Preparing For The CPQ Specialist Exam

As I write this post i’m going back and forth between 2-3 Salesforce development projects for work(pulling my hair out trying to develop a Visualforce page) and doing small study sprints for the CPQ Specialist exam that i’m taking tomorrow (6/17/17). As i’m going through the content, I can’t help but laugh about my journey to this exam.

When I interviewed for my job in September, I asked what their largest need was in Salesforce at that moment, and it was quoting. After understanding their requirements, I recommended a CPQ solution, showed them the listing on the appexchange and ran through the value of the app for the company (from what I learned at the World Tour, Dreamforce, etc). They loved the idea and I got the job as the companys’ first Salesforce Admin.

Fast forward about 2.5 months, and chaos ensued. I knew nothing about the glass business, nothing about our products, and nothing about CPQ. I figured it would be a simple plug and play, some tweaking of products and layouts with a little automation and be good to go, right?

giphy-downsizedYup. Hilarious. Everybody’s got jokes, including me at that point apparently. What I thought was going to be a 30-45 day project turned into 3-4 months of pure hell working by myself, with little to no resources, 100% trial and error.

I sat through various sessions with a co-worker who was our glass “pro” in the building, learning about the industry, what products can go together, different product combinations(bundles), different processes, etc. Simultaneously, I was utilizing the “blue belt” (formerly a “Steelbrick” credential which is replaced with CPQ Specialist Salesforce exam) training material that was included in our CPQ agreement which mostly contained outdated training material, but the principles were still there. So I trudged through glass training and CPQ training day after day (and at night)

Most of my #GifSquad friends will tell you, I was unbearable to be around, absolutely miserable. This was a seemingly never ending process. Then somewhere along the line, something weird happened. I actually started to enjoy working with CPQ as it all started to click.

Once we deployed in early April, if a user found a bug that was previously uncovered, I knew how to fix it immediately. It was magical. I felt I had ‘leveled up’ so to speak with CPQ so I went ahead and put the experience up on my LinkedIn and Twitter profile and immediately started to get inquiries about the tool from friends and new connections. I didn’t want to leave friends hanging, and realized there was a storm brewing for CPQ so I started learning more.

Searching for a new certification anyway(never stop learning and challenging yourself!), I decided to register for the CPQ Specialist exam and hit the books. I went through my original blue belt training to re-learn the pieces I glazed over because it wasn’t important to my development project at the time, and a friend gave me notes from his brown belt class.

Armed with my training materials, notes, and hands on experience, I started studying. Now we are 24.5 hours from the exam, and I really enjoy CPQ and how creative I can be when building solutions.

Here we go!

 

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