Nextance Launches Proposal Management
Nextance today unveiled Nextance Proposal Management, an application designed to help companies develop and deliver proposals more quickly. While there are no exact metrics, delay in proposal preparation can cause some companies to lose contracts, particularly in aerospace, defense and engineering businesses, according to Bill Band, a senior CRM analyst at Forrester Research.
"It's an interesting new solution for companies that make their living developing and delivering proposals, which can be a costly process," Band says. "The need is pretty well understood in the marketplace. It looks like this will help companies be more responsive."
Even though a well-crafted proposal is pivotal to winning business, many companies offering complex products and services have difficulty in coordinating employees in different departments and locations to quickly create a complex, collaborative, and tailored proposal, according to Tiffany Riley, Nextance vice president of marketing. "One of the keys is our product audience," Riley says. "Other sales organizations depend on developing highly repeatable sales quotes that can be repeated thousands of times. That's not what we do. We focus more on a classic solutions sale."
In these sales, especially in the engineering and related markets that are targets for the application, the proposals themselves can be hundreds of pages long, according to Riley. These contractors therefore need proposal management applications that enable them to quickly and easily change content for different types of proposals, enabling them to quickly change the information for regional and global contracts, for example.
"This enables them to provide a highly polished, organized proposal in much less time," says Jason Rushin, Nextance director of product marketing. "It also makes it easier to provide proposals when different resellers are involved or when different [contract completion] milestones need to be included." The application also offers a path to manage the other pieces of the customer relationship, such as automatically converting the proposal into a contract, with the company's contract management application taking over the processing from there.
The cost for the application has yet to be firmly established and will depend on the complexity the customer desires with the product. The pricing will likely be $200,000 and up, according to Riley. The application is expected to be available in the second quarter. Citing the December 2006 Aberdeen Group report "Contract Management: The Quote-to-Cash Cycle," Riley says that cutting a single day off the sales proposal process can save a company (the one marking the proposal) from $80,000 to $215,000. "So a company buying the application can quickly recover the cost."
Pointing to Profits
Surviving the Proposal Tsunami