Too often, organizations get caught up in the madness of closing a sale and chasing the end result. In the race for the deal, the priority of nurturing relationships gets lost. Indeed, job performance is often tied to sales numbers, revenue growth, or lead generation, which makes sales professionals hungry for leads and dedicated to closing bids.
One could argue that the focus of sales teams should remain solely on those tasks, but this ignores an important aspect of the sales cycle: ensuring that relationships with prospects are sustained long after the ink on the signatures has dried. That means creating an environment in which leads, proposals, and closed relationships all support one another—no easy task, but achievable with the right tools.
Take sales proposal software, for example, which often comes into the picture when organizations are looking for a tool to create documents that are error-free, aesthetically pleasing, and support long-term relationships. When a dependable document creation system is in place, sales teams become empowered and available to hunt the larger bids. Because sales teams are then permitted to take the reins, more time is available for relationship-building and less time is allocated to operational distractions. This supports one of the most important elements of a successful sales process: ensuring that top talent remains dedicated to prospects and the relationship as a whole.
Why CRM Quoting Proposal Software Keeps Talent Satisfied
When sales teams become overworked, organizations can find their top talent walking out the door. It's no secret that it is hard to keep top talent, whether it's because they are lured by higher salaries, a newer product/service offering, or a senior role with a competitor—true leaders can be difficult to retain.
When a business loses part of the sales team, it also means losing familiarity with the product, the salesperson's contacts, and the salesperson's proven ability to close deals. The organization is then faced with the task of training a new team. When rookies come up to bat, critical errors can be made.
However, CRM systems and sales proposal software work together to provide a full scope of information, so that a new team member can seamlessly pick up where a past team member left off. Relevant information is centralized and includes the rich history of every relationship, from inception to current status. Without this, the details would be lost, creating frustration, awkward customer conversations, and, most likely, customer attrition.
Sales Teams Become Empowered; Credibility Is Established
The interaction between products and services can be complex, and is fertile ground for communication gaffes, so having checks in place is critical—sending the wrong quote to a prospect or customer can have dire consequences. It is all too common that a sale is lost because of faulty reporting on a proposal, and human error is something that can be avoided when using proposal software.
Pricing for a single product can change based on the interplay between the salesperson and the customer. And when dealing internationally, proposal delivery changes based on geographies in terms of exchange rates, language, and other factors. Once sales teams have gained trust from the prospect that these errors will not be made, they are empowered to properly nurture leads.
When sales teams are organized and communicative with one another, proposals can be generated quickly with content that reflects a deep understanding of the relationship's past, present, and future. This way, focus remains on prospects instead of proposals, quotes, and maintaining detailed notes about each prospect.
Because most organizations have an intricate sales process with lots of moving parts, they're looking for a solution that helps them save time and energy, and that will help them ensure that quotes have passed all necessary reviews and obtained the right approvals (from legal teams, sales engineers, finance, and marketing and content).
In the future, marketers should not view these tools exclusively in terms of sales. When used together properly, CRM systems and sales proposal software can work together as cross-functional tools that support the organization as a whole.
Amit Davé is the president of salesElement, a provider of online proposal and quoting software. He has worked for more than 15 years with companies from start-ups to publicly traded organizations to improve sales and marketing technology to help drive revenue.