Passport to Salesforce CPQ certification

Salesforce CPQ Specialists are in high demand.  Enterprises are looking to extend CRM capabilities into traditional ERP functions like quotations, orders, contracts and billing for a seamless “Lead-To-Cash” process.  They are hampered due to a lack of talent.  According to Dealhub, CPQ services are growing at 20% annually to $1.7 BB business in 2020.  Not a bad time to get CPQ Certified!

Setting a Goal:  As with anything in life, setting a goal really helps.  Communicate your goal with your team members to embrace accountability.  Depending on personal circumstances, a timeline of 1 – 3 months gives a balance between focus and flexibility.  Background in Salesforce and other low-code environments can speed the process.

Preparation:

Trailhead: Learn Salesforce CPQ Admin Fundamentals.  Fantastic resource!  Logically structured and very well laid out.  Real-life use case walkthroughs and hands-on practice in Trailhead Playground is invaluable.  The exam is largely based on topics addressed in the Trailhead.  However, the detail and nuance needed to pass the exam require supplemental efforts.

Youtube Videos: Some great resources out there.  A couple listed below covers the details and showcases them in an actual Salesforce instance:

Learn Salesforce CPQ: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAiTEq9munvLd0FlJm9Tjaw

IT equality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9oCECq3d-M

Practice Exams: Not a very mature space hence not too many practice exams out there.  Udemy has 3 sample exams.  They are a bit raw and lack of answers keys.  But a useful exercise to assess your knowledge as you prepare.

Trailblazer Help Pages: “Getting Started With Salesforce CPQ” is a great resource to review specifications and details.  Not essential to memorize every single detail.  But knowledge of terminology and concepts will be needed.

Expect to repeat the above steps multiple times until you can pass the practice exams comfortably.

Day of the Exam:

In my experience taking the test in the mornings (when the mind is fresh) in an onsite location (if options exist) is best.  Don’t cram too much the night before.  Just a refresher run through the Trailhead is sufficient.  Relax and do your best.

Failed your first try?

Don’t worry. Many people don’t get through the first time.  It is a difficult exam!  The first trial will help get a sense exam frame.  The section by section breakdown of results will point to weak areas.  Plan to take the exam again in 2-3 weeks so as not to lose momentum.

Passed

Congratulations!!  You are CPQ Special(ist)!.  However, keep in mind that this is the first step.  CPQ implementations are highly nuanced and complex, touching complex systems, functions and organizational priorities.  Successful implementations take maturity and only comes with practice. Some of the best CPQ practitioners have been doing it for the last 20 years!

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