8 Considerations when Selecting CPQ

If you are doing your research into CPQ software, let us offer you a few things to consider as...

5 CPQ Challenges Companies Face

Solving your Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) challenges can be easy to do once you’ve identified the problems with your...

Salesforce Lightning FAQ

We often get asked questions about Salesforce Lightning, here are our answers to the top ones: Q: What is...

Monthly Partner Focus – Elements

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Best Practice for migrating to Salesforce Lightning

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8 reasons to switch to Lightning Experience

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8 Considerations when Selecting CPQ

If you are doing your research into CPQ software, let us offer you a few things to consider as you search for your Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) vendor.

In a nutshell, you want to remember a few main things. These items should be in the back of your mind as you evaluate each and every point of the checklist below:

– CPQ should streamline your process and help your team avoid mistakes.
– CPQ should take most of the manual effort (and tools) out of your process.
– CPQ should quickly and easily enhance your business, not add to your management burden.
With that in mind, here’s your CPQ checklist:

🗹 It guides your team through your CPQ process
Look for CPQ that eliminates mistakes by guiding your team and giving them only the choices that matter—and are appropriate—to their current opportunity. As choices are made throughout the process, like choosing a particular add-on service or selecting specific terms and conditions, subsequent choices should be adjusted to reflect those previous choices.

It’s not just reps, however. CPQ should be for managers, finance, legal, services, and whomever else might be involved and should also be guided through the process. If certain selections require additional approvals, those approvers should be alerted and guided through the approval process. If an off-spec product combination is selected, maybe additional approvals are required. CPQ should take care of it all and guide everyone through to the end.

🗹 It can manage your product mix and pricing rules, no matter how complex

Pricing is usually the most error-prone part of the CPQ process. Even if you have few line items and relatively simple pricing, those prices might change frequently, products and services are added and revised, customers negotiate preferred deals, and then there are rep discounts and volume discounts and promotional discounts. And let’s not forget subscription billing and other pricing schemes.

CPQ should give you the power to price confidently and correctly, even with complex offerings and rules. Manual calculations and uncontrolled price lists should be eliminated. Reps should be unable to offer discounts beyond their pre-approved levels, and approvals should be kicked off when they wish to exceed their levels. Preferred pricing and volume discounts should be automatically calculated. And your legal and finance teams should be completely comfortable knowing that their reviews and approvals are automatically inserted when needed.

🗹 It takes Word and Excel out of the process
Uncontrolled and out-of-date Word documents and Excel spreadsheets cause problems. Either your team misses the pricing updates you emailed out last week, or they think the data sheet on their laptop is the most recent. It happens, and the solution is not to try to fix Word or Excel, it’s to eliminate them from the CPQ process.

CPQ should include enough capabilities to cover your entire process. When product information is included in a quote, CPQ should automatically insert it. Pricing should be automatically approved and discounted without requiring calculations. When a proposal is generated, it should be a PDF ready to send to your customer.

🗹 It increases your upsells and renewal rates
CPQ should suggest upsell options during quoting and should automate the renewal process. CPQ should remind teams that, for example, service B sells well with product X as they’re creating their quotes. Upsell opportunities should be taken advantage of at every stage of the deal, and CPQ should be prompting you with the right offers.

On the back end of a contract, renewals should automatically appear in Salesforce and quotes should be created at the right time and based on the specifics of the customer’s deal. CPQ is about automation, and it shouldn’t force your team to remember to manually create renewal orders.

🗹 It will be ready in weeks, not quarters
Let’s face it: months-long enterprise software implementations are a relic of the past. If you’re looking at a software solution that’s going to take quarters to get up and running, you should be up and running…for the door.

The promise of the cloud eliminates long, drawn out software implementations. CPQ should have nearly everything you need the moment you sign up, and it should have the flexibility to easily and quickly conform to your unique and specific needs. It shouldn’t require a team of consultants and developers to build it for you over the next few quarters.

🗹 It scales for you, whether you’re the only sales rep or you have 10,000 reps across the globe
CPQ should be flexible and scalable enough to manage your process, no matter the size and complexity of your business today, or what you want it to become tomorrow. CPQ should be able to grow with you, should support more than just your sales team, and should work tightly with your existing systems and processes.

CPQ should work for your broader business, generating the needed audit trails and reports that finance, accounting, and legal might need for reporting and tax purposes. If you’re global (or want to be), it should be able to manage currencies and VAT. It should also handle the needs of your customers, from managing credit cards to handling partial payments and bounced checks.

CPQ should make things easier for your entire business.

5 CPQ Challenges Companies Face

Solving your Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) challenges can be easy to do once you’ve identified the problems with your current approach. Here is a list of the top five biggest CPQ challenges businesses face today to help identify areas which could be improved.

1. Your CPQ process is too slow
Too many reviews, too many revisions, and too much manual work slows down your process and allows an opportunity for your competitors to beat you to the punch. You need to be responsive when your customer is ready, not when you’re ready. Automation is the solution!

2. Your proposals miss customer requests and require revisions
Customers can be demanding! Relying on manual efforts and teams of people to create proposals can lead you to prioritising what is easiest for you, not what your customer wants.

Adding more manual reviews to solve for mistakes and oversights is equally problematic, resulting in slower responses with greater chances for human error. What’s worse is that manual processes can actually encourage sales teams to use old proposals as templates. The likelihood of including incorrect information and overlooking errors such as old customer names and logos is definitely higher when your reps start reusing these documents.

Automating proposal generation will solve these problems.

3. Your team leaves money on the table by missing complementary offers or upsells
You might only have one chance to get your proposal in front of a potential customer. If you miss the opportunity to be a full service provider or to show that you fully understand their current and future needs, you could miss out to a competitor.

If you forget a required item in your proposal, you’ll have to explain to your prospect that their costs will increase with the addition.

Automation will include all requirements the first time and suggest relevant add ons, making it easy for reps to offer your best solution.

4. Your process leads to too many errors in proposals
You don’t want to make pricing mistakes or look too expensive. We know that adding more manual reviews only causes slower responses and opportunity for human error. An automated solution will prevent mistakes and delays.

5. You are opening yourself up to too much risk
With a manual process you are risking putting out a proposal with out of date pricing, incorrect terms and conditions, mismatched items or forgotten requirements such as installation tools and training services. An automated process will solve for these risks and produce a reliable document every time.

Do any of these challenges sound familiar? Are you ready to start getting effective proposals out to prospects quickly? Xenogenix can work with you to automate your CPQ processes and solve all of these challenges. Want to hear more? Fill in the form below.

Salesforce Lightning FAQ

We often get asked questions about Salesforce Lightning, here are our answers to the top ones:

Q: What is Lightning Experience?
A: Lightning Experience is the name for the all new Salesforce desktop app, with new features, built with a modern user interface and optimised for speed.

Q: What is Salesforce Classic?
A: Salesforce Classic is the name for the original Salesforce UI and app design. Once Lightning Experience is enabled, you can toggle between the Salesforce Classic UI and the Lightning Experience UI.

Q: How much does Lightning Experience cost?
A: The Lightning Experience will be available to existing and new customers at no additional cost.

Q: Does Lightning Experience have to be rolled out to the entire org?
A: No. Admins first enable Lightning Experience for the entire org, and then they can choose to roll it out to only certain users by using profiles or permission sets.

Q: Can I still use Salesforce Classic?
A: You have the choice of when you want to move to the new Lightning Experience UI and which users you want to migrate. You can continue to use Salesforce Classic as long as you like, and we will continue to support the Classic UI.

Q: What is the experience switching between the Salesforce Classic UI and the Lightning Experience UI?
A: Users for whom Lightning Experience is enabled will be able to use the Switcher feature, located in the upper-right side of all pages, to toggle between the user experiences to access pages as necessary. The attributes (like field order and field-level security) will be the same in the two UIs. Please note that switching UIs also affects URL routing.
When Lightning Experience is selected, clicking bookmarks and email notifications will take you to the Lightning version of the pages, where possible. When Salesforce Classic is selected, clicking those same links will take you to the Classic UI version of the page. Also if a Lightning Experience user sends a link (Chatter post or email) to a Salesforce Classic-only user, the page will not be found. Salesforce Classic links are interpreted for routing to the Lightning Experience UI, but not the other way around.

Q: How does Lightning Experience work with Salesforce1 mobile?
A: Salesforce1 is already built on the Lightning Platform. As a matter of fact, the S1 mobile experience inspired many pages and experiences in the new Lightning Experience.

Q: Are custom objects supported in Lightning Experience?
A: Yes. The use of existing custom objects and creation of new custom objects both are supported.

Q: Is the Setup page different in Lightning Experience?
A: The Setup pages have a new look and feel but the functionality will be the same

Q: Do the reports and dashboards in Lightning Experience use Wave Analytics?
A: Lightning reports and dashboards use Wave Analytics charting to give them a new, modern look and feel. However, the reports and dashboards do not leverage the Wave reporting engine. The query engine has not changed.

Monthly Partner Focus – Elements

Partner Focus – Elements

Here at Xenogenix we have established a number of strategic partnerships with leading solution providers who add value and enhance our own service offerings. These alliances ensure we can better support our clients to extend their Salesforce solution and gain a greater return from their investment.

One of our key strategic partners is Elements Process Mapping. This tool allows you to quickly and simply capture the processes you want to automate in Salesforce. It has been designed specifically for Salesforce to support Salesforce implementations and give benefits at every phase of the lifecycle making it the perfect tool for our customers.



Key features of Elements:

Capture the processes you want to automate in Salesforce
Engage your business users in live hierarchical process mapping. This proven approach is powerful enough to drive company wide projects but has a simple enough notation to get business and technical users onto the same page with next to zero learning curve.

Link supporting information for configuration, on-boarding and training
Attach links from process steps to supporting information to provide more detail; Salesforce screens, configuration specs, training materials and videos, work instructions and procedures. Use the process map to drive configuration, user acceptance testing and user onboarding.

Engage with a wider audience – securely
The Elements Spaces sharing model allows your extended team – business users, IT, compliance and your implementation partner – to securely access and collaborate on a single view of your operational processes.

Deliver your operational content inside Salesforce with single sign-on
Install the free Elements Integration with Salesforce package and enable all your Salesforce users to access process diagrams inside Salesforce with single sign-on. Set up a tab with shortcuts to specific process diagrams. Embed process diagrams within standard and custom objects.

One thing we love about Elements at Xenogenix is that the core capabilities are free, for ever, for everyone!

To find out more on how we support out customers to map their business processes the give us a call today on 08456 525 625 or fill in the form below:

Best Practice for migrating to Salesforce Lightning

Best Practice for migrating to Salesforce Lightning

Preview your Org in Lightning:
See your current Salesforce org in Lightning Experience without having to enable the new interface…The Migration Assistant’s Preview feature lets you explore your production org in Lightning Experience, so you can see exactly how your real data and your current customisations work in the new interface.

Have a Plan:
One of the best investments you can make in your Lightning Experience rollout is to have a clear plan. A plan helps you do things in the right order, identify key resources, communicate with everyone, and have a clear end date in mind.

Set up your Features:
If you haven’t already, consider enabling and setting up several supporting features before turning on Lightning Experience. These features ensure that the new user interface is optimised to help your sales reps sell faster and smarter. Recommend features that might be useful to you could be related files, duplicate management, shared activities and my domain.

Set up your Users:
Make sure that the right users can access Lightning Experience when it’s turned on. You can fine-tune access with permission sets and custom profiles. Meaning you can do a phased rollout, starting with a small pilot group or a specific team of users who can benefit from the new interface. The power is yours.

Turn Lightning on with Migration Assistant:
With the right users set up for Lightning Experience, you’re ready to go live. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn on Lightning Experience using the Lightning Experience Migration Assistant.

For support on migrating to Lightning or for more information fill in the form below:

8 reasons to switch to Lightning Experience

Salesforce Lightning is a seriously intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) application with a point of view that helps you sell smarter, sell faster, and sell the way you want, from anywhere. But that’s not all.

Here are 8 additional reasons to make the move to Lightning:

1. The latest innovation
By switching on Lightning, you will have access the latest in CRM innovation. You will also get each and every Lightning improvement Salesforce make, thanks to three automatic upgrades a year.

2. New selling features
Lightning offers more than 55 new Sales Cloud pages and well over 150 new features. That’s too many to list individually here! Each one is designed to make reps more productive and drive business forward.

3. Lightning Voice
Speaking of new features, Lightning Voice for Salesforce is a game-changer for salespeople. It connects them to customers and prospects faster than ever by enabling voice calls directly within Sales Cloud. This means wherever you are using Salesforce, including on your mobile device, you can make and receive calls in context, while taking notes and logging these calls at the same time. You can even choose a number that’s local to your territory.

4. Steelbrick Quote-to-Cash
Built 100% on Lightning, Steelbrick CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) makes Sales Cloud the first lead to cash sales platform in the industry. Now reps can easily do complicated quoting, get discount approval, generate branded proposals and contracts, and even collect signatures, without ever leaving their CRM.

5. Lightning for Outlook
Salesforce and Microsoft have formed a strategic partnership which brings the world’s #1 CRM and the world’s leading productivity suite together. Now you can access Lightning from your Outlook, without jumping between programmes. The 100% cloud-based Lightning Sync also keeps your contacts and calendar up-to-date across Salesforce and your Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange accounts.

6. Lightning is mobile first
In fact, the Salesforce1 Mobile App is built on top of the Lightning Platform. Any and every customisation that happens there is immediately accessible on any mobile device via Salesforce1.

7. Lightning Builder
You don’t need to be a hard core developer to build apps. With Lightning Builder anyone can drag and drop Lightning Components to build mobile and desktop apps, and customise pages in Lightning Experience.

8. AppExchange Apps
There are now more than 157 Lightning ready third-party apps available in our AppExchange, all pre-vetted and pre-integrated to work in Salesforce. Lightning ready apps are designed to deliver the most consistent user experience as you move your organisation to Lightning.

Our team are ready to support you to switch to the Lightning Experience, are you interested? Call us on 0845 6525 625 or fill in your details here: 


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