Getting Started with Products and Price Books

  July 9, 2015       Erin Elliott

With so many new feature releases from Salesforce happening year on year, it’s easy to lose track of what’s available. In this series of blogs I am going to cover some of the best bits from the Sales Cloud. Today’s topic: Products and Price Books.

What are Products and Price Books?

Products are the individual items or services that you sell to customers. You have the ability in Salesforce to add multiple Products to your Opportunities (known as Opportunity Products), as well as produce a Quote for those Products. This Quote will include the Products and prices you have specified on the given Opportunity.

Sometimes your prices for products will differ per customer –it can depend on who is buying, when they are buying, or in what quantity. To accommodate this flexibility, a Product can exist in Salesforce with many different associated prices, using a feature called Price Books and Price Book Entries. A Product can exist in multiple Price Books, for every different price on offer to a customer. The combination of the Product and the price together is what we call a Price Book Entry.

Adding-a-Product-to-an-Opportunity
Adding a Product to an Opportunity

 

Product-page-with-associated-Price-Book-information
Product page with associated Price Book information

How do I set them up?

  1. Create new Price Books if needed, from the Price Books tab by clicking “New”. Creating Price Books first means that when you start adding your Products, the Price Books are there for you add in the prices straightaway. If you just have one standard list of prices, then you can ignore this step and just use the Standard Price Book feature – this is already created for you. If you have a few different offerings, such as repurchasing pricing, or discount pricing for a given product, then you might want to set up custom Price Books to store these prices here.

 

Adding-a-new-custom-Price-Book
Adding a new custom Price Book

  1. Add in new Products from the Products tab by clicking on the “New” button. Products come with a set of standard fields (see below), but you can add in custom fields to store information that’s specific to your business. Note the “Active” checkbox – this must be ticked in order to find the Product when adding it to Price Books and Opportunities.

Adding-a-new-Product
Adding a new Product

  1. Click “Save & Add Price” (see above). You must add in a standard price for the Product – this is the price that will be entered into the Standard Price Book mentioned above. Once you have done this, you can also add the Product into any custom Price Books.
  2. Test it out! Click on any Opportunity record and test that you can add Products to it, using the Products and Price Books you have just set up.

 

Note: If you are using Multiple Currencies, you will need to enter a Price Book Entry for every Product and its associated price for every currency in use. The Price Book Entry Currency will determine the Products available to be added to the Opportunity, based on the chosen Opportunity Currency. Should you need to change an Opportunity Currency after Products have already been added, you will need to remove all Products before making the change.

Why should I set up Products and Price Books?

  • Customer Insight: You can use Salesforce to report on your most popular Products. Gaining insight into which customers are purchasing which Products means that you can easily target them for relevant renewals or repurchasing, as well as targeted marketing.
  • Sales Rep Insight: You can spot trends quickly of which salespeople are selling which types of products and for how much. If you have insight into which salespeople are the best at selling which Product, you can make sure your sales reps are assigned to the most suitable prospects.
  • Centralisation: If you are already using the Sales Cloud for Opportunities then it makes sense for your sales teams to enter everything in once place. Going in and out of different systems to get product and pricing information will deter your sales reps from even entering the information. Give them no excuses by having everything in Salesforce!
  • Quoting: Quotes are a great out-of-the-box feature by Salesforce which allow sales reps to create PDF quote documents, giving detail of the Products being sold (see below). Quotes can be sent directly from Salesforce, and are stored for future reference. You can also store multiple Quotes against an Opportunity to track different product or pricing versions being offered to the customer. Once one Quote has been accepted by the customer, Salesforce’s Quote Sync function allows you to sync the Quote back to the Opportunity to ensure that it is up-to-date with the latest product and pricing version.

Example-of-a-Salesforce-Quote

Example of a Salesforce Quote

Any Known Limitations?

  • Compatibility: The Product feature from Salesforce matches very well to the sale of tangible goods. However, some of our customers have struggled with the concept for more intangible products – take for example a customer selling a service, where the use of Products is less intuitive. There can also be a problem if there is an unknown quantity of items being bought, such as winning a contract deal for corporate taxis, where the amount of journeys will be unknown.
  • Usability: Feedback from some of our customers shows that the interface for adding Products to Opportunities doesn’t work well for all. There is an unusual amount of clicks in comparison to most areas in Salesforce, and you can only search for one product at a time. This is not necessarily a problem for everybody, but you can see why some customers might want a more seamless experience.
  • One Price Book per Opportunity: Only one Price Book can be used per Opportunity, which can be restrictive if, for example, you should want to give a customer a discount price on just one of the items being purchased. There is a workaround available where you can use the Opportunity Product field “Discount” and/or allow users to edit the Sales Price field. If added, however, this will be available for all Products being added to an Opportunity, so you should think carefully before implementing.

 

Anything Else?

  • If you have lots of Products and are considering using the Data Loader to load them into Salesforce, check out this article for some tips on how to insert products using the data loader.
  • You can customise the “Add Product” page when adding a Product to an Opportunity by going to Opportunity Product > Page Layout > Edit Multi-Line Layout, and adding in the fields you require.

Opportunity-Product-page

Opportunity Product Page

  • If you’re looking for something more advanced than the standard Salesforce Product pages, there are options to design a solution suitable for your organisation through custom development which we have previously delivered for some of our customers. Alternatively, there are some great Configure Price Quote (CPQ) products which have been designed for use on Salesforce. CPQ tools help organisations to produce accurate and highly configured quotes making all of the complex product, pricing, and business rules centralised, automatic and available in real-time. See the AppExchange for some of the best Salesforce CPQ tools and watch this space for our forthcoming white paper on Salesforce CPQ tools.
  • For organisations who want to use Products, but who are not interested in tracking the price or the quantity of those Products, you can enable default values for Quantity and Price through activating “Supply default Opportunity line item values”. Read more about this feature here.

 

Look out for more blogs from me on the Sales Cloud coming soon!

For any more help with Products and Price Books, contact makepositive here.