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Brad Furie, iQuoteXpress

Sales proposals: CRM’s blind spot?

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Name something your CRM system does well: stores contacts (yes); details customer relationships and interactions (Yes!); reports on leads, opportunities, and sales (YES!!); creates, sends, and tracks sales proposals (ummm... sorta).

We don't know exactly why configure price quote solutions (a.k.a., CPQ, quote-to-cash, or sales proposal automation solutions) aren't standard in most CRMs (including our beloved Dynamics), but we know why they should be:

  • Cleaner, more professional quotes delivered more quickly
  • Optimized product and pricing configurations, centrally administered
  • Micro-reporting on every critical step between when a quote is sent and when it's signed

Sales proposals: go ahead, be pushy

The best thing to do when you're trying to win new business is pace yourself. Don't worry about being the first quote in the prospect's hands. Take your time. If the fit is right for your offer and the customer, it will happen.

WRONG. In fact, that couldn't be "wronger." If we may quote the great, fake father figure, Reese Bobby, "If you ain't first, you're last."

Your sales proposal should not only get there quickly, but it should look like it didn't: it should look like you took days/weeks/months analyzing and understanding your prospect's vertical market and specific needs. And if you have the proper templates ready to roll in your CPQ system, you'll always have a professional proposal close at hand, one that's easy to customize in minutes instead of months.

And by "be pushy," we mean make the most of the time you save sending one proposal by sending more. Our clients have told us that one of the reasons they win more business is that they can simply go after more business, pushing more proposals into more hands more quickly.

I can CPQ clearly now, the rain is gone...

Forgive the musical pun, but in the Dynamics world, CPQ really is all about removing most CRM systems' blind spot, which is during the closing process.

And it's ironic: many businesses track the most crucial part of the sales process the least:

"Did you send that quote?"

Yep.

"Did they sign it?"

Yep/nope.

"Ok, then."

But with an automated sales proposal solution seamlessly integrated into your Dynamics CRM system, not only will you have increased visibility of your sales quotes--you'll have, let's call it, increased "actionibility."

The key word is "automated." Just like you can automate tasks in your CRM for so many parts of the customer journey, you can automate many of the steps in your closing process: replies, e-signatures, and more.

So fix that blind spot in your business processes and platforms, and add CPQ to CRM. If you're looking for help adding the power of automated sales proposals in Dynamics, we know someone who can help.

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