Today, we are excited to announce our investment in Provus and their much-needed solution for optimizing services quoting. As we studied how businesses today manage services quoting, we were surprised to learn how manual the process is – especially given the importance of speed in quoting customers as well as the revenue and margin impact companies can face from suboptimal services quoting. Until now, a large services quoting market has been underserved.
This funding follows our theme of investing in companies that automate manual processes for the office of the CFO, such as Spiff, Enable, FloQast, and SourceDay.
The state of service quoting
When businesses need to configure, price, and quote products, like software subscriptions or physical hardware products, they can choose from a number of great tools. However, when they need to quote services, such as implementation, maintenance, or consulting, the options are much more limited. They end up using either custom-built tools or manually calculating those expenses in spreadsheets. Then when it’s time for approvals, they route all those via email. These methods offer limited collaboration – a crucial element for quoting services, which involves services, sales, and finance teams working together over months-long processes. The current approaches also provide low visibility and make it difficult to enforce guardrails on acceptable margins for projects.
Services quoting is an extremely complicated endeavor, so it’s not hard to understand why it is being done the way it is. Unlike product CPQ, quoting a service involves managing staffing, accounting for different rates for people, estimating time to complete a project, and scenario modeling between these different factors to optimize for revenue and margins. It’s also critical to get this right for both product- and services-based businesses because of the revenue and margin impact they face from suboptimal pricing. We’ve spoken to numerous companies that have attempted to solve this problem by spending millions of dollars to build custom tools or that have settled on massive spreadsheets with limited visibility and collaboration.
Enter Provus and CPQ for services
To solve these problems, Provus has built a Salesforce-native CPQ for services. Their CPQ suite includes rate estimators, resource management, scenario modeling, collaboration, and approval workflows. The benefits of their product over manual methods include improving sales cycle times, maximizing revenue, optimizing margins, and ensuring customer experience and compliance. Their current customers have seen cycle times decrease from weeks down to hours and have also seen positive impacts on both revenues and margins.
We are excited to be working with Provus’s world-class team, who brings deep domain expertise in CPQ and professional services. CEO Mahesh Baxi was previously the first employee at Apttus and felt these pain points as VP of professional services and VP of customer success. He co-founded Provus with Ganesh Ramachandran, who was previously the SVP of Advanced Technology at Apttus, and Stawan Kadepurkar, who has held senior sales roles at services organizations like L&T, Aricent, and Infosys.
We look forward to working with the Provus team, Storm Ventures, Accel India, and some incredible angels to build a great company disrupting a large and underserved market. We are excited to welcome them to the Norwest family!