Sales and Marketing Need “PLM” Too

By Miguel Tam
You’ve spent months working on the world’s greatest product, and now you’re ready to release the product into the market. But do you have the right price? Has it been approved by the right people? Do you have the latest product attributes and descriptions included in your product datasheet? Has everyone approved the appropriate discount schedules and bundles?

These are just a few of the sales and marketing things you need to nail down before you release your product into the market. But unfortunately, most companies manage this type of information in emails, spreadsheets, or other ad hoc ways. And when it comes to publishing the final information to sales, most of this data ends up getting manually “fat fingered” into CRM systems like Salesforce.

It’d be perfect if sales and marketing information could have some level of change control — where you could graphically redline sales-related fields like pricing, route those suggested redlines for approval, and then publish those changes when you’re ready. That way, you’d always know what was changed, who approved those changes, and why you made those changes.

Well, the truth is that type of functionality exists already — it’s called PLM or Product Lifecycle Management, but it’s been used mainly by hardware engineers. A few companies have rolled out PLM to their sales and marketing teams, but PLM software has typically been too hard or too clunky for sales people. Plus, it’s not integrated to their CRM system that they use all the time.

Today I’m very excited to announce a new and integrated way to combine the best of CRM and PLM. Propel’s integration to Salesforce Sales Cloud and Steelbrick CPQ gives sales and marketing the right level of change control for any of their sales information, including pricebooks, products and CPQ fields.

I like what Max Rudman, founder of Steelbrick CPQ (now Salesforce CPQ) has to say:

Propel is a must-have solution for any Salesforce customer that needs more rigorous change control for updates to their product catalog, price books or configuration rules. We have worked with the Propel team to ensure the integrated Salesforce and Propel solution is robust enough to handle the needs of our most sophisticated enterprise customers, while simple enough to manage for smaller teams.”

Here’s the full press release, as well as a short demo.

Right inside their Salesforce system, Salesforce admins, Sales Ops and Finance can use Propel to redline, review and approve pricebook and product updates in a controlled manner. With Propel, you can redline any component of a Salesforce product catalog, route proposed changes for approval, intelligently roll out product changes, and capture a complete history of changes and approvals.

With Propel, Salesforce Sales Cloud or Steelbrick CPQ customers can reduce potential errors, improve compliance to standards, and streamline time to market.

Having issues with managing your sales data? Find more information at or watch a short demo.


Tags: Cloud Computing, PLM, Blog, CRM, Salesforce, Technology