GUEST POST: Tackling a Complex Architecture

 

Posted By Darrell Woodward | Oct 15, 2015

 

An elegant solution, they say, is one in which the maximum desired effect is achieved with the smallest or simplest effort. As much as I am interested in having a solution, the journey to actually constructing that solution is what I find most exciting. In fact, the more complex the challenge, the more rewarding my journey is to meeting those challenges. Here’s a glimpse at my most recent undertaking.

I live in the proposal world, and my goal was to create a process where high quality, customised and personalised proposals could be built in minutes by sales reps and others. In other words, I was on a mission to build a system that employs automation software that could provide a simple interface to a complex architecture. At the same time, my company demanded that the final output be infused with our client-focused corporate messaging based on business requirements.

The challenge for me was to build an architecture that could meet the business demands of the project:

  • Ease of use
  • Fast
  • Personalised
  • Single, centralised resource centre

For Sales to truly benefit, I needed something lightweight and quick. My team and I therefore built the content library working with other departments to gather the source material. We then pre-built the components of proactive proposals so that our sales reps would only need to add a customised conclusion. Simple, easy and fast – something they could build in literally 3 minutes.


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Using a small team, we were able to amplify our efforts to deliver higher quality proposals with massive increases in efficiency to a large, global sales team. It may seem like an overwhelming amount of work, but when you really look at the amount of value it created, it was quite doable – it all worked out. My company now has a document architecture that can build 5,000 different possible solution combinations and counting. In my mind, that’s what Qvidian does. It takes a relatively small number of pieces of content and then combines them in different ways to achieve different results. The most challenging part of this project was finding the content.

In the end, my company has seen a huge increase in the number of proposals built in 2015. I credit this tremendous increase to our education, awareness and training efforts that consistently demonstrate how proposals really can be built in mere minutes. In addition, our senior sales leaders have pushed the practice of delivering tailored proposals to prospects to create opportunities as well as to close business, which has also been hugely successful.

I’m happy to say that all of this hard work did indeed produce an elegant solution. We can now build high quality, customised, personalised proposals and unique sales documents, but effectively in mass production. The end result is a more agile business, and a better service for our customers. 


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Darrell Woodward, Verizon, Bid Manager and Proposal Automation Architect with over 16 years of Business Development and Product Marketing experience. Darrell leads bid teams to qualify opportunities, develop win strategies, create powerful persuasive messaging and deliver high quality proposals. Darrell is a recognised innovator of proposal automation to simplify, accelerate and improve proposals from a large, global sales team.