The first thing Empire did right was that it examined its sales process. Many companies automate flawed sales processes. A poorly defined or flawed sales process is a common cause of failed sales technology rollouts. An organization must seek to develop a common set of “winning” sales processes. Only then can technology be applied to reinforcing the selling process.
The next correct move Empire made was that it focused on automating key steps in the sales process from the brokers’ perspective, not management’s perspective. Many sales technology rollouts fail because they do just the opposite?focus on management needs, with not enough emphasis on salespeople and customers. Automating activities to close more sales by removing barriers should be the primary target of any sales automation effort, and not improved pipeline, forecasting and reporting mechanisms for management. If the application does decrease the time a customer has to wait for enrollment, then it’s a real win as customers benefit from the technology also.
The third smart move Empire made was that it picked compelling sales applications to deploy?a sales configurator and a proposal generator. Sales configurators not only provide cost savings (by reducing order rework expenses associated with misconfigured orders), they also have the potential to significantly enhance revenue. Gartner estimates that product configuration deployments will provide sales organizations with at least a 2 percent increase in both win rates and order size, resulting in an increase of 5.4 percent in revenue. We also estimate that enterprises adopting a proposal generation system will cut in half the time it takes to create, edit, approve and produce a professional proposal.