It is recommended to review the Knowledge Base article "Overview & Introduction to the Four Viper Websites" here prior to reading through this Knowledge Base article.
Creating a New Program
Before you can build a proposal, you must first create a program. The proposal is just one of the pieces of a program in Viper. One way to build a program starts directly in the dashboard of the Internal Viper Site.
- Start New Program Wizard: Login to your Viper Site and create a new program using the "Add a New Program" widget in the upper right of your Dashboard. You can choose an existing client company for the program or create a new client company if needed.
- Choose Program Template: In the Step 1 of the New Program Wizard, you can choose to create your new program from a Program Template or other existing program. If you have created any Program Templates, simply click on a template to use it for your new program. Alternatively, you can search for an existing program to use as a starting point for your new program. Whether selecting a Program Template or an existing program, the proposal content and costing data from the selected template or program will be copied into your new program.
- Confirm Basic Details: In Step 2 of the New Program Wizard, you can confirm program details and modify them as needed. Be sure to select at least 1 Destination for the new program. The Destination you select will determine which content can be added from the Content Library to the proposal or costing. It's important to remember that when adding content to a proposal or costing, the Content Library picker will only show Content Library items (articles, products, packages) that are marked as available for the selected destinations of the program. Click the [Submit] button to complete the New Program Wizard and initiate the program.
Building Proposal and Costing
- Update Program Details: After you complete the New Program Wizard, you are taken to the Program Details tab. From here you can update and specify additional details for the program, including employee contacts and client contacts. Take a look at the tabs across the top of the screen (underneath the program name and company name); these tabs represent the different tools available for building the proposal and managing the program. As you build the proposal and costing, you will also likely be managing initial planning elements of the program. For instance, you can start to line up providers and enter detailed internal notes for almost any aspect of the program.
- Enter Internal Notes: Click on the [Notes] tab to begin entering internal notes for the program. Precise notes are essential for recording client requests and making sure client needs are served. As you add events and sections, you can enter internal notes related to those specific aspects of the proposal or operational notes. Additionally, as you add line items and providers to the costing, you can enter specific notes for every line item and provider. The notes tab can be used in a number of different ways depending on your company's process, but be sure to use it to your advantage. In many cases, it can evolve into a full resume or schedule of internal operating instructions for the program.
- Build Event Schedule: Click on the [Event Schedule] tab to enter the scheduled events for the program. The events entered in the Event Schedule will also appear in the Proposal Table of Contents and the Costing. Note that events can also be added from the Proposal tab or Costing tab, but the calendar layout of the Event Schedule makes it the best place to enter new events and modify existing ones. Any events that were in the template or program you selected in Step 1 of the New Program Wizard will appear on the Event Schedule for the new program (you can easily delete events that are unrelated to the new program).
- Populate Proposal: Click on the [Proposal] tab to view the Proposal Table of Contents. Any events entered in the Event Schedule will also appear here, as well as any sections that were pulled in from the template or program you selected in Step 1 of the New Program Wizard. "Sections" are slightly different from "Events" in the context of Viper. Events have a specific date and appear in the Event Schedule, Proposal, and Costing. Sections do not have a date and only appear in the Proposal, therefore they cannot be used to enter pricing in the costing. Click on a section or event to view and edit proposal content. From there, you can use the links along the top to add content from the Content Library or you can build custom content "from scratch."
- Populate Costing: As you add content to the proposal, any linked pricing will be automatically added to the costing (budget) as well. If the pricing in your Content Library is accurate, you should only have to set the proper quantities for the costing line items and hide any line items you do not want your clients to see. The costing is similar to an Excel spreadsheet in that you can edit almost any cell, and then related cells are automatically updated based on various formulas. Note that the gray background for cells and columns indicate that the cells will NOT be shown in the client facing costing. For instance, costs are never shown to the client and have a gray background.
- Manage Providers: As products and packages are added to the costing, any linked vendors and hotels are pulled into the Providers tab. From here, you can manage quantities and pricing for each provider, identify shortages, and set the status of each provider. Depending on the program and how your company operates, you may start to confirm services with vendors during the proposal stage and/or after the client has confirmed the program. Click here to learn more about provider management.
Delivering the Proposal & Proposal Revisions
- Publish Proposal: When you are ready to deliver the proposal to your client, click on the [Client Website] tab. In the upper left, click the [Publish] link to publish the proposal. You can also publish the costing if it's ready to show to the client. You may choose to publish the costing later if it is not quite ready. After publishing the proposal, you can preview it using the [Preview this Proposal] link. When previewing the proposal, you are viewing the proposal on the Viper Client Site exactly as the client will see it. Note that publishing a proposal does not trigger any sort of email or notification to the client. You will still need to send them the proposal link after publishing it.
- Deliver Proposal to Client: Assuming the proposal looks as you'd like, return to the Client Website tab and click the [Send Email with URL] link to deliver the proposal link to the client. On the next screen, you can confirm the proposal recipients and make any necessary changes to the email message. DO NOT MODIFY ANY TEXT IN THE DOUBLE BRACKETS. Note that each client will receive a unique URL so their actions on the client site can be tracked. Click the [Send Email] button when ready.
- Follow up with Client: As soon as your client(s) click the proposal link in the email message and login to the Client Site, all employees linked to the program will receive a "proposal viewed" email notification. You can then use the Analytics tab within the program to see which sections the clients looked at and for how long. If after some time you do not receive the "proposal viewed" notification, it is advised to follow up with the client. Occasionally, the automated email from Viper does not reach the client's email inbox. If this is the case, you can copy the proposal link at the bottom of the Client Website tab and paste it into a personal email to send off to your client(s). Since each client has a unique URL to view the proposal, be sure to send the correct one to each client.
- Collaborate with Client: Viper allows you to collaborate with clients in real-time. For instance, a client may ask you to swap out an activity or change the number of people attending a dinner during the program. You can quickly make a change in the proposal or costing, after which your change is immediately seen on the Client Site after the client refreshes their screen. If desired, you can unpublish the proposal and costing while making your changes, then republish the proposal and costing before alerting the client that your changes are ready for them to review.
- Client Site Analytics: Be sure to use the Analytics tab to see what clients are looking at on the Client Site. You'll start to see what sections of the proposal are important to clients and which sections aren't.
Program Management and Operations
- Snapshots: As you make revisions to the proposal and costing, be sure to take advantage of Snapshots. You can create a snapshot using the [Save Snapshot] link at the top of the Notes, Event Schedule, Proposal, Costing, or Providers tab. When you save a snapshot, a read-only copy of the Proposal, Costing, Notes, and Provider Data is made. You can view snapshots at any time to track how the proposal and costing change over the life of a program.
- Sign Contract: When it comes time for a client to sign a contract, Viper can generate the contract for you. Go to the Contracts tab to generate a contract. All program details, such as dates, client contact information, pricing, and more are merged into a Word document for you to download and deliver to the Client. You will also have the opportunity to create a payment schedule for the program when generating the contract. Once you receive the signed contract back from the client, it can be uploaded into the Contracts tab to be stored centrally.
- Enter Operations: When you're ready to move a program into operations, Viper allows you to put a program into "Operations Mode." To put a program into Operations, open the program and click the [Enter Operations] button in the top right corner of the Details tab. Viper will create a copy of the proposal and costing (much like saving a snapshot) and it will mark the snapshot as the last snapshot of the "sales process." Moving forward, you can continue to save snapshots, but they will be marked as "operations" snapshots, instead of "sales" snapshots. When viewing the active proposal or costing, you will notice that you can quickly jump back and forth between the active operations version and the sales snapshot created when you put the program into operations mode. This allows you to easily compare differences between the services and pricing agreed upon by the client when the contract was signed with the current service and pricing. When viewing programs in the All Programs report, you will also notice an Operations Costing Value for programs that have been put into Operations Mode.
- Billing: In the Billing tab, you can manage the payment schedule for a program that was created when you generated a contract, as well as monitor program balances. Obviously, the initial agreed-upon payment schedule may change as the program evolves, so Viper allows you to change billing charges as needed. You can also record received payments as the client makes them. Every time a payment schedule is created or modified, an email notification is triggered to the "Accounting Notification Email Address" configured in the Admin Site. This helps keep Accounting in the loop as changes to payment schedules are made.
- Program Operating Notes: As you build out the details and operating instructions for a program, you can enter internal notes in many areas of Viper. From the Notes tab, you can see all internal notes for a given program. The notes are organized by proposal section or event > costing line items in event > providers (including on-site staff) for costing line item. While all notes can be viewed and edited from the Notes tab, the same notes can be viewed and edited in other parts of the program, such as the Event Schedule tab, Proposal tab, Costing tab, and Providers tab. When it comes time to operate a program, the notes can easily be printed and distributed to on-site staff.