Selling & Scoping with Kimble
Sales teams must be empowered to keep all information up-to-date as deals mature throughout the sales cycle. This data directly fuels pipeline and forecast accuracy, which are key components to understanding the future health of your business and what decisions must be made to ensure success and profitability.
Kimble understands that enabling sales to input and update this data quickly and accurately is key — when data surrounding proposed work reflects reality, your business has a better chance of selling projects with an accurate cost and achieving estimated project margins and high customer satisfaction. And resource managers are better able to proactively find the best-fit and most cost-effective resources to tackle open demand. Getting it right during the bid process is the first step in ensuring the profitable, predictable, and repeatable delivery of projects.
Improve Confidence in the Sales Pipeline
Kimble enables the sales team to be accountable and empowered to keep the data fueling the sales pipeline accurate and up-to-date. Kimble recognizes that the sales pipeline is one of the most valuable indicators of not only the future health of your business, but also the future actions you may need to take to ensure future success.
Kimble connects with CRM to give your organization a real-time, combined view of all current and proposed projects. With Kimble, it’s easy to feed change orders on existing projects back into the sales process so that the probability of the additional work is accurately reflected in the sales pipeline. The sales pipeline considers how much possible engagements are worth, how likely they are to be won, and when they are likely to start generating revenue and cost.
We knew we had to step up and integrate the full life cycle of our customer engagements from sales to service delivery to billing. Kimble provides that fully integrated system. It addresses the sales opportunities coming through the pipeline and balances our resourcing against this pipeline.
Easily Craft Proposals with Templates
Once a possible engagement with a prospective customer is mature enough to begin shaping the scope of services you will deliver, Kimble Proposal Management provides templated options for shaping your proposal. Kimble Proposal Templates are flexible — they are fit to be shaped as more details are collected along the sales cycle and the probability of a deal matures.
Kimble’s templates take into account the underlying commercial model — no matter how complex — and the default aspects are pre-defined so sales has a working proposal model ready to-go without the manual input of prospect details. Additional proposal intricacies can be added once the deal reaches a certain level of confidence, such as, generic resources, expenses, tasks, annuities and milestones.
Enable Sales to Update the Data that Drives Accurate Forecasts
Kimble enables an organization to be confident that the data driving the forecast has been updated based on any new information accrued during the sales cycle. Forecasting cannot be accurate — and will lose power — if the sales team is not enabled and disciplined to keep close-dates reflective of the actual probability that a deal will close. Either the probability of a deal will increase, and the initial close date is likely to firm up, or the probability of the deal decreases, in which case the salesperson must be equipped to shift the date or engage with the prospect to improve the likelihood of a win.
Kimble enables sales teams to update the data that builds an accurate forecast, which means the resourcing team can be that much more confident in what supply will be needed to meet incoming demand. Deals usually hit high levels of probability weeks before contracts are signed, and this time should be used to make proactive and strategic resourcing decisions to avoid any last-minute scrambles.
Kimble allows for soft-booking of either actual resources — or generic resources — if it is still unclear what specific team members will be placed on a project. This allows you to more accurately forecast the resource needs (experience, skills) and costs that are necessary to deliver a profitable project with healthy margins. Without the ability to soft-book, resource estimates are often based on assumptions, and once a deal is actually won, oftentimes the best-fit and most cost-effective resources are not available. This likely means that the forecasted project margin cannot be achieved, and it’s too late to adjust the cost, because the deal has already been sold. Identifying the preferred resources early in the process also incentivizes the client and the sales team to close the deal on the projected close date.
When we share the rolling three-month forecast across the business, people know they can trust it. Having confidence in the forecast means we can have conversations we wouldn’t otherwise have.
Enable Collaboration Between Sales & Delivery During the Bid Phase
The seamless connection between Kimble and Salesforce allows teams to see the comprehensive view of the customer — all the way from sales to delivery. One of the major benefits of having Kimble embedded with Sales Cloud is that it brings the sales and delivery teams closer together, early in the project delivery cycle. Kimble increases collaboration between the two teams, as early as the first exposure to an opportunity, and enables members from both teams to update and access information starting at the proposal phase. Kimble recognizes the importance of surfacing an opportunity early and making all relevant team members aware of the maturity of the deal — even during the pre-sales phase where work may be considered unbillable. This not only ensures an effective hand-off between the sales and delivery team once a deal is actually closed, but reduces the risk that deals are closed based on unrealistic promises. Both teams can feedback to ensure that the timeline, budget, scope or resource needs outlined in the proposal are not only feasible, but ultimately profitable for the business.
Model & Propose Services that Result in Healthy Margins
Once the resource need is outlined, sales can begin to shape the cost, revenue, and effort associated with the deal with Kimble’s Usage Forecast Models. In combination — cost, revenue, and effort — determines the potential project margin, which is the first step in choosing how to model the services being proposed.
Sales teams can model a proposal using bottom-up (how expected usage impacts target margin) or top-down methods (what level of usage is required to achieve target margin). Target margin calculates the appropriate effort for each resource to achieve a selected target margin based on the expected revenue. Kimble uses the revenue and target margins to determine the cost of each project element, and the revenue you should expect from the work being done.
Kimble also factors in expenses to the overall cost model with Intelligent Insights giving the sales team a nudge towards what expenses are usually incurred based on similar customers from previous engagements.
While sales is in charge of getting all this data into Kimble, the delivery team must provide further input to steer the project towards profitability and manageability. Allowing both teams to shape the project cost and revenue is a key benefit of having your Kimble embedded in Salesforce CRM.
Ensure Risks are Surfaced Before it’s Too Late
One of the key factors that impact both the probability and the profitability of a deal lies in surfacing the risks and assumptions associated with a proposal during the bid phase. Kimble has built-in risk contingencies, that allow you to automatically factor in potential issues before a deal is closed. Kimble allows you to craft the cost of a project based on these potential risks and assumptions, meaning you can forecast an accurate margin before it’s too late to make adjustments. In addition to pricing a project realistically, Kimble’s risk contingency functionality brings potential issues to the fore, meaning they can be mitigated in a strategic manner before it’s too late.
Experienced delivery teams recognize where and when it is likely for risks to occur — such as issues with staffing, product, and scope creep — and how much they will cost. Kimble allows you to incorporate all of these roadblocks into the projected budget for a proposal, allowing you to see the true viability, profitability, and impact on the business if the deal is won.