Until recently, the ASC Profiles sales team used spreadsheets to manage product configuration and pricing through three separate business units. The sales team would manually compile a quote in Excel, create a PDF for signature, email to the client, and then send the signed quote to support staff, who would manually enter the information into SAP®.
However, this toolset and process created several challenges for the company:
Lack of control over the information the sales team used to generate quotes, resulting in out of date product configurations for customers
Salespeople needing to become experts on myriad details of product configurations, which vastly increased the training time for new team members
This setup created duplicate work involving support staff to manually key in data to SAP by hand, resulting in unnecessary expense and added risk of mistakes
Lack of quoting and analytics reporting to understand quoting performance
Proper audit trail and inconsistent compliance for quoting – approval process was often via phone or email
Upon identifying these challenges, ASC Profiles realized the opportunity to reduce errors, costs, and time spent as well as establish reporting and analytics by introducing a standardized and automated CPQ system. This approach would also make the entire process auditable, allow the company to manage margin via approvals for quotes, and provide feedback on the validity of product configurations and quotes.
Once ASC Profiles decided to revamp its CPQ process, the team immediately saw the value of using Salesforce CPQ. ASC Profiles had recently introduced Salesforce as its CRM system and worked with AllCloud, a Salesforce Platinum Partner, on the implementation. Based on the success of that experience and AllCloud’s CPQ expertise, ASC Profiles once again turned to AllCloud for help.
However, ASC Profiles quickly discovered that what it wanted to achieve was not as straightforward as the team hoped. ASC Profiles had a mature SAP environment with variant configuration and pricing logic that covered more than 2,000 variations for how products could be configured and priced. Ideally, the team wanted to keep this data in SAP but also realize the benefits of Salesforce as the front end. Rebuilding this SAP logic in Salesforce and maintaining it in both locations would require substantial upfront and ongoing maintenance costs, and still would not provide a real-time verification of complex rules that change frequently.
AllCloud uncovered this complexity during the discovery process for the CPQ project, and the team soon found a solution in enosix, a partner that specializes in SAP integrations. enosix offers a patent-pending framework which sits on the SAP Application layer incorporating hundreds of pre-built components and a unique communications protocol specifically for SAP integrations.
With the solution built by AllCloud and enosix, salespeople can work natively in Salesforce (eliminating the need to use spreadsheets or even log in to different systems) and generate an accurate quote.
The solution works as follows:
Salespeople create an opportunity in Salesforce and can then configure products and generate a quote from the same screen. This product configuration and quoting happens through a native Salesforce Lightning component that simulates and displays SAP data in real-time.
Users can select any product(s) from a set list within the Salesforce component and options for available variations (e.g. color and gauge) pop up based on pre-set configurations in SAP. Once users finish configuring their materials, they hit save and those choices, along with the dynamically calculated cost and price simulated through SAP are populated in Salesforce in the appropriate CPQ quote fields.
From there, users can secure approvals and make a quote output document in Salesforce to send to customers for e-signature. After a customer signs, users can click a “Create SAP Quote” button in Salesforce to create the SAP transaction in real-time with no double entry and no worry of a failed transaction due to typical sync issues.
Within the first few months of going live with the CPQ solution, ASC Profiles realized enormous benefits around visibility, tracking and auditability of quotes. With this solution in place, the company now has a standard, simple way of identifying what quotes have been given to customers at any time.
Further, this solution has cut down on errors and costs, as quotes always get configured based on set rules for product groupings and pricing. It has also saved time since all data gets passed directly from Salesforce to SAP, meaning the support team doesn’t have to enter the information manually.
Notably, even though this process puts more controls in place for sales, the team has adopted the new process and appreciates the flexibility of having anywhere-access to the system and being able to attain e-signatures.
“We went into the unknown with this project because it was such a unique use case, but we knew we were in good hands with AllCloud and enosix. We trusted AllCloud’s understanding of Salesforce and CPQ and found significant value in the unique integration and SAP expertise that enosix brought to the table. We were able to work with our IT department, AllCloud and enosix seamlessly to develop a solution. That trust paid off because we now have a simple process for users that provides the visibility and structure we needed.”