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IT Vendor Gains $9 million in Additional Revenues Through Improved Pricing and More Productive Sales Force


Business Challenges

  • Sales lost because IT system inadequate for producing competitive quotes quickly
  • Lost margin because pricing quotes not standardized according to business rules

Results

  • $9 million in additional revenues through improved pricing, more productive sales force

"CTE's concentrated workshop process and the rapid deployment of these two software applications will help us win new sales in highly competitive situations and insure that we maximize our profits on each sale. With our company's sales nearing $1 billion, it is vital for our extended field force to have reliable, accurate, and instantaneous information. The software solutions that we develop with CTE will give us the data we need to improve customer service, increase revenue, and make our sales force more effective. Because of CTE's expertise and proven software tools, we expect to implement this valuable solution in just 15 weeks, the shortest enterprise application development time I've seen." .

A large supplier of IT products and services to government customers did not have a sales support system that enabled its field sales reps to quickly produce competitive and error-free quotes. Often, sales reps would lower prices without applying systematic business rules, resulting in lost margin and lost sales.

This Virginia-based IT solutions company participated in CTE's Cambridge Executive Workshop (CEW) to quickly develop a prototype solution to improve their ability to win profitable sales. The CEW enabled the company to develop a business solution linked with advanced technology to consolidate information among disparate departments that influenced sales, speed the process of creating competitive sales proposals, and insure that price quotes offered the best margins. Consequently, the firm has been able to increase its sales win ratio and gain more than $9 million in additional annual revenues.


Solution

After nearly 20 years of providing public sector companies with IT solutions, this IT provider found increasingly that its sales proposals were not competitive or fast enough to win sales. Multiple departments within the company touched the sales process that included contracts, acquisitions, sales, pricing, and other issues. However, the sales support system was not set up to facilitate fast responses throughout the firm to produce proposals that would reach customers in time for the buying decision. The company sells products and services under a variety of contracts and selling prices are based on numerous factors that include issues such as competitor pricing, quantity discounts, customer relationship, and more. Sales reps were unable to consistently optimize margin because of the high level of complexity and manual operations throughout the sales process.

As a company generating $900 million in sales last year, the company wanted to solve its business problem and turned to CTE to help find the solution.

CTE Solution

The company participated in CTE's three-week Cambridge Executive Workshop (CEW), during which they developed prototype solutions to address the sales proposal problems.

The CEW is a powerful, collaborative forum where CTE works with Fortune 1000 firms and governments, bringing together executives, managers, end users, and other stakeholders to move new ideas to fruition. During the CEW, CTE specialists in business solutions and technology work with clients to:

  • Generate new, high-impact ideas using CTE's "left and right hand" framework;
  • Identify "lazy assets" that can benefit from new technologies and improved processes;
  • Tap MIT and Harvard resources to drive a strategic, problem-solving approach;
  • Create a compelling, complete business case with quantitative and qualitative benefits.

One of the key issues facing the company was that any technology solution had to be rapid and open, allowing for access to the existing legacy customer information system and a planned migration to a new system.

Because of the compressed three-week period of the CEWs, the IT vendor was able to quickly:

  • Develop architectures for flexible solutions;
  • Create custom prototypes of the solutions;
  • Provide a framework for Rapid Application Development (RAD); and
  • Develop a deployment roadmap to quickly capture maximum business benefits.

During two of the CEW workshops, the firm and CTE developed prototypes of the Contract Selection Module and the Pricing Recommendation Module. Together, these two enterprise applications will provide information to allow sales reps to quickly create competitive sales proposals and quotes and optimize the firm's margins and the selling probability. Following the CEWs, the company moved into CTE's Rapid Application Development (RAD) phase, a 15-week program designed to accelerate deployment of enterprise IT solutions.

Through the CEW, the company was able to:

  • Develop an architecture enabling consolidation of data in disparate systems with flexibility for the changing business environment;
  • Create custom prototypes of the two solutions;
  • Provide a framework for Rapid Application Development (RAD); and
  • Develop a deployment roadmap to quickly capture maximum business benefits.

  • The Contract Selection Module will generate a suggested contract for quote, based on those the customer is eligible to purchase, then recommend which contract offers the highest margin to the company and the highest sales probability. The Pricing Recommendation Module will list a recommended price, based on input from the sales rep on competitor information, historical sales margins for the manufacturer/product line in question, and customer information. Both modules will remove the chance for pricing errors from the selling process.


    Solution

    By creating these two technology solutions, the company is providing its sales reps and other company departments with the tools necessary for efficient and competitive quote creation. It is allowing sales reps to respond to requests for quotes much faster, and with a proposal that will meet customer needs and provide the firm with the best margins. The team working with CTE believes that approximately $9 million in new revenues will result from the deployment of these two modules, providing the company with the additional revenue gains sought by the company. Company executives were enthusiastic about the programs and rolled immediately into the deployment phase, so that the company could begin to see the programs working in just 15 weeks.


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