The Services Economy is booming and more businesses are looking for scalable, configurable, and easily adaptable systems to manage increasingly complex services quoting processes. The majority of these companies have defaulted to maintaining manual Excel spreadsheets for their services quoting needs. However, as the economy matures and buying habits evolve, they’re quickly realizing that their needs have outgrown what Excel can provide.
The services quoting process is the heart of most professional services organizations for the following reasons:
- Customer experience: Buying subscription products alone is not enough. Customers want to understand the implementation process, view the exact scope, identify ways to leverage their resource pool, manage costs and timeline, etc.
- Scope accuracy: Professional services are all about scoping the project correctly. It is difficult to maintain all the variables affecting scope in an Excel sheet, particularly when dealing with complex macros that make management in Excel even more painful
- Scalability and repeatability: As the services sales team grows, it is hard to achieve repeatability and winnable quotes without understanding historical data. Companies can produce quotes on the fly, but they are not optimized to make it a win-win.
The Provus Services Quoting Cloud, an enterprise product built on Force.com, seamlessly automates the end-to-end estimation and quoting process regardless of complexity. Here are the top five reasons the Provus Services Quoting Cloud is a must-have for your business.
#1 Deep integrations for data optimization
Manually entering data over and over is time-consuming and inefficient. Products in the sales tech stack are data-rich and the backbone for accurate forecasting. When using with the Provus Services Quoting Cloud, quotes can be directly initiated from the Opportunity, Account, or any other relevant object. This ensures smooth and error-free data flow between the systems/objects both upstream and downstream.
The Provus Services Quoting Cloud comes pre-built with all leading integrations required, which enables users to quickly manipulate the process, accurately forecast opportunities, and significantly reduce cycle times.
#2 Scoping accuracy and repeatability are the foundation
The scoping exercise with the prospect during the sales cycle is one of the most critical events for any professional services organization. Customer experience is important in terms of scope finalization, resources required on both sides to implement the project, and assumptions made for the commercial conclusion.
#3 Resource utilization is paramount
Just like opportunities and opportunity stages are key to forecasting, services quoting is crucial for resource forecasting and resource utilization planning. Excel sheets do not have a snapshot of hundreds of deals going on in parallel. As a result, users do not know about resource availability, resource utilization, and the ideal global resource mix for quotes.
The Provus Services Quoting Cloud brings all the data in one place allowing users to select the best options for driving revenue, margins, and resource utilization.
#4 Gross margin optimization is everything
Professional services is all about the optimization of gross margin. While Excel sheets can be built with complex macros to provide users with gross margin data as a snapshot, it is impossible to keep up with the ever-changing data around costs, bill rates, resource locations, and associated rate cards.
The Provus Services Quoting Cloud is purpose-built to create scenarios for revenue and margin goals. With a click of a button, Provus’ rule-based constraint optimizer and AI-led engine build scenarios to maximize revenue and optimize gross margins.
#5 Real-time analytics using historical data
The biggest issue with using manually managed Excel spreadsheets for deals is that there is no access to historical data. Access to information regarding sold versus realized margins, scope changes during project executions, resource amendments, etc. is extremely valuable for creating winning deals in the future.
The Provus Services Quoting Cloud brings real-time data from relevant systems and analyzes historical data so you can easily manipulate scenarios and calculate win probability.
To conclude, while Excel sheets are a great way (and often the only way) to get started with the estimation and quoting process, it does not scale as your organization grows. Provus is built from the ground up to solve these services quoting challenges.