A Framework to Guide You: 7 Salesforce CPQ Implementation Tips

Sales increases, sales productivity boosts, and shorter sales cycles are things sales managers dream of. Fortunately, for sales executives who use workflow automation tools such as CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software, these dreams can become realities.

For many companies, pricing and product combinations can be very complicated. For example, it’s one thing to have a product for sale, but quite another to have different bundling options for that product. However, with CPQ software, none of these options presents a problem when it comes time to deliver the products to clients. Having the effect and using it effectively are two different things. This is where good CPQ Training comes in.

Establish Sales Goals

What are your sales goals? Without measurable sales goals, CPQ is practically useless. With them, however, sales managers have a powerful tool to help reach their objectives. By picking the most important goals for an organization, the CPQ process can easily chart a course to achieve those objectives by refining workflow.

Optimize the Organization’s Quote-to-Cash Process

The sales process for every organization is different, which leads to unique needs. Implementing a CPQ program is an excellent way to refine that process and examine every aspect of a product portfolio. This will form the core of a CPQ implementation program.

Prioritize CPQ Features

Implementing a CPQ program can be a very complicated process. This is made even more complicated when users attempt to use all the features all at once. For this reason, sales goals should be prioritized from most critical to the lowest concern.

Data Management

Once the pricing models are set, it’s time to focus on data management. Since CPQ runs on data from different sources, all these systems and documents need to be gathered and incorporated seamlessly into the program.

Run Change Management Initiatives

A company can have the best CPQ available but have its implementation program fail miserably if users struggle to use it or resist using it. For this reason, management must make sure that a CPQ is effectively integrated into the sales program. Once users understand that the CPQ system will improve their ability to do their jobs, resistance should lessen or go away completely.

Evaluate and Measure Adoption

Once a CPQ has been implemented into a sales effort, it’s impact should be monitored continuously by management. This might be done using satisfaction surveys that quantify its ease of use or response times to prospective clients.

These metrics will allow managers to determine if and how well the program’s adoption is being received and implemented. These metrics can also help as elements of the CPQ program are refined or added to.

Translation of CPQ Goals into Reality

Implementing CPQ goals into reality will undoubtedly have a learning curve, but having a sound reporting system will help evaluate progress towards accomplishing goals. This will also help to determine the success of user onboarding. When it comes to the sales business, there can be little doubt that CPQ is one of the latest and greatest buzzwords out there.

Fortunately, as both products and services offered to clients become more complex, so does the need to have systems that allow salespeople to understand their offerings and package them in ways that will enable customers to know what they are buying by faster means. That’s where the real value of CPQ becomes priceless.

5 Tips for Starting a Small Business That You Haven’t Heard Already

If you’re thinking about launching your own startup, it’s likely that you will have already headed to the internet to get advice. There are numerous tips out there for starting and running a successful company, which can make it difficult to know which ones to follow.

Once you’ve got your business plan in place, chosen how you will market your products or services, and established your audience, here are some tips for starting a small company that you haven’t heard already.

Address Excuses

There are many people who dream about becoming an entrepreneur, but never seem to get past the idea stage. This is because they tend to be burdened with excuses and are terrified of failure. Whether it’s time constraints or money worries, there are a million reasons why people are hesitant to start their own business. If you have a solid business idea that you believe will be profitable, it’s important that you address any excuses and believe in yourself. Being your own boss has many advantages, so boosting your confidence and self-esteem and not overthinking every minor detail can help you launch a successful brand.

Absorb Everything

Before you launch your small business to consumers and clients, make sure that you listen to everything that others have to say. Whether it’s your friends, family members, or industry experts, be a sponge and absorb other people’s thoughts and opinions, as they could prove beneficial when it comes to running your own brand. While your loved ones may be biased with their offerings, industry experts can give you sound knowledge of how to run a successful company which will push your operation in the right direction.

Be the Solution

Instead of beginning your idea with what you plan to sell, get into the mindset of what your products or services will solve. It’s much easier to build a solid customer base when your company is fixing a problem. Your small business should fill a void in a certain niche or market, which is what will draw customers to your brand. Understanding your motives and documenting your unique selling proposition in your business plan will help you grow a reputable and profitable venture.

Keep Things Simple

Once you have a business idea in your head, it can be all too easy to let it get out of hand and snowball into something far more complicated. If you’ve never run a small business before, the day to day tasks can feel overwhelming if you take too much on at once. As a small business owner, try and start small and narrow down your focus. Having a simple and good quality product or service is what customers will connect with.

Speak About Your Business

No matter how much you believe in your small business, unless you know how to sell it, you’re not going to get very far. It can be daunting to share your company with the world, especially as a first-time business owner, so knowing how to sell your products or services to the masses is crucial.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to launch their brand to the world, it’s important that your mind and body are ready to work hard. While there isn’t a perfect formula for launching a small business, putting all the tips above into practice can increase your chances of your company being a long-term success.

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5 key tasks you won’t need to take care of in a serviced office

When the time comes for you to shift your business under its own roof, there will be many different office options ready and waiting for you to choose between them. The more avant-garde of those include shared, co-working and “virtual” spaces – but you ought to weigh up two particular choices

The more conventional is a “leased” office, but a more flexible arrangement for newer businesses would be the “serviced” office, which would spare you needing to carry out the following tasks…

Setting up tech

A “serviced” office is so-called as many of the services your business relies on will already be set up in that office as you move into it. Those staples of corporate communication – phone lines, internet connectivity and electrical power, among other utilities – will already be open and running.

As a result, you wouldn’t need to spend time of your own approaching different providers of these utilities and arranging contractors, as bytestart.co.uk points out. You can hit the ground running.

Taking calls

Naturally, many people will be eager to phone your company. These can include potential customers and clients wanting to learn more about what you offer, as well as jobseekers interested in applying for that vacancy you have recently started advertising. Your business never wants to miss a call.

Fortunately, even during hectic periods, it doesn’t have to – as, in a serviced office, you can enjoy the peace of mind of having a ready-made reception team capable of taking calls on your firm’s behalf.

Directing visitors

Startups.co.uk points out something else that this reception team can do for you: direct visitors to where in your office they need to be. This is no small boon, whether the visitor is a client set to attend a meeting or a job applicant scheduled to be interviewed for a particular post at your company.

Sometimes, an office can feel labyrinthine to a stranger, but the reception team will know the office inside-out – and why wouldn’t they? They are permanently employed there!

Daily and nightly cleaning

Cleaning: no-one likes doing it, but it has to be done, at least for hygiene reasons. It’s especially important in an office space which employees and clients alike will often be using. After all, dirt can cause a stink in more ways than one – and, in this way, damage your company’s reputation.

Reassuringly, serviced offices often come with in-house cleaning staff. Renting a serviced office from BE Offices, for example, will allow you to benefit from such staff every day and night.


Admittedly, as your business becomes better-established, you could baulk at the prospect of being unable to, say, put up your own signage above the entrance door or paint the walls in your branding colours, as an Entrepreneur article implies is not permitted with serviced offices.

However, until you switch to the conventional, 3-to-5-year lease of a traditional office, you could easily appreciate not having to set aside time and money just for tinkering with your office’s look.

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Why an Integrated HR System is Beneficial for Managers

The days of manually entering information for payroll or documents should be over – today, there are many modern technological solutions that your organisation could be benefitting from. If you’re unsure how an cloud HR system could assist the managers in your business, we’ve collected a few significant benefits of an integrated system.

Time Saving

Managers are always busy, regardless of the industry they work in, so having multiple systems in place for different services only makes completing tasks more confusing and time-consuming. It can also lead to HR having to field more questions from staff regarding these systems, which slows down productivity across the business. With an integrated system, everything is in one place, so employees only need to log in to one system to view information or carry out tasks such as approving annual leave. There’s a much wider scope for automation with integrated systems too, which minimises the need for manual intervention and also reduces the risk of human error.

Easy Access to data

When there are numerous systems in place, finding a single source of data is incredibly difficult. It can lead to unnecessary duplication and makes the process of gathering information more longwinded. But an integrated system provides up to date data that allows information to flow through the system more easily. Any changes that need to be made are made just once and updated across all areas of the business, so there are no discrepancies. For example, if an employee leaves the business and their contract is terminated, the details will only need to be entered once and the changes to payroll and other areas will be updated immediately.

Greater Accuracy

There are further benefits to only inputting information or amending data once, beyond saving time. The fact that the data only has to be entered once minimises the chance of error and leads to an improved rate of accuracy. The issue with multiple systems is that more people are involved with the input process, which can not only cause duplication but it multiples the risk of error. An integrated system doesn’t eradicate the risk of error, but it does reduce it considerably, so managers, and the business as a whole, can have greater confidence in the data they’re using.

Better Reporting and Analytics

A challenge faced by many businesses is being able to create reports easily. The main cause of this problem is the quality of the data, which makes it difficult for managers to analyse the analytics with conviction. Cleansing and aggregating the data is a manual process when there are multiple systems in place, which means creating reports can be a process that takes days. But, with an integrated system, the reporting and analytical tools are built-in, so you can

generate multiple reports with just a few clicks of the mouse. Managers no longer need to spend hours messing around with spreadsheets and can utilise their time more effectively on more pressing tasks. This gives them more time to focus on analysing the trends and issues raised by the reports, rather than creating the reports.

Adhering to Compliance

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, is just one of the regulatory demands placed on HR professionals. There are countless boxes to be checked in businesses now to ensure that they remain compliant when it comes to data and confidential information. But integrated HR systems help to fulfil this compliance by minimising the risk of error and reducing the amount of time and effort required to keep the business compliant. What’s more, integrated systems provide an audit trail of these compliance activities, so you can see exactly what has been done and manage consent issues easily.

There are many benefits to integrated HR systems for businesses, but managers in particular can streamline and automate a lot of their weekly tasks by making the switch to integrated software. From removing the need to duplicate tasks to managing GDPR and compliance issues and reducing the risk of error, integrated HR systems take away a lot of the stress of business so staff can spend more time on the more important aspects of their roles.

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The Taxman Cometh!

How many seasons are there in a year in the UK? Four, right? Wrong! There are five for people who consider themselves self-employed.

There is one season that lurks around in the background and comes to scare those of us who work freelance: TAX SEASON.

Two scary words that can see you start to stress out over the tiniest of details. That window between January and April to get all your things in order doesn’t need to be (pardon the pun) taxing. There are ways and means to get all your records in order, so your tax submission is absolutely perfect. In this short post, we’re going to look at some ways you can get everything sorted without having to spend nights huddled over the kitchen table with a box of receipts and a calculator.

Look To The App Store

Shoeboxes full of receipts and invoices stuffed in the back of drawers are so 20th century. You can make the painful journey to completing tax forms all that much easier by finding an app which works best for you.

Some of the best rated you should take a look at include:

  • The official HMRC app
  • Sage

  • TaxCalc
  • Anna

Some are free, while others have a membership charge. It’s best to download a few to see which interface you prefer and work from there.

Let Someone Else Do The Heavy Lifting

Avoid ever getting into a fight with the taxman by having someone in your corner. Hiring a digital tax advisor means all the bookkeeping and pernickety accounting problems are handled by someone who knows what they’re doing.

It’s a small fee to pay to give yourself back all the time you’d otherwise be wasting trying to figure out your deductions.

Know Your Terminology

“I consider myself a freelancer, so I’m not self-employed, right?” Wrong!

The government groups several terms under the self-employed banner, which includes the following:

  • Freelancer

  • Contractor

  • Subcontractor

  • Anyone in the “Gig Economy”

Zero hours contract, when you’re not on PAYE with the employer

Confusing, isn’t it? You’ll need to know what vague areas you fall under so your tax codes are valid.

Know Your Allowances

Always remember that any self-employed person is guaranteed the same allowances as someone under full time employment. In the 2019/20 tax year, the standard personal allowance is £12,500. That’s the golden number before anything after can count towards tax.

If you do work freelance, it’s best to read up and get in touch with HMRC. You’ll be surprised to learn that they genuinely want to help you with saving on your taxes rather than taking all they can get. It can get you out of a pickle when you’re trying to figure out things like what your personal allowance is when your freelance career is a part-time job and you have another job with a company, or when you don’t need to declare anything to the taxman (this usually happens when you earn less than £1000).

Know your rates too

0, 20, 40, 45.

There are the magic numbers when it comes to knowing the rate of tax that comes as standard when you’re self-employed. I’ve just mentioned that £12,500 is the flat allowance (the 0), and the other rates fall as follows:

  • 20% if you earn between £12,501-£50,000
  • 40% if you earn between £50,001-£150,000
  • 45% if you earn over £150,000

Bear in mind, these are the minimum percentages in each threshold and may go up a bit the more you make in each bracket.

Get Ready to Pay

Finally, it’s important to remember that when your forms are all done and sent off to HMRC, you will have to pay. January 31st and July 31st are the dates to pay, so always keep those in mind. And if you’re just after your first year working self-employed, your tax bill will be 150% as you’ll have to pay for that year plus the first half of your second year in advance.

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