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What is Services CPQ?

Services CPQ or Services Configure, Price, Quote is a specialized software solution that helps companies streamline and automate the process of configuring, pricing, and quoting complex but productized (i.e., largely repetitive) service-based offerings. CPQ tools are widely used for configuring and pricing physical products like hardware, but with the rise of service-based business models, the need for CPQ solutions that cater to services has also emerged.


Services CPQ is not a project planning tool whereby a professional services company defines a project with all the resources needed to deliver the project, priced up based on hours multiplied by billing rates.

Why Services CPQ?

Why Services CPQ?

The primary purpose of Services CPQ is to simplify the sales process for service-based companies, enabling them to generate quotes and proposals quickly and accurately for customers for packaged services or repetitive similar projects. It helps sales representatives, and customers navigate various service options, features, and pricing components, ensuring that the final quote or proposal aligns with the specific needs and preferences of the customer.


For professional services companies with confidence and standardization of service offerings and broadly propose them on a fixed fee or outcome basis, Services CPQ helps to facilitate re-use and best practices in pricing packaged services offerings.

Benefits of Services CPQ

Benefits of Servics CPQ

Implementing Services, CPQ can bring several advantages and address various pain points in service-based businesses. Some reasons services-based companies consider implementing a Services CPQ solution or strategy include:

  1. Improved Sales Efficiency: Services CPQ streamlines the quoting and proposal process, reducing the time and effort required to create complex service quotes and pricing. This enables teams to respond to customer inquiries faster, increasing overall sales and operational efficiency.

  2. Accurate and Consistent Pricing: Manual quoting can lead to pricing errors and inconsistencies. Services CPQ ensures that all quotes and proposals are based on predefined rules and configurations, reducing pricing mistakes and providing consistent pricing across all quotes and proposals.

  3. Increased Sales Effectiveness: Services CPQ provides guided selling capabilities that help representatives present customers with the most relevant service options. This can lead to higher conversion rates and improved sales and operational effectiveness.

  4. Enhanced Customer Experience: Customers appreciate a transparent and interactive quoting and pricing process. Services CPQ allows them to quickly understand the available service options, make informed decisions, and receive professional, detailed quotes and pricing tailored to their needs.

  5. Optimize Revenue and Profitability: Properly priced quotes and proposals ensure that organizations capture the total value of their services. Services CPQ can help optimize pricing strategies, identify upselling opportunities, and prevent underpricing, ultimately increasing revenue and profit margins.

  6. Scalability and Adaptability: As a business grows and introduces new service offerings, Services CPQ can accommodate changes and updates. With a large enough volume of similar projects being delivered, companies can ensure that the quoting and pricing process remains accurate as a business expands.

  7. Streamlined Approval Processes: With predefined rules and pricing guidelines, the approval process for quotes becomes more efficient and streamlined. This leads to faster decision-making and reduces bottlenecks in the sales cycle.

  8. Data-Driven Insights: Services CPQ systems collect valuable data on quoting and pricing activities, customer preferences, and sales performance. These insights can be used to analyze trends, optimize offerings, and refine sales strategies.

  9. Competitive Advantage: Implementing Services CPQ can give organizations a competitive edge. By providing customers with a smoother and more personalized quoting and pricing experience, businesses differentiate themselves from competitors still using manual or less sophisticated quoting processes.

  10. Integration with Business Systems: Services CPQ can integrate with other systems like CRM and ERP, creating a seamless flow of information between sales, operations, and finance. This integration reduces data duplication and enhances overall business processes.

Pitfalls of Services CPQ

Pitfalls of Services CPQ

Implementing Services CPQ for one-off project work, where the priced lines represent different resource or labor categories, the quantities are the number of hours, and the price is calculated mainly on a T&M basis as the number of hours times the billing rate is "the worst of both worlds." The benefit of a fixed-price catalog with somewhat repetitive service offerings priced based on their value to the market needs to be recovered. Yet, at the same time, the flexibility of planning resources required to deliver a one-off project in a project management toolset with tasks, dependencies, milestones, labor categories, and materials is also lost. Services CPQ tools are designed for something other than one-off or 'engineer to order' custom project deliveries, and using this kind of tool for one-off projects over $1M in value will result in an unwieldy number of quotation resource line items in the quotation.

Features of Services CPQ Solutions

Features of Services CPQ Solutios

Properly implementing a Services CPQ solution will improve efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction by reducing manual errors and time to create tailored pricing and service quotes. Each solution on the market will offer various service options and customizable features, but the most common features include: 


  1. Configuration Options: Allows users to configure and select various service components, including features, durations, service levels, and other customizable elements.

  2. Pricing Rules and Calculations: Services CPQ considers complex pricing structures, discounts, promotions, and any relevant contractual agreements to calculate the final price accurately.

  3. Automated Quote Generation: Once the service options and pricing are selected, the CPQ solutions generate a professional and detailed quote for the customer.

  4. Integration Capabilities: Services CPQ can integrate with other systems such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to ensure seamless data flow throughout the sales process.

  5. Analytics and Reporting: The solution provides insights into sales performance, quote acceptance rates, and other key metrics to help companies optimize their service offerings and sales strategies.

What to Look For In a Services CPQ Solution?

What to Look for in a Services CPQ Solution?

When choosing a Services CPQ solution for your business, it's essential to consider various factors to ensure the system aligns with your unique needs and goals. By carefully evaluating specific elements, you can select a Services CPQ solution that aligns with your business needs, helps you streamline your quoting process, and ultimately drives sales growth and customer satisfaction. Here are some critical things to look for when evaluating a Services CPQ solution:

  1. Flexibility and Customizability: The solution should be flexible enough to handle various service offerings and configurations. It should allow for easy customization of service options, pricing rules, and quote templates to meet unique business requirements.

  2. Guided Selling Capabilities: A CPQ solution should provide guided selling features to assist teams in recommending the most suitable service options to customers based on their needs and preferences. This can improve the overall customer experience and increase sales effectiveness.

  3. Accuracy in Pricing and Rules Management: It is essential to ensure that the CPQ system can handle complex pricing structures, including discounts, promotions, and contractual agreements. It should accurately calculate the final price based on the selected service components.

  4. User-Friendly Interface: A user-friendly interface is crucial for teams to efficiently navigate the CPQ system and create quotes without extensive training. Intuitive navigation and transparent workflows will lead to faster adoption and productivity.

  5. Project Based Quotation Option: what if your business also sells one-off custom projects which require a project management tool with tasks, resources, and costs + markup to calculate the price? An excellent Services CPQ solution is a hybrid between a classic CPQ (list of configurable quotation lines) and a project management tool (tasks, dependencies, resources, hours/loads, and costs), seamlessly supporting both kinds of proposal.

  6. Integration Capabilities: The Services CPQ solution should seamlessly integrate with your existing business systems, such as CRM, ERP, and billing software. Integration ensures smooth data flow and avoids manual data entry and duplication.

  7. Scalability and Performance: Consider the scalability of the CPQ solution to accommodate your future growth and increasing volumes of quotes and customers. Additionally, it is essential to check for its performance in handling large datasets and generating quotes quickly.

  8. Reporting and Analytics: The system should offer comprehensive reporting and analytics tools that provide insights into quoting activities, sales performance, and customer preferences. This data-driven information can help you make informed business decisions and optimize your services.

  9. Approval Workflow: A CPQ solution should allow you to define and implement quote approval workflows. This ensures that quotes are reviewed and authorized before being sent to customers, maintaining consistency and compliance. Approvals can even be practical on mobile devices.

  10. Customer Experience and Quote Presentation: Consider how the CPQ solution presents customer quotes. Professional and visually appealing quotes can make a positive impression on customers and improve the chances of quote acceptance.

How Does Services CPQ Work?

How Does Services CPQ Work?

Services CPQ solutions work by automating and streamlining the process of configuring complex service offerings, determining accurate pricing, and generating professional customer quotes. Here's a step-by-step overview of how Services CPQ typically works:


The process starts with the configuration stage, where representatives or customers select various service components and options to build a customized service package. These components may include service features, durations, service levels, add-ons, and other customizable elements. Then the Services CPQ solution enforces predefined rules and constraints during the configuration process. These rules can include dependencies between service options, restrictions on specific combinations, and limits on available selections. After configuring the service package, the CPQ solution applies pricing rules and calculations to determine the final price. This includes considering discounts, promotions, volume-based pricing, or contractual agreements that may apply to the selected services. Services CPQ solutions often offer real-time pricing, ensuring the quotes are based on the most up-to-date information and pricing data.


Once the configuration and pricing are complete, the solution generates a detailed and professional quote. The quote includes a breakdown of the selected service components, pricing details, terms and conditions, and other relevant information. 

From there, the quote will go through an approval process before being sent to the customer. Services CPQ solutions allow for defining approval workflows to ensure proper review and authorization. After the approval process is finalized, the generated quote will be presented to the customer. If the customer requests changes or amendments to the quote, the team can use the CPQ system to adjust and generate revised quotes quickly. Finally, Services CPQ solutions provide reporting and analytics capabilities that offer insights into quoting activities, sales performance, and customer preferences. These insights help businesses optimize their service offerings and sales strategies.

Services CPQ Challenges

Services CPQ Challenges

While Services CPQ solutions can provide numerous benefits to service-based businesses, there are also some challenges that organizations may encounter when implementing and using a Services CPQ solution. These challenges include:

  1. The complexity of Service Offerings: Services can be highly customizable and complex, making creating standardized configurations and pricing rules challenging. Configuring and managing various service options within the CPQ system can be time-consuming and require careful planning. This is why one-off work, or even initial contracts or deliveries of a new project or project variant, needs a project management mentality and approach instead of a CPQ mentality.

  2. Integration with Existing Systems: Integrating Services CPQ with existing CRM, ERP, and other business systems may present technical challenges. Ensuring seamless data flow and avoiding duplication can be complex, especially if the systems have different data structures.

  3. Data Accuracy and Governance: Data accuracy within the CPQ solution is crucial for generating accurate quotes. Only accurate or updated product and pricing data can lead to accurate quotes and positively impact customer trust.

  4. Training and Adoption: Training representatives and other users on effectively using the CPQ system can be a significant challenge. Some team members might resist change, leading to slower adoption and reduced productivity.

  5. Pricing Complexity: Services CPQ must handle complex pricing models, discounts, promotions, service-level agreements, and configurable pricing rules, which depend on characteristics of what is being sold, for example, "several client sites" or "domestic vs. international." Configuring these pricing rules and ensuring they align with the company's pricing and staffing strategies can be challenging.

  6. Maintenance and Updates: As the business evolves and introduces new services or changes existing offerings, maintaining and updating the CPQ system can be a continuous effort. Ensuring that the system remains up-to-date and accurate requires ongoing attention.

  7. Continuous Support and Upgrades: Ongoing support and upgrades are critical for the system's continued success after the initial implementation. Ensuring timely support and access to new features and enhancements can be challenging for specific vendors.


Despite these challenges, organizations can overcome them through proper planning, selecting the right Services CPQ solution, involving key stakeholders, and providing user training and support. By addressing these challenges, organizations can fully leverage the benefits of Services CPQ and streamline their service pricing and quoting processes effectively.

In conclusion, implementing Services CPQ can bring significant benefits to a service-based business, including improved sales efficiency, enhanced customer experience, optimized revenue, and increased competitiveness. Organizations can focus more on delivering exceptional customer service and growing their business effectively by automating and streamlining the pricing and quoting process.

Twenty5's Intelligent Project Pricing & Estimating 

Twenty's Intelligent Pricng & Estimating

With Twenty5's Intelligent Project Pricing & Estimating (iPE) solution, we help professional services organizations drive a price-to-win and design-to-cost mentality that gives the added confidence to quote and price proposals to win profitable business. Our solution combines the best CPQ with a project management approach for one-off work, allowing the pricer to seamlessly jump between packaged offerings with a reasonably consistent make-up and pricing to customized one-off projects built up from tasks, milestones, resources, and material costs. Our solution combines this hybrid approach with end-to-end integration to SAP, PLM, Primavera, Salesforce, Excel, and other apps used for costing, pricing, and quoting - backed by the power of SAP HANA's® predictive analytics, addressing proposal cost estimating and bidding processes with a modern, intuitive, responsive web application. 

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