You have your CRM implemented for sales, now it is time to leverage that investment. You can use your CRM for other activities besides tracking sales. CRM’s act as big virtual file cabinets and also document your workflow. As companies move to SaaS (Software as a Service) applications, it becomes important to manage vendors and their related contracts. You don’t want to be surprised by contract renewals because you weren’t monitoring them.
Most SMBs are managing their vendors in spreadsheets. It is time to take that process out of the spreadsheet and move it to your CRM.
Below is the standard process for signing a new contract that has a renewal period.
- Gather the requirements for your purchase
- Compare different vendors to meet your requirements
- Negotiate the best price for your company
- Legal review and executive sign off
- Implement your project
- Monitor your annual contracts to ensure that you are getting the best price and the most utility out of that product
- Set up your process. Create a pipeline that matches your process. Name it Vendor management pipeline
- Create custom fields – in projects for Annual Contract amount
- Create a project (or account). Create a project and assign the Vendor name
- Tag as Vendor. Insightly allows you to create tags. Create a tag name for reporting later
- Assign emails from your email to the project in your CRM. You will be able to view them in one location associated with that vendor
- Create notes with salespeople and during negotiations. It is easy to find them for the next interaction
- Attach files such as requirements, proposals and contracts to your project. Again all of your files related to the vendor are in one location
- Create follow up tasks 60-90 days before the contract renewal that will be sent to your email. This will remind you to follow up on the contract
- Report – reporting is more challenging in Insightly but it will allow you to export to excel to create summarized reports
Your vendor management solution will look like the following when you are complete.
If you are a SalesForce user don’t forget to check out the App Exchange. There are both free and paid versions for contract management. Some will help with outgoing contracts and well as vendor contracts. Be creative when looking at solutions for your CRM.
Creating a solid process around vendor management is important. Once you move your data to the cloud it takes time to set up that process. You also want to ensure that you are happy with your cloud provider. Manage that relationship so it works for you. Your future depends on your ability to grow and manage expenses to reach a profitable and efficient business.
Question: Do you need help defining your processes?
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Jamie Lin loves to share her expertise in providing creative cloud solutions with business owners and organizations that would love to be more collaborative, flexible and productive. If you would like to engage Jamie as the speaker at your next meeting, workshop or event, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org