PROS CPQ vs. Salesforce CPQ

PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ are both configure, price, quote (CPQ) solutions designed to streamline the quote-to-cash process. Each CPQ software tool offers a viable solution for those who are looking to increase efficiency and drive revenue in their business. Still, there are several differences in their approach, business use cases, and overall features.


Compare PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ

CPQ software presents a significant benefit for companies with complex product offerings or those that need to quickly and accurately generate quotes. Both PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ are capable of streamlining the quote-to-cash process, but they each have their own unique features and capabilities.

PROS provides a comprehensive solution designed to optimize digital and physical commerce and deliver intelligence. It offers businesses robust product catalogs, powerful quote management, advanced market segmentation, and personalized price optimization.

With its AI-powered capabilities for configuring products, streamlining agreements and real-time pricing delivery across all channels, users can now interact with customers more effectively while selling tailored offerings. This integrated platform also has CRM tools and an API for greater operational efficiency.

Salesforce is the leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software, and its CPQ solution offers businesses an integrated suite of tools to streamline their quote-to-cash (QTC) processes. It includes quotation, product configuration, ordering, and invoicing (among other features).

Salesforce CPQ works inside Service Cloud and Revenue Cloud to give customers a more seamless experience and faster time-to-quote. When working alongside other Salesforce tools, organizations have a streamlined tech stack and valuable customer intelligence.

Product Overview

Overview of each CPQ Solution

PROS Smart CPQ and Salesforce CPQ are two powerful solutions that provide businesses with robust capabilities to streamline the quote-to-cash process. Each platform has its own unique features and use cases, but there are some similarities between the two.

Defining PROS CPQ

PROS Smart CPQ is an AI-driven, cloud-based and on-premise software that enables sales teams to personalize, automate, and streamline sales processes. The software offers a comprehensive suite of pricing, ordering, and inventory management tools for organizations with complex product offerings.

PROS CPQ features include advanced product configuration, market segmentation, and customer analytics to help businesses make smarter decisions about where to invest their sales and marketing efforts. It also provides powerful quote management capabilities to streamline the process from inquiry to approval.

Beyond basic functions, PROS CPQ integrates with CRM systems to automate simple yet time-consuming and forgettable tasks like opportunity and deal creation, and it provides a single view of pricing, parts creation, and automatic BOM (bill of materials) creation, making it well-suited to manufacturing and engineering industries.

Defining Salesforce CPQ

Salesforce CPQ is an integrated suite of tools designed to accelerate the quote-to-cash (QTC) process. With features like pricebooks, product catalogs, and discount rules integrated with Salesforce CRM, customer data management and quote generation have never been easier or more efficient.

Salesforce is a software platform that targets all types of businesses, big and small. But where Salesforce CPQ really shines is at the enterprise level. Its flexibility with custom coding and ready integration with Salesforce AppExchange products make it a robust solution for organizations with business needs beyond complex product and service offerings. 

For companies with complicated needs and the budget to solve them, Salesforce provides a unified quote-to-cash experience that can’t be matched.

Product Features

Comparison of Key Features

When it comes to features, Salesforce CPQ and PROS CPQ have many overlapping capabilities, including billing and invoicing, product configuration, customer segmentation, and pricing. Each offering has all of the standard functionalities that customers would expect from professional CPQ software. They do have a few differing features, most of which have to do with the specific types of customers they serve.

PROS CPQ is an AI-powered CPQ solution that is purpose-built for enterprise businesses in technology, manufacturing, distribution, and engineering. Its centralized product catalog makes it easy to keep track of products and pricing across multiple channels, while the ability to generate BOMs (bills of materials) automatically allows for precise product configurations, on-time payments, and accurate records.

Meanwhile, Salesforce CPQ is designed specifically for businesses that need an integrated quote-to-cash solution with CRM capabilities. Businesses can build Salesforce CPQ into their existing tech stack to further automate customer relationship management and customer success initiatives in addition to their pricing, ordering, and inventory management processes.

Here’s a breakdown of each product’s features:

PROS Smart CPQSalesforce CPQ
A centralized platform for quote and proposal management, B2B commerce, and document generation.Microservices architecture with Revenue Cloud functionality as an add-on.
Readily integrates with popular CRMs and features ERP automation out-of-the-box for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.Hosted on Sales Cloud for CRM and selling activities and part of Revenue Cloud for proposal generation, invoicing, and billing capabilities.
Long implementation time, but standard for an enterprise product.IT implementation takes an average of 6-9 months.
Tailored workflows help sales reps navigate through various selling options in the product catalog.Pre-built guided selling capabilities are available, but more intricate workflows require custom coding.
AI and customizability features are built into the product, and ready to work with higher-tiered plansScaling up with additional features or software additions requires specialized expertise—incurring additional expenses.
Software accounts for product availability to automatically determine whether or not customization is possible.Each price quote is delivered as an attachable file, and any alterations necessitate a new version of the document.
Most features available within the software and its plans.Additional features and licenses available for added costs.
Automated bill of materials (BOM) creation, parts quoting, customer-specific sales agreement terms, and order submission to ERP functionality minimize back-and-forth between buyers and vendors.Customer communication within the Salesforce platform and its partners (like Slack).
Customer-specific sales discounting and pricing features that change with subscriptions.Subscription management and complex billing capacity for purchase orders, one-off projects, and client invoices.
AI-powered recommendations for discounting, pricing, upselling, cross-selling, and opportunity creation.Detailed reporting analytics for customized pricing strategies and discount structures. CRM integration for deeper customer analytics.
Additional pricing and quoting abilities for subscription sales Full-cycle quote-to-cash automation.
Web-based platform.Web and mobile (iPhone and Android) platforms.
Email help desk
Phone support
Knowledge base
Phone support
Knowledge base
Online support
Salesforce Trailhead
In-person training Documentation
3/1/2023 Update
Based on

Customer Size

Ideal Customer Profiles

A key difference between PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ is the customers they serve—the size and type of buyers they are designed to help. PROS CPQ is tailored for enterprise businesses, whereas Salesforce CPQ is more of a one-size-fits-all solution.

PROS CPQ primarily sells to enterprise customers, which benefit from API access, custom app building, and advanced configuration and analytics. The company serves customers in the airlines, consumer goods food manufacturing and distribution, healthcare and medical devices, energy and chemicals, and shipping and logistics industries.

Ecommerce brands can also use this platform to build custom apps with API access that enable them to quickly configure complex products and services on the same platform they work with vendors and suppliers on.

Salesforce is meant to serve customers of all sizes, and there are many small businesses that use its CPQ software for simple quote-to-cash processes. It’s also popular among larger companies that have complex product or service offerings and need an integrated sale-to-service solution with advanced capabilities like custom coding, automated discount rules, and ready integrations with Salesforce AppExchange products.


Breakdown of Pricing Options

Both PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ offer subscription packages that vary depending on the size of the customer. Both companies provide discounts for annual contracts, as well as custom pricing for enterprise customers.

Neither company offers “competitive” pricing by any means, however. Since they are both designed to serve enterprise customers, they are generally more expensive than other CPQ solutions.

PROS Smart CPQ’s base-level option costs $60 per user per month. It has all of the features available in standard CPQ products, but not many of the customizability features of its higher tiers.

The higher tier of PROS CPQ is $75 per user per month, and it comes with BOM automation, rules-based price configuration, API access, and many of the other features that make it a true enterprise solution.

At the highest tier, PROS’s pricing is entirely quote-based—users need to talk to sales if they are looking for features like CRM opportunity recommendation, churn detection, and cross-sell/upsell recommendations.

Salesforce CPQ has a similar pricing structure, but at almost double the price. The low tier of its product is $75 per user per month, and its next tier is $150. This includes features like account-specific pricing, real-time insights, and automated workflows.

For Revenue Cloud integration (for billing and other quote-to-cash features) and more advanced features, Salesforce’s pricing is entirely custom.

PROS Smart CPQSalesforce CPQ
Product PricingEssentials: $60 per user per month (billed annually)
Advantage: $75 per user per month (billed annually)
Ultimate: Contact sales
CPQ: $75 per user per month (billed annually)
CPQ Plus: $150 per user per month, billed annually
CPQ + Billing Growth: Contact sales
CPQ + Billing Plus: Contact sales
Implementation FeesHigher costs for API and app development.Ongoing implementation fees for custom-coded functionality and system integration.
Additional LicensesAdditional license fees for price optimization and industry-specific features.Higher tier requirement for many of the AI and automation features the product boasts.Additional license fees for e-sign, contract management, buyer engagement tracking, plus hidden licensing costs.

Not accounted for in either pricing structure is the cost of implementation and training. Both companies offer a variety of options to get customers up and running quickly, but these can become costly depending on how complex the customer’s needs are.

Salesforce, in particular, has a notoriously long and complex implementation cycle for new customers. The company offers premium IT consulting through its team and certified third-party consultants, but that cost can add up to thousands (or tens of thousands) if the customer needs more than a basic setup.


Considerations for Choosing Between the Two Solutions

PROS CPQ and Salesforce CPQ are both solid options for an enterprise CPQ software. For companies smaller than enterprise or in a non-enterprise market, however, they may be too expensive and offer features that are not needed. For freelancers and small business owners specifically, many other solutions are purpose-built for those needs.

For larger enterprise customers, both solutions offer plenty of robust features and integrations at different price points. PROS is much cheaper per user than Salesforce and its implementation costs are known to be high. Still, Salesforce offers advanced features and integrations that can be worth the extra cost, especially if the prospective user is an existing Salesforce customer.

In any case, extensive research before making a buying decision is critical. Looking at multiple options before such a significant undertaking is a must for any customer.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Salesforce CRM and Salesforce CPQ?

CRM and CPQ are intrinsically connected. With Salesforce’s CRM (i.e., Sales and Marketing Cloud), sales reps, marketers, and everyone in between can create and engage prospects with greater efficiency. The integrated Salesforce CPQ solution simplifies product management while streamlining the quoting process from start to finish. Working together, the two solutions enable customers to close deals faster and maximize revenue.

Is Salesforce CPQ free?

Salesforce CPQ is not free. The low tier of its product is $75 per user per month, and its next tier is $150. For Revenue Cloud features built-in with Salesforce CPQ, Salesforce uses a quote-based pricing model. In many cases, a conversation with a sales rep is needed to determine the true cost of using Salesforce CPQ.

Does Salesforce CPQ require code?

With Salesforce CPQ, you don’t need to be a coding whiz. But it is helpful if you can customize the codebase or configure plug-ins based on your organization’s expectations. As a Salesforce CPQ Developer, proficiency in Apex Triggers and Code, VisualForce Page Components, SOSL, SOQL is essential for success. Salesforce offers training and certification in all of these areas.

What is PROS in Salesforce?

PROS’ revenue and profitability realization platform was designed to optimize your sales process with Salesforce CPQ. It’s a smart solution that takes advantage of predictive analytics capabilities, resulting in accurate product recommendations at the right time. Although PROS is its own product, it works well with Salesforce and is available via the Salesforce AppExchange.

Does PROS CPQ cost more than Salesforce CPQ?

PROS CPQ is generally less expensive than Salesforce CPQ on a per-user basis, but implementation and training costs can add up quickly depending on the customer’s needs. Salesforce has a longer and more complex setup process that can be costly, but its advanced features may be worth the additional cost for large enterprises.

CPQ Integrations