CPQ will change your organization’s business processes, so it’s critical that you have support from the top.
According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) “Pulse of the Profession” 2018 report, “Actively engaged executive sponsors help organizations bridge the communications gap between influencers and implementers to significantly increase collaboration and support, boost project success rates, and reduce risk.”
In fact, organizations with a higher percentage (more than 80%) of projects that had actively engaged executive sponsors reported 40% more successful projects. For the sixth year in a row, PMI’s research has shown that having actively engaged executive sponsors is the top driver of project success.
But how do you go about soliciting and receiving executive sponsorship for your CPQ project?
As we’ve discussed in recent posts, there are three steps you must complete before going to the C-Suite.
Before Going to the C-Suite
Before your meeting, make sure you’ve done the following:
1. Assess Your Current State
How does your company handle configuration, pricing, and quoting today? Doing your homework by developing a comprehensive analysis of the gaps in your current CPQ processes will show the executive team that a change needs to be made.
2. Gather Input from Stakeholders
Involving and gathering input from key stakeholders at the start of the project will make getting sponsorship and support from executive leadership easier down the line.
3. Build a Business Case
Building a strong business case will help convince senior management to prioritize your project ahead of lower ROI projects. Make sure it proves the ROI of CPQ across the entire enterprise; consider that one fraction of one percent can generate significant incremental revenue.
In the Meeting
Once it’s finally go-time, ensure all key stakeholders are present for your meeting with executive management.
Explain that a CPQ solution can simplify complexity while providing your sales team with the tools to easily create solutions that are configured, priced, and quoted correctly every time.
Last but not least, describe how this new CPQ solution aligns with company objectives and strategies.
Usually, projects aren’t approved by the C-Suite if they’re not highly aligned to the company’s strategic goals. In fact, in an earlier report, PMI found that 44% of strategic initiatives were unsuccessful, and, at 58%, this was mainly due to a lack of organization alignment.
Once executive buy-in is secured, your CPQ project is much more likely to succeed. That’s because having the commitment of the C-Suite and upper-level management will help you better prepare the organization as a whole for how incorporating your new solution will affect business operations. This includes preparing managers and sales teams on how processes will change, what they can expect, and what will be expected of them.
What’s more, according to PMI, effective executive project sponsors can use their influence to actively overcome challenges by:
- Removing roadblocks
- Communicating the project’s alignment to strategy
- Driving organizational change
- Providing consistent engagement and support
- Ensuring project momentum is steady, making success more likely
So get started getting that C-Suite on board already!