Over the last three weeks I’ve had meetings with several Managing Directors and Sales Directors and a similar issue keeps coming up.
“We have loads of inquiries coming in and our sales people and running to keep up with the quotations, but we are seeing a drop in project wins!”
As the market becomes more active, more quotation requests come in and it is easy to see the time previously spent on project tracking being lost. Unfortunately this is a key issue because if you and your sales team do not have a clear focus on qualifying project opportunities you can quickly find yourself on a Hamster Wheel churning out quotes for people while previously qualified projects in your pipeline get neglected. Without proper follow up and follow through the quality of information on these projects starts dropping significantly and more importantly so does your conversion rate.
Another issue to exacerbate the problem is that once you neglect your project tracking and follow up work you allow your competitors an opportunity to get in on the projects. Often causing you to play catch-up to get back in pole position and often forcing you to try and break the specification by offering lower pricing which hits your margins badly!
So what can you do? Two things.
- Focus your efforts on creating project specifications that are a good fit for your products and get involved in projects earlier rather than later.
- Self-discipline. Everyone in the sales team needs to be crystal clear what type of projects are best for your company and product and how to qualify these opportunities early on.
Qualify before quoting… so you can prioritize where you should spend your time and let your top 10 ‘must win’ projects be the focus of your efforts, these are the ones that really count and if you’ve done the hard work up front to create the specification you don’t want to lose focus on winning them.
Check out this short video that highlights the 5 top forecast killers and how to avoid them: Where Are You Focusing Your Sales Management Efforts