Salesforce , Spotlight
November 18 | Blogs
CPQ Collaboration FTW
Estimated read time 4 min

A spontaneously formed study group for the Salesforce administrators aspiring to earn CPQ certification reflects the collaborative spirit of Delegate’s team culture. 

When Nate Hess set himself the goal of learning Salesforce Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Software to get certified, he thought that instead of just studying on his own, he’d work with a study buddy.  It started with one study buddy, and then another said he was interested.

Then Nate got the inspired idea of reaching out to all the admins in the company to ask who would like to join a CPQ study group.  With strong interest for admins who shared Nate’s goal of achieving certification, they formed a group of eight that committed to study CPQ by meeting over Zoom calls on Thursday mornings.

 “Everyone picked a certification date before the end of the year,” Nate observed. “Even though everyone’s moving at different paces, all agreed to meet up weekly.”

He set up a customized solution for the presentation that allowed for questions. He also found some practice exams on Udemy that  he shared with the group, though he still sought a more comprehensive for of study.

“As no study guide for CPQ certification  existed,” Nate said, “I wanted to establish a high level overview, as well as tips and tricks for the exam.”

What Nate envisioned for the study group called for contextual knowledge than what was available in Trailhead. He explained:  “Trailhead gets into the nitty-gritty details but doesn’t necessarily show what you’ve achieved in the grand scheme.”

 The solution to that problem was getting insight from someone who had already taken the CPQ trail and had applied in client work.

Enter Troy Turner. You may remember him from his account of shifting careers from ironworker to Salesforce admin by working diligently to master Salesforce.

That persistence paid off, and Troy became the first Delegate admin to achieve CPQ certification. When the study group was formed, Nate naturally turned to Troy, who was happy to help.

 Perspective beyond Trailhead

Troy’s involvement with the group began when he designed  a flowchart explaining how objects in CPQ work together. Seeing how helpful his input was, he volunteered to attend the weekly sessions and  answer questions to help his fellow Delegates understand how CPQ is set up and some of its features parallel other custom objects.

He always responds to whatever questions the members have when they have them rather than saying that the topic will only be covered in a different week. Consequently, the sessions are completely student-driven rather than a preset path for everyone to follow.

Sometimes they want to know about certain applications that arise for their client work, and Troy draws on his own experience because doing things in real life is the true measure of understanding. Troy sees that as a positive thing that helps ingrain the concepts he’s teaching into his own head.

 “It’s a win-win! Everybody gets to dive in deep.”

Diving deep entails veering off from Trailhead. Toy’s in-depth approach that did stop at  the how to configure products in CPQ but also got into the why you would configure products a particular way.

 “CPQ offers many options for product bundling and product configuration, which means there are multiple ways to configure them. When explaining the options, I’d  go over the different ways  and specific use cases where you would choose one scenario over another.”

 For example, as CPQ allows for configuring a single physical item for different attributes like color without having to create separate products for each color variation. “However,  if you don’t know the specific use case, you  can end up setting up each variation like a physical product without understanding the impact of setting it up that way.”

 Variations can also exist in time and  purchase patterns, as occurs for “discount scheduling or  multi-dimensional setups that work for multi-year deals when approaching a set up for subscription-based products.”

When there’s more than one way to set up the configuration, what’s key is selecting the best way of doing things with an understanding of the ramifications of each choice.

 “Understanding the pros and cons of each approach – not just the goal of certification – is what we’re going for,” Troy declared.

One of the members of the study group made such rapid progress that she already passed her certification exam within a month. But even those who are moving at a slower pace are picking things up very quickly, Troy observed. That’s the upside of having this resource available to them as opposed to going it alone, as he had to.

 “It’s cool to see the group pick up on these complex concepts pretty easily and to see everything come together in their understanding of it.”

 That’s teamwork at work and a testament to the value of a strong, collaborative culture.

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