Qvidian entered the market for applications in sales performance management in 2011. The company, formed from the merger of The Sant Corp. and Kadient, has introduced a new suite of applications for proposals and playbooks that sales departments should examine if they’re looking to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. These applications are part of what we at Ventana Research call a sales performance management blueprint that helps optimize sales related activities and processes.
Sales force automation (SFA) has been around for decades, designed to handle accounts and contacts that link to sales opportunities. But a sales opportunity has a lot of nuances to get from created to closed or booked for quota credit. In between is a vast array of sales activities that might require a playbook to close, just as point-scoring plays in sports require both planning and execution. Getting a sales force to work from a winning playbook is no easy task, especially as the size of the team increases.
Qvidian works to facilitate this. Its powerful process- and activity-based Sales Playbooks application is designed to promote consistency in execution across any number of sales deals. It also provides content and information across the sales process through an integrated library of content that can be accessed through quick search and retrieval. Our research has found that managing silos of data and presentations is a top issue in sales organizations today. Combined with the sales playbook or separately available, the Qvidian content library replaces the existing approaches of files in server directories or portals, neither of which are designed to help make sales staffs productive. Qvidian’s approach meets the need of sales organizations to optimize the activities of experienced sales talent but also improve the time to sales readiness of new hires.
The company’s software suite integrates Qvidian Performance Analytics, which uses sales analytics to assess the performance of sales departments in selling activities and processes. Our benchmark research on sales analytics has found that organizations need to improve processes and metrics, which today they manage in spreadsheets and email with no connection to the sales process. The number-one issue with sales analytics, which we found in 63 percent of sales organizations, is that they are hard to build and maintain, and using personal productivity tools doesn’t help. By focusing the analytics on the selling process, Qvidian enables insight to guide sales staffs in refining their sales playbooks. The sales analytics powered dashboard provides a coherent view that can help managers identify what needs to improve.
In addition, Qvidian’s Proposal Automation application helps ensure consistency in sales proposals and responses to RFPs, and lets organizations assemble high-quality presentations that are proven effective in pitches to prospects. The software helps sales staffs reduce the time it takes to find common templates, assemble presentations from pre-developed content designed to help win deals. Our research into sales performance found that scattered information is the number-one impediment to sales performance, found in 51% of sales organizations.
All of these applications are part of the sales performance management readiness that all sales organizations should examine. Going well beyond SFA, Qvidian provides tools to improve predictability, enhance outcomes and reduce lag time in requests and interactions with sales operations teams. Organizations that our research finds innovative in sales processes and performance maturity automate and address all the activities that their sales staffs execute to achieve their objectives of quota attainment and customer satisfaction.
In our benchmark research in sales our Value Index evaluation framework criteria of usability is the top evaluation criteria for sales organizations. Qvidian focuses on that in its applications. The company’s focus on the sales deal and on gaining repeatable plays for sales, integrating content and proposals, is something that every sales organization should use to increase the efficiency of its sales talent.
Qvidian makes its software easy to access and rent through a cloud computing approach. I expect Qvidian eventually will support mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets, in order to make its applications easier to access by sales teams on the go. Qvidian has been readily gaining customer adoptions, including some and just as important those that are communicating their success. Qvidian is a company worth watching by anyone in the market for effective sales applications. Sales organizations should avoid the old-fashioned single-track view of just expecting SFA will meet their entire sales organizations needs and look at all the choices that can help sales be effective in achieving their sales objectives.
CEO & Chief Research Officer