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Best Software for Tracking Proposals

Best Software for Tracking Proposals

Best Software for Tracking Proposals

I would appreciate tips on the best software to track proposals. Ideally it would have the ability to assign probability on whether the project will move forward so that I could use it to gauge my backlog.

Drew Dudley, P.E.

RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

two that I know of:

- Saleslogix
- Salesforce

No clue about pricing.
These are professional/commercial platforms so price may turn out to be expensive.

RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

"ability to assign probability"

Automatically? I don't think any software does that. Seems to me that you could use Excel to do the backlog calculation, since the probabilities most likely come from you.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

I think by probability is meant something like the sales person populating how likely is a project (or even more palpable: an opportunity) to become an order with some sort of thresholds: "unlikely", "most likely", "highly likely"...etc. - say corresponding to 25, 50, 75 percent probability, respectively and also given a forecast Q1/Q2/ etc. when it is expected to land the order.

In one of my previous jobs, I worked in a small office and we did not use any software but just Excel to track the status. It was very rudimentary but quite pragmatic. Back ups were made on regular basis. I did not like it very much myself but I have to admit it worked pretty well. The only problem we've had was that that Excel file was read only when someone else in the office was working on it...for sure this is something that could have been solved with simplicity - but at that time, we learned to live with it!

I think it all depends on your needs. I think if you work in a relatively complex / global organization, with remote sales representatives...guess you would need to consider some professional tool.

RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

I like to use a board-based visual pipeline that lets me quickly see how many and which deals are in which stage of my pipeline. My stages include, for example:

  1. Lead or project identified
  2. Research and planning
  3. Initial contact made
  4. Qualification and needs discovery
  5. Proposal submitted
  6. ...
Trello is a free tool that can be used to create a visual pipeline like this (as well as any other board-based list). Here is a relevant article on their blog: How to manage a killer sales funnel with Trello.

I use Contactually, which is more of a high-personal-touch relationship-oriented CRM that has a pipeline feature. It's $60/user/month.

Before that, I used Pipedrive, which allows you to assign a probability of deals closing to each stage in the pipeline. Each deal can also be assigned a value. Pipedrive can use these to create a weighted forecast and other reports. Here is info about their sales forecasting feature in general; it doesn't mention probability specifically, which is why I linked to the help articles earlier.

PipeDrive starts at $12/user/month.

- Rob Campbell, PE
Learn precision engineering at practicalprecision.com

RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

I like Hubspot myself. You can make your sales funnel however you want, and assign a probability at each stage of the funnel. It also tracks contacts and emails to those contacts.

There's a free version that actually gives a lot of functionality, including a tie to your website.

Jim Breunig P.E.
XCEED Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
FEA Consultants

RE: Best Software for Tracking Proposals

We're currently in the process of getting started with Cosential (Link), so will throw that name out there.

Haven't gotten to use them full blown yet. But doing the research, they were one of the only CRMs out there geared towards the AEC industry. And significantly cheaper than some of the bigger guys like Salesforce.

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