Project Pulse for Sales

Selling service based projects has many challenges for the sales team and Project Pulse has been designed to provide the necessary capabilities for reps to quickly and accurately create profitable quotes.  It is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to accurately predict implementation costs and project durations without a tool like Project Pulse.  Typically, sales teams are disconnected from the services team and left on their own to understand what the customer requirements are, identify issues that may impact successful execution of the project, guess at how long the project will take and ultimately figure out how to price the project to generate profitability and the desired margins.

Without having a factual way to determine costs and project duration, the usual method is based on past experience which is a recipe for underpricing projects with unrealistic timeframes, which lead to uncomfortable change order discussions or explanations as to why the project cannot be delivered on time with customers.  On a fixed-price project, this is a very bad outcome, not only because it reduces profitability, but it also puts undue strain on the project team to deliver against unrealistic expectations leading to shortcuts. loss of service quality and unhappy customers.  Project Pulse ensures that sales reps have the right information to create profitable quotes with realistic plans, but there is also a need to have an integrated process that involves solution architects to validate requirements and scope and provide input into the quoting process.

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Creating a Customer Quote

Many companies deliver the same type of services over and over again.  One way to deliver consistent project results is to define the sequence of activities and job roles needed to deliver the service and create a template for each service which represents your best practices.  Rather than each project manager rolling their own project plan, all teams delivering a given service are operating in a standardized way, making it easy to compare the performance of one team from another.  Most importantly, it facilitates delivering consistent quality of service delivery to your customers.

Project Pulse provides sales reps the ability to quickly enter those items to sold to a customer, whether that be service related or product related.  A product item could be a hardware sale, subscription or license fee, etc.  All items to be sold are entered into a Salesforce price book and added the Opportunity as line items where quantity and price are established.

With the Project Pulse Opportunity Wizard, sales reps can generate an executable project with a button click.  Notifications can be sent to your PMO office that a new quote is ready to be reviewed and validated.

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Validating the Quote

The PMO office will receive a notification that a new customer quote is ready to be reviewed.

Each service sold to a customer will vary in scope based on the unique customer requirements.  During the sales process, Project Pulse provides a view for sales reps to capture customer requirements and document any risks foreseen in delivering the service(s).  Best practice is to define a questionnaire for each service that the account rep can use to document the specific needs of a customer.

Your solution architect should review the items sold and any associated sales notes to determine what changes are required to the standard service template.  Project Pulse provides a Gantt view which makes changes to task order, dependency or duration very quick to implement.

Assuming this is a booked project, your PMO office should assign resources to the project based on the information provided by our resource capacity view.  Once done, you will know the earliest date when the project can be started and be confident that the date committed to the customer can be honored.

Once the project plan is created and approved, the project is scheduled for execution by the financial process.  This process will generate a wealth of information that will determine total project hours, cost, expenses, revenue, margin and duration.  The financial process provides all of the key information an account rep needs to finalize the quote.  Management can be assured that each quoted project is priced accurately and consistently, ensuring profitability.

When the financial process is completed, the sales rep will receive a notification and view the generated project financial information.  Adjustments to the sales price and/or start date are adjusted as required.

Once the quote has been validated, tools such as Conga or DrawLoop can be leveraged to produce a branded proposal, ensuring your quotes have a consistent and professional presentation.  To make the acceptance process faster, DocuSign can be leveraged for electronic customer signature which will attach the signed proposal to the Opportunity.

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Collaboration

Project Pulse integrates Salesforce Chatter social media feature, which is available at the record level throughout the project.  Sales reps can monitor and contribute to the communication which provides insight into project progress and also gives sales reps advance notice of any issues which may require discussion with the customer.  This capability allows sales reps to play an active role in service delivery to support managing customer expectations and issues should they arise.

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Revenue Forecasting

Service-based projects generate revenue as work is delivered.  It is not possible to get this information from the Opportunity. Sales management need a view that will project current and future revenue in order to have visibility whether they are meeting revenue goals.

Project Pulse provides powerful financial modeling which produces a wealth of financial information.  In fact, the financial process produces over 100 financial metrics giving unprecedented visibility in current and future revenue streams.

This information can be dynamically rolled up by project, account, division, region, product or any other user defined category.  Instead of sales management spending countless hours on producing sales reports, they can focus their time on selling, not administration.

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Sales Reporting & Dashboards

Sales management spend a significant portion of their day on management reporting.  That time could be better spent reviewing the pipeline and offering guidance to sales reps regarding strategy, challenges and issue resolution.

Using our powerful Grid technology, Opportunities can be grouped by Region, Sales Rep, Opportunity Stage or any other useful categorization.  In a single screen, both Opportunities and and related Opportunity information can be viewed dynamically (with full multi-column sorting and filtering capabilities) which eliminates the need for volumes of reports.  In addition, adjustments to close date, Opportunity amount and other important information can be changed directly in the view without navigation, greatly speeding up the process of pipeline reviews.  With record level Chatter integration, notes from previous reviews can be captured which help to track progress and issue resolution.

Project Pulse provides a wealth of sales reports and dashboards which provide management the executive level of detail they need to make informed decisions and where to focus their attention to meet sales goals.