Streamline your proposal process with Salesforce.com and Conga Composer

This is how we at Arkus streamlined our proposal process using Salesforce.com and Conga Composer.
Streamline your proposal process with Salesforce.com and Conga Composer

Proposal creation in less then a 2 hour movie!

Let me start off by saying that until I became the consultant, I had never realized how much of a pain it is to create a services proposal.  As an employee in financial services, it was very common to see consultants take two to three weeks if not longer to turn around a proposal regardless of the complexity of the project.  It was mindboggling to me and now being the consultant, I see why.

Problem Proposal Paradox

For starters, consulting services require an explanation which becomes very manual when writing a proposal. You cannot give a client a proposal without detailing what it is you plan to do.  Listing line items like project management, configuration and integration mean nothing unless you can break them down and relate them to the requirements given during discovery.

Second, to estimate the amount of effort it takes to deliver a services project requires expertise and experience. Without it, you will either lose business or lose money and both are a shame. We use the discovery calls and meetings as a way to pull out enough information to estimate correctly.

Lastly, we need to put something together that is professional looking, detailed but not overbearing and on the mark. It needs give enough detail to satisfy the client.

At Arkus, we struggled with all of the work and complexity at the start but knew there had to be a better way!  

Salesforce.com and "The Conga Guys" to the rescue!

After going through our own process, we knew we needed two things to make this process better.

The first was a tool that could store all this information and relate it all to our sales process. We need to capture data which we could then report on and begin to use when we created more proposals in the future. The second was something that could easily pull this data together in a format that was professional and met the clients needs. 

The first one was easy, Salesforce.com.  By using the Opportunites and the Products objects, we where able to create a proposal process that was simple to use and with all the data we wanted to capture. We standardized our services into categories which became products using price books to break out different pricing models. All of those products relate back to the opportunity and rollup to the account showing true transparency.  This reduced manual entry and now set us up for the metrics we were looking to report on.

Configuring Salesforce.com was the easy part but to get all that data into the proposal document was a bigger challenge until we met The Conga Guys.  With some configuration we were able to take what we built in Salesforce.com and create a proposal document that was not only professional looking and detailed but was generated with a click of button.  To make delivery easier, we use Salesforce.com's email templates which generates the proposal in a personalized email ready to go out the door.

Conga-lusion

Thanks to Salesforce.com and Conga Composer our proposal process is a well-oiled machine. There is nothing worse then work that is going unpaid and we save ourselves a ton of time getting those proposals, written, approved and sent off.

If any of this hit home and you would like to know more about it, please reach out to us.  We would love to give you a proposal!

We can be reached at info@arkusinc.com or twitter.com/salvatoriello.

To read more about Salesforce.com and Conga Composer:

Salesforce

www.salesforce.com

AppExtremes

http://home.appextremes.com/conga/ 

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