Sofon was founded in 1998 by Paul Kimmel, who developed the software product they call Guided Selling. This software guides sales personnel in the sale of complex products; this can be a machine with a large number of parts, options and features, or for instance an insurance of some kind. Where normally the sales employees require knowledge of these products to make offers that match the customer requirements, the guided selling software provides the possibility to hold this knowledge and thereby automate the quotation process. The main benefits that this software delivers are that the lead times are significantly shortened and that mistakes in offers are reduced. The two main products are Sofon Studio, the modeling environment that is used by product experts to enter the technical and commercial rules and limitations, and Sofon Proposal Organizer, which is the software that is actually used by the sales department to make the offers. Even though there are only 30 employees working at Sofon, they serve both medium-sized as well as Fortune 500 customers worldwide with offices abroad in Belgium, the UK, Germany and the United States. Figure 9.1 represents the revenue development of Sofon from the start of the company.
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Roderick van Cann
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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