Unfortunately, many professionals and businesses realize they need quality proposal management software after it’s too late. Whether you’re the founder of a startup, freelance and prep RFPs for government agencies, or just realized as an executive of a mid-sized company that your proposals aren’t as streamlined as they should be, there are solutions.
What are the top proposal management software solutions of 2017? From configure price quote (CPQ) options to quote to cash (Q2C) solutions, here’s your ultimate guide for getting proposal management in check for the New Year:
- Quote to cash (Q2C): A component of your CPQ (configure price quote) and integral part of your billing process, quote to cash is just what it sounds like—generate quotes quickly so they can translate into a cash deal. It’s a must for sales teams who can’t waste time crunching numbers and leaving customers waiting. With quote to cash, you get flawless quotes that are competitive without human error. Accurate quotes lead to better contracts and faster moving cash.
- Configure price quote (CPQ): CPQ and Q2C has a lot of overlap. CPQ is the number manipulation aspect of determining a price quote. The software is crafted for different sized businesses, dishing out complicated quotes in seconds. It’s a must-have tool in the Digital Era when customers also fancy themselves savvy negotiators. When putting together a proposal, you need instant, correct and tempting numbers to close the deal.
- Build-your-own apps: As of 2016, it became official—there are more North Americans using mobile devices rather than desktops/laptops for everything. When perusing proposals, granting agencies and companies want convenience and showcasing of tech savviness. Having a personalized app that highlights your proposal and business makes it easier for target audiences to make decisions (in your favor).
- EndeavorCPQ: CPQ software designed for proposal niches? That’s what EndeavorCPQ from SalesForce offers, created just for the branding, product information and marketing data used to generate proposals. Via a cloud-based software, the proposal is sent directly to the recipient without the need for emails. All necessary data is also integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) software.
- E-signatures: Signing agreement electronically reduces paperwork, oversights, overhead and duplicate copies. The highest quality CPQ has e-signature capability built in, so everyone can sign off on quotes and agreements with DocuSign. Considered the go-to leader in electronic signatures, DocuSign integrates with all software solutions so all you need to do is “sign with a click.”
- Multi-organization quoting: Proposals can get complicated, especially when there are numerous parties involved. With multi-organizational quoting, you get a “one stop experience” to bundle all related products/services into a clean and manageable hub. Ensure the most up to date pricing, product/service information and compatibility with this software solution. Easily share product catalogs with key members via permission-based access that you control. This software also lets outside vendors quote your goods with up to date pricing guidelines.
- Workflow approval software: Sometimes it can seem like getting quote approvals are the most challenging part of any business proposal. Choose a software solution that has quote approval capabilities built in so all you have to do is create a rule to trigger the approval emails. Instantly, the right targets will get the information at exactly the right time. You can also manage alerts so you’re notified immediately of any competitor discounts or other items that might impact your proposal.
- Portal software solutions: Proposals mean integrating with a number of parties from distributors to sales reps and partners. When you create custom portals, you increase visibility for pipeline data, pricing and products/services. Top of the line CPQ portals don’t require CRM or ERP licenses. Instead, it’s one smooth process with minimal bumps.
What do you “propose” to do when it comes to enhancing business proposal solutions in the coming year? Take a look at the SalesForce options and discover ways to streamline your processes.