Penrod Blog

How Penrod Helped Make A Complex Quote Process Simple


Gilson is a life science company that develops products used in labs around the world. It helps advance the pace of discovery, and it includes 14 organizations globally and holds over 750 patents. It’s best known for PIPETMAN pipettes, a lab tool for transferring or measuring liquid. Gilson’s PIPETMAN was the world’s first continuously adjustable variable volume pipette.

Gilson had been using the Salesforce platform in its US organization for 10 years, but it was now ready to use it globally. In particular, Gilson needed to implement Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software throughout the entire company, and it needed to find a Salesforce partner to help them.

Mandy Febus, Global Customer Marketing Manager at Gilson, shared the challenges they faced and how Penrod was able to help them simplify a complex process.

Spreadsheets weren’t cutting it

Gilson’s sales teams were using Excel spreadsheets to configure systems, and the strategy became too bulky and difficult to control. The spreadsheet method didn’t allow for reporting or quote approval, so there was no oversight in discounts being given across Gilson sales organizations. To complicate things, much of the process relied on email which became a block for progress and agility.

When it came to choosing a Salesforce partner, Gilson needed someone that could implement a CPQ that was flexible, scalable, and easy-to-admin for the internal team. Gilson also had a growing list of Salesforce needs, so they knew they needed to find a long-term partner, and not just a consulting firm that could only fill their CPQ need.

Good communication takes the day

Mandy said that Gilson has worked with multiple cloud consulting companies and that background helped them know what to look for. When it came to Penrod, there was an instant connection.

The team delved into Gilson’s processes and goals right from the beginning, taking time to understand and learn as much about Gilson as they could. Mandy said the biggest differentiator between Penrod and other consulting firms is communication.

“It sounds so basic to say communication is a differentiator – shouldn’t every consulting company managing projects be great at it?” she said. “Regular communication is key when trying to meet deadlines under the agile project management approach, and it’s important on both sides. We openly communicated about milestones and handled curveballs along the way. For our CPQ implementation, we held multiple check-in calls per week even if it was only a five minute conversation. The team is always prepared, organized and on time.”

Simplifying a complex process

Gilson’s configure-price-quote process is extremely complex and there were literally millions of possible configurations across its systems. Penrod’s CPQ development team spent time learning from Gilson’s product experts about just what they needed. In the end, Penrod was able to help Gilson simplify the entire configure quote process across the US and European sales organizations.

The biggest key was flexibility. In the past, Gilson’s teams were limited by CPQ tools and by implementation partners telling them they had to adapt to the tool, that the tool couldn’t adapt to their specific needs.

At Penrod, though, many of the people that worked with Mandy and Gilson had faced similar problems in previous careers. They could empathize with the problem and were able to create a system that adapted to Gilson’s needs, not vice versa. Throughout the process, they trained Mandy and her team which helped both sides see if the solutions were effective and easy to manage.

Finishing quotes in 15 minutes or less

When Penrod finished building out Gilson’s Salesforce CPQ platform, sales reps could quote prices much faster. Previously, it could take 30 minutes to an hour to configure a quote, get it approved, and complete any associated tasks. With Gilson’s new and improved CPQ process, quotes are finished in 15 minutes or less. It’s a win-win for both Gilson’s customers and its sales reps. “Customers get quotes faster,” Mandy said, “And sales can spend more time doing what they do best, selling.”


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