3 areas you didn’t realize are impacted by CRM and proposal software


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Using the right programs in a way that gets the most out of your sales force can be a crucial factor in consistent growth, and at the same time can alleviate common struggles with prospects, customers, and your own employees. Staying on the best path calls for a sales and proposal process that is based on simple, scalable technology and promotes collaboration across sales, marketing, and legal teams.

CRM is a common starting point, but it cannot stand alone—it needs other applications to unlock its full value. Proposal and quoting software is one example: when married with CRM, the two combine to serve as a hub of information that drives faster, more accurate proposals. Conversations are logged and notes are readily available, helping sales teams and relationship managers operate with a full understanding of what was promised, what pricing strategy was laid out, and what kind of interest was shown in which products. Proposals, meanwhile, are crafted based on a historical record that details exactly what prospects are expecting and what customers are experiencing.

With these elements in place, companies can more confidently address three factors you probably never tied to sales and proposals:

1. Curbing revenue loss

Sales teams are not just deal-closers, they’re part of the bigger picture. They should be thinking about preventing revenue loss through client retention and long term relationship building—and when proposals and quotes are drafted incorrectly, they can lead to refunds, disputes, or missed opportunities.

Proposal software and CRM take the guesswork out of proposal drafting, allowing salespeople to quickly and confidently create documents that address the real issues that customers are facing. Pre-approved content can be stored centrally and used to auto-populate proposals, reducing content errors.

Internally, an automated and well-oiled process that incorporates content, design, and customer needs not only reduces human error, it also speeds up turnaround time—a critical piece of closing business. Inc. magazine noted that according to a 2012 AskForensics survey, “the most common comments [among respondents] related to promptness, responsiveness and meeting time commitments. If you are late or slow in the selling process, customers expect you will be worse when you get the contract.”

Finally, a CRM and proposal software system enables teams to engage the full life-cycle of a deal, from prospect to close to relationship-sustainability. Companies hold onto customers longer when they have a better understanding of what was sold, what needs have arisen, and how to quickly address them through tailored proposals as the relationship expands.

2. Retaining top sales talent

Creating a culture that attracts and retains the best of the best is one of the hardest achievements in business, and salespeople are often lured away by high commissions or more senior roles with competitors.

Compensation packages and equity are the first lines of defense for keeping good talent, but giving them the tools to succeed makes a tremendous difference in their day-to-day lives.
They want to be able to relay information about prospects, have proposals updated to reflect new circumstances, and have easy access to contact information.

When turnover does occur, CRM and centralized proposal software can simplify the on-boarding process for incoming employees. The rich history of every lead is easily accessible, making for a smooth transition that keeps relationships intact. Replacements can avoid awkward—and risky—visits to customer sites to “re-learn” that history and determine where the selling points are.

3. Limiting liability from contract breaches

One of the most perilous areas of business—and perhaps the least addressed area for small- to mid-sized companies—is creating consistent, accurate customer agreements. “Any contract is a good contract” is a common mindset, but the truth is that hazy contract terms can sour relationships and contribute to lost business.

A CRM and proposal process that minimizes errors and creates an easily traceable record limits that exposure. When proposals are drafted using old content, or terms for the relationship are relayed incorrectly between teams, any range of errors can find their way into the final contract. If a relationship sours, those mistakes will come back to haunt the company.

When CRM and proposal software are working together, teams are accessing the same information straight from the source. This serves as a crucial mechanism for feeding accurate language, customer details, and relationship terms into an agreement.

Proposal software and CRM have come a long way, and they create a powerful combination for successful companies. CRM helps team members organize and communicate with one another, while proposals can be generated quickly with content that reflects a deep understanding of the relationship in play.

As these tools evolve, they should no longer be thought of exclusively in terms of sales. When customized to fit the needs of a business, they can be sophisticated cross-functional tools that support teams for the full life-cycle of a deal—from prospect to close to relationship sustainability. To maximize the potential of your sales force and minimize lost opportunities, look to a combination of CRM and proposal software that can be optimized for your organization.

Amit DavÉ
Amit DavÉ is the president of salesElement, a leader in online proposal and quoting software. For over 15 years Amit has worked with companies from startups to publically traded organizations to improve sales and marketing technology to help drive more revenue.


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