Energy-efficient routing in wireless sensor networks has attracted attention from researchers in both academia and industry, most recently motivated by the opportunity to use software-defined network-inspired approaches. These problems are NP-hard, with algorithms needing computation time that scales faster than polynomials in the problem size. Consequently, heuristic algorithms are used in practice, which are unable to guarantee optimally. In this article, we show proof-of-principle for the use of a quantum annealing processor instead of a classical processor, to find optimal or nearly optimal solutions very quickly. Our preliminary results for small networks show that this approach using quantum computing has great promise and may open the door for other significant improvements in the efficacy of network algorithms.