You produce lots of quotes but you need more orders. Many customers seem to hesitate after receiving a quote and they ask more and more questions. It takes a great deal of effort to coordinate sales, production, service, and logistics to get it right. So it hits you hard when customers and prospects leave you anyway. Because you have done something about improving your quotes, you are actually winning more orders. But the labor-intensive communication hasn’t improved at all. It’s been shifted to take place before you send the first quote and that has raised a new problem: writing a quote sometimes takes so long that prospects lose interest when your rival is able to make a faster offer. But how do you speed up the process without making mistakes? After all, the solutions you provide must obviously be reliable. You have already experienced instances in which your products did not meet the customers’ expectations. And it cost you a lot of money to make the adjustments within the guarantee period. The worst thing about it all was that you lost two good customers. Their business cases were shattered and they are afraid to use you again.
Sofon enables you to calculate the effects of every solution you offer on the technical and financial aspects, effectively and quickly (within minutes) and in that way to substantiate it. The calculations are detailed right up to and including the maintenance and costs of maintenance during the period in which the product is in use. At the same time, the calculations are part of how the customer solution is applied to what production actually must manufacture.
Your source is the knowledge model that you have drawn up in Sofon (configuration management). In that model, you describe a coherent visualization of all your product options, together with their specifications, the applicable legislation and regulations, prices, and relevant stipulations.
That knowledge can be accessed at a central point, which means it is available to your sales people – including your partners’ and resellers’ sales staff – that can use it to draw up quotes and contracts, using the smart questions you have also recorded in Sofon. Those questions are formulated to include all possible applications of your product because you know your market.
The text in the quotes is always composed in the ‘customer’s language’ to ensure that the customer can understand it and judge whether the solution meets their needs.
You can improve all the aspects of solution definition as well as your calculations by introducing smart processes: needs analysis, requirements management, solution design, special request definition, and visualization.