There have already been times with customers that deals that weren’t “served out”. There have been several quite large, long-term deals with partial deliveries, and this cost lots and lots of money. This was an expensive lesson to learn, because you couldn’t recover the costs from your customers – the contracts were open to interpretation. But remember, one customer went bankrupt, so you can definitely write that one off. From now on, you’re going to check every deal repeatedly. Of course, this is very time-consuming for the management, but if that’s what it takes, then so be it. Your sales staff are more careful now too. They ask questions, check the answers, and then ask again. This causes the hours to mount up, but better that than another blunder, such as one involving goods that were worth more on delivery than when you were paid for them. It’s like barrelhead without the proverbial cash. The customer suddenly dropped out and cancelled the rest of the order. The situation ended in a legal tug-of-war and you got the worst of the bargain. In the contract, the value of the deliveries did not match the payment instalments: lots of changes had been made to those instalments right at the last minute without being properly checked. It’s nobody’s fault but your own: the customer was within his right and had kept his side of the agreement. There goes your hard-earned cash. Never again. You’d rather spend it on extra checks.
Sofon offers you the perfect support during negotiation processes. The software makes it very easy to access all the details that your sales staff and the staff in charge of commercial affairs need when negotiating with customers. Your people can always fall back on up-to-date and accurate information. Any time they want, they can see what they are offering and how much room they have to maneuver for things like more, or alternative, product options, the speed of delivery, extended free service, a slightly larger discount, and so on.
Your people can also see what they can and can’t do and what the consequences of certain choices and changes will be: for the product itself, for example, or for the delivery times or payment methods. Your people will always go into negotiations well prepared and will be able to continue to aim for the largest possible margins. Perhaps even more importantly, you can cancel out the risk of your staff drawing up a contract with stipulations, without knowing or anticipating what the consequences will be.
Your staff will have an overview of the entire case, even if customers change their minds at the last minute. Imagine that a customer asks you to alter the delivery periods in the quote. In Sofon, Sales can immediately calculate what a new version of the quote will mean for production periods and delivery schedules and can demand that the customer provide a bank guarantee for this. It means that Sales will have all of the risks covered, even if the situation changes. You won’t be confronted by any unpleasant surprises.
As an addition to your costs of negotiation, you can improve all of the other aspects of quoting and contracting by introducing smart processes: quote creation, quote management, cost of goods sold, discount/rebate management, contract creation, contract management, authorization and approval, revision and version management and revenue recognition.