Now is the new normal for your prospects and customers. Being able to capture new business, exceed the expectations of customers and set a solid foundation for future growth relies on how well your company responds to every opportunity to sell. The checklists provided in this white paper prepare your company to sell more intelligently and with greater profitability.
Cloud vs. On-Premise: Making the Best Decision for Your Complex Selling System
Cloud vs. On-PremiseMaking the Best Decision forYour Complex Selling SystemWHITE PAPERCincom In-depth Analysis and Review withInsights from Louis Columbus and Greg Doud S I M P L I F I C AT I O N T H R O U G H I N N O VAT I O N ®
Table of ContentsCloud vs. On-Premise Selling with Accuracy, Intelligence and Speed . . . . . . . . 1Making the Best Decision for Think of Selling Speed and Accuracy as Part of WhoYour Complex Selling System You Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Ten Signs that It’s Time to Upgrade Your Quoting Process and Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2WHITE PAPER Configuring Products on the Fly—Speed Is the New Differentiator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Cincom In-depth Analysis and Review withInsights from Louis Columbus and Greg Doud Cloud vs. On-Premise: Which Is Best for You? . . . . . . . . 2 Pros: When Cloud Computing Makes Sense . . . . . . . . . . 3 Cons: When On-Premise Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fifteen Questions to Help You Decide If the Cloud Is for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Infographic: Is the Cloud for You? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1Selling with Accuracy, Intelligence Looking at the factors behind these state-of-the-art selling systems shows a fascinating story of how companies areand Speed breaking through the barriers of selling more. Here are the lessons learned from companies that are excelling atNow is the new normal for your prospects and customers. accurate, intellegent and rapid selling:Being able to capture new business, exceed the • Define quoting, proposal and pricing success fromexpectations of customers and set a solid foundation for your customer’s metrics first—not your own. In manyfuture growth relies on how well your company responds industries, since time is so incredibly precious and into every opportunity to sell. Making the most of every such short supply, buyers want to get the most accurateopportunity begins by getting into the mindset of your quote as possible and move on to the next task.prospects and customers. • Realize that your buyers choose to learn differentlyOne of the most powerful ways to do that is to create very today than in the past. The current generation ofaccurate, clear quotes, proposals and pricing estimates— buyers in B2B has chosen entirely new channels of howones that reflect the best of who your company is and they learn about new products and solutions.what they can do to serve prospects and customers. Great Companies that realize this and choose to createquoting, proposal and pricing systems can tell you which quoting, proposal and pricing systems that give thisdeals are the most profitable, and those you need to walk latest generation of buyers a chance to learn in the wayaway from. they prefer are winning more business as a result. • Your customers’ greatest asset is time—respect itThink of Selling Speed and Accuracy and earn the chance to serve and sell them more.as Part of Who You Are Not only is the definition of time changing for your prospects and customers, the pace of change itselfMaking the most of every minute with a prospective is accelerating. The following infographic from Intelor current customer starts with a commitment to really shows what happens in a typical Internet minute.listen to what they have to say and capturing their The Internet and its convenience and speed arerequirements accurately. compressing prospects’ and customers’ expectationsThe best-in-class, tablet-based quoting systems have the rapidly. Quoting, proposal and pricing systems needability to pull real-time pricing and product availability to keep pace with this change in how customers valueover the Internet and configure exactly what a customer time to stay relevant today and in the future.wants in real time. Bottom line: Who your company is on the inside and how much you value prospects’ and customers’ time gets projected to the outside world every time you complete a quote, proposal or pricing request. “What Happens in an Internet Minute?” Intel.com, n.p.,n.d. Web.12 Oct. 2012
2Ten Signs that It’s Time to Upgrade Your Configuring Products on the Fly—SpeedQuoting and Proposal Strategies Is the New DifferentiatorEvery quote or proposal that your company creates The best selling systems liberate sales so that more time cansays more about who you are than a year’s worth be spent with customers. Particularly with manufacturingof marketing collateral. and service companies in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R); specialty vehicles;Quoting and proposals say how serious your company medical products and high-tech industries, this is the bestis about the commitments it makes and keeps. How you way to learn their business challenges and objectives.handle them—either with accuracy, speed and precisionor with errors, omissions and requests from prospects for Accuracy and speed are important to customers who aremore meetings or information—also says much about looking to purchase your products. Therefore, they shouldhow your company operates. Here are the top ten signs be important considerations when contemplating a plat-that it’s time to upgrade. form for your selling system. According to Gartner Analyst, Tom Bittman1, recent polls show that even more than lower1. Quotes are reworked multiple times, leading to costs, the majority of large enterprises consider speed and lost time in the sales cycle and sales representatives agility to be the primary benefits of cloud computing. having to chase down experts to get accurate answers. The cloud can allow fast access to systems and product2. Every selling or distribution channel has its own information and can enable accurate quotes to be quickly quoting and proposal system, which leads to a configured at the point of sale. However, computing in duplication of selling efforts. the cloud also comes with its own set of risks. How can3. New product introductions, product-line extensions you be sure which is better for your company—the cloud and discontinued products aren’t reflected in the or on-premise? current pricing, product catalogs and proposal workflows for months.4. Measuring sales productivity across all channels is done manually and is often inaccurate. There are Cloud vs. On-Premise: no analytics or financials that can be viewed in real Which Is Best for You? time to see sales productivity. According to Forbes2, the biggest mistake companies5. The proliferation of product features, options and make when purchasing a cloud solution is by not going service contracts is making the existing quote-to- in with a well-developed strategy. order process extend to weeks, when hours is the turnaround time that customers want. Industry Analyst, Louis Columbus, concurs:6. Pricing and Gross Contribution Margins are “The best results are being attained by enterprises that calculated manually on every proposal and quote, focus on a very specific strategy and look to cloud-based which bogs down the sales manager’s and finance technologies to accelerate their performance. Those department’s time. enterprises that look to cloud platforms only for cost reduction miss out on their full potential.”7. Orders have been accepted that aren’t buildable, or they’re so expensive to produce that the company So, how can you avoid making the “strategy” mistake? is losing money. To start, take a look at some of the “pros” and “cons”8. Prospects want a complete quote or proposal based about cloud computing. on just a single meeting with your sales team. Currently, it’s taking three to four meetings to capture their requirements.9. Cross-selling and up-selling is done rarely, if at all, due to the lack of flexibility in the quoting, proposal and catalog management systems.10.Every quote has to go through engineering teams to see if it’s buildable, which means that you’re constantly chasing the experts. 1 Bittman, Thomas J., “Top Five Private Cloud Computing Trends, 2012.” Gartner.com, Web. 12 Oct. 2012 2“ Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing Shows Enterprises Finding Value in Big Data, Virtualization.” Forbes.com, 04 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 Oct. 2012
3Pros: When Cloud Computing Makes Sense • SaaS-based integration is accelerating - Many enterprises are now integrating their quoting, proposalAccording to Greg Doud of Cincom, the following are the and pricing systems directly into their CRM systems,most compelling reasons why cloud computing may make including Microsoft CRM and Salesforce CRM. Thissense for your enterprise. is rapidly driving up adoption rates since sales• Reduced cost - When you have your application running professionals are using these applications while in the cloud, your IT staff doesnt have to worry about within a CRM working session—all in real time. servers, networking and operating system software support. Those things are being taken care of by the Cons: When On-Premise Works cloud provider. However, according to Doud, in some instances,• Mobile computing - Most companies have complicated on-premise deployment may be right for your company. security protocols to keep people from getting into their When might that be? network; but that is just what the mobile users need to do! Access authorizations are taken care of effortlessly When you’re concerned about: in the cloud. • Total cost of ownership (TCO) - Paying a low monthly• Cash flow - When deploying a large system on-premise subscription for software certainly helps a companys that requires multiple servers and software, a large, cash flow. However, over the long term, the software up-front cash outlay is also required. When using a does become more expensive. For example, suppose cloud, normal charges are billed on a monthly basis a company is looking to purchase some software for as an operating expense rather than a capital expense. $3,600, or they can pay $100 per month. After three This improves a company’s cash flow. years, the amount paid for the subscription is identical• More robust environment - Cloud providers build to the purchase price. But after those three years, the their infrastructure to support high-speed, load- subscription will begin to cost more than the purchase. balanced environments. This means that running in • Outside risks - When software is hosted on-premise, the cloud allows a company to quickly scale up their everything resides within the walls of the company. When application without a large additional investment, or it is hosted in the cloud, the cloud provider has access scale down and only pay for what’s needed. to and control of the hardware and software. If the cloud• Increased response times/decreased outage risks - provider’s security controls are not as robust as those of Most large cloud providers have multiple data centers the company, the risk of failure can be greater. in various parts of the world. This allows a company • Data control - The US Patriot Act requires some to deploy their applications and data closer to the companies to keep their data within the boundaries of end-user than when servers and software are in the the United States. This limits some of the flexibility that companys data center. This means better response cloud providers allow in terms of deploying applications times and decreased outage risks. close to the user. Additionally, having an on-premise• Faster start-up and time-to market with a SaaS-based solution may make sense when you need to keep enterprise application - With a cloud offering, you can sensitive or regulated data local. get started much faster than with one that requires you to obtain your own hardware and software.• Nothing to install - Enough said. When Is the Cloud the Right Choice?• Freedom for the line-of-business manager - Cloud- based applications are paid for from operating-expense Outgrowing Little or no Need for (OPEX) budgets, which frees up the line-of-business existing in-house IT mobile manager to pay for just what they need. They also application are free from the lengthy and often complex capital requirements expense (CAPEX) budgeting processes that IT departments have historically relied upon. Immediate High growth/• Greater flexibility in defining workflows - Cloud need/fast rapid change Seasonal needs applications are more adept at being configured implementation from a workflow standpoint since they are designed for rapid updates and customization. Geographic Business Limited budget expansion continuity/ emergency preparedness
415 Questions to Help You Decide if the ConclusionCloud Is for You Computing in the cloud can provide unmatched dynamicFinally, these questions should help you develop a scalability and flexibility as well as reduced start-up andstrategy to best decide what’s right for your organization. deployment costs, since software is typically expensed rather than capitalized. There is also greater support for remote and mobile users in the cloud. For these reasons,Security cloud deployment is quickly gaining momentum.1. Where are the hosting facilities and backup data centers located? However, in the end, it comes down to whether people2. Who owns my data once it’s transferred to the believe that cloud computing is safe and that the risks are hosting facilities? worthwhile. We hope this white paper has helped you move closer to deciding what’s best for your organization.3. Will my data be used for data-mining purposes?4. What’s your disaster recovery plan? Your up-time percentage?5. Do your facilities have industry-recognized security features (such as data encryption)?IT6. How long will implementation take and what does it entail?7. Do we need any hardware or software installed on-site and what do we need to look at regarding our ISP?8. Will the add-ons and other services I’m currently using be available in the cloud?9. How is data returned to us if we decide to move back on-premise?Vendor10. What is your company’s history and experience in this area?11. Can you provide references?12. In your experience, what do you see as the benefits and risks of moving to the cloud that are specific to my particular business?Cost13. Can I shut down portals as needed and only pay for what I use?14. What can I expect to save with a cloud model vs. an on-premise solution?The Bottom Line15. Why should I select you as my cloud computing provider?
5 Is the Cloud for You? ACCORDING TO GARTNER *From the Gartner “Hype Cyle for Cloud Computing,” 2012 More than 50% of enterprises will have some Private Cloud form of SaaS-based application Delivered internally to one organizationstrategy by 2015. Public CloudBy 2014, the personal cloud will have Delivered to anyone whoreplaced the personal computer as the wants to consume the servicescenter of users’ digital lives.75% of respondents in Gartner Pros polls say they plan to pursue a Reduces Cost and Outage Risk private cloud computing Cons strategy by 2014. Highter Total Cost of Ownership Some Outside Risk Less Data Control The Question Countdown security IT Vendor Cost Bottom Line