26/08/10

By Guy Aston, Business Director, Mid-Corporate solutions, Huthwaite International

The unsolicited enquiry, or the issuing of a ‘request for proposal’ typifies this phase. For most sales operations this is the point where a sale begins.

The customer has established their decision criteria, based on the needs they have identified, and is seeking to compare alternative solutions against those criteria. This is a phase of high sales activity usually typified by the submission of proposals and sales presentations.

The key question the customer is asking now is “Whom should I change to?”

At this stage, world-class sales organisations will be:

analysing the opportunity and making an informed bid/no-bid decision

• contacting the customer to gain understanding of the needs underpinning the opportunity

• identifying all the key stakeholders and the decision making process

• conducting competitive analysis

• establishing the customer’s decision criteria

• reinforcing criteria they can meet

• promoting criteria where they have competitive strength

• mitigating criteria that are competitive weaknesses

• producing a persuasive proposal centered on the customer’s requirements and how they can be met

• producing a persuasive bespoke presentation based on the customer’s requirements and how they can be met.

At this stage, typical sales organisations will be:

• bidding for everything

• accepting the bid process at face value

• failing to attempt to get wider/deeper contact and understanding of the customer’s requirements

• responding to the needs as presented by the customer without further analysis or qualification

• ignoring the competitive context

• producing a proposal centred on their solutions

• producing a presentation based on a generic template focused on their solutions.

www.huthwaite.co.uk

Huthwaite International

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We’re sales training experts who can help you improve the sales performance of your business. For over 30 years we’ve been helping businesses across the world transform their sales performance; delivering long-term, tangible results through our behavioural change methodologies. Find out more at: www.huthwaite.co.uk

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