Qvidian, the leading proposal automation software folks, were kind enough to invite me to give a keynote speech at their recent well-attended “Connect 11 Europe” conference. Their President and CEO, Lewie Miller, opened the event with an excellent presentation – the first time I’d personally heard him speak since the merger that brought together the Sant, Kadient and Pragmatech brands a few months back. I thought that some of his perspectives might be of wider interest.
I loved Qvidian’s new slogan – “the business of winning” – very much aligned to our own view that efficiency is important, but that more strategic proposal teams add huge value to their sales organisations in terms of enhancing win rates. There’d been huge progress on the product front – new functionality; simplification to make the user interface more appealing; better support for multiple languages; improved capabilities to embed pricing within quotes and proposals generated by the system; a re-architected “Library Architect” function (what some may have known in the past as ‘Smartforms’) and much more.
There have been some bold steps, too, as they’ve started to undertake the necessary rationalisation of the previously-competing product sets. Now that their process for converting clients from Pragmatech 6.x to Sant Suite is well-proven, development has been discontinued on the former, and over 40 customers per quarter are converting. Users now receive RFP Master and Presentation Builder at no charge when they use Proposal Master. And Qvidian’s “sales playbooks” are leading to significant win rate improvements for various customers.
All in all, it was a coherent, compelling session. I’ve worked with Sant and Pragmatech individually for twelve years or more now; whilst any merger brings a degree of uncertainty, I was genuinely impressed with the way this one’s being executed. Exciting times for their customers – who in turn seemed enthused by what they’d heard.