By Doug Erb
When evaluating how to increase the win rate and effectively enhance the “Sales Velocity Equation” there are three areas to consider:
- Offering the right products
- Maintaining margins
- Mobile selling in real time
The Right Product Offering:
Years ago, product offerings only changed once or twice a year, making it easy for local sales forces to keep up with changes. Now product offerings can change daily or hourly, and many sales forces are dispersed across the globe. You cannot expect sales to be intimately familiar with a product list featuring hundreds or thousands of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) that are constantly changing. Many companies are realizing this is inefficient and introduces unnecessary days to the sales cycle – all of which affect your win rate. The goal here is to make it easy for the reps to arrive at the right products without intervention.
Think selection rules and embedded learning about the products to help the rep complete quickly and efficiently.
Next is price. Unfortunately customers don’t always go for the first price, so this is a challenge all companies deal with. When there are multiple line items in the quote “ products, services, support“ there are different margin parameters for each which blanket discounting destroys and thus the sales manager needs to step in and approve. Again, this added step introduces further delays in the cycle. Many companies are also trying to drive bundling or solution packs with special pricing which can introduce more room for error.
To improve here, think line-by-line view of margin health, workflows to manage excessive discounts and promotional prompts while the sales rep is building the quote to offer bundles and special offers.
Lastly, mobile selling brings the entire process to the customer in real-time fashion. There is increased pressure to create quotes and proposals during face-to-face client meetings. Spending hours or days adapting the last quote you produced in word is dead selling time. You are also extremely likely to introduce errors to the document, eroding the credibility the rep has been trying to establish. The other big time drainer here is hunting for specific case studies and data sheets to support the quote and the information in the proposal. Sifting through disjointed file stores, out dated folders on your laptop is not the right approach.
Instead, consider producing the quote on a tablet during or immediately after the meeting, sending out in minutes versus two or three days later, including the latest most relevant case studies and product information with just a few simple touches.
Improving Win Rate
Take a step back and look at these three areas – are you running seamlessly or adding friction to your sales cycle? If any of these areas are not optimal, then it is time to look at supporting the process with time saving, value driving technology to automate this critical process.