When Erich Berger, Senior Manager - Business Development & Strategy, returned to ADT Cybersecurity to take on a new role, he realized the team was still facing the same long-standing proposal problem they had been challenged with for years in their K-12 Erate channel. His mission this time around was to find a better way to secure business and stay ahead of bids while building a strong sense of security and trust with customers and the sales team.
As a leader in security, the ADT team had thousands of opportunities put in front of them every year courtesy of the Erate program, a federal block grant program for K-12 schools that subsidizes internet access and security. But due to the complex nature of compiling the documents and pricing with no standardized templates to help streamline the process, they were unable to stay on top of every request.
While the team was growing to meet demand, the closing process actually became harder to manage, track, and forecast. Documents were going out with pricing errors and inconsistencies as it became increasingly more difficult to monitor and approve every deal. Most of all, it was a real effort to accurately keep track of just how many proposals were out and for how much. This is key information that the sales leadership team relied upon - which required manual effort to provide regular updates.
Erich was determined to find a solution.
“I thought there must be some type of software available that would allow us to put together a consistent, uniform, nice looking proposal on a high-volume basis and provide accurate tracking of total running sales and rep activity.”
Every rep was creating and recreating their own word documents and while there were templates to work from, it was difficult to ensure they weren’t deviating from them. When it came to pricing, the team was running numbers in excel and then copying and pasting tables into their documents. It was clunky and left a lot of room for error.
“No matter how much you train people on the best practices, you can’t really enforce them when they are using word docs or random old proposals without standing over their shoulders all day long."
The team was spending most of their time reinventing the wheel for every deal. Because they couldn’t efficiently prepare proposals, they continued to fall behind on responses, especially when the volume of the RFP's began to increase.
“We needed to move faster. We were missing the opportunities to bid on deals because we couldn’t get them drafted and submitted quick enough.”
Given the fact that ADT Cybersecurity has so many products and product SKU’s, from cloud firewalls to managed Wi-Fi, it means hundreds and hundreds of different combinations of pricing. Because quotes were being dropped into separate spreadsheets and line items manually entered, there was a lack of insight and uniformity over pricing. It made it very difficult to make any updates to existing pricing, considering changing pricing manually introduced the probability of errors and required additional oversight.
Erich needed a way to enforce consistency and accuracy in terms of pricing management, approvals, and what model reps were basing quotes on. Before Proposify, it was a very laborious process.
“The more manual you make the process, the more you introduce errors, so the pricing features within Proposify were really attractive to us.”
At first, Erich started looking into a CPQ option to integrate heavily with Salesforce but the investment was significant and while it introduced conformity, it lacked traceability and content generation features. So he decided to look into dedicated proposal software solutions.
When he began researching Proposify, he was impressed with not only the content generation capability, pricing table functionality, and traceability, but also the easy interface and the way in which it handled the entire process seamlessly including sending to customers. For him, it felt like it checked ALL the boxes.
“It seemed to be everything I’d been looking for five years prior and I loved that the product felt friendly and not intimidating.”
Erich also enjoyed that the Proposify brand felt professional while still being authentic. ADT is passionate about protection and it’s important that their brand and proposals build trust and confidence in clients.
“ADT as a brand is all about protecting people and we strive to stay human so we wanted our proposals to reflect that. Working in Proposify seems almost fun. You could tell the designers created an experience that wasn't intimidating. Everything was well thought-out. I never felt like I had to stop because I always knew what to do next.”
One of the main benefits that Erich and the ADT Cybersecurity team quickly came to realize after implementation was how it kept everyone accountable and up to date on their deals. Being able to track proposals, pipeline, and rep activity gave a better understanding of the progress and status of bids.
“With the pipeline and metrics, we are able to see what’s going on and ensure that our team is working at a pace that keeps us on top of everything as a group and that loads are balanced. It also lets us see people’s real potential.”
For reps, knowing who has opened the document and viewed certain sections and pricing allowed for timely follow-up and provided powerful insights for next steps. Reps are now excited to be able to track their own activities, learn what’s working and what isn’t, and better manage their pipeline.
“Just having Proposify allows our reps to feel like they're more in control, more productive, and more optimistic about the process and that feels good.”
When it comes to managing complex pricing and extensive product offerings, Erich and the team are still working on ways to create more efficiencies in how they do business within Proposify. But that doesn't take away from the satisfaction of not having to copy and paste PDF'd excel tables into Word documents.
Pricing tables have been extremely helpful, specifically, for their white label customer group. Using the fee library to manage pricing means they don’t have to manually upload or enter fees every time and they can quickly add and remove line items. Editing on the fly is proving to be a big perk.
Erich’s team has set up professional templates and content (approved by marketing and leadership) that makes for efficient document iteration while keeping their brand and deal details in check. Reps can easily drop in product descriptions and proposal copy from the content library and quickly personalize with pre-populated variables. Details and elements are locked down so they cannot be tampered with keeping terms and product details accurate and up-to-date.
No more Word docs pasted together from other Word docs. Proposify has proven to be a major time saver and a game-changer for reps and their ability to respond quickly and professionally to an RFP.
“If you don’t have a solution like Proposify to pull information together quickly and deliver it in a slick manner, you simply aren't being as effective and efficient as you could be. You are recreating the wheel each and every time, or worse, churning out cookie-cutter proposals that aren't doing much to impress your potential customer."
Erich was happy to share what his team had to say about Proposify now that they are coming up on one year with the solution.
"I really appreciate the insight into customer activity. Getting notifications of when a customer has opened an email, viewed the proposal, and how long they are “looking at” a specific page of a proposal gives me a better reference point for conversations when I’m talking with them."
"Proposify has made doing business much easier. We have the ability to send customers proposals minutes after speaking with them. The ease of use, ability to create, insert, modify and track the progress of where the customers are with reviewing a proposal, makes it extremely easy to conduct business the way it should be conducted."
Overall, Erich couldn’t be more pleased with how far they’ve come and that they were able to find a solution allowing them to stay ahead of the proposal game with the ability to answer almost every proposal they feel has the potential to be successful.
“As Proposify continues to grow and fine tune, I only see it becoming more and more relevant and powerful to our business. As far as I know, there’s nothing that comes close to Proposify out there. I liked using Proposify at first. Now...I'm a huge fan."