So here’s an old-school Question: How many salespeople does it take to make a proposal?
Answer: Just one—until another one jumps in and says, “Wait! There’s more!”
All jokes aside, we know how something as simple as a quick quote can balloon into a seriously complicated and stressful ordeal. Let’s say one of your sales team is about to close a big deal with a new customer. Just as they are preparing to deliver the quote, the customer requests a change—they want a revision to add a different product to the quote, or a change of service. Now there’s a scramble because there’s a good chance that your salesperson is lacking all of the information needed to make the revision. (And of course it’s a competitive situation with 12 hour deadline)
So not only will your salesperson have to compose the revised quote, but there’s a delay because new product specs and approval are required from a sales engineer and/or manager who’s traveling with another client and not readily available. Sound all too familiar?
When a frustrating situation like this happens, sales efficiency and productivity suffer. The customer waits, and the risk of delivering wrong information or losing the business increases.
Certainly it’s not unusual that several necessary revisions arise - not just with client negotiations - but also during the process of creating an accurate professional proposal, especially when multiple salespeople are required to collaborate on the project. As work progresses on a proposal, a new promotion might be offered, volume pricing or special discounts reconsidered. Additions, deletions, options, terms and conditions, all must at each step be manually double-checked. Suddenly, your “quick quote” has become a complex proposal with five different amendments. Plus, the constant edits and manual changes all increase the chance of making a costly error in your quote, which can quickly sour a potential deal or lose margin.
Many companies fail to realize how much they spend in time and resources preparing quotes and sales proposals in the “cut & paste” tradition of combining pricing from an Excel spreadsheet into a Word document. Your team deserves something better.
They need software that combines:
Your leads, accounts, and contacts
Your products, services, and pricing
Your resource documents, proposal templates
Your complete proposal database
Plus you need transparency among users to be able to track, quote, and close.
Yes, there is software designed to do this available now. QRM services can link up a database of products and sales tools with a basic CRM solution. Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) technology is integrated right into this platform. Multiple revisions of proposals are securely stored and never lost. Every sales proposal or quote generated is accurate and up-to-date. The convenient cloud-based model ensures the process remains transparent among sales teams as they communicate with each other and the customer quickly and effectively.
These are just a few of the many ways that QRM technology can improve your business and its sales operations. Writing sales proposals takes the very cloud technology out there, as well as a modular, customizable solution that can suit your team’s specific needs. Learn more about how iQuoteXpress can do just that.