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The importance of a fast customer proposal

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Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. [Source: insidesales.com]

When faced with a technical portfolio of products many sales people are simply unable to qualify a customer opportunity and position relevant products within their portfolio to meet the customer pains or business drivers.

Instead, having identified a vague requirement during an initial sales meeting, the sales person may well present the customer an company overview if they are a new customer, followed by an overview of the company’s entire product portfolio before leaving a pile of product literature with the customer with promises to return with product experts.

What then follows can be an exercise in scheduling frustration whilst the sales person tries to find a date & time in their calendar, the customer calendar and the product experts calendars that are mutually available.

This is assuming that the product experts can be convinced that there is an opportunity that is worth their time investment in the first place. Faced with multiple members of the sales team calling on them for their support these members of the sales force will prioritise their schedules based on the priority of the opportunity. Faced with a choice between meetings with customers with fully qualified opportunities that are further down the sales cycle or having to perform opportunity qualification on behalf of another member of the team they will generally prioritise the opportunity that is already proven to require their skills.

Depending on how many members of the product support team the sales person is trying to corral into the sales meeting there will now be a period of weeks where the follow-up meetings take place. Depending on how well the sales person understood the customer requirements during the initial meeting these meetings may or may not result in a full qualification of the opportunity. If the wrong product experts have been brought into the opportunity it may now be necessary to follow up with a different member of the team.

At this point, the customer is now a few weeks into their sales journey and still hasn’t had a product pitched to them.

Compare this scenario to a sales force equipped with Sales Pitch Pro.

In this case, the sales person has their base skill level increased through the use of Sales Pitch Pro. It allows the sales person to identify the pain points the customer is describing and based on those pains, the market segment the customer is in and the job role of the customer representatives in the meeting they can identify the products in their company portfolio that are the most relevant to pitch to the customer.

Once the products are identified the sales person, with the support of Sales Pitch Pro, is now able to fully pitch each product, describing the product, the benefits to the customer and the USPs. If the customer recognises the benefits of the product and would like to see more the sales person can then move directly into presenting sales collateral materials. In this case Sales Pitch Pro prioritises the most relevant materials to present in the meeting, for example presenting technical documentation if the meeting is with engineering staff or high-level documentation and ROI calculations if the meeting is with senior management.

As the meeting continues SAIL, the sales AI, will be monitoring how it progresses. Based on the outcome of all the other sales meetings the sales team have attended SAIL will analyse how the meeting can best be progressed in order to achieve a successful outcome and will push the sales person to take specific actions to move the meeting in that direction.

At the conclusion of the presentation of the products, Sales Pitch Pro will track the required follow up actions such as organising a product evaluation or providing a quote to the customer.

Compare these two scenarios.

In our first scenario, the sales person was unable to properly qualify the customer opportunity. It then takes several weeks and potentially several follow up meetings before the sales person is in a position to provide a quote for a solution to the customer’s pains.

In our second scenario the sales person, with the support of Sales Pitch Pro, recognises the customer pains, is able to qualify the opportunity, position their product and present it all within the initial sales meeting.

Now let’s consider my opening line again.

Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

Using Sales Pitch Pro a sales person can reduce their sales cycle by weeks. Even if they aren’t the first vendor to meet with the customer this reduction in the sales cycle can easily result in them being the first to respond with an offer.

It is plain to see that this reduction in the sales cycle can easily result in a huge increase in sales. If our first scenario represented the typical sales activity of a vendor and Sales Pitch Pro allowed the sales person to respond to just a quarter of their opportunities before his or her competition this could result in over a 10% increase in sales. In practice, this could be far higher.

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