“Can you explain how quotes, orders and invoices work in your business?” 

When asked, many businesses will draw a blank at some point in the process. The reason for this are the processes and inter-departmental back-and-forths involved in these activities. All together, they often result in a black box situation where information can be lost, accuracy decreased and errors often occur. For your sales team this can have effects such as:

  • Difficulty and increased time to close deals (sometimes resulting in the loss of the opportunity!), 
  • Inaccuracies/errors on the quote and difficulty to adapt to your customers’ specific requests, 

While at the same time errors when connecting with finance and accounting can result in:

  • Difficulty to identify revenue and of course sending out incorrect invoices and increased time to receive cash

Bad customer experience, and holes in your finances, is of course bad for business, but fortunately solutions do exist to address these issues. In this blog post we’ll explain how combining Salesforce CPQ with FinancialForce can create a super combo to tackle these business issues on both ERP and CRM fronts! 

First, let’s refresh our memory with a brief overview of Salesforce CPQ and FinancialForce.

Salesforce CPQSalesforce CPQ with FinancialForce

Salesforce CPQ is a leading solution on the Quote-to-Cash market (see Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites). For those of you not familiar with the solution, CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. This relates to the step-by-step quoting process of:

  • selecting products,
  • including bundles,
  • packages and linked products,
  • defining the price based on a number of variables (including product price, manually entered discounts and so on)
  • and generating the final quote to send.

Salesforce CPQ facilitates and speeds up your selling process by implementing guiding rules established based on your CRM and ERP. This therefore allows for an easier, more accurate and quicker way to send out your quotes and close your deals.

Pretty handy, right? On top of this, Salesforce CPQ is particularly easy to configure as it’s been designed to complement your platform.

FinancialForce

Salesforce CPQ with FinancialForce

So where does FinancialForce come into it? FinancialForce delivers the only customer-centric ERP solution available on the market. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, FinancialForce is backed by Advent International, Salesforce Ventures, and Technology Crossover Ventures.
FinancialForce goes the extra mile as an ERP by automating financial operations on the Salesforce Platform using most intelligent analytics and best practices to allow businesses inform, streamline crucial processes relying on Finance such as Sales.

So, why combine them and how?  

Closing the loop

By now you’ve probably got the idea that one is operating more on the Sales front while the other focuses more on the Finance side of the business. This brings us to the first reason to combine the two systems. Simply put, FinancialForce is the back office extension of what Salesforce CPQ allows. Contract, billing and revenue management. While simultaneously, Salesforce CPQ provides a systematic workflow for the quoting process, order and renewals on the front end, all native to your Salesforce system. Integrating them therefore means that you can have a clear overview and consistent data: 

Salesforce CPQ with FinancialForce

Contracts & Subscriptions 

But it doesn’t stop there. Using Salesforce CPQ with FinancialForce means that you can not only create contracts directly from sales order, like it is often needed for fixed term contracts or when selling goods. But also tackles issues typically encountered in service and subscription-based business models. Coupling FinancialForce with Salesforce CPQ allows your back office to align new business models within finance. With more and more businesses phasing out the traditional ‘order to cash’ approach in favour of an “opportunity to renewal” approach such principle becomes crucial to track your business flow. You can then configure the process to create a billing contract as soon as the customer accepts a quote or the opportunity closes in Salesforce. 

 

Revenue Recognition

Finally, the finance team may have to report financial control under ASC 606 and IFRS Revenue Recognition standards. But with the process starting with sales, if the pricing and deal schemes are not structured in the right way it makes revenue recognition harder for the finance team. Another example is when the sales team has an oral agreement on a contract at some point in the sales cycle where revenue recognition could apply but have haven’t signed yet. By bringing together data flows, the combination of Salesforce CPQ and FinancialForce allows you to flag that for possible recognition and make sales aware of regulations with greater business insight across the entire revenue recognition processes. This facilitates automatised transfer of regulations between departments and tackles issues stemming from discrepancies and inconsistencies..

 

So what does this mean? 

This approach is good news for customers of both solutions but also for those looking for an end-to-end way to manage sales, finance and accounting processes!

It is a differentiator for customers using Salesforce CPQ if they are looking for a new finance solution. For customers already using FinancialForce finance solutions, they can take comfort in the fact that when they start using Salesforce CPQ they have a suite of applications that is already designed to work natively with their new Salesforce module. 

So start tackling these lengthy and obscure processes. And next time someone asks how things work in-house it’s crystal clear 😎

 

Read also our FAQs on CPQ, Q2C implementation and customization

 

Want to know more?

Do you feel like your teams could use some clarity and want to improve the efficiency of your systems? Reach out to us now!

We’re teaming up with Cloudteam Company, specialist in FinancialForce to offer you an innovational approach that tackles your systems from CRM to ERP. With their experience with FinancialForce and our expertise in the Salesforce platform and CPQ we support businesses from A to Z in their digital transformation.

 

This blog post was co-written in collaboration with Cloudteam Company.