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Salesforce 101: Unlock the Potential of Product2

With enriched product data embedded directly within Salesforce, users won't need to leave their native environment to seek information elsewhere.

For any customer-facing team, access to clear, comprehensive product information is indispensable. It’s hard to effectively sell or service a product without knowing what it is first. 

In Salesforce, that ultimately leads back to Product2 (P2).

Product2 is a standard object within the Salesforce data model that houses product information. It’s a foundational item for CRM operations across various Salesforce solutions, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud. 

When supercharged with the right configurations and data source, this basic, often-overlooked, Salesforce object can become a vital cornerstone of your sales and service processes.

In this blog post, learn how enterprise applications built on Salesforce can enhance the out-of-the-box Product2 for a more valuable and streamlined user experience.

First, Let’s Back Up. How Does Product2 Work?

Simply put, Product2 provides the framework to store details about sellable items. Product records serve as the backbone for critical operations across Salesforce, including opportunities, quotes, and forecasts.  

Defining products for sale may seem fairly straightforward, but a deeper look reveals they are more multifaceted and complex than they first appear. 

For most companies, “products” are more than just physical goods. They can also refer to parts, services, software, or various combinations of items into bundles or kits. Each of these different product types requires tailored attributes and relationships to fully reflect a commercial solution for customers. While P2 is very adaptable, admins must invest in proper configurations to accommodate so much variability. 

Likewise, the very nature of the Salesforce platform demands that P2 have the versatility to extend beyond an initial sales transaction. The information needed by a sales team during a product’s launch is significantly different than what a service team needs when customers call in years later. Replaceable parts, user guides, and product updates are as important as marketing features and benefits. Both need to be accounted for in the P2 object setup to allow for enterprise visibility throughout a product’s lifecycle. 

The completeness of product information reflected in Salesforce substantially impacts daily operations. 

For example, Salesforce price books group together products and list approved pricing for a single account or set of customers. Salespeople then link to these listings in every solution configuration or quote. This ensures orders are priced correctly — if exactly the right product is selected.

However, many teams find surprisingly sparse info in their price books. When left to the minimum default values, P2 merely shows a name, brief description, and unit of measure. That’s far from the level of detail needed to decipher one complex product from another. 

Without robust, trusted product data, sales and service teams have to search other systems for a more complete understanding of product offerings, and many times provide incomplete or incorrect quotes to customers.

The Dilemma of P2

To illustrate this, imagine you’re a customer at the grocery store shopping for cereal. How much information would you ideally need to know before you buy? It might be more than you realize.

Buyers need rich, compelling product content to gain confidence in a purchase decision, especially for more complex B2B solutions. This encompasses technical specifications, performance benefits, images of how components work together, compliance certificates, and much more. Informed buyers place a higher value on differentiated solutions and engage with brands more actively over time. 

In Salesforce, Product2 provides a central spot for customer-facing teams to find this information. However, capturing all of these diverse details on every product presents a bigger challenge.

Product data originates in engineering, builds up as it traverses the supply chain, and eventually passes to marketing for enrichment. It is likely stored as partial truths across a vast range of siloed systems and spreadsheets. Piecing together accurate and updated information from so many sources into a single P2 object becomes an insurmountable obstacle. 

Despite Salesforce's adaptability and versatility to store a breadth of product attributes, P2 is ultimately only as strong as the systems that feed it. This limitation prompts users to seek additional information beyond the Salesforce platform to fully comprehend a product's details.

But, there’s a light on the horizon in the hunt for reliable product data.

Broadening the Scope of Your P2

As commercial teams seek out richer, more detailed product information, the necessity for a Salesforce-based solution—where all the data is stored in the same platform—that enhances the utility of P2, is extremely apparent.

The cause of the challenge isn’t down to limitations of Salesforce's attribute storage. It’s a matter of addressing the overarching need for a more integrated and comprehensive approach to product information management. 

Navigating product information within Salesforce, particularly with the product2 (P2) object, often raises complex questions about compliance, market restrictions, and sales channels—details crucial for businesses, especially those in regulated industries like medical devices. 

The core issue lies not just in identifying whether a product can be sold in a particular region or through specific sales channels but also in accessing comprehensive data about product compliance, audit history, and presence in various markets. This dilemma extends to digital assets, where there's a pressing need for readily available sell sheets, catalogs, and product images to support sales and marketing efforts effectively.

Addressing these multifaceted challenges, Salesforce-native solutions like Propel Software can configure P2 as a conduit for establishing a robust digital thread. Each new product or new instance is automatically connected to all the related custom objects that may be useful to someone in engineering, quality, sales, marketing, etc. Each new object is developed with these configurations out of the box.

Plus, Propel takes it a step further, by building a solution that encompasses and connects product lifecycle management (PLM), quality management (QMS), and product information management (PIM) all on a single platform

Effectively, the collaboration and collective effort of teams across the entire value chain contribute to a unified, detailed database of product information within Salesforce. This approach ensures that all pertinent product data, from compliance details to digital assets, is seamlessly integrated, accurate, and accessible to every possible user along the product lifecycle — from design to commercialization.

Moreover, Propel uses modern APIs to seamlessly integrate with systems such as CAD and ERP, eliminating the need for cumbersome hunts for product data and manual “swivel chair” data entry.

Propel’s enhanced P2 is therefore a uniquely comprehensive source of truth for product data that significantly mitigates the complexities associated with managing diverse product attributes and compliance requirements. 

Remember that confusing cereal aisle from before? Leveraging Propel’s P2 is similar to visiting the store and receiving all the information you could need to make a well-informed and speedy decision.

Extending P2 to a Commercial Asset

Propel's direct connection between PLM and PIM underlines the importance of such detailed product information not only for internal sales and service teams but also for external visibility. 

Whether it's ensuring the correct screw size is listed to prevent returns or enabling sales through Commerce Cloud, the enriched product data facilitated by Propel makes Salesforce a more powerful tool. 

It transforms P2 from a simple product repository into a comprehensive resource for marketing teams, supporting not just sales operations but also customer service, online transactions, and market compliance—essentially making it the cornerstone of Salesforce's customer engagement strategy.


In essence, Propel's contribution to the Salesforce environment transcends standard product information management by offering a strategic advantage. 

The single-platform solution enables businesses to build best-in-class management for their P2 object, ensuring that every piece of necessary information—from the most granular details of product specifications to overarching compliance and market presence—is just a click away, within a trusted and reliable framework.

Explore the new era of product data visibility. See it for yourself.

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Post by
Steve Toukmaji
Senior Product Manager, Propel

Steve Toukmaji is a Product Manager in innovative technology solutions. With a wealth of experience in translating business and technical requirements into viable client solutions, Steve has lead engagements on multiple projects delivering impactful solutions to many industries and throughout his career has achieved subject matter expertise across a wide variety of technologies.

Fun Fact: When not working or with his family, Steve enjoys caring for a wide array of orchid species that grow in his home.

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Steve Toukmaji