Holistic Approach to Winning Business and Avoid Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome
Winning new business or sustaining existing business is directly related to urgency. Understanding the urgency in the eyes of your customer can yield you greater business opportunities. Holistic approach to winning quoted awards becomes directly linked to your customers urgency and your urgency to respond to that customer. Urgency is the key; your response speed sends a clear message to your customer that WOW! Im ready to do business with you!, Im confident, lets get started!, and You are important to me and our business can help you!
Persuading customers that it would be better for them to work with your company because you recognize their sense of urgency is easy to implement because the resources are already in place. Ideas dont always have to be dramatic or terribly creative to drive successful sales. Urgency trends have a dramatic effect on businesses and our sense of urgency creates a powerful perception that you are the right vendor and service provider, right now, today!
An area that is often difficult to nail down because we are focused on the ultimate goal of higher sales, we lose sight of a tactical part of being in business, making a respectful profit, for that reason revenue must match reality. Tactically achieving higher sales becomes the target and not our true business reality of hopefully lots of money left over at the end of the day. It is not uncommon for businesses to become caught up in what I call; the Quote-Everything-itis syndrome. Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome is a common disease that businesses find themselves engaged in when they forget revenue must match their reality to deliver product and services.
Companies dont even realize they are doing it. The only clear sign is that revenue goals never seem to be reached, and great frustration tends to be the norm because you dont have enough time to quote efficiently and smartly. A business suffering from Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome quotes every request for proposal (RFP) and request for quote (RFQ) that comes across their sales teams desks even if its something they have never done before. Have you ever heard or said this phrase yourself? Dont worry if we win the job, we will figure out how to get it done. There is an old culture out there that believes that increased sales are a result of quoting everything. This quoting strategy gives the false perception that the sales team is working very hard establishing a vicious cycle of wasted resources, Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome clearly a vicious disease a business needs to avoid.
To evaluate whether or not to quote something is simple. When the RFP or RFQ ends up on your desk, ask yourself one question. Can we do this? If the answer is yes, quote it. If the answer is I think we can do this; dont quote it. In aviation we have a famous saying when determining whether or not to fly the airplane that particular day. If you say to yourself. I think I can make it, stay on the ground and dont fly. More egos kill pilots than mechanical errors. The same thought process applies to quoting work.
Staying within your core business is the first important lesson in holistically improving sales; the second lesson which is just as critical is speed to proposal and quote. With speed to proposal or quote, a hot zone correlation between responding to sales leads, RFPs, RFQs, and submitting a quote to the customer exists. The increase in awards is significant if you stay within the hot zone (2 to 4 working days). It does not matter if this is for manufacturing parts, services, or consulting. Hot zone correlation is easy to measure: improve the quoting flow = greater sales. This sends a clear message to customers that you are confident that you can get the job done.
Quoting on projects within your core also drives efficiency, allowing a high percentage of quotes to be submitted within the hot zone. Quoting on projects within your core business practices is easier because you have experience and history in gathering all the components of a quote or proposal. The advantage of staying within your cultural knowledge base includes improving internal and external collaboration for better productivity and efficiency.
Final thoughts, the holistic approach upon success in sales revolves around:
1. Relationships, face-to-face is better, because the human attention span is short, this is a human factors resource element, and then focus on the quoting hot zone of 2 to 4 working days.
2. Urgency, in the customers mind Think Customers Pain Reduction.
3. Providing credible services by staying in your core business to drive positive customer perceptions and relationships.
The holistic sales approach is not an overhaul of your sales force. Holistic sales approach becomes a strategic focus on your companys experience, comfort zone, and elimination of past sales frustrations.
Revised from the Original Article Published in genonow.com; Savo, P. (2008). Holistic Approach to Improving Quoted Business Awards. genonow.com 2(12),2. Creator of the term: Varabiliti-tologist is a person who studies variability.