As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, Salesforce CPQ offers a lot of functionality over standard Salesforce quoting, such as complex discounting, bundling and product rules. But, if you’re using Salesforce as a comprehensive business platform (which we recommend), then you might want additional functionality to better connect your quoting processes to the rest of your business.

Luckily, the Salesforce ecosystem contains countless tools to extend the functionality of the platform. And many are specifically built to connect with Salesforce CPQ. Here are three different types to consider, and popular options among each:

Salesforce CPQ Add-Ons: 3 Ways to Extend Your Quoting Functionality

Third-party apps for CPQ

The Salesforce AppExchange often represents the best starting point in your search for Salesforce add-ons, and for CPQ it’s no different. Whether you’re looking for additional functionality for taxes, e-signature or billing, these apps will provide extra features that let you accomplish more on the platform. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Avalara AvaTax (taxes) - Avalara AvaTax automatically calculates sales tax and use tax on your quotes as you produce them, making it easy to factor in taxes correctly and efficiently. Designed to integrate with CPQ, it also allows you to handle tax-exempt customers and set taxability settings for each product.
  • DocuSign and Adobe Sign (e-signature) - Both DocuSign and Adobe Sign are built to integrate seamlessly with CPQ, to offer e-signature functionality on any quote produced within CPQ. By tracking signatures in the Salesforce platform, it saves your reps hours of time by automating actions when signed quotes are received, instead of forcing customers to fax or scan hand-signed documents.
  • FinancialForce (financial, people and services management) - The FinancialForce platform (native to Salesforce) can achieve a lot for your business, CPQ or no CPQ. Human Resources management, project tracking and more. But CPQ users will find its revenue recognition and billing functionality especially useful. And this solution integrates with CPQ, making it easy to automate your entire quote to cash process on Salesforce.

How to Handle Your Next Salesforce Integration Like an Expert

CPQ plug-ins

You can also add functionality to CPQ with Javascript plug-ins. While third-party apps add pages and objects to Salesforce, these Javascript plug-ins instead add functionality to existing CPQ pages by layering code on top of them. CPQ is prebuilt to accept plug-ins for a range of functionality, such as:

  • Quote calculation
  • Billing
  • Order management
  • E-signature

You might notice similarities between this list and the use cases of the third-party apps above. For that reason, some overlap between plug-ins and third-party apps exist; for example, DocuSign and Adobe Sign both include CPQ plug-ins in their solutions. But these plug-ins don’t need to come from a third party. Your company could also create their own or use some of the code that Salesforce makes publicly available.

Native Salesforce add-ons and upgrades

Finally, Salesforce itself has created numerous upgrades and add-ons to CPQ. When you think of CPQ, you’re likely thinking of the base product. But two other product tiers exist above it: CPQ+ and CPQ+ with Billing. Here are some of the most popular features in each:

  • Advanced Approvals - Advanced Approvals (available as an add-on to standard CPQ) go beyond the functionality of Salesforce approval processes in numerous ways. With them, you can:
    • Send a quote down multiple approval paths simultaneously — your product and finance teams can both approve it, for example, without waiting on each other.
    • Preview the approval path(s) a quote will follow before submission.
    • Automatically skip the steps a quote has already passed, if you’re resubmitting a previously rejected quote.
  • External-facing quoting - With CPQ+, you gain the ability to expose CPQ functionality to your customers or partners, either through a Salesforce customer community, a partner community or a third-party website. This add-on enables your ecosystem to create their own quotes, without the help of a sales rep, making it easy for them to make purchases or renew subscriptions online.
  • CPQ+ with Billing - Similar to integrating CPQ with FinancialForce, but the advantage of this option is keeping your entire quote-to-cash process on Salesforce-built products for better visibility and reporting across the pipeline. CPQ’s billing add-on includes complex billing and tax rule configuration, invoice management (both recurring & on-demand), revenue recognition and more.

So if you’re looking to extend standard CPQ’s native functionality, these add-ons offer great places to start. But if you’re looking for something you didn’t see on this list, comment below or contact us. We’d be happy to help you figure out which Salesforce CPQ add-ons are right for your use case.

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Tech, CPQ

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