CPQ Tools for Salesforce

How One VP of Sales Transformed a Manufacturing Company With CPQ Tools for Salesforce [a Chat with Steve Stessman]

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“Every manufacturer wants to build the same products over and over again. But that’s not realistic any more.”

Today’s customer wants personalized products and experiences. But customization introduces a great deal of complexity into the deal.

“Before we invested in CPQ tools,” says Steve, “all the responsibility for product configuration fell on sales. Not only did they have to sell, but they also had to translate the customer’s needs and wants into a unique product, enter all the information manually into the ERP, and send it over to manufacturing. Manufacturing then had to work out how to decipher what the salesperson had sent!”

This process, which hasn’t changed for decades, will be all-too-familiar to many manufacturers. Steve recognizes how much room for error there is in each of these manual transitions.

“The salesperson had to quickly produce a product sketch, by hand, with the customer sitting right there in front of them! These rushed drawings looked more like chicken scratches than technical drawings. To say they were open to interpretation would be an understatement.”

“Imagine as a sales leader; I had to train people to draw these ridiculous pictures. If the shed was sold through a distributor, someone had to do it all over the phone, which made it even more difficult.”

“Epicor CPQ configures the product; Salesforce configures the deal.”

Salesforce talks a lot about having a 360-degree view of the customer. By integrating Epicor CPQ into Salesforce, manufacturers really have that complete 360. They get the design, the customer information, the customer’s preferred payment method, and more – it’s all right there in CRM. “Salesforce becomes a much richer lead source,” says Steve.

With Epicor CPQ, outputs are all-inclusive and individualized. “When a customer does a configuration in Epicor CPQ, all that information goes into Salesforce, and the customer instantly becomes a perfect lead,” says Steve.

”They’ve already made lots of the decisions. They’ve chosen the size, color, and options. They’ve OK’d everything with their spouse or their boss. They’ve visualized what they want to purchase. They’ve sold it to themselves!”

“The more personalized your message, the more likely you are to close. Even the most seasoned reps increased their sales figures by 10% to 15% with CPQ tools for Salesforce.”

Epicor CPQ handles the complex product configuration, generates the outputs, and brings all that precious data over into Salesforce. With this detailed customer information at their fingertips, salespeople can take a more personalized approach when reaching out by phone, text, or email.


“The ability to marry up what’s quoted and then assign it to a customer record is a powerful sales enabler,” says Steve. “If you’re a salesperson, and you know that a customer has been on your website for 12 minutes building a widget, your likelihood of closing is much, much higher”

“The salesperson can see that the customer has added windows to their shed, added shutters, and increased the pitch of the roof. They can call up and say: “Mr. Smith, what a beautiful building you’ve designed, it’s really going to maximize light without sacrificing storage…” I can’t tell you what a difference that makes.”

“Integrating CPQ tools with Salesforce saves time. Because salespeople and operations people are working within the same platform”

Epicor CPQ closes the gap between the customer and manufacturing, eliminating the opportunity for mistakes. Some of our clients went from using little scraps of paper with scribbles on them to a fully automated, instant, error-free system for communicating information between the customer, sales, engineering, and the shop floor.

“The nice thing about having CPQ tools integrated with Salesforce is that it’s one less password to remember. It’s one less system you have to teach. It provides a single source of truth that’s integrated from start to finish in your sales and ordering process,” says Steve.

“Salespeople no longer have to log into the ERP or call the factory to check in on customers. Have they purchased? Are they quoted? Has it been manufactured? Has it been delivered? Has it been installed? It’s all right there for everyone to see. Salesforce really gives you that. And Epicor CPQ lets you fully leverage all the functionality Salesforce has to offer.”