The CRM System landscape is changing from an on-premise system to a cloud based system. One of the key areas in sales applications is the running of an efficient quotation processes. With many inherent incumbencies — it requires a strong degree of customization, the time constraints are extremely tight and usually geographically localized.
Named Semantics-based Insight Selling (SIS), this project serves to address that by means of a cloud-based RFQ application. The system will understand end customers’ requirements, map those to product capabilities, select and price the solution as well as present the offer. Key functional requirements include enablement of guided selling, quick turnaround time for quotes and appealing layout for the proposal documents. This translates into a solution that not only requires automating aspects of the selection process leveraging on an ontology framework, but must also be accessible to the stakeholders of the RFP.
Current sales quote software in the market integrates CRM systems such as Salesforce.com to help sales professionals understand customer needs, narrow down the product list, propose the right products and services, and quickly deliver an accurate quotation. A general process is as follows:
- The sale consultant is linked from the existing CRM to the integrated sales quote software
- The sales consultant enters details of the RFP/RFQ
- Based on the requirements, the software narrows down the product choices and updates the quotation
- The software suggests additional upsell opportunities in the form of longer packages or complementary products for the sales consultant to include in the quotation
- The software generates the proposal and informs the sale consultant of additional service that can be included to further increase the deal size
- The software generates possible discounts and compares them with respect to profit margins
- Consultants are also able to key in the target amount and allow the software to adjust discounts proportionately
- The sales consultant has the option to tailor proposals by selecting relevant documents to be attached
- The software will pull contact details and update the forecast according to the relevant documents attached.
The following is an overview of how the user is required to interact with the system:
||Human interaction tasks:
- Arrival of RFP/RFQ – New RFP/RFQ for products/services.
- The sales consultant enters details of the RFP/RFQ into the CPQ System. Questions generated are dynamic to the nature of the RFQ.
- Upon receiving the final suite of products for client, a report is generated for submission.
The first part of the process in the CPQ system is as follows:
||CPQ system handles the matching of requested product with products currently available for offering.
- Ontological representation of RFQ/RFP – This process interacts with the sales consultant to develop an ontological model that will be used for matching of products. This process also factors in constraints such as budget, financing, product servicing and currency etc. to narrow down on the final suite of products.
- Selection of suitable products – This process selects all products that match the specifications of the required product.
- Narrowing of final products – If more than 1 product is present, human intervention is required or smarter algorithm is required to eliminate products.
The second and final step of the process in the CPQ system is as follows:
||Proposal Generation deals with the presentation layout of the proposal to be submitted.
- Receives final data for output – This is the trigger point for the start of proposal generation
- Verify checklist of RFQ/RFP (if any) – For RFQ/RFP that comes with a checklist, this process automates the checking as part of the final proposal.
- Output proposal for RFQ/RFP – Formats the proposal for final submission to client