November 8th, 2012 by Hazel Lychak
The new SalesDoc Architect version 8 is a major software release that was released on November 13th and delivers unprecedented functionality for generating multi-site proposals and other sales documents. Users are able to auto-generate multiple quote files from manufacturer/vendor imports, summarize data across multiple sites and create customized tables and schedule templates to generate stand-out multi-site solution proposals and other sales documents. The increased automation significantly cuts the time it takes to generate multi-site proposals, and the increased automation ensures more accuracy. The wow factor is twofold: for SalesDoc Architect users, generating multi-site proposals has never been faster, easier, and more accurate. Second, users can provide prospective clients with a comprehensive proposal, presented in a professional format that summarizes equipment and services for the entire solution by site.
In addition to new multi-site features and automation, Version 8 provides compatibility with the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office, new functionality that streamlines the new user setup and content update processes, and includes new output options and automation.
Find out more! Read the news release and go to our SalesDoc Architect update summary and What’s New in Version 8 web pages for a summary of the changes and enhancements. And check our video archives page (a one-time registration on the website is required) on November 19 to view the recordings from our SalesDoc Architect Version 8 webinars.
July 30th, 2012 by Brian Cors
A bulleted list is a great way to communicate information in a concise, compelling and visually attractive way. Bulleted lists can be used to capture and communicate all kinds of information, including…
- Key customer objectives and requirements
- A high-level definition of the proposed solution
- Site survey findings
- Implementation steps
- Scope of work elements (i.e., what’s included and not included in a solution)
SalesDoc Architect has incorporated bulleted lists for quite some time, but it has been a bit cumbersome to set up. In the past, administrators had to set up a variable for each and every bullet point, and set up each variable to insert a line return after every bullet.
The new dynamic bulleted list functionality makes it much easier to incorporate bulleted lists that include only the bullets in a particular list that you want to include. For example, if you have a list of 25 possible key customer objectives and requirements and a SalesDoc Architect user selects 10 of those items for a particular proposal, then only those items will be inserted into the bulleted list that appears in the Microsoft Word proposal output.
In SalesDoc Architect, bulleted lists that are pushed into Microsoft Word originate as a column of cells within an Excel-based SalesDoc Architect quote file. A big advantage of this approach is that bullet content can be calculated using Microsoft Excel formulas. For example, we might set up an Excel table where the SDA user can type in the quantity of certain elements that are being provided as part of a proposed solution, and the quantity is inserted within the text of the bullet content. Here’s how it might look in Excel with some of the quantities typed in by the user…
SalesDoc Architect can even auto-calculate the quantities based on what it detects has been configured within the quote using what are called Item Categories, which can count, for example, the total number of phone sets in a configured solution (for an explanation of how Item Categories can be used, please see the Architect Manager help files or user guide).
Read the rest of this entry »
July 30th, 2012 by Brian Cors
For quite some time, SalesDoc Architect has been able to push ranges of cells (i.e., tables) from Excel into Microsoft Word-based outputs like proposals and statements of work. Our clients have used tables pulled from a range of cells in the Excel quote file to communicate return on investment (ROI) calculations, site locations, leasing options, managed services offerings and other information in a visually attractive way, enabling them to communicate proposed solutions more effectively and win more deals versus the competition.
What’s new this month is the ability to push “dynamic” tables that are based on ranges of cells from SDA’s Excel-based quote files into Word-based outputs. In contrast to “fixed” tables that clients have been able to generate in the past, “dynamic” tables enable you to include only the rows that you want to include within a table that is pushed to Word. Depending on how you set up the rows in Excel, SDA will exclude certain rows in the table that is output to Word.
For example, let’s say your company has a process that involves 10 possible implementation steps, but all of the steps don’t apply to every project. In the SDA quote Excel file, you might set up a range of cells that looks like this…
Read the rest of this entry »
May 1st, 2012 by Brian Cors
SalesDoc Architect makes it easy to add Excel-based forms, reports and other outputs that pull information from SDA quote files. The outputs are created using Excel, which means that you can take advantage of all the features and functions within Excel – including formulas, formatting and graphics – to quickly create attractive and useful outputs.
Creating an Excel-based form, report or other output is a three-step process: Read the rest of this entry »
March 22nd, 2012 by Brian Cors
Do you have customers with whom you’ve signed long-term contracts to provide specific products and services at agreed-to pricing?
SalesDoc Architect makes it easy to incorporate customer-specific pricing into quotes for situations where the seller is contractually obligated to provide specific items at agreed-to pricing. You can also incorporate customer-specific costing, such as when a manufacturer provides lower costing to the reseller to support the lower pricing that the reseller provides to a specific end customer.
An SDA user can incorporate customer-specific pricing and costing into a specific quote by connecting to an external price list in a properly formatted Excel file. The SDA user simply browses for the file by clicking the Architect button, then “Connect to external price list”.
The Excel file containing the price/cost list must be placed in the user’s Data folder (usually c:\CorsPro\PQuote\Data) and must contain the following named Excel ranges*:
- PriceListName: this is the name of the price list that is referenced on SDA’s Pricing tab.
- VersionDate: the last update date of the price list that is referenced on SDA’s Pricing tab.
- PartNumber: this named range should be a single cell range in the part number column, one row above the first part number.
- UnitSell: this OPTIONAL named range should be a single cell range in the unit sell column, one row above the unit sell price for the first part number.
- UnitCost: this OPTIONAL named range should be a single cell range in the unit cost column, one row above the unit cost for the first part number.
As mentioned above, UnitSell and UnitCost are each optional. Usually, only UnitSell is used in the external price list file. However, in cases where the manufacturer provides customer-specific costing to the reseller, UnitCost can also be used.
Below is a sample of how the external price list file might look…
For situations where the customer-specific pricing must be referenced by multiple SDA users, Architect managers/administrators can push out customer-specific price lists to all users via the normal SDA updates process by placing the external price list Excel file in the SDA server’s Data folder.
* For further information on named Excel ranges, see Excel’s help topic “About labels and names in formulas”
March 7th, 2012 by Brian Cors
One of SalesDoc Architect’s greatest benefits is its ability to auto-configure hardware, software, services and output doc content based on other items that have already been configured in the solution. For example, you might want to auto-configure certain peripheral parts (like racks, cables and power strips) when specific types of systems are configured. In the past, this was easily implemented, but it usually took a couple of steps to get there.
Last month, we introduced a new and very simple-to-implement capability that enables clients to auto-configure parts, services and docs based on specific part numbers that have been imported onto the Write-In tab. When might you need to use this capability? One client recently used this approach to configure a rebate when a specific part number was imported from a manufacturer’s configuration tool. Another client used this approach to configure a rectifier when a specific control unit was imported from another manufacturer’s configuration tool.
It’s easy to configure parts, services or docs using this approach. Simply insert a formula with the following syntax into the appropriate quantity or doc selector cell…
For example, if you want to configure quantity 1 of part number XYZ if the quantity of part number ABC on the Write-In tab is greater than zero, you would type the following formula into the Qty Calcd cell for part XYZ:
February 16th, 2012 by Amy Thomas
Are there certain proposals you want to make sure get manager approval before they’re sent to clients? We have several clients who have implemented a workflow feature in SalesDoc Architect that prevents proposals from going out the door with too low of a margin or too high of a discount. Whatever the criteria may be, there is a very easy way to implement this feature within SalesDoc Architect. This is a brief overview of how easy it is to add management approval to your SalesDoc Architect setup:
1) Go to your “raw” MiscProd tab in your CorsPro/Tabs folder and go to any cell in the “hidden section” at the bottom. Once in that cell go up to the Name Box and name that cell range “OutputStatus”.
2) Next, insert an IF/THEN formula into that cell that is similar to the following (highlighted areas should be based on the criteria you would like to use).
Read the rest of this entry »
September 28th, 2010 by Brian Cors
One of the features that SalesDoc Architect (our sales document automation software) offers is the ability to easily import data such as product information. When importing product data, however, we require that only one version of each part number exists in the import file. We do this to protect against situations where the part number exists more than once but the associated data differs for each instance of the part number.
When importing a file with duplicate part numbers into SalesDoc Architect, the import process will be halted and an error message will pop up indicating that duplicate part numbers exist. I’m often asked how best to identify and delete the duplicate part rows with Microsoft Excel. Using Excel’s sorting function and IF formula, it’s easy to do, and it’s a three-step process… Read the rest of this entry »