Improving Sales Proposals Using Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office
Does your CRM system help sales people produce proposals more quickly, accurately and consistently?
You may have a great Lotus Notes based CRM system. But sales proposals are still a pain. Especially if sales people start every new proposal with the same Word template or a blank document.
The first challenge any sales team faces when preparing a proposal is locating the document templates and company boilerplate materials that go into every document. Then, they spend hours searching for, copying and pasting pieces of similar previously written proposals.
This process can be greatly improved by integrating Microsoft Word with your Lotus Notes applications.
The Microsoft Office System
Let’s take a look at the Microsoft approach. In this presentation, Microsoft suggests that a proposal solution built on MS Office can help sales teams quickly create winning proposals.
Check it out, and bear in mind that you can incorporate this functionality in your Lotus Notes applications.
Here are some highlights from the demo:
Writing content for proposal sections is all too often a time-consuming process.
When based on familiar Microsoft Office System technology, a proposal solution can include a template in Microsoft Office Word with corporate-approved legal text, essential response sections, and formatting already in place.
Lotus Notes and SWING Integrator
As a Lotus professional, you are aware of Notes limitations when it comes to rich formatting and printing of Notes documents. Not to mention page headers and footers, table of contents, and other advanced options.
That’s where MS Word and SWING Integrator come into play.
SWING Integrator can help you build a Notes application which eliminates cutting and pasting, enforces consistent formatting, and ensures that all the important pieces of information have been collected to present a winning proposal. Such applications let sales professionals write proposals in minutes instead of hours.
Environmental Risk Management, Inc. (ERMI), a Florida based environmental consulting firm has an extensive Lotus Notes infrastructure, but users were spending too much time creating Microsoft Word documents from the Lotus Notes data. By using SWING Integrator, they have greatly reduced the time it takes to generate proposals and reports. The time to generate one type of proposal has gone from 30 minutes down to less than 5 minutes. Read the case study.
SWING Integrator composes the document from fixed and dynamic content and Notes data, producing either a Word document, or directly a secure PDF document.
… A Microsoft Office-based solution can also enable authors to easily find and import relevant reusable content from the content library – for example, best practice proposal elements, boilerplate material, latest product data, and legal statements.
Using a proposal solution built on the Microsoft Office System, you can easily capture expertise by selecting and publishing reusable and best-practice proposal content to the Content Library.
Similarly, SWING Integrator provides the Content Library which you can easily plug into your Notes database. The library is a collection of reusable text fragments, rich text, or images. These reusable fragments can either be inserted manually to a Word document while it is being edited, or automatically during document assembly.
Once SWING Integrator has been plugged into your database, it is seamlessly integrated within it, becoming totally transparent to end-users. There is no separate installation procedure required.