CPQ Implementation: How to Create the Perfect Project Team

Implementing Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software at your manufacturing organization isn't just about technology; it's a business development strategy that requires assembling the right team. In this detailed blog, we'll explore how to create and support the perfect project team for implementing and managing CPQ software.

We’ve invited our customer Cibes Lift Group, a leading manufacturer of elevators and lifts, to share some pro tips about how they built their ideal project team. Elfsquad's Proven Process for implementation, combined with Cibes’s teamwork, led to a successful setup of CPQ across their worldwide organization.



Building a Successful Project Team for Your CPQ Process

Implementing CPQ isn't a solo mission—it's a collaborative effort that requires different team members, each with their own specific role; they all work together to achieve a shared goal. Their combined knowledge and skills ensure that every aspect of the CPQ implementation process is covered, from technical setup to user training. Without a dedicated team, you'll find yourself confronting challenges at every turn and struggling to keep up with the demands of CPQ implementation and maintenance.

No matter the size of your organization, building the right CPQ team is essential. In larger enterprises, these will probably be four or more individual roles. Cibes, for example, consists of 1600+ employees across 70+ countries; which means they have the ability to delegate specific roles for such a project.

However, it’s important to note that the majority of these titles can be taken on by one individual, sometimes even while they have other roles or responsibilities outside of the project. Some existing positions that could join your project team are: Sales Engineers,  Sales Knowledge Managers, or ERP System Administrators, to name a few. We must emphasize the importance of having at least one person responsible for the CPQ system within your organization. Without this in place, your implementation is at very high risk of failure, and maintenance will become a nightmare.

MicrosoftTeams-image (21)

Here are the roles you’ll need:

1) Project Leader

The Project Leader is responsible for overseeing the entire CPQ implementation journey. They serve as the driving force behind the project, making sure that it stays on track and delivers on its objectives. This role requires strong leadership and organizational skills to navigate the complexities of CPQ implementation. They should already be knowledgeable on relevant organizational processes and capable of abstract thinking for project requirements. This role is part time and can be a current member of your organization or an external hire.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Project Oversight: The Project Leader manages day-to-day activities, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within budget. They oversee the project's scope, schedule, and resources to maintain alignment with organizational goals.

  • Stakeholder Coordination: Communication is essential in CPQ implementation. The Project Leader facilitates collaboration among stakeholders from various departments, so that everyone is working towards a common goal.

  • Alignment and Focus: With multiple moving parts, the Project Leader keeps the team aligned and focused on the project's objectives. They tackle risks and challenges to maintain momentum and ensure successful outcomes.

*Pro tip from Cibes: We hired an external project leader to implement Elfsquad because our original project leader left the company; he saw the project through. We also brought on Arvid Blomberg, who eventually took over as CPQ System Owner after launch, which was a very effective decision. Arvid’s tech skills helped guide the implementation through launch, and he gained vital knowledge along the way for long-term upkeep of the platform. He is now our sales and marketing systems domain owner and still actively involved in the maintenance of Elfsquad. 

2) Implementer

The Implementer is the practical role that brings your CPQ vision to life. They’re the technical expert who translates the organization's requirements into actionable steps for CPQ implementation. They are hands-on in configuring the software, troubleshooting technical issues, and ensuring a smooth transition to the new system. Therefore, it’s important that the person in this role is a creative problem solver. This role can be a current member of your organization or an external hire.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Technical Execution: The Implementer brings the CPQ vision to life by configuring the software according to organizational needs. They troubleshoot technical issues and optimize the system for peak performance, as well as handle integrations between CPQ and existing applications.

  • Problem-Solving: Before launching, the Implementer conducts comprehensive testing to validate system functionality and identify areas for improvement. When challenges arise, the Implementer finds practical solutions. They use their technical expertise to address complexities for a smooth implementation process.

  • Continuous Improvement: CPQ implementation is an iterative process. The Implementer provides continuous support and maintenance, quickly addressing technical issues.identifies areas for improvement and refines the solution to enhance functionality and efficiency.

*Pro tip from Cibes: This role seems like it would become obsolete as soon as you’ve launched the platform, but that’s not the case. This role is still needed to maintain the system, and is usually transferred to tile of CPQ System Owner. Adding new features and functionality should be handled by the Implementer (or the System Owner) to optimize the process as it progresses.

3) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Every successful CPQ implementation relies on the knowledge and experience of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These individuals should be masters of their respective fields. They provide priceless insights and guidance so that the CPQ solution meets the unique needs of the organization.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Domain Expertise: SMEs offer in-depth knowledge in areas like pricing strategies, product configurations, or integration requirements. They contribute valuable insights to optimize the CPQ solution for that particular business.

  • Decision Support: With their expertise, SMEs make critical decisions throughout the implementation process. They ensure that the CPQ solution meets business goals and aligns with organizational strategies.

  • Continuous Learning: SMEs stay on top of industry trends and developments to drive innovation. They adapt to evolving technologies and best practices to maintain a competitive edge.

*Pro tip from Cibes: Instead of one Subject Matter Expert, we employed two inhouse-employee Specialists instead. These roles consisted of a Configuration Specialist who was knowledgeable about working with our ERP system, and a Customer Service Specialist who knew all the ins and outs of our products.

4) CPQ Vendor Support

CPQ Vendor Support is the only member of your project team that isn’t actually an employee at your organization. However, it’s one of the most important roles. The CPQ Vendor Support department is your lifeline during implementation and thereafter. They provide assistance so that your team can make the most out of the CPQ solution. Support should be easy to reach and quick to respond. Traditional CPQ Vendor Support will always come with long wait times for technical issues, as well as for answers to every day questions. Further, Custom CPQ Vendors don't have the benefit of a repeated Proven Process for implementation the way a SaaS Vendor does, which provides you with expert insights for success. This guidance is essential for a stress-free and successful implementation process, as well as CPQ maintenance in the long term.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Troubleshooting: They troubleshoot issues and quickly provide solutions to ensure a successful implementation.

  • User Training: The Vendor Support Team offers comprehensive training to empower users and maximize the use of CPQ.

  • Collective Insights: They provide valuable guidance as a result of firsthand experiences of numerous successful implementations, as well as an active community hub for knowledge sharing.

  • Continuous Support: Beyond implementation, they provide ongoing support to address any issues or questions that arise during your long-term relationship.

*Pro tip from Cibes: Look for a CPQ Vendor that offers a Proven Process for implementation, based on real-life successful experiences. In particular, a Proof of Value (as part of the Proven Process) conducted by Elfsquad made sure that we were the right match before we had gone too far or spent too much money. We were looking for a long-term strategic partnership when we chose Elfsquad. We feel comforted by the quarterly check-ins conducted by the Support team, but, more importantly, we can reach out to Elfsquad at any time, and they are always super eager to find a resolution as fast as possible. For us at Cibes, there’s no question that this personal touch has positively impacted our entire CPQ project process.




After CPQ Implementation: The System Owner

Once the software is implemented, your journey doesn’t end there—it's just the beginning of an ongoing CPQ process flow, if you want to get the most out of the solution.

*Pro tip from Cibes: We really emphasize the importance of assigning a CPQ System Owner if you intend to develop your platform beyond implementation. The System Owner doesn’t necessarily have to be the Implementer or project leader, however, they should definitely have been part of the project team.

Here's what happens next:

  • Maintenance: The software needs regular upkeep to ensure it runs smoothly. The System Owner, who played a key role during setup, now focuses on maintaining the system. They handle updates and make sure everything continues to work well.

  • Adding New Features: As your business evolves, so will your needs. The System Owner also takes care of integrating new features into the CPQ system to make sure it adapts to your changing requirements.

  • Optimization: Continuous improvement is vital. The System Owner identifies ways to make the system more efficient and effective and makes adjustments for it to better serve your organization.

  • Integration Management: The System Owner handles how the CPQ system interacts with other software in your organization. They ensure consistent data flow and system compatibility and handle any technical issues that arise.

  • Ongoing Training: To keep the team proficient, ongoing training is essential. This helps everyone stay updated on new features and best practices so that the CPQ system is used to its full potential.

  • Continuous Support: The CPQ Vendor provides ongoing support. They help troubleshoot any problems and offer guidance to maximize the system’s benefits. This support is key to addressing issues quickly and maintaining a successful implementation.


In conclusion, assembling the right project team is essential for the successful implementation and ongoing management of CPQ software. Each team member plays a crucial role, from the Project Leader overseeing the entire journey to the Implementer bringing the vision to life, and the Subject Matter Experts offering invaluable insights. With the Support of the CPQ Vendor, continuous training, and a designated System Owner, organizations can ensure that their CPQ solution evolves to meet their changing needs and continues to deliver optimal results over time.


Along with a project team, we discussed other potential risks for implementing CPQ with our partner Walpole. Watch our webinar to learn more.
Request Webinar