A Decision of Global Importance

“I called a prominent sales enablement industry analyst and shared our pain points,” stated Cindy Zhou, Global SVP of Marketing and Sales Operations for BackOffice Associates. “I wanted to be sure I was making the right decision regarding content automation software,” she remarked. “The analyst told me, ‘Qvidian is rock solid. They’ve been doing this the longest and if you’re in manual mode right now, just go with a solution and do it. It will help you a great deal.’”

BUSINESS DRIVER

Cindy Zhou had just been promoted by BackOffice Associates to SVP with expanded responsibilities over Global Sales Operations based on her success as Global VP of Marketing. With a focus on transformation, there was no doubt she would apply the same characteristics that ensured her success in Marketing to Sales Operations. Her approach was complete and thorough. Cindy conducted an analysis of Sales Operations processes and discovered that the team was spending an inordinate amount of time responding to RFPs and creating proposals. She knew they needed to automate their process and embarked on a search and evaluation of the automation software in the market.

BackOffice Associates provides data management software and services to theGlobal 1000. With some of the world’s most admired brands as customers, spanning many industries, the creation of polished and complete responses and proposals is an important factor to their success. Due to the complexity of managing data and the customer’s source systems, manually creating responses and proposals was a painful process taking many resources and time to complete.

From an executive’s perspective, the greatest benefit automation could provide would be time. Time efficiency through the reduction of the workload would be invaluable. BackOffice maintains one small sales operations team to support a global and diverse workforce. There are nearly 700 employees in offices all around the globe. In addition to increased efficiency, they wanted to improve the overall professionalism of  their proposals. “Through this process with Qvidian, I examined our old proposals and what jumped out to me was that we were still using out-of-date content. Proposal content is driven by a variety of groups within BackOffice and without automation and a process to manage updates, quality of the responses can quickly erode,” stated Zhou.

APPROACH

Cindy’s approach to her proposal software automation evaluation was one of diligent examination and testing. She was aware of the top players in the automated content space and reviewed many of them. She found most of the smaller ones did not offer the full package she was seeking. She determined Qvidian was a top player and set about doing her due diligence.

Before she progressed to the demo stage, she reviewed information about the company in detail. Being well-connected professionally, she placed calls to those she knew in companies who were already Qvidian customers. Once she was satisfied with what she was learning, she reached out to Qvidian for a demo. As she continued gathering information, her confidence in Qvidian grew, but she knew she wasn’t the only one who needed to feel that confidence. 

Cindy called together a team comprised of representatives from other departments that would be impacted by the automation solution she chose and had them participate in additional demos. This team included representatives from Product Management, Presales, Resource Management and Customer Support. She concluded her evaluation with a call to an industry analyst. The analyst confirmed that it was critical for her team to move forward with automating the process. Cindy felt good about his support of Qvidian and all she had learned through her due diligence. She especially appreciated Qvidian’s level of service and personal attention. She made her choice and moved forward with Qvidian.

IMPACT

BackOffice Associates began reaping rewards very quickly. In less than 90 days, BackOffice Associates has already seen a 30% increase in time savings for Proactive Proposals and they know that will increase further as they get more and more comfortable using the software. 

Even more impressive to them is how helpful Qvidian’s process was during the implementation phase. Some companies actually consider automation and then stop themselves because they believe organizing and updating their content is just too big a hill to climb, but according to BackOffice, with Qvidian’s help, climbing that hill was a lot easier than expected. Qvidian’s guidance during implementation delivered more value than expected. Through Qvidian’s implementation process, BackOffice Associates developed a regular cadence for content updates going forward.

 

The various teams that are involved with RFPs and Proposals are also happy with the solution. One stakeholder from the product team told Cindy, “I’m really glad you found us a software solution to manage this because I’m doing about 3 RFPs each week and all this cutting and pasting is not a very good use of my time.” Qvidian offered time savings and efficiency across teams providing a way to always have the most up-to-date information and facilitate collaboration. Working with Qvidian also turned their proposals into very polished, professional deliverables.

BackOffice’s Sales Operations team is experiencing additional benefits as well. Because of Qvidian’s efficiencies and content management solutions, they have seen a dramatic improvement in how others view the department’s credibility and reliability. Their proposals are polished, professional and current – something they are all quite proud to send to their prospects and customers.

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