Traditionally when you think of creating a “quote” for a customer, you don’t think of generating it through a Project Tracking tool. Most Sales organizations would use a quotation management tool, sales force automation or even an Excel spreadsheet to generate a sales quote. The difficulty with using one of these tools is the inability to calculate all the pre-sales activities associated with the opportunity. So in the end, an account “win” may end up costing you money instead of turning a profit.
The Benefits of Using Your Project Tracking Software for Pre-Sales:
Ability to Track All Activities That Took Place
- Track all activities that took place before the project or opportunity was won or lost. Have a clear understanding of all the pre-sales costs for all lines of businesses. Especially if engineering resources are required for design mock ups.
- Ability to adjust discounts levels at different stages of the project. For instance, if you were losing money on the initial sale you may be able to make up the difference in consulting margins. Inversely, if the initial sale had healthy margins you may offer a “preferred” consulting rate to premium paying clients.
Alignment of Every Department with Project Pipeline Forecasts
- Selling a deal involves multiple departments, especially if you provide specialized or made-to-order products. Resources that are responsible for delivering the proposed solution should have visibility into future jobs. Planning is required so that you have the right staffing levels and skill sets to match the demand.
- Outside of resource planning, your Procurement department needs visibility as well. So that they can purchase the right inventory levels, at the right price, and prepare the logistics around the order.
Standardized Quoting Process
- Creating quotes can be tedious. It can also become confusing with different promotions, various discounting methods, etc. By standardizing the quotation process right inside of a project tracking tool, improves accuracy and timeliness. Ensuring all “costed” activities are factored into the quote.
- Enables cross selling of additional products and services
- Eliminates ad-hoc discounting
Minimize Project Administrative Tasks
- Once a sales quote hits a “Win” status, the quote should automatically generate a project. The workflow system creates the project name, project tasks and kicks-off requisitions for purchasing of parts and materials. All line items are automatically carried over from the quote so details don’t get lost.
A project tracking software application should provide the flexibility to perform project management tasks and costing of pre-sales activities. By utilizing the tool in both a sales and project-based environment provides a faster return on investment, increase revenues and process improvements.