Qvidian Helps Establish Infrastructure to Improve Field Productivity

Distributing the latest information on more than 25 products and solutions, in 6 languages, to 3,000+ field sales reps and thousands of channel partners around the world is no small task. But the difficulty of making sure that this information consistently finds its way into sales presentations that meet corporate branding requirements is even more daunting. Fortunately, NetApp, a $6.2 billion provider of storage hardware and software solutions, found Qvidian who enabled them to dramatically simplify these tasks, and in so doing, reap sizable productivity and bottom line benefits.

BUSINESS DRIVER

In the past, except for the largest corporate sales, NetApp’s field sales reps prepared their own proactive proposals and responses to RFPs (request for proposals). This approach was extremely time intensive for the reps, and often the RFPs did not reflect corporate content, presentation, or branding specifications. With the recent launch of a new branding image initiative, the company wanted to make sure that all proposal creation efforts would consistently meet these standards. They could not do so when proposals were created with the previous one-off approach. In addition, the amount of time that sales reps spent on creating proposals cut into the time that they had available to service existing and new customers. To create more customer face time, NetApp needed to consolidate proposal generation activities. “What we wanted to do is have sales reps spend a few minutes completing a form that provides centralized proposal coordinators with all the information they need to create a draft proposal,” said Lisa Priapi, Proposal Manager, Global Sales Operations for NetApp.
“With this approach, we estimated that we could give back to sales reps at least 8 hours each time they generate a proactive sales proposal, and more than 24 hours when they create a full RFP response.”

Another issue that NetApp faced was to make sure that the content available to field sales reps was always current. The solution that NetApp had been using to push proposal related information to a corporate portal was no longer being supported, so updating this database became increasingly difficult and decisions had to be made.

APPROACH

NetApp has now greatly improved their overall field productivity with the use of Qvidian. Until recently, NetApp’s primary emphasis was to create templates for new content and proposals that conformed to corporate branding standards, and to make updated content available to the field through a portal. With Qvidian, this portal now presents all proposal related information to all field sales reps and partners in American English, British English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. It also enables individuals in various countries to add localized content.

“With this Qvidian driven portal, we are providing our field sales team with easier access to the right proposal information they need to win new business,” remarked Priapi. “But, equally important, the database created to service the portal can now also be leveraged with the other tools included with Qvidian to achieve sizable productivity and bottom line benefits.”

IMPACT

Specifically, NetApp recently began offering field sales staff a proactive proposal generation service that they can use to quickly obtain custom proposals to win new sales. In the past, creating these proposals could take a sales rep 8 hours or more to complete. But now, all they have to do is fill out a short form which takes just a few minutes, and the proposal coordinator does the rest. NetApp is also leveraging their Qvidian solution with another offering to sales reps called QuickStart RFP Service.

This service is currently offered globally to all NetApp sales reps for RFPs that are written in English. “What QuickStart does is eliminate the need for the field sales reps to prepare first drafts of RFP responses, an activity that typically took them at least 24 hours,” Priapi explained. “This meant that each time a response was prepared, they lost three days of customer-facing time, and very possibly lost sales opportunities.”

Instead, sales reps can now submit RFPs to a proposal coordinator who, armed with Qvidian, can complete the same first draft in 8 hours or less. “Combining the projected savings for these two programs, we see the real possibility of giving existing field sales reps thousands of hours of added productive sales time each year. Not a bad return on investment,” she concluded.

NetApp, (NTAP) a FORTUNE 500 company, creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. The company has over $6.2 billion in revenues annually, more than 12,000 employees, and 150 offices globally. NetApp solutions empower customers to reduce their data center footprint by 50%, boost storage utilization by 200% and storage system performance by up to 400%, achieving up to 166% ROI as a result of data center transformation.

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