As part of its Fall 21 release, FinancialForce announced the availability of its Services CPQ solution. The solution enables FinancialForce to deliver an end-to-end business solution on the Salesforce platform.
Historically FinancialForce partnered with Zimit to deliver a CPQ solution. However, since Workday invested in and then acquired Zimit, FinancialForce has considered developing its own solution.
Dan Brown, CTO and Strategy Officer at FinancialForce, explained that this proved easier to complete than expected in a pre-briefing. It had already developed many of the concepts of a CPQ solution within the PSA solution. These include project templates, which became estimation templates. The concept of quantifying elements such as risk and contingency already existed.
Dan Brown noted, “The thing that we do best is being able to connect the Sales Cloud the opportunity and account management, with estimation, and then be able to connect that to the subsequent project and resource management and delivery end to end. This is about digitising and having a fantastic experience, from an opportunity to Bill, all the way through to revenue recognition.”
The new solution works well with the Salesforce CPQ solution and complements Salesforce Revenue Cloud. The main advantage is this is not an add-on in the sense of a separate system but adds additional workflows to an existing Salesforce solution, eliminating the need for integration and multiple copies of data elements.
Scott Brown, CEO at FinancialForce, commented, “With the release of Services CPQ, FinancialForce is making it easier for organizations across the board to standardize and streamline the services estimating process—and achieve a higher level of customer-centricity. Services CPQ enables our customers to deliver accurate estimates, complete with resource demand, that create a tight handoff between sales and service and facilitate delivering services projects at scale.”
What is Services CPQ
FinancialForce Services CPQ will enable organisations to estimate projects based on existing best practices templates or their own customisations. The solution also provides what-if capabilities so that sales teams can model different margins, deployment options such as remote working that influence expenses on a project and more.
It can leverage the existing rate cards within FinancialForce PSA. As rate cards are updated within the PSA solution, the estimates on jobs will increase. What isn’t clear is if future rate cards are leveraged as part of the estimation process for longer projects. However, this is the first iteration of the solution. Dan Brown expects customer feedback once the solution is deployed to the many interested customers.
Estimates can also include resource requests and tasks. Once complete, the estimate can pass through approval stages with Salesforce CPQ or the FinancialForce CPQ. Importantly, these estimates are tied to opportunities within CRM. They can then flow through to the PSA solution for resource management and forecasting. With analytics already built on top of the solution, business leaders can have a better handle on how the sales function is performing and the likely resource requirements.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
This is the first iteration of this module, but even so, it does not disappoint. FinancialForce Services CPQ complements the Salesforce CPQ solution and delivers an end-to-end opportunity to revenue solution.
Going forward, it will no doubt add more complex scenarios, greater flexibility around products and more. Once an estimate becomes a quotation and is signed, the captured information is then used (rather than passed) to the PSA engine. It will strengthen the connection between sales and operations. As operations improve project templates, these can equally feedback into CPQ, creating a circle of continuous improvement.