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6 Marketing Trends That A/E/C Firms Shouldn’t Ignore in 2021

Posted by Lindsay Diven on July 14, 2021

As 2021 comes through its halfway point, it’s a good time to take pause to see what marketing trends are emerging for A/E/C firms. One thing that 2020 did for A/E/C marketing was accelerate the strategies marketers have wanted to bring from other industries. Highlighted here are six marketing trends A/E/C firms shouldn’t ignore in 2021.

modern AEC digital marketing trends

1. Increased Leads from Online Sources

High growth A/E/C firms generate half their leads from online sources according to a Hinge Research study. They looked across the entire industry and found that 50% of new business leads were generated from digital sources including website, email, social media, and digital advertising.

The report goes on to say that a third of high growth A/E/C firms report having mature marketing and sales software automation strategies in place, which make their digital lead generation more efficient.

This can’t be ignored. Marketers should be leading these marketing efforts and making sure the backend systems are in place to track and attribute the leads appropriately.

2. Hybrid Asynchronous Events Will Flourish

2020 was the year of Zoom meetings and virtual events. While there will continue to be a place for these types of events, they will become more hybrid. An example of this was the SMPS Southeastern Regional Conference. About 150 people attended the in-person live event in Nashville, TN while another 100 attended the virtual event during the same time.

Marketers will be tasked with finding ways to engage with their prospects with this type of event through multiple means. Often times, this is showing up in the chats of the video replays during the virtual portion while someone else attends the in-person event. Or, savvy marketers will create their own virtual experience dovetailing the organized hybrid events. Think about how private, in-person client dinners the night before a traditional conference can be transformed into a virtual experience.

3. The Emergence of Community Marketing

Speaking of hybrid events…the large industry event where all firm clients are in one place might be gone for a long time, if not for good. Most, if not all, annual conferences went virtual in 2020. But these large annual conference hosts are finding other ways to support their industries. Rather, the organizers are developing smaller, intimate, and more topical gatherings – both online and in-person.

Take for example, CXps. This once annual conference has transformed into a multi-day online experience with six, smaller regional events.

Marketers can help their subject matter experts by preparing them to be active contributors and bring practical value to the more intimate gatherings.

4. What’s Old is New Again – Email Marketing

While we might be tired of getting emails, the data doesn’t lie. Email marketing isn’t dead and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Full Sail Partners’ own research, 20% of respondents increased their email marketing efforts and another 8% started email marketing during the past year. And, a HubSpot study found that roughly 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months.

This is probably the easiest marketing strategy to begin for A/E/C marketers. Many firms have a database full of contacts and prospects through the normal course of doing project work and regular sales and marketing interactions. And, many A/E/C firms already send out a holiday card or other types of email promotions. Email marketing is a no-brainer then for distributing the content the firm is already creating and publishing to blogs and social media.

5. Content Repurposing

One of the biggest challenges marketers face is to get good content from their technical staff, and many of these strategies rely on value-packed content. Quality content is essential to drive traffic to a firm’s website, to engage on social media, and to send in email marketing. Repurposing content is the proactive process of reusing all or a part of an old piece of content to expand its reach. It’s really about doing more with less content. And, target audiences have different learning methods. Some like to listen or watch while others like to read. Repurposing the same piece of content ensures that all preferences are being met while needing less original content from technical staff.

For example, take one long blog article and repurpose it into a few short YouTube videos, an audio file, several social media graphics, or a slide deck that can be shared on LinkedIn. A series of blog articles can be packaged into a whitepaper that visitors to a firm’s website can download after entering their email address.

6. Increased Investment in Martech

All of the previous trends have one thing in common – the need for integrated, marketing technology (martech) solutions. This new technology is not only critical for the deployment of these strategies, but for the tracking and proper attribution to the appropriate strategy. And, it’s not just the purchase of the software but adequate training for both the marketers and the end users to understand the importance of using the software correctly. When marketers get the software and the usage correct, then they can start tracking and reporting. This step is critical for both marketers and firm leadership. Marketers can quickly determine what’s working and what’s not and adjust, and firm leadership can see what their return is on the marketing investment.

Stay Abreast of Marketing Trends

While 2020 was a year no one wants to revisit, it did accelerate many trends that A/E/C marketers have been trying to implement for years as noted in the 42nd Deltek Clarity report. This tipping point will change marketing in the A/E/C industry like nothing else. While only six marketing trends have been presented here, it’s not exhaustive. Though every A/E/C firm is unique, all should stay abreast of these current marketing trends for 2021 and those moving forward.

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Preview: Email Marketing Trends for Professional Services Firms Survey Results

Posted by Lindsay Diven on June 23, 2021

In May 2021, Full Sail Partners conducted its first-ever email marketing trends survey. We wanted to gain insight as to how many firms have fully embraced email marketing as a proactive marketing strategy. And, if the effects of the worldwide pandemic, when many face-to-face meetings and conferences have been canceled, adjusted firms’ email marketing strategy and results.

Email Marketing

General B2B Statistics

Before the results from the Full Sail Partners’ survey are previewed, let’s take a look at some other statistics focused on email marketing and business to business (B2B) marketing strategies.

  • Billions of emails are sent every day. 306 billion to be exact. And, according to The Radicatti Group, that number is expected to reach 361 billion by the end of 2024.
  • Email helps you reach your clients as fast as possible. With the popularity of social media, you might think it has overtaken email as the fastest way to reach new and current clients. But the truth is that 21% of opened emails are opened within the very first hour of delivery.
  • In the annual research conducted by Content Marketing Institute in 2020:
    • 85% of B2B organizations use email marketing software to assist with content marketing
    • 81% of B2B organizations use email newsletters as part of their marketing strategy
    • 87% of B2B organizations use email to distribute their content
    • 90% of B2B organizations used email engagement as the top metric to measure content performance
  • That same research also found that email is the most reliable channel for nurturing leads to sales throughout the funnel.

Email Marketing Trends Survey Results Preview

So how do the responses from our email marketing trends survey compare to some of the national trends? Full Sail Partners invited our clients, prospects, and partners to complete the survey. The invitation was sent via email and shared on our social media channels.

Survey Demographics

The survey responses were from firms that provided mostly either engineering (41%) or construction (28%) services. Half of the responses were from firms that had either 1-50 (36%) or 51-100 (25%) employees. The other half of the responses broke down into the following: 101-500 (29%), 501-1000 (2%), and 1001+ (8%) employees.

Full Sail Partners is a Premier Partner for Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint. So, one of the questions asked if the firms responding were users of either software. Of the responses, 40% are either a Deltek Vision or Vantagepoint user, 58% were not users, and 2% said other. The one “other” response indicated that they are currently using another CRM software system.

Overall Firm Marketing Strategies

Before we asked about email marketing strategies, we asked respondents what marketing channels their firm currently uses. They could respond with multiple answers. The top three marketing channels included website, social media, and email. This seems to be consistent to the other independent research noted above.

Email Survey Image 1

Today’s Email Marketing Strategy

The survey also wanted to gauge how professional services firms are using email marketing today. We asked questions including goal/purpose for email marketing, frequency, type of email campaigns, and how the firms track success of their email marketing efforts. These were asked in a combination of quantitative and qualitative questions.

The biggest goal/purpose for email marketing is for brand awareness (41%) with lead nurturing well behind at 26% of the responses.

Email Survey Image 2

The main types of email marketing campaigns sent by the respondents included regular newsletters (33%), highlight emails (23%), and promotional emails (23%).

When asked for a brief overview of the firm’s email marketing strategy, objective responses ranged from simple holiday greetings to organized targeted campaigns. Some of the consistent qualitative response themes include:

  • Holiday greetings
  • Announcements such as new hire, employee promotions, new office, or office move
  • Sharing content produced by the firm like blog articles
  • Teaming and bid opportunity alerts to contractor and subcontractor lists
  • Event invitations around either webinars or attending conferences/tradeshows

Email Survey Image 3

When asked how frequently email campaigns are sent, nearly half of respondents send their email campaigns quarterly (46%) with another 21% sending monthly. Some of the other responses included bi-weekly sends as well as sending depending on specific promotions.

Email Survey Image 4

Email Marketing Changes Due to Pandemic

Another reason for conducting this survey was to gauge how email marketing strategies and engagement have changed, if at all, during the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many face-to-face meetings and conferences have been canceled or transformed into virtual events. Staying in front of clients and prospects is critical for maintaining relationships for professional services firms. And, email marketing may be one way the pandemic has affected this.

First, we wanted to know if the firms’ email marketing strategy changed during the pandemic. Nearly half of the responses said their email marketing strategy DID NOT change (45%) while 20% indicated that they did increase the amount of email marketing efforts during the pandemic. Interesting is that 23% of the responses were not doing any email marketing before the pandemic and still haven’t started.

Email Survey Image 5

Next, we wanted to gauge the results of the firms’ email marketing efforts during this past year, regardless of any changes to their email marketing strategy. According to the responses of this survey, the majority said that everything has stayed about the same (38%). However, 18% did say that their email engagement has increased.

Email Survey Image 6

What’s Next

This is just a preview of the email marketing trends for professional services firms’ survey results. More results and recommendations will be shared on the June 30, 2021 webinar. During that webinar, Full Sail Partners along with a very special guest will be talking about:

  • Why email marketing is a must-have for professional services firms,
  • What’s working right now for B2B firms,
  • How to get started in email marketing,
  • Resources available from Full Sail Partners and SubjectLine.com

To register for this free webinar, click the image below.

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The Value of Vantagepoint for Business Development

Posted by Lindsay Diven on December 09, 2020

For professional services firms, business development can be completed both with dedicated resources and/or “seller-doers.” Because our firms have touchpoints with multiple people at our client organizations, information gathering and sharing becomes a critical piece to the success of our business development. When our firms can successfully manage the numerous interactions, identify projects that add to our pipeline, and collect the right information to position our firm better than our competitors, we win more projects, improve client satisfaction, and increase loyalty.

CRM on the go

The abilities of Deltek Vantagepoint CRM can provide business developers, project managers, marketing staff, and executives with real-time information on all of the client touchpoints, project pipelines, marketing and service efforts. This ensures all firm goals are being met and provides for the shared resource of firmwide data. Deltek Vantagepoint’s CRM strengthens your business development in the following ways:

Record Interactions On-the-Fly

The power of a CRM comes when everyone records conversations or information related to interactions with clients and contacts. Vantagepoint CRM provides users several ways to record these Activities and Touchpoints.

  1. Web Brower – You can access Vantagepoint to record a contact interaction from your computer, laptop, tablet or phone using any web browser.
  2. Hey Deltek! – Watch out Alexa, because there’s a new voice command in town! Deltek has developed its very own voice automated service. You can use this now in the web browser and coming soon to the CRM mobile app. Simply record an activity by speaking to Hey Deltek!
  3. Mobile CRM App – The Vantagepoint CRM app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Access all of your Firms, Contacts, Activities, and Projects inside the app. You can use your phone’s native talk to text feature to automatically log activities and meeting notes.
  4. Outlook Connect – Coming in early 2021 is the new Vantagepoint Outlook Connect. This integration includes a contextual email pane to view contact details, search Vantagepoint and create new records from your email. You will also be able to sync your contacts and calendar directly from Outlook to Vantagepoint. Connect also includes a scheduling assistant to help you find the perfect meeting time without all of the back and forth emails.

Vantagepoint makes it easier than ever for busy business development and technical professionals to log the critical information needed to build strong relationships with your clients.

Easily Uncover Client and Contact Relationships

Vantagepoint associates its Hub and Record information throughout the database. There are Hubs for Firms, Contacts, and Projects that are all interconnected. This means that you can associate any firm that is involved in a project – from teaming partners to program managers and general contractors. And, each time a firm is associated to a project, that project then appears on that firm’s record in the Firm Hub. This same association works for contacts and employees as well. It also gives your business development team the insight into the relationships of your firm with your clients, contacts, employees, and projects – all in one location!

Support the Entire Business Development and Project Lifecycle

The business development process often begins with targeting clients, then getting to know contacts at those client organizations. Through this effort, projects are identified. At this point, your team begins preparing for the pursuit of that project through teaming, proposals, and/or presentations. The goal is to win that project and perform so well that you are awarded with repeat work.

Deltek Vantagepoint is designed specifically to support the entire project lifecycle beginning with the earliest business development stages. When you are targeting clients, you will be utilizing the Firms, Contacts, and Marketing Campaigns Hubs. In those you can begin to gather information about contacts and activities.

Then as a project is identified, it’s logged into the Projects Hub in a pursuit stage. You will continue to use this same record through the pursuit and proposal stages. When this project record is created, a plan is also created so your project manager can begin to allocate resources and develop estimates.

When you are awarded the project, you will continue to use that same project record and update the stage and budget. All of the intelligence gathered in the pursuit of the project remains in the same project record you will continue to use to perform the project. This gives your business development and marketing staff the complete picture and history for that entire project.

Bring Everything and Everyone Together

Not only does the Vantagepoint solution encourage a collaborative environment, but it brings all your firm’s business development processes into one unified platform. This enables business developers to do their jobs better. Be sure to check out our entire Deltek Vantagepoint mini-series to see how the product can help your employees and firm.

See Deltek Vantagepoint now!

Focus on the Future with Sales Forecasting

Posted by Lindsay Diven on October 21, 2020

Forecasting

Are you simply betting that your future will be bright? Or are you using your data to plan for tomorrow? As my data-loving, gal-pal, Stacey Ho, CPSM, puts it: “Forecasting is a little bit of science, and a little bit of crystal ball.” In this blog, I’ll share what forecasting can tell you, and how to get started today using anything from Excel to a major ERP finance software system. Your firm, no matter what size, can take small steps to plan for a bright future.

What is forecasting?

Forecasting is a way to use your pipeline to demonstrate potential future sales. It helps your firm make smarter decisions or know when to course correct. Forecasting can tell you if you need to identify more work, improve your hit hate, recognize “must-win” opportunities, or even when to hire more staff.

Get Started with Forecasting

To get started with forecasting, you will need to set yourself up for success. This is done through aligning the right people, process, data, and technology:

PeopleYou will first want to have a good understanding of who is responsible for data collection, maintenance, input, etc. and who will be gathering and reporting on the data. Consider who has both the knowledge and the time to put the forecast together. Lastly, make sure you have buy-in from your firm leadership.

ProcessOnce you have the people identified, it is time to start working on the process. This includes setting sales goals for your firm, so you have them to compare the forecast to and which can be developed using a top-down or bottom-up approach. You will also want to determine the frequency in which you report the forecast and how often you will update it. The frequency can be weekly, monthly or quarterly. I recommend beginning with quarterly and eventually increasing to monthly for firms just starting to forecast, Additionally, you will need to decide how far out into the future your forecast goes. The two most common forecasts are the current calendar or fiscal year and a rolling 12-month report.

DataTo build your forecast you need data. This includes dates, dollars, and status. I will go into more detail regarding the minimum data you need to build a forecast in just a bit.

TechnologyOnce you have identified people, process, and data, you will have a pretty good idea of what type of technology is needed. CRM systems, like Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint, are developed specifically to make reporting forecasts seamless and automated. Once the information is entered into the system, you can build reports or dashboards easily, segment the data by office or market, and schedule the reports to be delivered automatically.

What are the Minimum Pieces of Information for Effective Forecasting?

Since a forecast is predicting your sales into the future, there are some minimum pieces of information you need to record to develop a forecast report. Those pieces of information are:

  • Opportunity or Potential Project Name – The report is a cumulation of all your future potential projects. So, ideally every opportunity or potential project would be entered into your CRM system.
  • Anticipated Fee – In order to forecast expected sales, you will need at least an estimate of anticipated fee for each opportunity.
  • Date – This can be a date for when you expect the contract, when the proposal is due, or when you expect to begin work on the project. Again, because the forecast is based on a date range, you need to input some date to base the report on. I would recommend capturing a contract or expected start date. No matter what type of date field you choose, be sure to enter and update that data field consistently among all your opportunities.

There are some other data fields that will make your forecast reports even better:

  • Probability – Chances are you are not going to win every opportunity you pursue, so I like to apply a probability to each opportunity. This probability is the likelihood your firm will win the opportunity.
  • Weighted Fee – Weighted fee is what you get when you multiply the estimated fee by the probability. When you calculate this, and use the weighted fee in your forecast, it is more conservative than just using the estimated fee. Sometimes, this gives you a better idea of what your sales will be.
  • Office or Market Segments – I like to develop my forecast reports around the same segments as the other financial reports my firm does. So, if your firm reports P&L around offices, divisions, or studios, then you can set up your forecast reports the same.

Maintaining the Forecast

Now that you have set up your initial forecast report, make sure you maintain it on whatever frequency you decided above. Maintenance encompasses:

  • Data Auditing – This includes routine data updates such as updating the contract or estimated start dates, updating estimated fees, and probabilities.
  • Actualizing – Data actualizing happens when you turn the opportunity into a sale. This involves marking opportunities as wins or losses, updating the estimated fee to the actual final negotiated contract amount, and changing wins to 100% probability if you are using a weighted fee.

How to Use Your Forecasts

While forecasting can tell your firm if it will meet its goals, there are some other uses of sales forecasting. In my experience, forecasts have been used to:

  • Identify your top 10 or “must-win” projects that will allow you to meet or beat your goals
  • Know where your future work is coming from, specifically what clients or markets
  • Understand how increasing your probability (chances of winning) can affect your entire forecast
  • Develop estimated plans of efforts for all your potential projects and combine those with your contracted backlog effort. You can assign resources (named or generic) and see how utilized your teams are.

Get a Clear Picture of the Future

Stop guessing what the future will look like for your firm by developing a sales forecast. With some minimum information that is tracked in a CRM like Deltek Vision or Vantagepoint, you can easily build a forecast report that will give your firm a clear picture of the future. Ready to get started?

Deltek Vantagepoint Visuals

Easily Capture Project Information Using Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Lindsay Diven on July 22, 2020

Project information checklist

Have you ever noticed how the proposal process tends to fly by leaving you scrambling as the deadline nears? When producing proposals, project-related information needs to be found quickly. Of course, speed is important in the search, but data accuracy is imperative. Gathering accurate project details in a timely manner is a challenge I hear of nearly every day from marketing and proposal managers at project-based firms. Fortunately, with Deltek Vantagepoint, your teams can easily capture project information and reference it quickly when it matters most– during proposal crunch time. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Identify the Key Project Information You Need for Proposals

The Deltek Vantagepoint Projects Hub will become your one source of truth for the project information you need to rely on to produce winning proposals. The image below shows a project experience page created using Deltek Vantagepoint Custom Proposals. The page was built based on information captured in the Projects Hub and includes fields such as project name, project description, client name, project manager, and square footage along with a few project images.

Project experience page

 

Capture Information While Pursuing the Project

Using Deltek Vantagepoint, capturing critical project information begins in the pursuit stage. Because Deltek Vantagepoint has one project record that is maintained from opportunity to pursuit to proposal and eventually to a regular project record, the information captured during the pursuit never gets lost or goes unused.

Project in pursuit stage

The image above is showing a project in a pursuit stage. We can tell this record is in a pursuit stage because the coloring in the left-hand summary pane is gold and the Stage is labeled as Pending. During this stage, there is common key project information that is typically collected as part of the proposal process.

Much of the information you will eventually need for your project cut sheets and proposals is typically known during the pursuit stage, and thus can be collected and stored inside the project record in Deltek Vantagepoint.

Examples of common key project information include:

  • Project Name
  • Primary Client and Contact
  • Project Location
  • Key Team Members, such as Principal-in-Charge, Project Manager

You can also identify other team members, both internal and external to your firm, for the project. See image below.

Project team

Over on the Dates & Costs tab, you can begin to capture the estimated project start and completion dates.

Project dates & costs

You may even have some information about the project from the RFP or client description of the project. Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to easily store an initial project description on the Proposals tab.

Project description

 

Move From Pursuit to Billable Project Without Losing Key Information

Now you might be thinking, why would I want to store this information into a record that is in pursuit? Well, Deltek Vantagepoint makes it seamless to move from a pursuit stage to an awarded project stage. When you make that move, all of the information captured in the pursuit stage stays with the awarded project record. This makes the process more efficient. Information is entered only once and is used throughout the project lifecycle.

Pursuit to Billable Project

 

Access the Data You Need When You Need It

Once you have won the project and are performing the work, you can easily continue to enter and access key project data:

Key Team Members

Over on the Team tab, Employees are automatically added to the project when they charge time to that project on their timesheet. Then, you can easily update their role on the project.

Team members

In the image above, you can also see the number of hours employees have charged to this project. Additionally on the Team tab, you can add external contacts that should be associated with the project. You can even identify who should be the project reference (for future proposals, of course).

Project Descriptions

As the project evolves, you will have more details to include in the project description. That information can quickly be added to Deltek Vantagepoint on the Proposals tab. Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to store different types of project descriptions that you may need for different uses. Examples may include short description, long description, key features, etc.

Firms often have a primary project description that is used on project cut sheets, but then may need a project description that is shorter. The shorter descriptions might be good for resumes or when page limits are tight. You can mark one description as the default by checking the default checkbox. No matter how you use your project descriptions, Deltek Vantagepoint makes it easy to store and use project descriptions for proposals.

Description options

Track Project Awards

Chances are you have some award-winning projects. Vantagepoint makes it easy to track what awards your projects win in the Awards grid as shown in the image above.

Project Photos

If you want to use project photos in your proposals, Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to store and manage images and other project related documents on the Files & Links tab.

Files & Links tab

Information Specific to Your Firm’s Projects

If there is information that is specific to your firm’s project, Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to create custom fields, grids, and tabs. The image below is showing a custom tab called Project Information. On this, I have added custom fields like square footage or number of floors. Other popular custom fields are around tracking sustainability goals such as LEED Certifications.

Custom tab and fields

 

Drive Success with Deltek Vantagepoint

As you can see, Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to easily track key project information through the entire project lifecycle, from initial lead to project completion. That information can then be quickly used to build winning proposals that drive success for your firm. 

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

Tackling Resume and Project Updates to Promote Business Development

Posted by Lindsay Diven on March 06, 2019

Update Data In project-based firms, marketers play a huge role in business development. They are responsible for keeping company content up to date. Overall, their goal is to have information to promote the firm, its project managers and staff, and its projects. Tackling resumes and project information will ultimately lead to more work for the firm, so it is a necessity to get it done.

Painting a Picture of the Firm

What makes a firm stand out is its people. Every individual is unique and brings specialized experience to the firm. It is important for marketers to show off these skills to promote business development. Thus, marketers must ensure that everyone’s resume is up to date. The certifications, licenses and bios paint a picture of what clients will get if they choose to go with that firm for their projects.

The ideal time to update information is with newly hired people. Once HR has made an offer, marketing can then proceed with identifying the relevant information for content creation. Information should also be gathered on an on-going basis at an established frequency like work anniversaries. Better yet, this can all be done using an automated system.

Crafting the Story to Tell

Another significant way to develop business is through case studies. Potential clients want to know that their projects will be efficiently run and meet their expectations. Stories of smoothly run projects with ideal results are what they desire to see in the firm’s marketing materials.

Marketers need to have successful project details that can be presented to these potential clients. One option is to invite project managers to lunch and there they can fill out project information data. Project information can even be acquired by on-site visits where a marketer is walked through and given a visual of the project. Some firms, once a job is awarded, send someone from marketing to track the project through its duration.

Project information collection and updating can also be automated to ease the burden. Marketers can get project updates at certain milestones depending upon how their stories need to be told. Whatever means your project information is gathered, it is important for marketing to get the specifics showing potential clients why your firm is the one to go with for the next project.

Developing Your Data Collection and Maintenance Program

Now you see the need for marketers to tackle resumes and update project information in order to promote business development. The next question is how can I make all of this happen? Make sure to attend upcoming SMPS regional conferences to watch me, Lindsay Diven, CSPM, Senior Consultant at Full Sail Partners present on this topic.

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Work More Efficiently with Deltek’s New Vantagepoint

Posted by Lindsay Diven on January 16, 2019

Deltek VantagepointWith the new Deltek Vantagepoint, Vision is re-imagined. Not only has the look and feel been improved, but there are many new enhancements that all users will love. This new browser-based solution helps your firm deliver more successful projects and grow your business. It’s built around the project—from finding, pursuing, winning, and delivering them. 

In the last quarter of 2018, Full Sail Partners’ consultants participated in early adopter testing of the Vantagepoint 2.0 solution. To say we are impressed with the new features and streamlined design and framework is an understatement.

In this article, three of our consultants share what sets Vantagepoint apart from Vision and why you should be excited. We will go into detail from Employee Scorecards and Project Plans to Multiple Dashboards and Milestone Dashparts.

While change can be scary, we assure that you will fall in love with the Vantagepoint enhancements we have seen so far, just like we did. 

Intuitive Business Development

Lindsay Diven, CPSM is a Senior Consultant for Full Sail Partners. Below are just a few of my new favorite features of Vantagepoint.

  • All Companies in One Place – The previous Clients and Vendors has been combined to form a new hub called Companies.
  • All People in One Place – The previous Leads and Contacts info center has been combined to form a new hub called People.
  • Easily See All Associations for People and Companies – With streamlined hubs, you can easily see all the projects a company is associated with – either as a subconsultant or a prime.
  • Easier Searching – You can easily build searches on the fly. You can add a field quickly and instantly preview results.
  • Milestones Dashpart – A place to track and display all your CRM and proposal deadlines.
  • Visual Dashboards by Function – You can easily toggle between Business Development, Project Management and Executive/Owner level dashboards.
  • New Drag and Drop Proposal Builder – Long gone are the days of coding and testing merge templates! You can now see what your proposal looks like as you are building it.

Efficient Project and Resource Management

Below Principal Consultant, Matt McCauley, shares some of his favorite new aspects of Vantagepoint for creating and managing projects as well as managing resources.

  • Create a Project and Plan Simultaneously – When you create a new Project Record, a Project Plan is automatically created.
  • Add Multiple Resources to a Project at One Time – Quickly add multiple resources to a project with a few clicks.
  • View Resource Management by Employee or by Project – Gain greater visibility into resource utilization.

Streamlined Accounting Functions

We sat down with Scott Gailhouse, Principal Consultant, to ask what his favorite new features of Vantagepoint are. He listed the following:

  • All Reports in One Place – Get the information you need to make actionable decisions easily and quickly.
  • Best of Both Worlds: Batch or Single Entry – Save time with easy functionality that allows for processing multiple transactions with a click of a button.
  • Expanded Approval Center – New Approval center includes absence requests, expense lines, expense reports, timesheets and timesheet lines. You can also view the progress of the approval workflow.
  • Update Fees in Interactive Billing – Update project fees while processing invoices.
  • Employee Cards and Timesheet Calendar – New Outlook integration that allows for timesheets to be updated from a user’s Outlook calendar.

Learn More about Deltek Vantagepoint

To learn more about these new features and see examples, make sure to watch our webinar Things We Love About Deltek Vantagepoint So Far. This is the first in a series of webinars on how to prepare for Vantagepoint.

See Deltek Vantagepoint now!  

5 Things you Didn’t Know iAccess Could do for Marketing and Business Development

Posted by Lindsay Diven on March 23, 2018

Deltek iAccessAcquiring and maintaining accurate client data is absolutely necessary for both marketers and business developers. Marketers need it to provide valuable content to clients and business developers for a successful sales pipeline. Additionally, as with any other firm department, both marketers and business developers need a way to track their efficiency and effectiveness. With iAccess, this all can be achieved. Here are five things you probably weren’t aware of that iAccess can do for marketing and business development:

1. On the Go CRM Without an App

Business developers and marketers spend lots of time on the go rather than at their desks. With iAccess, you can use the web browser in your mobile devices to update your CRM and keep data current. We recommend saving it as a bookmark or using the “Add to Home Screen” option for even quicker access on the go. 

Furthermore, the iAccess Business Development workspace enables you to contribute and maintain key pipeline information wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. 

2. Enter and Edit Contacts, Opportunities, and Touch Points

Using iAccess, you can work with Contacts and Opportunities as well as set up touch points. Under the Contacts tab, you can perform basic searches and add contacts. The contact area provides quick access to key information for your contacts such as title, phone numbers, company, location and email address. You can even add image links into contact records.

From the Opportunities tab, you can view all your current opportunities as well as add new opportunities. You can easily change and view data such as the opportunity stage or see what client you are working on. Additionally, you can view and update the touch points as well as quickly add a touch point within any of the tabs by clicking on add touchpoint under the Touchpoint tab.

If the standard saved searches don’t provide the information you need, you can create a custom search. When you create a custom search, you can save it for the future, so you do not have to continually recreate the search parameters. 

3. Easily Sort, Filter, and Export Opportunity Reports

Opportunities are found within the Business Development workspace of iAccess. Here you have critical information at your fingertips. You have the option to sort opportunities by active opportunities, all opportunities or just those that you are associated with as part of the team. See the opportunities instantly as you filter and organize. These reports can then be exported to wherever you want them to go.

4. Track Your Department Spending

Another nice feature of iAccess is that you can use it to track department spending and can make sure you are being effective and efficient with your resources. If you set up budgets for Promotional Projects, you can easily see where you are Job to Date (JTD) and Year to Date (YTD) for that project. In that project record using the Project Management workspace, iAccess provides visuals to  see the labor and expenses that have been charged to the promo number and what budget is left.

5. Update Contact Notes Using Talk to Text 

A final iAccess benefit is that you can use “talk to text” to update Contact and Opportunity records. When you open iAccess using your mobile devices (explained above), you can use the talk to text feature to update any field. We like to update touch points and notes using this talk to text method. There couldn’t be an easier way to provide a meeting summary after visiting a contact. 

Let iAccess Work for Marketing and Business Development 

Now that you have discovered five things that iAccess can do for marketing and business development, are you ready to try it out? For more information, check out these past webinars to get an introduction to iAccess for business developers and to learn how to connect to Vision from anywhere with iAccess. Lastly, if you’re attending the SMPS Southwest Regional Conference, make sure to attend Lindsay Diven’s pre-conference Vision CRM workshop.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Business Development and Marketing Professionals

Posted by Lindsay Diven on December 13, 2017

New Year's Resolutions After the ball drops every New Year’s Eve, the song “Auld Lang Syne” triggers everyone to begin a personal reflection of the past. Similarly, at the end of a year and on a professional level, business development and marketing professionals should look back at the previous year and evaluate the results of their efforts. How they use this information will help them strategize for the following year and improve upon performance. Here are some New Year’s resolutions that business development and marketing professionals should make to get the most out of next year.

New Year’s Resolutions for Business Development 

Improving client relationships is essential to generating more sales and revenue. Here are five ways to help nurture better client relationships.   

  1. Streamline your client engagement/touchpoint activities. Distill your activities to the essentials to shorten sales cycles while providing high-value interactions with clients and prospects.
  2. Get to know your clients better. Ask the right questions and actively listen to the client’s answers.
  3. Coordinate and collaborate with the marketing team on a regular basis.
  4. Embrace new technology. Communicate with prospects and clients and record information gained. Share this information with internal teams.
  5. Stop checking in. Instead, use your database to connect with prospects using meaningful conversations or useful content. 

New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers 

While marketing requires evaluating the performance of efforts throughout the year, using this data to become more effective for the next year is a difficult task. Here are five ways marketers can increase the impact of marketing plans for the new year. 

  1. Examine last year’s marketing campaigns and see which ones met your goals. Determine how you will use this information for next year’s planning.
  2. Take a hard look at your process for collecting and maintaining your information/data. Make it a goal to get all your data centralized into one place.
  3. Coordinate and collaborate with the business development/sales teams on a regular basis.
  4. Create high-quality, value-based content that your clients and prospects need.
  5. Understand the client experience journey from prospect to project delivery. How can you, as a marketer, improve your client experience to differentiate your firm? 

Increase Business and Revenue in 2018! 

With the New Year comes the potential to increase sales goals and revenue. This is the best time to make changes and adjustments to business development and marketing strategies. Follow these New Year’s resolutions to be more productive in your marketing and business development efforts for 2018.    

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