30 Oct Profitability reinforced: Is your organization ready for deal management?
by John Pora
You know what deal management is, you’re excited about it, you understand who it affects, and you want to take some actionable steps. Now, it’s important to make sure your organization is prepared to adapt to deal management.
To gauge where your organization stands, we’ve prepared this final installment of the deal management series, full of helpful insights and descriptions of the sales maturity curve and suggestions on how to move through the stages that lead up to better deal management. There are four stages of consideration for getting your organization deal management-ready:
In the initial stage of organization readiness, you’re just getting by. Growth isn’t characteristic of this phase. Although there’s a lot you can do to progress your processes, it can be intimidating: there will be a cost to the business, and you’re not sure what should be implemented first. At this stage, many companies make the mistake of just pushing more bodies at a problem because they do not measure the labor cost and loss in the process.
There is a better way. The first step would be a benchmark study to identify the cost of doing the business in the current structure: tracking sales rep time and the full cost of sales. Are your sales processes resulting in the delays of quotes passed, and how many quotes and how many opportunities are lost in the process?
If the scope of this evaluation is daunting, you should use some outside help. You will get a fresh set of eyes on the issues, and it can be much faster when you use an experienced resource that has done this before, like Simplus. It can be done relatively quickly by the right people.
When you’ve made a study on your processes, compare it with your present position to identify how much change needs to be made and put those in place to positively affect your growth.
Automate Sales Process:
When you’re through with phase one, you’ll know the cost of your business and a way to maximize the sales process. Next, you can continue to introduce tools into the process to further automate and consolidate a more significant part of the labor. This is when customer relationship management (CRM) and configure-price-quote (CPQ) comes in.
The big question for you in this phase is ‘Is CRM enough? Many companies have moved to use CRM, while others use a spreadsheet, or even accept orders over the phone. CRM is actually good for a start, but consider the CPQ when your customer-facing sales resources are managing multiple clients with various solutions and prices.
Using an automated sales process provides scale and consolidated information to more easily reach and sell to your customers. Decisions made about how products can be configured and priced, customers comments, bundled offerings, and what is winning and losing in the marketplace are all centralized for sales to better manage their customer interactions.
Experiment with Data:
With enough details, you can experiment to start understanding which markets are not profitable and others that offer excellent margin. And, as you begin to review data and understand the reasons for these impacts, you can replicate recorded scenarios and push out varying offerings to observe the market’s response and make your team more effective. With a team armed with new insights, you’ll be more profitable in your day-to-day business.
The data experiment exposes you to new insights and ways to use the centralized data. Sales and pricing teams can use the deeper insight to know when to approve deals, determine when to reject, and which pricing and discounting terms each deal should follow to ensure you’re profitable. The overall impact of these insights allows you to understand your business more accurately.
As you get more comfortable with the data that is represented within CPQ and using the deal management functionality within Oracle CPQ, you can democratize that insight, exposing more insights and guidance directly to your sales team making the front-line decisions with customers day to day. Deal management information will provide the knowledge and confidence for sales teams to make decisions and move the deals forward faster and more effectively. Increasing access to these customer buying pattern insights can take sales to the next level.
When the data is ready to be shared with the folks it can benefit, organizations shouldn’t mind sharing this information with their sales. Leverage this data to inform perspectives and enable your sales reps, operations, and finance teams to be more effective, reducing guessing and increasing collaboration and drive informed guidance.
After democratizing the data, your market will continually change while you introduce products. You will have the opportunity to consider new and continual improvements. With this, the data continues to shape your strategies as your business continues to develop, markets change, and clients and products evolve.
Where are you in evolving your sales process and improving your data insight and scale? Do you already own OCPQ? Are you ready to leverage data management functionality for a quick and easy win to increase profitability?
If your organization is past the making do stage, has automated the sales process with Oracle CPQ and other tools, and knows how to experiment with data, then you’re ready for deal management.
Reach out to Simplus today and let us guide you to successful preparation and implementation with deal management.
John is the VP of Oracle Professional Services here at Simplus. He’s an accomplished business leader with more than 20 years of experience in developing and maintaining rigorous deployment and customer service practices for high-growth enterprise software companies.