Salesforce Quotes Part 2 – Template Design and Limitations

In this episode of ShellBlack Whiteboard we discuss Quote Templates. We start by providing a few use cases where you might want to create a library of Quote Templates for your Users, and then discuss some of their limitations. Shell provides an overview of the page layout components that make a Quote Template and how they can be used.

Finally Shell touches base on a few popular third party AppExchange products that work with Quotes to extend its capabilities, such as CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) tools and E-Signature.

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Transcript of video:

Welcome, everyone, to another segment of ShellBlack Whiteboard, where we help you get the most out of I’m your host, Shell Black, president and founder of and Salesforce MVP. We’re going to wrap up our discussion on Quotes. We’re going to spend a little bit more time on Quote Templates, which if you remember, is our presentation layer back to our client about their Opportunities and Opportunity Products.

So what is a Quote Template? It’s really a page layout editor. It leverages a combination of fields that come from the Quote object, as well as Opportunity Line Items, which are really Products. You can have a library of these templates. It really is just like a number of page layouts, as many as you want.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Why do I need a library of Quote Templates?" Well, you might have multiple operating companies running and living in one single Salesforce instance. So you might have different logos, different terms and conditions that you want to display based on which operating company is selling.

You might want to change the layout based on the need. So you might have a Quote Template that has a signature or an acceptance block, maybe some transactions you want to give a client the ability to fill in their credit card information. So that might be a template that has that.

You may want to have a template that suppresses the discount column. Some clients you may want to show on a template that you are giving them a discount, and some maybe don’t. You want to take that away. You don’t want to have a blank discount column there and have your customer come back and go, "Well, where’s my discount? There’s a blank column on the template."

Another reason why you might want to have another Quote Template is in some instances, you may not want to have the totals displayed. So the use case for that would be let’s say you just wanted to present to somebody, "Here’s your price for this product if you buy 50 units. Here’s your price for this product if you buy 100 units. Here’s your price if you want to buy 500 units." You don’t want to total those up. You just want to show to the client what their discounts are, if you just want to show the products without the totals.

Quote Templates is basically a page layout editor. You can add custom sections. It can be a one-column layout, two column layout. You can add your custom fields, custom fields that are available on your Quote or your Quote Line Items. Something that you got to remember about the Quote Template, it’s fairly rigid. It’s kind of a shopping cart layout. So it has a listing of all your products. It doesn’t do any nesting. It doesn’t do any bundling. It doesn’t indent products. You can’t do sub-bullets or something like that.

So it’s fairly generic, so if you think of Amazon. You bought this. Here’s the quantity. Here’s the price. Here’s the extended total. Here’s the total of your shopping cart. That’s about as fancy as you can get with the presentation layer. Okay.

So let’s look at the page layout for a Quote Template. A couple major sections. You got a header, a body, Quote Line Items, a total section, and a footer. Again, it’s more like a page like you can insert more sections if you would like to add more fields. The header, people usually put the logo up at the top as a field. You can actually put an image into that header section.

The body is pulling the field that really comes from the Quote itself. So the fields that we talked about in our previous segment, the Created Date, Expiration Date, Quote Number. Prepared-by is the salesperson’s information. So it’s really the user. Prepared-for would be the Contact that we associated the Quote in a previous segment. Then Bill-To and Ship-To are pulling the address fields that are related to the Account that this Quote is going to.

This section, even though I drew it in two lines, is actually one long line. So you can think columns. Again, this is more of a shopping cart layout. So you’re going to have these columns that I’ve listed here, product name, list price, sale price, custom field one, custom field two, quantity, discount, total price.

You’re going to have all your products, and it’s just going to list these in rows. At the bottom here, you’re going to have a total section that’s going to aggregate all your pricing and put it here. Tax and Shipping are going to come from the Quote. They’re fields that you enter on the Quote module and give you a Grand Total.

I highlighted this custom field one and custom field two in green. If you have that on your template, but you don’t fill that information out when you’re adding your Quote Line Items, if there’s no information there on any of the Products, it’ll actually suppress that column. It won’t display a blank column, which is kind of cool.

One thing to remember on Quotes is you only have one Quote Line Item. So you can’t have Quote Line Items or Products, another block, and then a separate section of Products. You only get one section for Products.

A footer, some people put the Ts and Cs, terms and conditions, legalese you might want to put down there, so fairly flexible and some things that you can’t change. So let’s talk about a couple of other quick things about quoting for just a moment, since we got some time.

I want to touch base on CPQ, E-signature, and what I’m going to call complex layout. There are some third party apps out there. What CPQ stands for is Configure, Price, Quote. So kind of think the Quote module on steroids. So there are some things that you can’t do natively with the Salesforce Quote module.

So you can’t have business logics or business rules. So think about if I sell this Product, I must have these Products. I can’t sell this Product and this Product together. Or maybe some guided sales process, where I go through a wizard, and it tells me if I put this component, then here are my other components that go with that, and so on like a configurator.

CPQ modules or CPQ apps typically help you with the renewal process. If you sell renewals, they can streamline that business process. They can do up-sell and cross-sell. So if you buy this, we recommend this. If you buy this, we up-sell to that. A couple leaders in this space, BigMachines, which was actually bought by Oracle not too long ago, and APPTUS. There are many others. We’re not endorsing. We’re just giving you a place to start, some names to think about.

E-signature is very popular with quoting. So you’ve put your products together. If you want to accelerate your business process, not wait for someone to hand-sign something and fax it back or scan it back, you can do E-signature with native quoting inside Salesforce. DocuSign or EchoSign are a couple apps on the AppExchange you should probably check out.

Lastly, I want to highlight this section called ‘Complex Layout’. So if you find the Quote Templates a little too rigid, maybe you want to have multiple product blocks, you might try a couple other options. There’s the native mail merge feature inside of Salesforce to create off a Word document. There’re some third party apps on the AppExchange that can create beautiful complex documents that leverage the data that you have in Salesforce.

I’m just going to call out a couple. There are multiple out here. Some of the leaders in this space is DrawLoop and Conga Composer. So take a look at those.

Okay. So that wraps up our segment on Quote Templates. I hope you enjoyed that. You can let us know how we’re doing a couple of different ways. You can hit us in twitter, @Shell_Black, or you can email me at Thanks so much for tuning in. We hope to see you soon.

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