Director – Sales & Legal Services, Adobe
Next-Generation Customer Experience
Adobe gives everyone—from emerging artists to global brands—everything they need to design and deliver exceptional digital experiences. We empower people to create beautiful and powerful images, videos, and apps, and transform how companies interact with customers across every screen.
Adobe Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud bring together our design expertise with customer intelligence to deliver experiences that get results. With a robust platform that’s powered by advanced science, a thriving community of partners and developers, and a culture that’s passionate about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with our products, Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences.
In 2019, Adobe embarked on a multi-year journey to transform our digital marketing and selling processes by leveraging our best-in-class Marketing Cloud together with Microsoft Dynamics Sales. The transition from selling perpetual license products to subscriptions has introduced business process and technical complexities over the last decade from marketing and sales to customer support.
Adobe has taken a measured approach with the first release focused on decoupling key quoting and contracting capabilities from the CRM into independent cloud solutions to strike the right balance between business and technology risk. As Adobe has continued to grow through acquisitions, we have simultaneously been challenged with integrating multiple CRMs. Adobe needed to partner with a CPQ vendor that was not only built on an independent cloud but could also integrate simultaneously with multiple CRMs and handle the complex pricing models across numerous product lines serving enterprise and commercial customers.
The solution criteria became apparent as Adobe continued to acquire other companies with different CRMs and the business transformation program continued to build momentum. It was critical to migrate our highest deal volume products while enabling more flexible pricing models, deploy a modern self-service user experience, and integrate the new CPQ platform with multiple CRMs simultaneously. Ultimately, Adobe selected PROS Smart CPQ, which can handle complex pricing models across Adobe’s various products, leverages Adobe’s own technologies, and offers more autonomy for users.
The partnership with PROS has been a key step toward a self-service quoting experience for sales reps, deal desk, and legal operations teams. The partnership has come with the added scalable benefit of solving a thorny M&A challenge by leveraging a single independent cloud CPQ platform that can be integrated with multiple CRMs.
Prior to PROS, sales had to work through deal desk to create quotes, generate budgetary quotes, and standardize sales order agreements due to the limitations of the current CPQ solution, which ultimately impacted the customer experience. This was identified early on as a key business transformation opportunity to introduce self-sufficiency not only for sales and deal desk but also for IT to easily address enhancements and platform operations. PROS has enabled their CPQ processes to match Adobe’s rapid growth.
The recent first release of PROS Smart CPQ addresses Adobe’s highest deal volume products and particular pain points in selling bundled professional services. The flexibility of PROS to handle complex pricing models as well as professional services rate card requirements has solved a pain point that has plagued Adobe for years. Initial feedback has been promising, "[Rate Card] is wonderful", "I love [Rate Card], it will be a favorite…", “[CPQ] is easy to use. It makes sense.”
As this is a new CPQ platform, Adobe is monitoring sales adoption as a key metric. With over 2,000 quota bearing sales reps, there is an expectation that the modern self-service quoting capabilities will result in improved deal velocity and sales efficiency especially as we onboard the remaining products from our legacy CPQ.
Adobe is already seeing transaction and performance improvements in the ability of the CPQ platform to handle large volumes of product SKUs in complex pricing operations. Relative to our current CPQ solution, Adobe has experienced a 33% and 64% improvement in processing complex pricing calculations for quotes with 10 and 50 SKUs, respectively.
It’s been gratifying to see how the art of the possible can be translated into material improvements through the partnership with PROS. The company is now a key building block in Adobe’s business transformation journey, and we are looking forward to the new features and capabilities that will be introduced in upcoming releases that will improve self-sufficiency, surface deal insights, and drive greater efficiency in the CPQ process.
PROS Smart CPQ accelerates sales by leveraging AI to enable teams to quickly quote the right products at the right price, resulting in faster sales cycles and higher profits.
Out of the box, PROS Smart CPQ software fuses seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CRMs and easily integrates with all other CRM, ERP and PLM systems. Customers like Adobe with multiple sites and different system combinations benefit immediately from PROS automated Smart CPQ solution.
From a business perspective, transforming the quote to cash process at Adobe has required a considerable amount of internal alignment on vision and ROI given competing strategic priorities. While it has taken time to build the required executive support, stakeholders are now proactively joining the movement and making time to provide critical feedback. It has taken significant change management to shift mindsets for sales reps as they previously had an “easy button” – they could offload the quoting and contracting process to the deal desk – but that wasn’t sustainable in the long-term as it wouldn’t enable the business to scale. With PROS Smart CPQ, Adobe has found a solution that is intuitive and user-friendly enough for sales reps to navigate, which translates into improved customer experience as the sales rep is able to quote and iterate on quotes on their own.
It’s not often that one has the opportunity to work on truly transforming an entrenched business process as critical as CPQ in a well-established enterprise company. The partnership has really helped Adobe stay true to our overall vision of transforming the way sellers sell and set up that critical first step of our business transformation journey. Now, Adobe has the expertise and experience to take it to the next level.
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences.