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CRMIT Solutions is a leader in transforming businesses with cloud based Customer Experience (CX) solutions on sales, service, marketing & social cloud. Recognized amongst CIOReveiw’s "20 Most Promising Cloud Computing Companies”


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Lead-to-Quote-to-Cash: Inefficiencies and Remedies

quote-to-cash

From the moment a lead lands in the CRM system, till it gets converted to dollars, there is an interesting (and sometimes long) cycle. Different players get involved, with different motivations, which have the potential to make it a very inefficient process.

However, this can be addressed by understanding various inefficiencies that can come up, and by having a clear strategy to overcome them. The best news, a smart CRM system will help you automate this so that everyone who creates a lead or a quote or an order adds value to it, instead of pulling it down.

Here are the eight inefficiencies that are typically found in this business process and how your CRM solution and its add-ons can be used to solve them by a process.

1. Improper Lead Scoring

Not all leads are equal. Each business has a different way of determining which leads are important and which leads are not. This intelligence has to be embedded in the system so that your energy is spent only on the right leads.

All the modern CRMs have very good lead scoring mechanisms that you can use. Understand them, align them to your business, try them on existing leads, confirm that the scores are in line with what you would’ve done manually and start using the model.

What if the model is not perfect yet?

No worries. These lead scoring systems can learn on their own. Just keep providing real-time feedback and the model will mature soon.

2. Incomplete Configuration Information

The days of off-the-shelf products are gone; this is the age of smart customers who want to configure every product they use. With the number of features that are configurable, there are a practically unlimited number of combinations that are orderable. Customers like this flexibility of having a product made exactly as per their interest.

But, this adds additional load on the sales person. Capturing all the specific information about a product and making sure that the quote is in line with those configurations is a huge task. Even a tiny error in this can cause a huge dissatisfaction and hit your margins.

All the modern CRMs come with their own configuration modules to handle this. You can use these modules to accurately capture what your customer wanted. The system will ensure the pricing is right and the customer would get exactly what they wanted.

3. Wrong combinations

Sometimes, you just have too many products in your catalog. However experienced you may be, mistakes do happen and a customer ends up having a wrong combination of products which results in serious dissatisfaction and higher costs in replacing the wrong combination.

Use Product rules in your CRM to efficiently recommend the right product combinations every time. This will also help you handle your upselling and cross-selling efficiently, bringing a positive change in your sales numbers.

4. Inflexible discount models

Flat discounts, tiered discounts, order-wide discount, every sales rep can handle easily. What about account-wide discounts? What about special offers? What about buy-this-get-that-in-a-discount offers?

All these (and more) are doable in your CRM’s pricing manager extension. Today’s systems are smart enough to provide you various ways to control the pricing, which provides flexibility and control. Use these to make sure your products are priced right every time.

price quote

5. Too long (or too little) approvals

Your customer needs a product urgently; you created a quote matching his needs, he is ready to sign it; but, it is sitting in your manager’s inbox who is vacationing in Hawaii.

On the flip side, some of your quotes which should’ve gone for an approval have reached the customers automatically. Think about this happening (randomly) for multiple quotes throughout the day; a real nightmare.

All these issues can be resolved by using the right set of approval rules on your CRM. This should be transparent and clear; most important, the system should know clearly when the approval cycle is completed and the quote can reach the customer. This ensures there is minimal training required and your sales people can start creating quotes with confidence.

6. Missing (or wrong) terms and conditions

Every quote comes with a set of terms and conditions, which are not a matter of simple copy and paste. Depending on the products being quoted, depending on the customer, their location, and various other factors, these terms would change. It is a difficult task for a sales person to decide on this.

But then, why should they make that decision? Isn’t it the legal department’s job? Shouldn’t it be as easy as click and go, for the sales person?

Yes, all these are possible with modern CPQ systems which come with your CRM. They allow you to control (by word) what goes inside your quote to ensure your interest is always protected.

7. Inefficient signing and document management

Sending a quote by email, getting a signature, filing it and keeping it for future reference… these are so old school. These are the days of electronic signatures which provide an easy and secure signing option for your quotes, contracts and other important documents.

Look at your CRM and find out what integrations it provides with industry standard E-signature platforms. Set them up and make sure all your documents follow this process. It will save you lot of time (and it is good for the planet too!)

8. CRM and ERP speaking two different languages

When you create an accurate quote, price it right, get it signed using the sophisticated platform and still end up having a customer dissatisfaction, the problem could be with your integrations: check if your CRM and ERP are speaking the same language. This will ensure your customer gets exactly what he wanted.

Design your integrations in such a way that the data flows in the right direction and there are right conflict resolution rules. Also provide visibility of one system in another, which provides a way to check and fix these manually.

Today’s cloud integration platforms provide you with an easy way to make sure the systems are always in sync. Utilise the right monitoring tool to look at problems and fix them accordingly.

Taking care of these efficiencies will give an immediate boost to your lead to quote to cash mechanism. Keep improving the model and the results will multifold.

 


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Quote Management – Quote Simple. Quote Smart

Quote Simple. Quote Smart

Shouldn’t Quote management be a part of the CRM solution itself? This is a classic question we hear from our customers very often. They are really puzzled when we tell them that an opportunity, to some extent, is the CRM’s final touch point. Once an opportunity is won, it is assumed that it gets converted to an order in another back-end system and then it is processed. But there’s something between these two, which is the quote process.

Agreed! Not all businesses use quotes, but at the same time a considerable number of businesses do use quote management and they wonder – between an opportunity and an order, shouldn’t there be a quote step? This is very important for them because this is one of the key sales tools that is being used very often.

You are in front of the customer, sitting across the table, discussing something and expressing interest in certain aspects and then the expression is converted into a soft interest by creating a quote. It then becomes a hard interest when you convert it into an order at a later point of time. But the soft interest phase is something which is very interesting. From the first point in which you create a quote with some indistinct details – with some numbers and dates and other parameters, it becomes a conversation starting point and later becomes a running document. As a result, multiple versions of it get created, prices change, the quantities change, the delivery dates change, the delivery locations change, the overall pricing changes, discounts, packs, shipping all these elements showing a variable characteristic will have a tendency to change. It’s as good as a real order but it’s basically a soft commitment. So, this is something which is quite common and most of the organizations solve this problem by implementing their own quote management solutions which are outside the CRM framework.

Typically, CRM talks to the quote management system, once the opportunity is ready to become a quote, a trigger is sent from the CRM to the quote management system with all the relevant details and the quote is generated. The quote process actually happens outside CRM.

Quote Management

But the trend is that people want to see what happened to a quote after it is created. It can’t be another system. People don’t want to jump windows and also, they want to have complete visibility about what is happening in a particular opportunity. Till a quote is accepted by the customer representative, the opportunity is not considered as closed. So they want to know what’s happening on the quote side, how many versions have been created, which ones are sent to the customer, when was it sent, was it sent as an email attachment or was it sent as a printed copy, what was the customer reaction, when did they see it, when they plan to complete it or close it. These are some details sales rep wants to see in their opportunity view itself and they end up achieving it in one of the two ways:

First one is, if the quote management solution the customer using is strong, then we integrate CRM with it. We bring quote into the CRM, we allow CRM to send data to the quote management system and so on. Else if the customer is not having a quote management system and having a system which is very outdated or sometimes the quote management system can even be heavy – heavy in the sense that they may be looking for a simple quote management solutions but they might have gone for a implementation whereby a really heavy weight quote management system is implemented and the sales people are really puzzled on how to use it and they end up not raising quotes in the required numbers.In such cases, they build small quote management functionality inside CRM. It is very simple and straight forward but at the same time, you have to understand the process very well.

How CRMIT can support you?
Accelerate Revenue through Quote ManagementWe have worked with a number of customers and have understood that the quoting process in general is having a fine thread which is common across companies and variations are added on top of it. So that’s where we thought we will create our own quote management solution which sits inside the CRM. It is not a heavy weight system that you need to host elsewhere and then integrate with CRM, switch to it whenever necessary. It is ‘within’ the CRM. So it uses CRM’s architecture, it uses CRM’s own objects, hence it is well connected, easy to access, quick to use as the information need not be pulled out from a third party system. So that’s one of the very key features which add value to the CRM flow by just adding a quote piece to it.

Mobile Quote – Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device

Another common trend that we are observing now is the mobile quote. When reps travel a lot, they carry their mobile devices, tablets and other portable devices and they want to create quotes when they are in front of the customer. Of course they may be connected or disconnected, but all the details that are required for creating a quote should be available to them so that they can create a quote, across the table and can show it to the customer. Once everything is done, the customer says ‘”yes, you send me the quote”, the rep just presses a button and the quote goes to the customer in the format they prefer. This can be improved further by integrating it to a digital signature system so that the customers can readily sign the document in the mobile device itself, or using their Email/ an online digital signature system. This means, system drives the call for action and makes sure that the sale is won.

In short, this is something which is really transforming. Basically, you are moving from your simple cataloging system to a system whereby you can showcase your products and quickly create a quote and then send it across to the customer. This basically completes the loop as far as the purpose of that meeting is concerned. Many of our customers are moving towards this important milestone. Mobile quoting is something that will really transform this industry and CRMIT is working towards bringing the best mobile quoting experience to CRM sales persons using a system which resides inside their CRM so that no learning and unlearning is required. They use the system exactly as they normally use the quote management system and get this important piece of work done within the system itself. We believe this will really provide huge value add to our customers and we are excited to work with variations of the same application and help our customers raise better, customized quotes and close the business quickly.

Inputs from
Naga Chokkanathan
Sr. Director – Innovations
CRMIT Solutions


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Fuel Sales Revenue with Configure, Price & Quoting (CPQ) Solution

Why do 87% of sales reps hit their quotas in best-in-class organizations, while only 20% of sales reps hit their quotas in laggard companies? Best-in-class companies have empowered their sales teams by reducing friction in the last mile of the sales cycle and streamlining the lead-to-win process with a solutions like Configure-Price-Quote(CPQ). It’s not that CPQ didn’t exist earlier, in-fact all the leading companies used to offer these functions inbuilt in some form or the other.

 

Quote Smart with CPQ SolutionAs you plan to invest in new customer & sales management tools to improve customer experience and sales force effectiveness, it’s imperative to have a best-in-class Pricing / Quote management tool that is well integrated with your CRM to enable your global sales teams.

The impact of CPQ tools is encouraging and as it can enable organizations sale force get the competitive advantage over others. CPQ redefines how sales and service representative configure products, price with precision & then generates Quote for customer. CPQ implementation offers, sales users speed and flexibility in making product offerings to its customers with accuracy and precision.

What the analysts say about CPQ

Aberdeen Group reveals that the 58% of the best-in-class firms——currently deploy CPQ technologies, and  remaining 46%—indicate a plan to do so within the next 12 months. Also shows key improvements in sales effectiveness metrics for organizations with CPQ implementations.

CPQ stats

These improvements help sales users to focus more on the customer rather than internal systems, thus leading to improved customer satisfaction, higher chances of opportunity conversion and increased revenue for the organization. Some of the stats below are the testimony to the CPQ’s positive impact.

 

CPQ - Gaurantees for faster and profitable sales deals

CPQ – Gaurantees for faster and profitable sales deals

There is definitely an increased focus and willingness from organizations today to upgrade the existing Quote and Pricing management systems to new cloud based CPQ systems. As the change in products and pricing is much more faster today, the need to provide accurate and immediate quotations to customers has become the need of hour. This cloud based CPQ system which offers all this combined package has become the latest trend and catching up fast.

CRMIT Solutions provides Pricing / Quote management tool with the ability to quickly create price quotes, linked to right business records (accounts, contacts, or opportunities) in your CRM. These price quotes allow field sales teams to provide quick & consistent quotes to the customers – thus, shortening your sales cycle and plug revenue leaks.

Benefits

  • Improve agility in responding to customers
  • Automate pricing rules – Eliminating product selection and pricing errors
  • Organization wide uniformity in quoting process & document generation
  • Quickly creating winning proposals
  • Built-in workflows / price approval process
  • Control over maverick discounting
  • Negotiating while preserving margins & minimizing time delays
  • Offline access via variety of devices
  • Pluggable to backend ERP systems
  • Ready to use reports / dashboards to measure outcomes
  • Boosting sales through collaborative selling
  • Increasing average quote and order size

CRMIT’s Quote Management application is available in multiple deployment models to support the current industry requirements. As per your requirements, you can opt to keep it as an On Premise (Installed) application within your firewall, or deploy it on a cloud (Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine etc.,), or let CRMIT host it for you.

With this I conclude that today CPQ offers an integrated functionality that  improves sales efficiency, effectiveness and fuels the sales revenue . Looking at the trends today and sales being getting more and more competitive daily, I am sure no enterprise architecture would be complete without an integrated CPQ tool.


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Cloud Service demands encourage CRMIT Solutions to publish CX solutions on Oracle Cloud Marketplace

CRMIT Solutions launches its CX Cloud applications & services on Oracle Cloud Marketplace. The applications available cover a broad range of CX functions from web assisted services and telephony solutions, to more complex services such as implementation, user adoption, and data management, marketing automation, social relationship and testing.

oracle_cloud_marketplace

The Oracle Cloud Marketplace helps Oracle Cloud customers find the best applications to meet their needs through an easily searchable interface. Applications are listed along with the relevant details to help customers determine their value for their organizations, including user ratings and reviews.

With the proliferation of cloud, mobile, and social technologies, organizations want easy access to innovative, trusted business applications. To meet this demand from customers and create new opportunities for partners, Oracle developed the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.  Oracle Cloud Marketplace enables Oracle Cloud customers to easily browse, evaluate, and license trusted business applications to address their business needs.

CRMIT’s fastest growing products are the customer experience applications including the Self Service Portal and Mobile CRM. Currently, the applications available cover a broad range of CX functions from web assisted services and telephony solutions, to more complex services such as implementation, user adoption, and data management, marketing automation, social relationship and testing.

CRMIT’s has extended latest CX applications like computer telephony, email, self service, mobile, social, Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and reporting solutions to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. This helps Cloud CRM customers easily find various applications that meet their needs through an easily searchable interface. The application listing provides detailed information including a description of the application, demos, ratings and reviews, videos and screenshots.

CX Extensions

“We see customer demands go to the cloud. We are seeing more & more customers move rapidly to the cloud. They want to buy applications, platforms and infrastructure in the cloud. Oracle has led the way – the only ones to provide every layer of the cloud technology stack in a single, integrated cloud. This has helped partners leverage the latest in cloud technologies to grow their businesses. The Oracle Cloud Marketplace enables partners to quickly and easily develop, integrate, publish, and monetize their applications.  We are glad to publish a range of Customer Experience applications & services on the Cloud Marketplace, “ said Vinod Reddy, Founder and CEO, CRMIT Solutions.

To view CRMIT’s CX Applications on Oracle Cloud Marketplace, please refer : Oracle Cloud Marketplace


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CRMIT Solutions releases Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions to generate 25% more conversions

The only choice to intelligently configure, price and quote new deals, add-on sales and renewals – inside Oracle CRM On Demand & Oracle Sales CloudCRM++ Configure Price Quote

In the recent past, we are seeing a reasonably strong traction for our CRM++ Quote Management tool and most of these prospects have a common yet sticky problem on enabling a price quote solutions for their CRM On Demand users – at the same time not invest in big tickets like Selectica or Big Machines.

CRM++ Quote Management fits in perfectly for such prospects. This repositioning of Quote Management as a price quote solutions is expected to see road ways into many more CRM On Demand install base.

CRM++ Quote Management is a SaaS based application that acts as a one stop shop to seamlessly generate a price quote to any opportunity. It gives an organization the ability to quickly create price quote and link those quotes to accounts, contacts, or opportunities. These price quote are intended to allow sales representatives to easily and efficiently provide customers with quick quotes for pricing and availability.

CRM++ Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution slices through sales complexity to help enterprise sell more. CPQ enables sales reps and channel partners to recommend the best combination of products and services, construct accurate price quotes, and get contracts signed fast. With powerful, constraint-based configuration, step-by-step guided selling, and streamlined workflows for price quote, proposal, and contract management, CRM++ CPQ takes enterprise sales to the next level, increasing average deal size, accelerating sales cycles, and making global business faster and more efficient.

While creating a price quote, you can associate a contact with an opportunity, add products as line items to the quote, and enter price details and terms & conditions of the quote all within a secured interface. Customize, print or email price quotes across your contacts instantly without missing on those crucial opportunities.

Vinod Reddy, Founder & CEO, CRMIT Solutions

CRMIT Solutions delivers an effective Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution that changes the industry’s conventionally complex approach to the entire quoting process. The only choice to intelligently configure, price and quote new deals, add-on sales and renewals – inside Oracle CRM On Demand & Oracle Sales Cloud,” said Vinod Reddy, MD & Founder CRMIT Solutions.

CRM++ Quote Management application is available in multiple deployment models to support the current industry requirements. As per your requirements, you can opt to keep it as an On Premise (Installed) application within your firewall, or deploy it on a cloud (Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine etc.,), or let CRMIT host it for you.