Differences between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ – Part 2

Since last week, I could only go through the pricing section of the Vlocity CPQ course and I am able to compare Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ Pricing functionality. Pricing will be the focus of this blog.

I did quote in my last blog that I will do this series in 2 parts but there may couple more parts in store so please watch out for them. In case you have not gone through the first part of this series, you can access it here

Differences between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ Pricing

  • The first difference is that in its current avatar, Vlocity Pricing is totally communications and media industry-focused and Salesforce pricing is a full-blown generic pricing model that can be applied across the spectrum. For example, Vlocity pricing is for players in the telecom sector, like AT&T, version, T-Mobile, and media companies like Disney, Netflix, Comcast, etc.
  • Vlocity prices are based on Vlocity components. The main components of Vlocity pricing are Price List, Price Variable, and Price elements. The price types are Charge, Adjustment, and override. Within the Charge price type, there is a standard charge or a fee that could also be used as a penalty. Adjustments are the adjustments to the charge. Overrides are complete charge overrides.

    The foundation charge is known as the base charge. For example, a charge for an unlimited data plan offered by a carrier is $45 on a recurring basis. This becomes a base charge. An adjustment to this charge when sold during a Covid to military personal could be 40% of this charge so the price then becomes $45- (40% of 45) =  $27. An override is a complete override of the base charge in a back to school bundle to let us $17.99. You can make out that these are all communication/media-specific prices. Vlocity has a fully baked conceptual construct of its pricing which is beyond the scope of this blog.

On the other hand, Salesforce CPQ has pricing methods like List Pricing, Cost Plus markup pricing, Block Pricing, Special pricing, Subscription Pricing, system discounts, additional discounts, partner pricing, a quote calculator along with a net price destined sequence known as pricing waterfall. This is wider and more generic in the application. If you want to know about Salesforce pricing you can start reading my blogs here.

  • One of the fundamental differences between Vlocity and Salesforce is the usage of the Pricebook. So, the Salesforce Sales Cloud and CPQ come with a Standard Pricebook. We know that Pricebook is an object with its child Pricebook entry. Multiple price books can be defined. Pricebook is a container to define the prices for a product in Salesforce. Prices are required to be maintained in the Standard Pricebook and over and above can be maintained in multiple Pricebook.  For example, in Salesforce CPQ if different prices of iPhone 12 must be maintained for corporates and consumers then they can be maintained in 2 different Price books. Ans these 2 different can be selectively used in different use cases.

Vlocity CPQ also uses the Salesforce Pricebook but in a hugely different way. Vlocity CPQ uses Pricelists to store prices of products. Pricelist is also a Vlocity component along with Price variables and elements. Vlocity has added another dimension to the Pricebook maintenance of prices. Vlocity Pricelists have Pricelist entries in which multiple prices of the same product can be mentioned within the same price list.

For example, the base price of Apple Earbuds are $199 in the month of October 2020 and change to $179 in the thanksgiving month of Nov then this can be done by maintaining different price list entries of these price with different effective dates which are in order. In order to use the Pricebook, which is mandatory in Salesforce., each Pricelist is assigned to a Pricebook. Multiple price lists can be assigned to the same Pricebook.

  • Another major difference is that in Salesforce a price is assigned to the product which means that for every Pricebook the price is very tightly coupled with the product but with Vlocity, this is not the case. The price list component is attached to a product and therefore multiple prices can be assigned via multiple pricelist entries. This is a matter of design and construction. Although this is useful for communications and media but needs more tweaking for other industries if Vlocity CPQ is to be extended and used.
  • Manual price change in Vlocity CPQ is very user friendly. The amount can be changed on a percentage and absolute basis and can be changed for a duration with a specific start and end date. For example, if a customer is a simple choice plan for a duration of 12 months and if the price must be changed for 2 months starting from 2 months in the future it can be easily changed through the cart. This can be further contextualized through the rules and the security around it can also be defined.

The same functionality can be achieved in the Salesforce CPQ quote line editor but with a little more configuration especially with the adjustment on the time.

  • Another specific functionality offered by Vlocity CPQ is the Time Plan and Policy components. Time Plan is a component to define the duration of the subscription and Time Policy is to define the subscription start and end dates and the prorated policies. Once they are defined, they are attached to a product in Vlocity.

In Salesforce CPQ, Subscription end and start dates and duration are a part of Salesforce CPQ quote lines or can be in it and Salesforce CPQ has an incredibly detailed model of proration which I have already explained in my previous blogs.

Once again, the idea is to bring out a contrast between the two offerings and not necessarily do a scorecard as it is not an Apple to Apple comparison. They are different products and should be viewed accordingly.  I hope you liked the comparison between the pricing of both the applications. I may come up with more blogs in the same series as there is more content to be covered in Vlocity CPQ and therefore more opportunities to compare.

I hope you like the above blog and your likes, shares and comments will keep me motivated.



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