Lindsey Doucette, Head of Alliances at Provus, discusses Predictions for Selling Professional Services in 2024 with Mahesh Baxi, Co-Founder and CEO of Provus, and Don Fernando, Sr. Director of Revenue Cloud for Salesforce.
- Cross-department unification of the sales process
- The rise of AI-powered services quoting
- Selling professional services becoming more complex
1st Prediction: Cross-Department Unification of Sales Process
Small-medium enterprises (SMEs) work with complex products that often require custom configurations and prices. It can be a long process for even the leanest of teams. Between generating leads, structuring and closing deals, allocating resources to projects, delivering the final product, accounting for all this activity, or overseeing and approving each step, any time wasted on clerical tasks is money left on the table. However, most services quote-to-cash workflows still rely heavily on spreadsheets.
A company is only as strong as its weakest link, so no matter how many SaaS integrations there are, each step in the process will always regress to waiting for updated figures and information. Manual practices can take so long that sales managers and service leaders have reported reductions in their time-to-offer ranging “from 15-30 minutes to 2-3 weeks” (depending on the opportunity’s complexity) as a direct result of implementing CPQ software . Provus Services Quoting is built from the ground up to enable real-time collaboration and expedite cross-department approval. When every stakeholder is on the same page, you win bigger deals in less time.
You can read more about the drawbacks of using Excel instead of our Salesforce CPQ integration, or you can book a demo today and experience for yourself the benefits of a unified sales process.
2nd Prediction: AI-Powered Quoting and Sales Software
AI is here, and it can crunch more numbers faster and with fewer errors. Services quoting generates thousands of data entries, so naturally, you engage with dense data structures. However, spreadsheets are cumbersome to update and codify repeatedly before manually updating databases one department at a time. As a result, SMEs underutilize their data, creating space for clerical errors, leaving valuable insight untapped, and ultimately delaying the quote-to-cash process while under-realizing margins.
Mahesh Baxi addresses the struggles SMEs face when selling services:
“If you take a simple lead-to-cash automation process, you have to think of your marketing automation, CRM automation, CPQ automation, your services, coding automation, your CLM automation, invoicing, billing, professional services automation. You have to do reporting and dashboarding. And in all of this, you are not going to find one product that is going to do everything for you. You will have to actually implement different strategies and different best-of-breed technologies. And as a result, making meaningful decisions out of all your data mining is going to be challenging.”
At Provus, most people we talk to work with siloed databases, presenting a significant barrier to leveraging AI. Their wellspring of potential insights remains untapped until they integrate natively with Salesforce Revenue Cloud and feed their data through Provus’ AI-powered Services CPQ to:
- Diagnose operational inefficiencies in your sales process
- Describe the structures behind these inefficiencies
- Predict winning scenarios from data at any step of your process
- Prescribe optimal actions to maximize revenue and optimize margin
In other words, putting a Subject Matter Expert in your agents’ pockets leads to consistently accurate quotes at scale.
3rd Prediction: Selling Professional Services will Become more Complex
Modern, quote-to-cash processes are already complex for SMEs. Growing tech stacks further increase complexity by making managing and integrating end-to-end, multiple databases a clerical nightmare. Effectively leveraging data to inform decisions without compromising efficiency becomes even more challenging in this environment, creating opportunities for the competition. SMEs, not wanting to fall behind, need a powerful 360 system that supports every stakeholder in the motion.
Excel only slows us down.
CPQ software was “next-generation” in 2013 for products and services, but selling and delivering services has since developed nuanced layers that product CPQ cannot handle. With the ability to work alongside product configurations natively in opportunities, Provus Services Quoting puts everything you need at your fingertips. With the recent rise in the applicability of AI to enterprise business, services CPQ is an essential CRM integration to work with your product lineup and effectively handle the growing complexity of delivering enterprise solutions.
Built on salesforce.com, Provus Services CPQ Platform works seamlessly with your existing workflows to simplify selling and delivering complex services quotes. For optimized margins from an insight-driven sales process with less legwork, not more, start with a demo to see Provus Services Quoting in action.
 Jordan, Michelle & Auth, Gunnar & Jokisch, Oliver & Kühl, Jens-Uwe. (2020). Knowledge-based systems for the Configure Price Quote (CPQ) process – A case study in the IT solution business. Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management. 8. 17-30. 10.36965/OJAKM.2020.8(2)17-30.