Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Are you being a column fodder?

Hey Sales guy/gal...

Experienced sales execs do one thing well.. they are good at predicting column fodder opportunities early on.. This is critical in sales cycles where we work with a quarter end in focus. I recommend you view each opportunity (how-much ever promising it looks), critically from the column fodder lens. It might help you save critical time.. In the ideal case it will help you make a winning proposal and speed up the sales cycle.

Situation: You get a call from a prospect, saying they need a proposal with a quote right away..  They give you a set of defined RFP questions.. You aren't allowed access to decision makers, and are told to follow the "procurement process". On further probing your chances of success, they leave it at this.. All the proposals they have received so far are good and can't give you a reason why they perceive your value proposition as better or unique. They can't answer the "why you" question clearly. They can't even give you a hypothetical situation of what you'd have to do in an ideal world to win the business. They say price is the deciding factor of the vendor choice.

Analysis: Unless you are a rainmaker.. your chances of winning in such a situation are close to zero.

  1. If you did not write the RFP questions, someone in your competition did... 
  2. If you don't know you are winning and why, then you are loosing.. 
  3. In the decision making team, if you don't have a champion batting for you, either focus to create one or simply walk away.. 
  4. Forget believing crap like "we have the best solution and no one comes close to matching it.." I've lost several opportunities thinking just that..

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