Irrespective of the industry you operate in, all sales processes and sales effort are directed towards shortening the sales cycle and turning your prospects/clients into customers. The rules of the game are the same even in the software industry landscape.
The primary question surrounding all sales effort is – ‘How do I shorten my sales cycle?’
Efficiency in the sales process involves synchrony of sales, marketing, development and delivery business units with a focus on creating a single working environment for cross departmental business process management. The sales cycle will be shortened only if the various processes surrounding the sales cycle are standardized and quickened.
In the case of software and IT projects, the sales cycle begins with the acquisition phase. A great successful project begins with a well thought, realistic and well organized acquisition phase. A well designed and executed acquisition phase ensures that the software project is not just acquired but diligently executed to the end.
For Software And IT Projects, the Risks Surrounding The Project Acquisition Constitutes the Following:
1. Consistent and granular description of the system based on Implementation Types
2. Accurate scope description – Scope Estimate
3. Accurate delivery schedule –Time Estimate
4. Effort analysis and using the same for productivity analysis
5. Project management and project control approach
6. Preparing robust proposals
7. Risk assessment and analysis
8. Ability to understand and specify the liabilities, rights and responsibilities of concerned stakeholders
9. Ability of the sales team to clearly understand the proposal, risks administration policy and legalities.
10. Mechanism/Tool to expedite the above mentioned procedures of sales process for project acquisition.
When a prospective client explains his vision of a new system along with the terms and conditions for the bidders, you have to submit your proposal. As a developer/development firm, your chance of winning the software project depends on your ability to create differentiation at this very level of the sales cycle.
You can create a differentiation if your proposal is the ‘most robust’, supported with granular and detailed system descriptions (scope) and solid justification of time, cost and effort estimates accurately. Besides, estimation should be comparatively quick. Your sales cycle is defined by the shortest turnaround time of producing those estimates versus your competitors which define your chances of winning the project.
As I mentioned above, the risks associated with Software project estimates – scope, time, cost and budget – forms the top most important risk element of sales cycle.They can make or break your proposal as they define the project acquisition predominantly. These components form the primary factors which affect the bidding and closing rate. As a developer/development company you need to engage a mechanism which efficiently handles the risks and enables you to submit a robust, realistic and technically sound proposal for project bid.
Quick FPA is the tool which comes handy here – the software estimation tool is a standardized system which helps to clearly identify the use cases, the implementation types of each use case, validations, various implementation options, and identify the complexity of the project. It allows you to estimate effort in a detailed manner by considering ramp up effort, installation effort, deployment effort, build script effort and even version control effort. Quick FPA allows you to identify the testing environments and calculate test cases which need to be run. With such detailed estimation capabilities, when you submit your software project estimate for software bidding, you tend to submit a robust proposal and ward off risk associated with the sales cycle.
Quick FPA enables the development and sales team to accurately gather business requirements and correct elucidation of client needs as the tool helps to identify all possible use cases and implementation types. Any misinterpretation associated with technicalities, input, output or development technologies can be efficiently dealt with Quick FPA. With estimation at this level, any scope of misinterpretation at pre contractual phase or scope creep at implementation stages gets efficiently warded off.
As we all know erroneous estimation of project cost, resource and time is another risk area when a sales bid is placed. You need to submit justifiable numbers and not overestimate or underestimate as the both would doom your chances to successfully win and complete a project. Quick FPA allows you to produce accurate and justifiable estimates, as the scope document contains technically sound granular estimates of the proposed system.
The sales cycle has another important aspect which needs to be dealt uniquely to create differentiation vis-a-vis your competitors. That aspect is time. If you use a tool which enables you to produce your estimates very quickly – you have won half the race. Couple it with accuracy and detailed analysis of estimates – you have won the entire race. Quick FPA helps you to do this –win the race by shortening the sales cycle of your project bidding process along with producing justifiable, technically sound accurate estimates.
As a player in the software industry landscape, every development company aims to bid for multiple software projects. In the absence of a standardized tool, different developers estimate the work differently. If consistency in estimates is lacking, the development firm has to engage an expert for review, detect inconsistencies and form a final opinion on the estimate. All this eventually slows down the process affecting the company’s ability to bid on more projects. By lowering your software estimation time and shortening your sales cycle, you can bid for many projects all at the same time.
You also need a system which can increase the bid closing rate .i.e. allow you to estimates accurately and bid for multiple projects so that you have more approved projects in your pipeline. Quick FPA allows you to add as many clients as you wish and flexibly estimate for multiple projects even by a nontechnical, non-expert individual with great consistency.
As a rule, if you bid for more projects you have a higher chance of winning a software project.
Engage Quick FPA as the unique tool to shorten your sales cycle, successfully bid for software projects and increase your closing rate.