CyberForms: Cost, Quote & Sell Equipment FasterBy Mary Seaman
Article Date: 01-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
In today's competitive market, a salesperson can't afford to keep a customer waiting serveral days while he fights bottlenecks.
Salespeople are under increasing pressure to make good decisions about the effective use of their time. The paperwork that goes into creating a deal - from formal proposals to signed legal documents - can slow down the process significantly. And with today's competitive market, a salesperson can't afford to keep a customer on the line for several days while he fights bottlenecks.
Tom Taylor, president, CEO and founder of Free!Graphix, created a program designed specifically to automate the sales process. That program, CyberForms, makes it faster and easier for salespeople to get through the tasks of costing, quoting and selling equipment.
As an equipment salesman, Taylor found it difficult to quickly and efficiently create proposals in the field without electronic sales tools. At the time, laptops were expensive, and there weren't any sales tools available for use in the field.
Says Taylor, "I began the company out of necessity."
After working in wholesale hydraulic attachments as a partner in HED Corp. and as a marketing manager for Stanley Hydraulic Tools, Taylor worked on the retail side with a Case distributor. He started Free!Graphix in 1992.
"I wrote the program for someone who works out of the trunk of his car," says Taylor. "What I had was a problem being able to quote and sell tractors fast enough and still have enough time to pursue more leads. So, I set out to remove the hurdles; I didn't want to jump over them anymore.
"CyberForms keeps salespeople right where they should be - out in the field."
What Is CyberForms?
CyberForms is sales force automation and customer relationship management software specifically designed for construction, industrial and agriculture equipment sales. It works directly with a company's dealer business system.
"CyberForms turns the tedious task of costing, quoting and selling equipment into point-and-click simplicity," says Taylor. The software is easy to use - no typing skills are required.
CyberForms gives salespeople access to everything they need to work in any location, including their company's customer database, in-house inventory, price books, sales worksheets, quotes, sales orders, finance documents and quality assurance forms.
"With CyberForms, the salesperson has all the necessary information 24/7 on a laptop or PDA," says Taylor.
A salesperson can generate proposals and sales documents in minutes. Free!Graphix customizes the system for its users so when the salesperson is ready to print, the company's letterhead and legal documents are generated with no need for manual forms.
Since the software ties into the company's business system, it can turn the raw data into relational data tables.It transform the short UNIX codes dealers use to describe product groups and features into complete product descriptions. The end result is a grammatically correct, sophisticated proposal, complete with finance options and payment plans.
CyberForms eliminates having to check with the office on inventory pricing. The program includes a sophisticated inventory management system that prices inventory automatically at true market value, with age grading and rental depreciation.
"That's really important to our customers, because historically, timely pricing of rental returns has been difficult," says Taylor. "CyberForms does it automatically. It's something no other product does."
The Advantages of CyberForms
Advantages of the program include the ability to print every form remotely. For custom forms or proposals on company letterhead, all the salesperson needs is plain white paper, and the program takes care of the rest. The program eliminates the need for salespeople to carry a file of paper forms.
"I would find myself out in the field needing to fill out a sales order. I'd reach into my file and discover I'd forgotten to replenish my forms," says Taylor. "I'd have to drive 25 miles back to the office, then drive back out to the field.
"That happens in our industry every day, but with CyberForms it's no longer a problem."
By using CyberForms, dealer sales reps will be able to serve more customers, says Taylor
"You have to sell more equipment to make the money you did 10 years ago," says Taylor. "It's difficult to do unless you have the tools you need to move quickly through the sales process."
This program frees up managers to manage rather than micromanage, and at the same time, gives autonomy to the salesperson.
The program also returns data to management. It generates and delivers a market awareness spreadsheet that is delivered to the manager electronically every day. It shows statistics for everything that has been costed, quoted, sold - or lost.
CyberForms is easy to learn, implements quickly and requires no typing skills.
"Altogether we have more than 60 years experience in equipment and wholesale sales," says Taylor. "We know this business from the standpoint of someone working out of the trunk of his car, and that's how this software was written."
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