Vandevelde Jan

Certified Salesforce Consultant

Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist

Most of you know I love working with Salesforce CPQ and since a short time also Salesforce Billing. If you don't know what the new Salesforce Quote-To-Cash is and why I like it so much then read my blogpost on it.

Living in Belgium and interested in learning more on Salesforce Quote-To-Cash? Then join the Belgium User Group session on April 25th 2017 and register here for free!

Beginning of february I had the chance to participate in the Beta Exam for the new Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist certification exam. Having passed 6 Salesforce certifications at first try, having followed the Steelbrick CPQ Technical Training course, passing the CPQ Brown Belt accreditation and having more than 7 months experience in assessing & implementing Salesforce CPQ configurations, I thaught it would be a walk in the park... Well I guessed wrong,...VERY WRONG! I failed a Salesforce exam for the first time. Major Bummer! But I'm not ashamed of it ;-)

Actually it did not come as a surprise because when I came out of the exam room I just knew I didn't pass, but because it was a beta we would only get our results after 2 months. 2 months of waiting and being completely baffled by the level of detail and complexity those 110 questions were, including calculations with block prices (type slab) and discount schedules with quantities in each slab and having percentages like 12.5% and 15% and not being able to use a calculator??! In this day and age?? I can honestly say I'm not bad at math but it has been more than 18 years since I had to perform manual division with pencil and a paper ;-) I lost a lot of time at those exercises and couldn't finish responding to all questions within the given time. 8 questions unanswered and time was up... this never happened before :-(

So when approximately 2 months passed and I received my negative results I wasn't surprised, on the contrary, I gained extra motivation to pass this exam as soon as it would be made publically available to register again.

And yes about 2 weeks ago Salesforce announced this new certification was open for registration and I immediately registered and booked a seat for today, but this time I would be EXTRA prepared! This would not happen again and I want you to be prepared also!

Oh yeah and by the way I PASSED ;-) I am now a Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist... #OVERJOYED

So for that reason I 'll list some resources for you to study and prepare yourself for this exam, but be aware for the following:

  • Do not only read the resources listed underneath, you'll need to understand the concepts very well!
  • Theory only will not get you to pass this exam, at least spin up a dev org and install CPQ and try configuring some bundels, quote them, make sure to create a quote template including Terms and Conditions! You can find the downloadlinks to the latest CPQ version here.
  • If possible and you have access to partner training or premier training follow the Steelbrick Learning Pathway
  • If you see any links to other articles within the articles hereunder, click through and read them! 
  • If an article contains a video, watch the video!
  • Get into the details!

So here are the resources that can help you study for the Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist exam and without reveiling any questions I've put 1, 2 or 3 exclamation marks for subjects on which I received questions and how many questions. So !!! means multiple questions or very detailed questions.

I hope you will be well prepared for this exam and I wish you lots of success!



As a Salesforce Administrator & Developer I’m always looking to expand my knowledge on the platform.

Salesforce provides lots and lots of different resources to its customers which help them to better work with the platform and deliver “best-in-class” results. Ranging from the Help & Training portal to the different Customer Success Communities, as well as the different free workbooks and paid instructor-lead courses they offer.

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a new, completely free, way of learning that Salesforce developed called Salesforce Trailhead

Read more: Salesforce Trailhead: a new way to learn working on the platform

As a Salesforce administrator you are probably confronted with a lot of data files in Salesforce on a daily basis, just like me. And what #awesomeadmins ALWAYS do before import data into Salesforce is preparing the file for import!

Read more: How to deal with the case insensitive VLOOKUP in Excel when preparing a Salesforce datafix?

While preparing for my Salesforce Certified Administrator exam, which I passed in april this year, I wrote some notes down to review just before taking the exam.

The majority of the notes came from someone else who took the exam somewhere beginning of 2012, and as I was watching the video’s on Premier Help & Training portal, I edited and corrected them and even added some content to them.

Read more: Sharing my Salesforce Certified Administrator preparation notes

For the past few weeks, while the family was eating, drinking and having fun over the holidays, I was actually preparing myself for the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator exam.

Maybe this seems a bit dorky to you, but I was actually having fun too ????

Discovering functionality that I hadn’t used before, playing with it in a developer org, making notes, trying out some own ideas tweaking the exercises… that’s just pure fun isn’t it?!

Read more: Nice way to start 2015: Passing the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam.

Almost every Salesforce admin knows how to create an email template which can then be used in Workflow Rules, Process Builder, Visual Flow or just manually from the “Send email” button in the activity history related list.

Actually when creating an email template you’ve got 4 options:

  • Text
  • HTML (with a letterhead)
  • Custom (without using a letterhead)
  • Visualforce

The first 3 options let you create email templates containing mergefields of a particular object and fields of lookup relationships going up, but not down.

In most cases that’s all you need. But what if you would like to create an email template containing records from a related list like for example an Order Confirmation Email, containing the Order Details and a table of it’s related products ?

Read more: The not-so-scary Visualforce Email Template as Order Confirmation Email

In case you use different pricebooks and products in your Salesforce org, there may come a time that you wish you could set a pricebook and go to the product search page without having the user select a pricebook from a click of a button.

Read more: Skip the pricebook selection page and go directly to productsearch depending on fieldvalues

As a Salesforce Admin you sometimes wish you could create a custom button on an object that does one thing depending on a certain condition or does something else if the condition is not met.

This is possible but mostly requires some javascript knowledge. A lot of new admins, including myself at one time, depend on an external consulting firm because it means you’ll have to use some sort of code.

My company depended on external consultancy for such requirements and after letting then create some, analysing their code, I actually can create them myself now.

Read more: Creating Conditional Custom Buttons in Salesforce: some use cases

I guess it’s one of those features that you only get to know about when you get into a situation like I have ;-)

I call this a “hidden” feature because it’s one of those features you have to ask to enable through submitting a case at Salesforce Support. And if you Google hard enough with the right keywords you could find it. Let’s just say I didn’t for 2 months!!

Read more: The hidden Salesforce feature that saved me from going mental: Defer Sharing Calculations!

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Jan Vandevelde

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