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A substantial return on investment awaits your business in automating your Quote and Proposal business processes.

For the average non-retail, non-professional business, that statement is a fact -- because that same business, on average, has developed some very inefficient business processes around one of the most fundamental deliverables: A quote or proposal for their goods and services.



For many -- if not most -- businesses that depend on the creation of quotes and proposals for their livelihood, this process area is one of the most significantly broken -- and represents one of the easiest, highest ROI "fixes" in business today.

The root of the problem for many was once one of the greatest blessings for sales professionals:

The spreadsheet. Yes, the spreadsheet.

There are still a lot of great things about using spreadsheets to create quotes and proposals. They're easy to use, ubiquitous, and reliable. They're flexible -- a trait treasured by sales professionals (if dreaded by their management). A spreadsheet is both the vehicle for calculation and presentation in one. They are capable of creating very simple or extremely complex documents.

There are drawbacks as well. Spreadsheets are difficult to connect to Internet-based data stores for content, pricing, and availability information. They don't integrate with our operational and CRM systems, the software that runs our businesses and performs our accounting functions. Flexibility and lack of security have a big downside as well.

Creating complex spreadsheets with arcane formulas and macros is both difficult and error-prone -- and a long-term maintenance headache. If a spreadsheet-bound sales team has ten sales professionals, there's a good chance they have ten different versions of the spreadsheet, creating consistency and accuracy issues. In today's contexts, these downsides are killers -- creating tremendous productivity and quality holes in our organizations.

When we started using spreadsheets to do our quotes and proposals, we stopped thinking about the process of creating quotes and proposals. It's time to start thinking again -- because solving this business problem can truly become a gold mine in the back yard.

It's time to elevate and automate the Quote and Proposal process. Here are 5 ways modern Quote and Proposals can create happier customers and positively impact your bottom line:

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