James Cramer

Recent Posts

How to (Actually) Automate Services Proposals and SOWs

Posted by James Cramer on 4/26/18 5:00 AM

According to TSIA's PS Benchmark Study from Q2 2018, it takes about 38 days for a technology services proposal to get to a customer. What if it only took a few days or a few hours? First, it would make customers and Sales teams a lot happier! Next, it would drive revenue due to significantly increased sales capacity. Finally, it would reduce the cost of sales operations. So, unless multi-week proposals is the best we can do as an industry, there is a major opportunity here. In this post, I will explain how (and how not) to automate sales proposals.

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Topics: automation, professional services

Why You Shouldn’t Quote Using Spreadsheets

Posted by James Cramer on 2/21/18 5:00 AM

We often ask technology services teams a simple question: “How important is quoting?” The answer is almost always the same: Quoting is very important but it really needs improvement. While the specific problems in quoting differ from company to company, it’s the use of spreadsheets for quoting that, in most cases, is the root cause. In this post, I’m going to cover some of the challenges your company might be facing and provide an alternative to quoting in spreadsheets.  

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Topics: professional services, professional services sales

CPQ for Services: The Spreadsheet Killer

Posted by James Cramer on 1/9/18 5:00 AM

Imagine the technology services and consulting industry hiring the very brightest minds to reimagine their sales process and rebuilding everything from the ground up. Would these capable minds come back and recommend spreadsheets, email approvals, and manual proposals?

Quoting in technology services looks a lot like it did 20 years ago. It’s slow and expensive, it’s error prone, it lacks visibility, and it often misses revenue opportunities. But, a quiet transformation is taking place as Services teams embrace a new technology: Configure Price Quote (CPQ) for Services. These teams are gaining new streams of frictionless revenue, innovating their pricing models, building attractive solution bundles, and radically simplifying their sales process. And, without spreadsheets, they are achieving a level of revenue and resource demand visibility once considered impossible.

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Topics: professional services, professional services automation (PSA)

Why Forecasting Is More Important Than Ever

Posted by James Cramer on 10/10/17 5:00 AM

Forecasting in professional services has never matched the maturity of other industries. However, this is becoming a bigger problem as technology projects become shorter in duration and narrower in scope. Revenue backlog simply doesn’t stretch as far into the future as it once did. Faced with a less certain revenue and resource demand outlook, a “wait until you win, then react” operating style prevails. This puts pressure on margins, strains delivery teams, limits agility, and makes business models vulnerable to more progressive approaches. Yet, most of the industry is still forecasting in spreadsheets. It’s time for professional services to match other industries in forecasting innovation by deploying modern technology, more comprehensive methods, and real-time data.

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Topics: professional services, customer relationship management (CRM), professional services automation (PSA), TSIA Partners

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