January 08, 2009

Bid Losses Offer Clue to Sales Effectiveness Opportunities

The loss of a number of recent bids had heightened competitiveness concerns among the sales team of a leading IT services company.  This was compounded by fears regarding a general economic slowdown.

However it is precisely in depressed markets and among down-spirited sales teams that a focus on sales effectiveness can produce the greatest results.  In particular two key opportunities to increase sales effectiveness were identified:

1.   1.  The sales team was over reliant on proposals to sell.   Most proposals were prepared after an initial short meeting with the customer, or following a phone call or email enquiry.   As a result proposal success rates were low, with limited information gathering / needs analysis, or prequalification before submission and no gauging reaction to price.

2.      2. Hampered by an insufficient flow of sales leads – reps were responsible for generating all their own leads, as a result less than 10% of their time was spend meeting new customers, with just one new customer being met each week by each rep.

In respect of proposals new criteria regarding when they are to be prepared and a policy of greater interaction with buyers before submission reduced the number of proposal generated, but dramatically increased win rates.  

Added to a telemarketing campaign to generate leads and increase the number of prospects being met, the result was a 22% increase in sales growth.  

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