Elastic develops the open source Elastic Stack (Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash), X-Pack (which offers commercial features for the Elastic Stack), and Elastic Cloud (a family of SaaS offerings). To date, there have been more than 250 million cumulative downloads of the Elastic Stack.
Elastic is used by thousands of organizations
including Cisco, eBay, Goldman Sachs, NASA, Microsoft, Mayo Clinic, The New York Times, Wikipedia, and Verizon to power mission-critical systems. Elastic is used for use cases that require search, logging, metrics, and security of data. Backed by Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures, and NEA with more than $100 million in funding, Elastic has a distributed workforce with more than 900 employees in 30 countries.
Mountain View, CA
Business Analyst/Product Owner
Salesforce CPQ is a beast to implement and there is simply no way around it. While all Enterprise SaaS requires mature business processes in place before deploying the solution, some products are less forgiving than others when those processes aren't fully baked... and CPQ tops that list.
And even if you do manage to get that implementation right, a lot goes into supporting and enhancing CPQ and Billing solutions post-implementation.
Perhaps that explains why 25% of Elastic's Salesforce team is dedicated to CPQ.
Elastic is an enterprise SaaS vendor operating in 30 countries.
👥 1,000+ Salesforce users
🛠 Sales Cloud; Service Cloud; CPQ Cloud; Gainsight; FinancialForce PSA, Netsuite, Xactly
An internal Salesforce team of ~25 people:
- 7 Salesforce Administrators
- 5 Salesforce Developers
- 2 Salesforce Architects
- 8 Salesforce Business Analysts
- 1 CRM Product Owner
Plus, 7 Business Systems Leaders:
- Director, Enterprise Applications
- Head of CRM Strategy & Engineering
- Director, CRM Applications
- Director, Salesforce Architecture
- Sr. Manager, Biz Tech
- Director, Biz Tech Enablement
- Sr. Manager, Biz Tech Enablement
And 25% of the core Salesforce team (6/25 people) SPECIALIZES in CPQ:
👉 1 out of 2 Architects
👉 3 out of 7 Administrators
👉 2 out of 8 Business Analysts
Various factors make Salesforce CPQ an especially complex tool to manage:
For starters, it isn’t a ‘native’ Salesforce product offering.
It’s a managed package (built on Salesforce) that was brought into the fold when they acquired SteelBrick in 2016.
While they have spent years integrating it more seamlessly with the core product offering, it has a long way to go and it means changes to the tool are cumbersome.
Effectively using Salesforce CPQ requires incredibly well-established business processes before the tool is actually implemented.
Companies that lack a clear methodology in any aspect of their pricing, quoting / Deal Desk, Finance, or Billing workflows will hit issues with CPQ.
The logic you set up in CPQ needs to be crystal clear.
Conflicting rules in how you set up product bundles, apply discounts, or create pricing rules will create massive downstream headaches.
As a business evolves, these variables inevitably change - and it’s a huge lift to adapt your CPQ and Billing tools on an ongoing basis.
For these reasons, the most effective way to deploy Salesforce CPQ is taking a phased approach. Trying to customize and automate every workflow the tool touches on day 1 is how you hit challenges over time.
Instead, an organization should identify the core requirements upfront, configure the tool to meet those needs, and take an incremental approach to building out the platform and extending the use of it. While this sounds well and good, it requires a certain level of investment in the internal Salesforce team. You aren't going to deploy CPQ, decide to take an incremental approach to the build, and destine yourself to reply on expensive outside Consultants forever.
You need to build up a core competency and resource model that supports this type of product development plan. It requires ongoing CPQ support and consistent audits of how the tool is configured and mapped to your Sales and Billing methodology.
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