When it comes to writing proposals and making sales pitches, it can be difficult to get anything done. Sales reps spend far too much time building proposals and making non-productive decisions, even though the ability to consistently make efficient decisions is at the heart of productivity for businesses.
Furthermore, sales reps spend too much time building proposals that could easily be automated with an e-catalogue and quoting rules. Their processes slow down significantly, and those useless decisions can put a barrier in the way of your goals. This is a serious scenario all businesses should consider.
Slow, Unhelpful Decisions Take Away Momentum
Many decisions made in business are slow or unhelpful. An unproductive decision is defined as “one that beats around the bush or performs an unnecessary action in indirect pursuit of an essential action”. Oftentimes, non-productive decisions are those that put off making a real decision until later. Nothing slows down the process more than this.
Of course, there is no single decision-making process that’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, which means businesses make mistakes too. But some errors are more costly and detrimental to a business structure than others. Dragging out the decision-making process is one of those mistakes.
Seconds count in the decision making and proposal process. As we pointed out in a previous blog post, time is the toughest cost to handle. “When your proposal is the first in the queue, this ensures the potential client will read it with fresh eyes and an open mind,” the post says. “They’re more likely to see your proposal for its strengths, and it will become the standard against which all other proposals are compared. Weaknesses are more difficult to see when there are no other proposals to which one may compare.”
When the proposal or an important decision comes in late, it has the opposite effect, and could even be detrimental enough to lose the bid.
Required action very rarely waits for slow decisions. Many times, you must observe, orient, decide, and act within a matter of minutes. Waiting too long will often result in missed opportunities, which can cost your bottom line and hurt productivity.
Sales processes also run on momentum and the motivation of the sales team. When things are going well, the team brings things together and keep them moving. Lost time throws a wrench into the system.
Making Better Decisions
It’s critical to your processes and structure to make better, more productive decisions at work in order to streamline your business practices. In business, the fastest company in the market will win every time. The company that markets a product more quickly than its competition, makes the quickest proposals, and brings in the best products first, will often see the most success from their efforts.
“I believe that speed, like exercise and eating healthy, can be habitual,” says Dave Girouard, CEO of personal finance startup Upstart and former president of Google Enterprise Apps.
He goes on to say, “Through a prolonged, proactive effort to develop these good habits, we can convert ourselves as founders, executives and employees to be faster, more efficient company-building machines. And, when enough members of a team exhibit this set of habits, and are rewarded with reinforcement, compensation, and promotions, the organization itself will gain velocity.”
Momentum can be obtained again through making speedy, informed decisions that do real work within the company. Some suggestions for making better, more efficient decisions include:
Make a timeline. Deciding when you’ll make the final decision from the very start can have a profound impact on making more efficient decisions. A timeline for a certain procedure or goal to be completed can also be useful in spurring on productive processes.
Stop for an appropriate amount of time. For the most important decisions, you’ll often have to take some time to make a good decision. Whether this timeframe is minutes or days is dependent on the significance of the decision. Take this time to gather some intelligence and get a handle on the issue. Ponder the effects of whatever decision you might make and how it will affect your company. That way, you’re informed enough to make a good choice.
Get a little uncomfortable. This isn’t to say that you should do something that goes against your morals or that will haunt you at night, but you should feel a little stretched. Stretching with your decisions is what allows your company to grow.
Be a leader. “You need leadership to feel and infuse every discussion with urgency,” says Girouard. Though executives want to include the team in important choices, sometimes they have to simply take charge. You’ll find that people are more willing to support decisions when there’s a clear leader in play.
Automation Invigorates the Business
Nothing is faster in today’s technological universe than automation. When it comes to making quick decisions that actually benefit the company, Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software is the solution. With this tool, creating proposals is simple and speedy. It enables you to develop long lists of comparisons with accurate, real-time numbers. It takes all the guesswork out of decision making and can shave days off the proposal-writing process.
The CPQ software offered by iQuoteXpress is perfectly suited for any business. It can be customized according to your pricing and business needs. By automating and improving your quoting processes with our software, you can reduce proposal development time by 50 – 75 percent. It’s extremely easy to use without missing any of the features of a more complicated system.
We know the importance of having your proposal reflect your brand values. We offer tailored proposal templates so you can have a consistent look for each proposal you send. This means the proposal process becomes easier, and you’ll be able to respond to requests more quickly. It’s much simpler to make decisions when you already have the template laid out for you.
We’ll also build your very own custom, branded dashboard for your quoting software where you can load your entire catalog of products, services, pricing, and schedules. Additionally, there’s a place for details about your customers and their accounts. There are also analytics and back-end tracking tools that give your sales team clear oversight. This makes decision making processes for your team much more resourceful.
Ultimately, we believe that the automation process that comes with iQuoteXpress’s CPQ software should serve you to its maximum capability. It should be easy to use, widely accessible, and meet your needs exactly. Our software will do all of that with minimal disruption and the ability to save you both time and money.
We’re confident that when your business tries our CPQ software, you’ll be hooked. That’s why we’re offering a free, no-obligation online demo for your business to try. For more information about this promotion and what our product can do for you, contact us today!