducing Salesforce CPQ for the service cloud Departments that support the post-sales operation can offer upgrades and warranty extensions or even order modifications without having to validate or interact with the sales department. These pricing configurations are native to Salesforce customer service environments.

Combining sales and service clouds to create a 360° view of the customer has long been the standard; Salesforce CPQ’s latest advances in the service cloud make this a reality, enabling the sales executive to be equipped with the latest knowledge of open service tickets, before showing up for a meeting with their customer, which is crucial. Equipping a member of the service organization with all the historical purchase information of a customer allows for the closing of service tickets with much more speed and accuracy.

Salesforce CPQ Availability in the Service Cloud

Taking customer relations one step further to allow the customer service team to cross-sell better can significantly reduce the time to close a sale and provides additional tools that forge a closer connection with the customer. The service team can access the appropriate quoting tools to lead a customer to a new product or release¸ can extend an existing warranty or modify certain items in a contract. By bringing together all possible customer interactions in one place, there is cross-functional transparency across teams, allowing for better collaboration while eliminating redundant interaction.

With the latest release of Salesforce CPQ, a new functionality allows you to split an order through Order Management. Shipments that can be tracked over time can now be managed directly from a single pricing or quote document. No more need to create multiple quotes or to clone or modify them. This functionality also allows a link to accounting systems, referencing a unique quote number until final delivery.

For an even easier link to accounting systems, Salesforce features billing capabilities that make it possible to manage subscriptions, collections, and sales, as well as sales tax management, among other functions. With this latest release, all aspects of revenue management are designed to be managed in conjunction with sales, service, and pricing or budgeting functions. In the past, companies have relied on integration with an ERP system for this function, but now there seems to be a new avenue to manage their customer experience within the Salesforce platform.

Salesforce CPQ pricing for the service cloud has yet to be released. Special attention needs to be given to support for different currencies, charging methods, various taxes, and the process for managing claims – a customer involved in an ongoing claim should, for example, be exempted from regular sales and service contacts. The process for automating these activities, which include billing, collections and payments from a customer, has to be a sensitive issue for sales teams who want to close a new sale.

The drive to have all customer interactions managed through Salesforce-with its advanced reporting capabilities-is increasingly attractive to a majority of buyers. Business processes made through workflows link teams and can create a more cohesive customer experience. The latest release of Salesforce CPQ is another positive step in that direction; the next one should be to allow customers to use an Internet portal to price the features or products they have, which could be the next phase of e-commerce. Salesforce Einstein (CRM that incorporates artificial intelligence) can affect CPQ strategies and provide greater intelligence to the “Configure-Budget-Cotice” process. This could certainly require all of 2017 to become a reality.

Read the full article, here.

For more than ten years SQDM -Software Quality Driven Management- has advised a number of companies with professional consulting services on CRM solutions. SQDM is an official business partner of world-class manufacturers in these technologies, including Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft.

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