codesign is a simple but powerful tool in it’s ability to input items (products and labor) and then start building groups and packages from those items with great detail. But, what if you already have a proposal software or packages that you’re happy with? Is there a way that can still help you streamline the sales process? The answer is absolutely.
As a Tool for Sales
Although codesign affords you a deeper level of control, one way to use codesign is as a simple budgeting tool for clients. Let’s say your current strategy is for your salesman to meet with a customer, go over the options and needs, and then inform the customer that you’ll be back in touch with a proposal once your system designer has created it.
This means you’re doing three things wrong. One, you’re letting the customer walk away and possibly off to get another price. Two, you’re using your system designer’s time for doing spec work instead of actual design. And three, you’re creating another breaking point in the chain of communication between the client, the salesman, and the designer. This creates frustration for everyone. The client’s frustrated because the salesman has no power to give him what he needs. The salesman is frustrated because he’s waiting on the system designer. And, the designer is really frustrated because he already has 2 other salesmen waiting on him for proposals (to spend his time designing something that’ll probably never happen anyway).
It would benefit you to have a way for your sales team to build an estimate without having to tie up the system designer for jobs that you may not get. And, it would benefit your salesman in his ability to get a budget price nailed down and an agreement before it’s turned over to the system designer. Here’s how that works in codesign…
Enter your packages into codesign
Have your system designer pre-engineer basic packages for each of the types of systems that you sell, broken down into home theater, audio, video, lighting, etc. Each of these basic systems has a name and a “sku”. Then, create upgrade options for each of the systems that can easily be added or deleted, depending on the client’s desires and budget.
Ex: You create an item in codesign called “HomeTheater.Basic”, which includes your standard receiver, standard Blu-Ray, control system, affordable speakers, programming, etc, with a price of $9,999. Then you create items for each of the upgrades: something like “Upgrade.7.1+” for an upgrade in speaker quality. The price of these items is the “difference” each of these upgrades adds to the basic package. So adding “Upgrade.7.1+” to an estimate adds $1500 to the total budget for the client and tells the system designer that the basic affordable speakers should be switched out to whatever speakers you classified as the upgrade.
Now, your salesman has the power to configure a system with a client in the way that they would add or subtract options on a vehicle. More importantly, you’re letting the client spend his own money and see instantly how his requests affect the budget. Once the budget estimate is agreed on by the client, the salesman can then set the status of the estimate to “approved” and decide if he/she wants to hand the client a contract to sign and/or collect a percentage for the project to start.
Using codesign for Everything
It wouldn’t be complete with the ability to do all of this inside of codesign itself, without the help of an expensive proposal software. Once you have your products and labor items in codesign (either individually or by csv import), you can begin building your item groups and pre-engineered packages right there in codesign.
Establishing a group price
As items are added to a group, the price of those items gets summed. codesign allows you to either leave the price of the group as the summed total, or, a group price can be established.
Ex. The total price of a group (excluding sales tax) is $523.00. For marketing purposes, you may want to establish a simple price of $499.00 for the group. codesign will discount all items in the group to reach the desired price of $499.00.
Adding groups to groups
codesign allows unlimited nesting of groups. As you create packages (which are just larger groups), you may find that you would like to add a group to another group. codesign allows for multiple nesting of groups into other groups and retains the ability create a group price at each level.
Ex. A group above was built and the individual group price was established at $499.00 (instead of the $523.00 subtotal). This group will now be added to a new group. codesign will use the subtotal price of the existing group (instead of the discounted price). Doing this will ensure that if the final group is discounted, you are not adding multiple discounts to the initial group.
Either Way, It’s Up to You
Power users can use codesign from start to finish, entering items, then creating groups, then creating packages and upgrades. But, if you just want to get started making sales, codesign is the easiest and most affordable way to get your sales team going with little or no training.
It’s web-based, so everyone is always working from the same database. There’s no software to install, upgrades to buy, or server costs.
And, with a 3G iPad, WiFi hotspot, or 3G antenna for a laptop, you’re free to meet your clients anywhere.