Supercharge Your Approval Process with Record Types
/ related to: Quoting (CPQ) with Salesforce®/
Approval processes are very common during the quoting process. Many times Sales Managers, Sales Directors, and CFO’s need to review quotes that don’t meet certain parameters or thresholds before they are presented to the customer.
To ensure that quote documents are not sent out without this approval, we recommend utilizing a combination of page layouts, record types and approval processes that make the experience as seamless as possible for both the quote team and the approvers. The following six simple tips can help you make this happen.
1 | Start all quotes in Draft Mode
No, this doesn’t mean we are picking our quarterback for our fantasy team (Aaron Rogers will always be our top pick 🐐). By starting quotes in draft mode, we mean creating a record type called Draft. From here we want to update all users profiles to only be able to create quotes with this record type. This will lay the foundation for two things. First it will allow us to ensure all quotes enter the approval process. Secondly, it gives us the ability to customize the user experience quotes still being drafted.
2 | Create a Draft Page Layout
With the record type set up, we will want to set up a page layout specific to quotes still in draft mode. On this page layout we want to focus on two key items.
- Field editability: Since the users are still making changes to the quotes, we should ensure they have the right access to make the needed changes. We recommend working with end users to define which fields they need to see and edit at this stage in the process.
- Button options: This piece is key to the whole operation. We recommend that only the following buttons are displayed on this page layout:
- Submit for Approval: Allows user to push the quote into the approval process
- Edit Lines: This should make sense as this is the stage of the quote the user will need to access the Configurator and Quote Line Editor
- Preview Document: Allows users to present a draft of the quote to the user, but does not allow them to save or send (we will discuss later how using the watermark can help make it very clear that this is still a draft)
Note that we are not including the Generate Document or Include Documents button. This is the whole point, as we would not be thinking of putting the final quote package together until a quote has been approved.
3 | Create an Approved Record Type
In preparation of having this all come together, we must create an Approved record type, as well. The key thing to note here is that no users should be allowed to create a quote with this record type. You will be able to see later on that the approval process takes care of this.
4 | Set up the Approved Quote Page Layout
Similar to the draft page layout we will focus on field editability and button options. For fields, we recommend setting up the page layout to make the majority of fields Read Only. There may be reasons to leave some fields editable such as the address fields or who the needs to be sent to. This will allow the quote users some flexibility with out having to resubmit a quote for approval. In addition to this, we want to make sure that the Quote Lines Related List options are locked down as well.
For the buttons we recommend the following:
- Generate Document: This allows the user to save and or send the document.
- Include Document: This allows the user to add any special content and prepare the final package.
- Re-Edit Lines: We would need to create this button if you want to allow the quote users to push an approved quote back into draft mode. It is discussed further, below.
Note that we are not allowing users to edit lines once the quote is approved. We’ve known some sales reps trying to pull a fast one by adding a discount once the quote has already been approved. The CFO wasn’t too happy with them 😠
5 | Create your Approval Process
We assume you are familiar with the Salesforce Approval Processes and won’t go in full detail of setting them up. However, with this setup we recommend a few key Final Update Actions to optimize the process:
- Update the record type to Approved
- Uncheck the Watermark checkbox
- Update the Stage to Approved
6 | Optional: Allow Users to Re-Edit Quotes
If your use case allows for a quote user to re-edit a quote once it has been approved, we would need to create a quick action that accomplishes the following:
- Updates the record type to Draft
- Checks the Watermark checkbox
- Updates the Stage to Draft (or Re-Quote)
These few modifications to your processes can ensure that all quotes go through the approval process, and that only approved quotes are being sent to customers.
If you’d like to discuss a unique quoting requirement or need help setting up your approval process, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.