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Brad Furie, iQuoteXpress

Improve RFP follow-up (and wrap-up more business)

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Sales is a tricky business. Sometimes, you have a hot prospect who closes in a day, and other times, well, that person who downloaded your brochure, or who seemed good to go at a trade show, or attended a webcast, or put out an RFP you replied to… they just went nowhere.

Some of the time, it’s got nothing to do with you: maybe they just needed a second sales proposal to compare with their first choice, maybe their leadership had a weekend fishing trip with your competition’s leadership, maybe their building and all the business systems therein burned to the ground (figuratively… or maybe literally).

HOWEVER: most of the time, it has EVERYTHING to do with you and how you’re following up on your downloads, webinars, and especially your sales quotes.

Here are a couple of easy fixes to improve both the cadence and consistency of following up on sales proposals that can help win more business.

Truly targeted RFP replies

If you’re using a “one-size-fits-all, copy/paste” approach to sending RFP responses out of Dynamics, stop right now. Because if you’re not customizing and targeting every proposal you send, you’re missing every opportunity.

In addition to vertically targeted and easily customizable RFP response templates, ensure you have vertically targeted and easily customizable product and pricing configurations.

If you’re using a spreadsheet to store that product and pricing info, good luck. But if you’ve extended your CRM platform with a configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution to automate your sales proposal process, you’ll be delivering RFP responses that are both timely and targeted, and that contain product and pricing configurations that are both proven winners for you and meet your prospect’s needs as well. And it’s as easy as point and click!

Consistent follow-up, consistent processes

Your Dynamics CRM is designed to be consistent across the board. And you can create and deliver consistent RFP reply templates that can accessed right from within your CRM. But you know what’s not consistent and never will be? People.

However, when you extend your Dynamics solution with a sales proposal automation solution, every rep on your team has the same tool box and can (ok, “should be able to”) build, send, and track quotes with the same consistency.

Note that adding CPQ to Dynamics does not mean immediate consistency in and of itself — it will still be up to a sales manager to use the quote tracking tools in their CPQ system to ensure each rep is working at the same pace.

This increased visibility into the most critical step on your sales process can help a manager immediately see which reps are moving along in lockstep in supporting business goals, and which reps might be marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Because in every customer communication — especially RFP responses — consistency is critical in building customer confidence. And with sales proposal automation solution as part of both your Dynamics CRM and overall sales process, consistency can be built-in.

 

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