Our client, a sales director, was digging deep again to try to explain the seemingly endless lack of performance for some in his 100 person sales force. The products they were selling were right for the market, but there was a gap.
After talking to several members of his sales team it became obvious. The time taken for each to prepare professional presentations was way out of line and costing his people valuable selling time. Downloading artwork and copy for regional Power Point and proposals was cumbersome and time consuming not to mention the lack of a standardized format for the more faint of heart in his team. His call to me instantly sparked a customized software and process application.
I proposed a proprietary base software program to build custom applications to satisfy our clients specific needs. It would be a web based system of editable templates for the creation of sales proposals from site downloads. The final output will be turnkey, secure, scalable and customized to fit this projects unique requirements when searching, sorting, seeing, downloading or transmitting proposal elements from this “browser” format.
This internal customer application would allow our clients sales staff to build their custom proposals from pre approved downloadable templates. We structured the templates into 10 proposal element areas.
The benefits of this approach would enable the sales team to;
– Use all or a selection of section elements to fit each particular customers specific advertising requirements,
– Edit all downloadable text and artwork to fit their particular needs and,
– Build, save and download their final proposal from the corporate site link or email the proposal directly to their respective clients.
Project Overview – Phase One (Digital)
Our goal would be to provide a usable real time download and transmission tool for 100 approved sales persons and managers, to expeditiously build and edit proposals for an extensive client and product list.
Initially, we envisioned a digital application that included the following product and service areas;
1. online advertising
3. digital magazines
5. web cast sponsorships
6. keyword sponsorships.
The successful completion would allow continued expansion to the balance of magazine and exhibition product areas for the proposal writer software application.
Each drop down template would be downloadable from a library of elements. These collaborative content elements would include; illustrations, logos, copy elements, to be included in the templates. Allowance would be made so that any element changes with in the library will be uniformly reflected in all library materials available. Output formats could include either 8 1/2″ x 11″ vertical or horizontal formats.
One agency (account manager) person would be the primary person responsible for managing this assignment with the client and would interface with an account management team led by a seasoned project manager.
The account manager would lead the team through the critical initial transition phase. Once the transition phase was complete, processes in place, documentation written, the agency lead account executive would interface with an account management team to handle day to day requirements.
The agencies responsibilities will include; – Program management and implementation – Ongoing communications and support – Process documentation, improvements, recommendations – Continuous quality program improvements – Scheduling – Metrics, reporting, facilitating – IT team areas of responsibilities – Site design and development – Testing – Collaboration with the IT group – Continuous quality program improvements
A text based description of the project management process – from initiation to billing with flow chart outlining key steps would be provided to the client.
Digital Proposal Maker Template/Library Elements
- Illustrations / Artwork
- Logos – Prospects/Customers
- 6 Digital headers (masters) that include; Online advertising, e-newsletter, Digital magazines, e-blasts, Web cast sponsorships and, Keyword sponsorships.
- Executive Summary
- Digital environmental analysis
- Online audience/service overview/benefits…all products
- Client advertising campaign objectives & benefits for 6 digital services. How each recommended product Service helps the client achieve their goals.
- Digital product content review
- Advertising Overview – How recommendations enable prospects sales, traffic or other goals.
- Includes specifications and details on all each digital media recommended.
- Campaign Schedule –
- Calendar/schedule matrix
- Program Budget
- Online solution rates matrix
- Enhanced services for long term consideration and improvement of current program recommendations
- Contact Information – Personalization for each sales office.
- Addendum – Required backup to answer proposal questions or provide opportunities for further involvement…5 to 10 elements.
Upon successful incorporation of all digital product and service applications, we would undertake implementation of publication and event content to the site. This included building a link set up directly from our clients headquarters sales support web site to a landing page or storefront completely branded for our clients end users and domain dedicated. After required password and user name were verified downloaded content changes based on our clients approval would proceed on a quarterly basis.
After each sales person adapted to the ease of downloading copy and art elements directly into their presentations from a dedicated site the proposals would begin to flow with a resultant increase in national and international sales performance.
More importantly, with our process and software in place, we felt our sales director would become more sensitive to the individual and geographic requirements of his field force. He will be able to make further sales and marketing policy changes to improve his teams performance.