You supply customized, complex products. Your sales staff spend a large amount of time negotiating with customers. For many customers, buying your products involves long-term investments and the contracts are only formed once they have their backers’ approval. The quoting procedure demands huge amounts of concentration and time from Sales – 10 versions of a quote is not an exaggeration. Customers often have additional queries and demands that can have consequences for a variety of matters. The sales staff are constantly gathering bits of information. And even as the negotiations are still being held, regular updates are introduced for product options, versions, prices, regulations, and so on. Your sales people must be aware of all those updates too, and must continuously check for new ones. Despite the amount of care that they put into this, things still often go wrong. It’s a worrying situation, because you have to get back to your customers to explain what went wrong. And several times now, you only discovered the faults once the products were already in production, which has not only cost you tons of money, but your customers are starting to complain too, mostly because you deliver later than what you agreed.
Sofon makes it very easy for you to manage every version of all your quotes, regardless of how long the negotiations take. First and foremost, Sofon provides an overview of every version of all the quotes that you have sent to a customer at any given time. In addition, new versions of quotes are automatically recalculated if you make any changes to your products or stipulations, or if the relevant regulations change (configuration management). These automatic adjustments will be applied to the prices, implementation, delivery time, delivery means, procedures, conditions, payment method, and finance options, as well as the options and technical specifications of the product itself.
This means that while you are still negotiating with a customer, you can replace an option in your product, for example, with another at a higher price, and that the change will appear automatically in the next quote that your sales staff sends out. The same applies if the customer arranges another means of delivery at the last moment that could affect the payment instalments. Everything that is altered is automatically factored into the new version of the quote. Your sales staff will not be required to remember that type of information – there’s nothing for them for forget because Sofon records everything automatically in the system by means of a smart process.
As an addition to your revision and version management, you can improve other aspects of quoting and contracting by introducing smart processes: quote creation, quote management, cost of goods sold, sales negotiation management, discount/rebate management, contract creation, contract management, authorization and approval and revenue recognition.