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Brad Furie, iQuoteXpress

Write on! Tips to improve RFP responses in Dynamics

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If you're sending sales proposals and contracts out of Dynamics (whether or not you're using IQX, our contract management solution integrated with Dynamics CRM), there are some composition tips and tricks that can help make every proposal more presentable and every contract more compelling.

And we've detailed most of them in this free whitepaper, "RFP responses made easy."

Dynamics is the engine, not the fuel

In the same way the integrity of the account, contact, and prospect data in your CRM depends heavily on how it's entered and by whom, the sales proposals you send out of Dynamics are often only as good as the content you put into them.

I.e., software can only take us so far in closing a sale: it's our soft-skills that often carry us across the (dotted) finish line.

Which is why the composition of your proposal — the language, the look and feel, the confidence all that and more instills in a prospect — carries as much weight as its products and pricing.

And while Dynamics can help you build a basic sales proposal and basically track it, it can't populate it with the details and "personality" that will help it stand apart from the dozens of others under consideration. That job will always and forever fall to the person creating the proposal.

Be better than basic

Note that we said Dynamics can help you build a basic proposal. Technically, unless you're using a CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution like IQX — also known as a contract management solution, or sales proposal automation — you'll be using Word or Excel to build your proposal, and then send it through Dynamics.

But with CPQ integrated in Dynamics CRM, you can leave "basic" behind you, and start sending proposals that build your brand, reduce errors, optimize products and pricing, and speed the overall process. Every CPQ system has (or should have) sales enablement tools and tech built-in that 1) improves the quality of every quote and 2) reduces opportunity for error. A win-win!

A quote can (should?) be a contract

Whether or not you're using sales proposal automation software — and with professionally designed proposal templates, drag and drop product and pricing configurations, tracking and monitoring of every step in the signing  process, and more, you absolutely should be — create every proposal as if it's a contract. Because sometimes it is.

While the accepting of a quote and its moving pieces is not as legally binding as a signed contract (not in the US, anyway), it does include the "raw ingredients" that will comprise your contract. In many cases, the contract is the quote + legalese.

Yes, in far larger deals with more, shall we say, "old school" organizations, a sales quote may not be enough to get started on the business relationship. But for smaller deals in the SMB space (or for SMB type departmental budgets) what's in the quote can often be enough to get the show on the road. So create every quote accordingly.

The right words = the right stuff

If there's one takeaway we're hoping this post delivers it's this: What you say and how you say it matters. Sometimes, you write a quote to impress, other times you write to connect, and other times what you write in your quote lays the foundations for a business relationship that may even outlast you.

And while every system on the market — CRM, ERP, etc. — will always do an ever-better job of delivering, tracking, and reporting on your sales quotes and other business documents, they'll never be able to create the communication that actually helps close new business. That will always be up to you.

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