Using Deltek Vision CRM to Improve Win Rate and Project Profitability
The Deltek Vision CRM module is owned by more than a third of all Deltek Vision users, however few use it to their advantage beyond simple marketing applications. However, if used strategically, the CRM module can be a competitive advantage that can help the entire firm to increase the company win rate, improve communication throughout the company, improve client relationships and maximize financial success on projects.
The advantages of using the CRM to improve project success come from two factors – the fact that the CRM is project based, and the integration with all of the other modules in the system. When looking at the entire project lifecycle of a project, you should look at the areas where processes can be improved, and how you can eliminate bottlenecks that cause projects to lose money. By effectively managing these processes, from initial lead about a potential project opportunity, through the estimating and proposal process, and on to project setup and project management, you can ensure that all necessary steps along the way are being addressed.
While there are other CRM applications out there that have advanced features, none of them are project based, and few integrate well with accounting applications. These two advantages make a huge difference to a project based company whose primary focus is on winning new projects and then managing to profitability.
Being project focused is critical because it allows you to capture data about the project from the moment you learn about it. This data is critical to successful proposal creation. For an A&E firm or other professional services firm that is bidding on contracts, qualifications are a critical component of the proposal, and very often what wins the award. Because Deltek CRM integrates fully with the project part of the Vision finance modules, critical data about past performance on projects is easily accessible by the marketing staff. In systems that lack this project focus, and integration, the marketing team is constantly trying to find this data, usually by asking the project managers for information about past projects. This is a time consuming and inefficient process that decreases the amount of proposals that they are able to submit, and takes away from the accuracy and quality of the proposal.
Another often over looked feature of Vision CRM that can make a huge different in project success and client relationships is the ability to record activities, including emails directly from Microsoft Outlook, right into the project records. This allows firms to capture all of the critical correspondence with their clients, leading to better historical data being captured for each client and project, and protecting the firm in case of disputes, employee turnover, and billing issues.
Another key success factor has to do with the ability to establish processes that integrate and streamline the marketing, proposals, estimating and project setup functions. This allow you to estimate the project in Resource Planning, create the proposal with the proposals module, and carry all of this information right into the project when it is awarded.
In addition to the project focus and integration, the user defined fields and info centers, and the ability to develop sophisticated workflows, allows processes to be established that reduce the incidence of human error when it comes to approvals, and other contract management requirements. Important data about the project teams, competitors and subcontractors can be managed in the system for better analysis of marketing and proposal success. Sophisticated Go / No-Go analysis which can be custom built in the CRM module will enable firms to make better bidding decisions, which can increase the win rate and avoid project disasters down the road.
Reporting can also make a big difference, allowing you to forecast pipeline which can feed into Resource Planning for better hiring decisions and management of utilization. Analysis of win rate and win-loss analysis can help the firm to strategically target projects that they are more successful at winning.
By looking at CRM as a strategic tool for your business, and focusing on increasing your win rate by using the integration features, you can see measurable results in less than a year.