Top 3 Proposal Challenges

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What are the challenges that prevent companies from doing a better job before hitting the send button on a response? If you’ve heard or said, “Let’s see what happens” when hitting the send button on a proposal, chances are you’re experiencing the typical challenges of the proposal response process: Time Quality Customer Confidence Improving the proposal process helps your entire sales organization with response time, response quality and, most importantly, customer confidence. And you can do it for much less than the cost of sales club! Proposal Challenge: Time For many sales representatives, responding to customer proposals is a necessary part of doing business. The more business a rep has, the more responses to address. Therefore, the time to gather answers to questions, organize and format responses and deliver a final response can add up. If you do some quick math with the number of representatives in your company, times…

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10-40% Revenue Invested Back into Sales… What Percentage Supports your Proposal?

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The Sales Investment: Sale Club & Effective Tools Sales Club. It’s the ultimate reward and recognition for high-performing sales people. The cost to the organization to host such events is typically high: exquisite hotel, fabulous dinners, golf at top rated courses… In 2010, Texas Roadhouse spent about $3 million on a conference in New York City to recognize its top performers. We’re not sure what you’re budget is, but $4,000 per person is expected spending at a bare minimum. Start adding up those costs: A one-week, all-expenses-paid vacation for top earners. Double that to include spouses. What about the paid time off? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Sales Engineer makes just under $105,000. A week’s paid vacation alone costs the business upwards of $2,000. $4,000 starts to sound like it’s definitely on the low end of the spectrum, doesn’t it? Yet, there is little hesitation to…

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Four Questions to Save over One Million Dollars when Evaluating your Contract Lifecycle Management Solution

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When was the last time you thought about updating your Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution? One of our customers is now saving upwards of $1 million over the next 5 years just by doing a simple evaluation of their incumbent solution. It is easy to get caught up in evaluating the newest software solution on the market and forget about the solutions you already have in-house. As we’ve learned from customers, a technology implemented years ago might fly under the radar until employees start complaining. We recommend asking yourself four questions to understand if you need to take a closer look at your Contract Lifecycle Management system:   1. Is the system being utilized to its full potential? We’ve seen time and time again where a client has implemented the big dog in CLM years ago, and hasn’t evaluated it since.  In one case, employees finally started complaining about usability…

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Built in Homebrew Challenge

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Take a minute with me to look past the fedoras, sweater vests and mission to save the world one technology buzz word at a time. Look into the start-up community and you’ll get to know a group of driven, hard-working people who haven’t just walked off the set of HBO’s Silicon Valley and into a fantasy work environment. We don’t spend our days competing in foosball and ping-pong tournaments or racing to solve Rubik’s Cubes fastest. We work long hours to ensure our customer’s success because without them, we don’t have businesses. We’re not lifestyle companies, we’re people working to achieve our ideal lifestyle, because some of our strongest passions exist outside our open workspaces. As such, our community of Colorado startups is bringing you the Built in Homebrew Challenge on Friday, May 30th, 2014 to benefit the Gabby Krause Foundation. Gabby Krause was an amazing six-year old who died…

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Are Consumer File Sharing Solutions like Box and Dropbox Ready for the Enterprise?

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We’ve been working with some customers who are exploring enterprise versions of consumer file sharing solutions. Mapping the enterprises’ needs back to existing functionality, we’ve come to the conclusion that some leading consumer solutions are still in their teen phase. They’re easy to use, convenient tools for end users, and their extensive developer communities have built hundreds of thousands of apps off their APIs, but they still need to grow beyond their fun, attractive UI to become enterprise-ready. Dropbox states a presence in 4 million businesses, meaning the individuals using their solution work for 4 million different companies. Similarly, Box touts that 97% of the Fortune 500 use their service. Of the nearly 1/4 million organizations with a Box presence, only about 15 percent are paying customers. With such a low number of paying customers, it’s worth diving into the viability of the market. We’ll use Box’s S1 Filing for an IPO to assess…

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The Death of the Enterprise Sales Rep?

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How Business Decisions are Becoming Self-Serviced When you bank, do you physically drive to a branch and speak with a teller? Do you walk to an ATM? OR are you like 50 percent of consumer bankers and simply log into your account from your mobile device? If you’re like me, you may not have physically stepped into a bank in quite some time. In fact – and this is not an exaggeration – I have not set foot in a bank since the founding of Ombud and have no future plans to do so. Banking transactions have become self-service and mobile for both consumer and business use. As with most technological advancements, consumers adopted much faster than businesses, but usage eventually permeates the ranks to reach enterprise-wide adoption. Let’s take a look at the future of enterprise sales by reflecting on the transition from shoe salesman to self-service.   The Death of…

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What Minesweeper Taught Us About Alignment

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Back in junior high when we were determined to beat the expert level of minesweeper instead of finishing that book report on The Outsiders, little did we know Microsoft was actually teaching us a valuable lesson on enterprise alignment. Although Windows 8 no longer includes Minesweeper, Microsoft is continuing to reinforce the importance of business alignment, and Minesweeper has become an analogy for strategic planning. Microsoft has made more than 20 acquisitions in the last 5 years, including the  $8.5 billion Skype acquisition. With those acquisitions came new leaders, some who were not tightly aligned with existing strategic goals. New CEO Satya Nadella posted a letter to all employees expressing the company’s current regime change as reflective of senior leadership’s need to “drive clarity, alignment and intensity.” Diverse perspectives are important to fully understand the best strategies moving forward, but every leadership team ultimately needs collaboration to effectively run their organization. Just…

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Solve Fundamental Causes of Failed Decisions – Shortcuts

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In the last post, we discussed how Ombud solves the fundamental mistake of not including stakeholders in the decision-making process. Today, let’s look at how accelerating a decision with Ombud actually eliminates the need for shortcuts while expanding a project’s scope. When you drove to work today, did you take the fastest route? Chances are that you have eliminated every unnecessary turn to minimize potential delays… and still get caught in the occasional phantom traffic jam. Similarly, taking a shortcut in decision-making has a tendency to cause unanticipated delays along the road to a viable solution. Regardless of the solution you’re looking for, the options are abundant. With the right amount of marketing jargon, however, any vendor can convince you that his solution is the only one in its emerging category. Reading through clever marketing and assessing every possible solution takes time you don’t have when under an aggressive deadline….

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Solve Fundamental Causes of Failed Decisions – Participation

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In the previous post, we looked at the scope of failed decisions. In this post, let’s take a look at how Ombud solves fundamental causes of failed decisions through the lens of one customer’s success with the Ombud platform. Despite collaboration’s success rate of 73 percent of decisions being fully utilized, participation is used in less than 20 percent of decisions. Avoiding participation due to time requirements is a widespread decision-making mistake solved via the Ombud platform. Enterprises leveraging Ombud to avoid fundamental decision-making mistakes such as lack of participation are executing more-objective strategic initiatives in less time. For instance, Ombud helped a century-old global facility management company execute the strategic planning for an enterprise-wide customer service initiative in time to meet an aggressive budgetary deadline. The project was expected to take two dedicated full-time employees an entire year to execute. Such a lengthy process would have missed the deadline…

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Working to Solve IT Decision Failure Globally to Save $3 Trillion Annually

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In our previous post, we announced our new platform. Now, let’s take a few minutes to explain why we’re so excited about its launch – we are solving a significant problem that spans industries and geographies. Nearly half of business decisions fail, and one-third are never implemented, according to a study out of Ohio State University published in 1999.  Fifteen years later, the decision-making mistakes identified in that study are still being made. The results of failed decisions are expensive, business-disrupting project failures. Such catastrophes, although most highly publicized when taxpayer dollars are involved, occur in both the public and private sector with disastrous implications. One conservative estimate of the impact of global IT project failures is about three trillion dollars annually. Let’s actually see what that looks like, that is the number three followed by 12 ZEROS or $3,000,000,000,000.  This number sounds as though it must be grossly over-estimated – that is, until you take…

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