Using a CRM to Prepare Estimates and Sales Proposals

Using a CRM to Prepare Estimates and Sales Proposals

Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be used to prepare an estimate or sales proposal for a prospective customer.  As we discussed last time, a CRM typically has a place to track opportunities, the value of those opportunities, the timeframe to close, etc., in other words the sales pipeline.  The next activity for the sales team would be an estimate or proposal.  In the ideal situation, much of the information already in the CRM about the customer and their needs can be utilized in the preparation of the estimate.  Depending on the type of merchandise or service you provide, an estimate needs varying degrees of detail.  The more detail required, the greater functionality needed in the CRM to enable the sales person to provide that detail.  Typically a list of detailed items needs to be in the CRM to pick from so that the items on the estimate do not have to be reentered with every estimate.  So the greater the functionality provided by the CRM the better.

Preparing an estimate in the CRM also serves to provide more detail to the sales pipeline information and more information to analyze what types of customers and the specific aspects of the customer needs and the items quoted are more successful and less successful when analyzing wins and losses.  This is key to improving the target marketing, providing feedback to the product development team and feedback to the marketing folks involved in setting the marketing strategy.

Bryan B Mason

Apollo Consulting Group, Newport, RI

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