TLDR: Are manual CPQ processes eating up your time? Learn how to discuss the benefits and tradeoffs of CPQ solutions with your leadership team.

What is CPQ? Configure, price, quote (CPQ) solutions allow Sales teams to automate the production of quotes and contracts.

The problem with current CPQ processes: Manually creating quotes results in time spent correcting mistakes, bloated approval processes, and delayed starts to projects that can leave negative impressions on customers.

How CPQ solutions help: CPQ solutions can improve the speed, accuracy, and scalability of quote and contract creation. Before adding another tool to your stack, you’ll want to establish whether or not the investment makes sense.

What’s in this article for you? In this Tough Talks Made Easy, we’ll help you have a purposeful discussion with your CRO and COO about CPQ solutions. You’ll learn how to:

➡️ Position the benefits

➡️ Voice important strategic and logistical considerations

➡️ Impact ROI

➡️ Get the support you need to evaluate and implement a potential new solution


CPQ ins and outs

Your C-level execs want to know how investing in a CPQ solution will contribute towards the organization’s goals and needs.

Start by identifying where your CPQ processes are straining and what your leaders want to achieve. Then frame your arguments around the impact a CPQ solution can create to meet their priorities.

👉 Productivity: How many hours per week do your Salespeople spend on quotes? Automation can free up this time and allow Sales to focus on higher-impact initiatives. Do your teams struggle to produce contracts in a timely manner or end up spending way too much time on the approval process? You can issue contracts and get them over to QA, Legal and your customers quicker, and begin working with customers sooner.

👉 Accuracy: Do errors or ambiguities cause approval delays and extend contract execution time? CPQ solutions can ensure consistent pricing and service terms, including standardization and controls for customizations such as discounts and tiers.

👉 Scalability: Does leadership aim to grow the RevOps, Sales or Retention teams? The more people involved, the more complicated pricing and approvals can become. CPQ software enables efficiencies for scaling teams by reducing error-prone manual processes. CPQ solutions offer multi-currency support, which is beneficial for organizations working internationally.


CPQ solutions can help refine pricing models.


👉 Insights: Tracking recurring revenue streams and establishing a trailing twelve months can highlight key insights to help make intelligent pricing decisions and better understand your client base. Dynamic pricing capabilities can also suggest effective price points for your services based on customer behavior and market conditions to enable better forecasting.

👉 CX: Automating renewals reduces friction during the contracting process. By streamlining work with your organization, CPQs can help improve customer relationships and have a downstream effect on churn reduction.

Your bottom line: How might the above factors translate into costs saved, revenue gained, and losses avoided?


Make your case for CPQ

These are all salient points to get your CRO and COO interested in a CPQ platform, but as with any tool adoption, there are trade-offs and planning elements to assess. Before you approach leadership, think through and prepare to discuss the following factors:

Appeal to your customer journey: At what points in the customer journey can you integrate a CPQ solution to close contracts more effectively, boost customer satisfaction, and improve retention? How will using this tool achieve the aims of your organizational strategy?

Immediate and future needs: What does leadership want a CPQ solution to address in the short- and long-term? For the investment to pay off, people need to know that using the tool will make their lives easier. Does the tool have the potential to continue meeting your organization’s evolving needs?

Alignment with existing tools and processes: Any CPQ tool should fit smoothly with your tech stack and business processes—if it doesn’t, teams may resist adopting the tool. CPQ processes often impact teams in charge of renewals in addition to Finance, Legal and Procurement. Getting the perspectives of key stakeholders can help you to identify whether a new piece of tech can complement your current finance, payment, and audit processes and align with the needs of your business.

Highly integrated vs. siloed products: What is the projected future state of your tech stack? You might opt for a CPQ solution that seamlessly integrates with a core piece of technology (e.g. your CRM), but what happens if you remove or change that piece? Alternatively, the autonomy of a siloed product may be more suitable than the high performance offered by a solution that integrates more deeply with your tech stack.

Power vs. lift: A more sophisticated solution will likely have a heavier lift, demanding more time and expertise to implement and manage, but will result in a more comprehensive solution. Consider who will be in charge of setting up and managing the solution? You may need to recruit a contractor or bring on a new hire to get the job done. Consider if your needs justify the cost of a more powerful, intensive tool over a lighter solution that is easier to implement.


“Leadership can help people
see CPQ as an investment.”

Raising these points will help your leaders gain a clearer sense of the total cost of implementing a CPQ solution and whether the ROI justifies the lift.

If your CRO and COO want you to explore this further, there are various ways they can offer guidance to support the process of evaluation and implementation:

💰 Parameters: What does the minimum viable solution look like—the capabilities and traits that have to be present to support your goals and needs? What is the maximum budget your leadership is willing to allocate—will this cover the purchase price and any hiring and training needs?

🎯 Choice factors: Based on C-Suite’s top-level goals (e.g. increase revenue by 10%), what performance factors make sense to prioritize? For example, can you best achieve these with a solution that’s optimal for speeding up quote creation, freeing people from admin, or deepening analytics?

🌱 Roadmap for growth: Where does a CPQ solution fit within the planned growth of teams within the organization? Will a new CPQ tool impact the requirements of the personnel within your team?

📈 Impact measurement: Which analytics and reporting points are crucial for understanding how the solution meets your organization’s KPIs, such as enabling growth, saving time, and cutting costs?

🧭 Alignment and direction: Your CRO and COO can be huge allies with this endeavor, using their pull to capture thoughts and encourage buy-in from people and teams involved and impacted. Crucially, this involves managing expectations since, for the first few months, the benefits of using the solution may not yet be apparent.

As you establish a baseline, leadership can help people see the tool as an investment that reveals its value over time and showing how riding out the bumps of implementation and onboarding is worthwhile. This understanding is key to internal adoption, which is how you fully realize the long-term benefits.

As you begin using the tool, leaders can stress its long-term value as an investment and inspire employees with their vision during difficult stages of implementation and onboarding. Leadership’s enthusiasm plays a vital role in achieving internal adoption, which is necessary to gain long-term benefits.


The bottom line

As you explore the pricing and specs of options on the market, you might find a piece of tech that responds perfectly to your needs, or you might decide that adopting a new tool isn’t the right move.

In any case, voicing the opportunities and realities of taking on a CPQ solution will help leaders make a decision that best meets the needs of the business.

Get in touch for more strategic Sales Ops guidance.