Options for Pricing Flexibility
There are a number of tools that Salesforce offers regarding pricing flexibility that you can grant to (or rescind from) users when determining a price.
Default price per product Master line item: Every product defined in your product master has a “Standard Price” defined that will default into new product line items on opportunities.
Price book-specific prices per product: When adding a product to a price book, you can define a “pricebook-specific price” to that product. Remember that a pricebook is a collection of products (likely a subset of the entire product master), and any Product can be in multiple different pricebooks with different prices in each. Common examples of price books include having price books define:
- Product Sets: Different collections of products (i.e. software, services, hardware) that are (or should NOT be) sold together. Remembering that any given opportunity can pull from only 1 price book. This can make sure that the rep who is building an Oppty for Product A with accessories does not add accessories that only work with Product B.
- Price Variability per product: Different prices for the same products (perhaps by region, or different vertical groups of customers)
- Time Based: A new price book for every year (i.e. to launch the 2016 pricing, and no longer allow users to offer 2015 pricing)
- Users: Some reps have access to Pricebok A, B ad C, others get B, C, and D (For Example perhaps the training sales group never needs to add products to an opportunity)
Adding Products to an Opportunity
On the Actual Opportunity Product Line item, there are several fields that you can use (or hide). How you deploy this depends on the amount of leeway you want to give to users (or to specific users) when altering the prices.
- List Price: The unit Price assigned to the product in the Price book that is assigned to the Opportunity. This number can never be changed by a user when editing an Opportunity.
- Sale Price: A currency field that defaults to the same value as the list price, but (If displayed) can allow the Sales user (or Operations user) to apply a different unit price (i.e. list price is $100.00, but I’ll give it to you for $90. Many firms that do not want reps to alter this value, just hide the field – and it still defaults to list price in the background.
- Subtotal: A hard-coded formula field that = Sale Price * Units
- Discount: This field allows the user to key in a number to reflect the discount (i.e. declare a 10% discount) that thye would like to apply. Again, this is a field that many firms hide from sales users if they do not want them to declare discounts. If you choose to not allow users the ability to discount by percentage, then this field and subtotal can both be hidden.
- Total price: A hard-coded formula field that = Subtotal * (1-Discount)
Options Fine-tuning Pricing Flexibility
In general, for those clients that give reps flexibility, they typically chose either Sales price, OR discount, but not both. Another option is to allow only certain groups of users ( profiles) access to edit the Sale Price and discount fields, OR to invoke an approval process when one of those is used, or when it hits some threshold. (i.e. reps can give a 10% discount, but need a manager to approve an 11% discount (we did not include Approvals in the estimate, and this would likely require a change order to plan for additional time). We can also get fancy with business rules to (for example) automate setting the discount to some # based on attributes of the line item or Opportunity (Product or product type, # of units sold, Opportunity or customer category or something else).
All of the fields mentioned above can be added or removed from the various screens to which they apply:
- Opportunity Detail page layout (in the Products related list section)
- Opportunity Product Screen (where individual line items are edited)
- Multi-product Edit Screen
In summary, it is important to work through identifying which data elements are critical to users at each step of the process when working with products and pricing on the opportunity.
Written by John Townsend, Demand Chain Business Analyst
John has over twenty years of experience in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), with a focus in B2B marketing, sales and service spaces. As a business analyst at Demand Chain, John helps manage CRM initiatives, primarily focused on sales and marketing process definition, business process mapping and review, requirements documentation, and training.
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