At your company, quoting procedures often run into delays when they reach the approval stage. Obtaining approvals is very time-consuming and that’s unfortunate, but it’s still better than granting your sales employees full freedom. You’ve had to restrict their freedom, because, all too often, production ran into problems because volumes and delivery times had been promised too easily. In some case, you’ve managed to deliver on your promises by pulling out all the stops. But sometimes it has simply been impossible, leaving you with grumbling customers. It’s so annoying. The biggest fuss was when you delivered a machine that didn’t meet the customer’s expectations: insufficient capacity for its intended purpose. It all went wrong because one of your sales staff adjusted a technical specification without realizing the consequences and nobody had picked up on it. The trouble this caused seemed endless. Since then, your rules on authorization and approval have become stricter. It might take longer to send out a quote, but you’d rather have it that way. But let’s not forget, you’ve noticed that prospects are dropping out, because they can get quotes faster from other companies….
In Sofon, you can lay down all of your rules for authorization and approval in very close relation to what is offered. The rules, which your staff can check at any time, are automatically applied by the system. Authorization and approval can be used for all kinds of matters, such as:
You can set rules for anything you want.
You can assign authorization and approval to specific people, but in practice, that authorization will probably be assigned to your staff’s positions or roles. You can incorporate all gradations you want into the system: the Sales Manager needs to approve a discount and the Production Manager needs to approve any changes to delivery times. You can set up levels of approval to follow a series of steps: first, the approval of the Head of Sales’ is required – for instance – and then, only after he or she has approved, the Country Manager will give his or her consent. You also have the option of appointing one or more deputies if someone is absent, so that the authorization and approval process will not be interrupted.
The system sends alerts if someone tries to promise something without having the authority to do so. If that happens, the system will automatically send a report to the person or persons whose approval is required. The report contains the reason for the alert and the deal that is to be approved or rejected. It also offers a term that includes reminders to ensure that the process doesn’t lose speed. The approval or rejection report is automatically returned to the applicant, stating the reasons. When all aspects of a quote have been approved, the quote will be released and can then be sent to the customer.
As an addition to your authorization and approval processes, you can improve all of the other aspects of quoting and contracting by introducing smart processes: quote creation, quote management, cost of goods sold, sales negotiation management, discount/rebate management, contract creation, contract management, revision and version management and revenue recognition.