When it comes to technology sales teams, there are some pretty obvious costs to having an incomplete presales process. Whether it’s lost sales opportunities, frequent staff turnover or the implementation of incorrect solutions, there are a lot of ways that having an insufficient process can reduce your bottom line. But did you know there are a lot of “soft” or hidden expenses that can’t be easily measured, but ultimately harm your organization.
HERE ARE THREE SECRET COSTS IN YOUR SALES PROCESS
1. Wasted Time
Everyone is familiar with the headaches of having a proposal needing many revisions. The most common cause of the never-ending proposal loop is a lack of a documented process that provides your sales team with all of the necessary questions relevant to each particular project. There are only so many hours in a day that your team can devote to proposals. Having the right presales system is very important to ensuring that they are investing that precious time in the most important parts of that proposal. This is very difficult if your team is constantly having to go back to the customer to get answers to questions you could have gleaned during the initial conversations or hand-keying data into Excel spreadsheets. You could use that time instead to hone in on an amazing executive summary and the key differentiators that set your organization apart.
2. Wasted Resources
Another hidden cost of a deficient presales system is the resources that your employees waste going back and forth between departments, wasting the valuable time of your sales engineers. Even little activities like spending too much time formatting proposals can greatly detract from resources better devoted to finding the right solution. The worst-case scenario is that, because of the finite amount of resources we have to devote to each particular proposal, at some point your team is going to just get frustrated with the amount of changes and time the proposal is taking and adopt the attitude of something is better than nothing and send the proposal without ensuring it’s completely ready. This could lead to many problems. Consider this: if you reuse your proposals (a common practice), it’s entirely possible for the account manager to get so frustrated at multiple revisions that they miss details that must be changed. This is how mistakes slip through, reducing your credibility.
3. Low Job Satisfaction
Let’s face it: an incomplete presales process is frustrating to everyone. It makes everything more difficult, interferes with communication and synergy between team members and can actually lead to interdepartmental resentment. This merely compounds the fact that organizations are typically short on experienced account managers. Those that are truly talented are constantly being recruited by other organizations. So imagine losing your most talented account managers or your best sales engineers because of the tension and miscommunication caused by the lack of a documented process.
There are obvious costs to an incomplete sales process such as lost business, eroded profit margins and incorrectly implemented technology that reduce your credibility with your customers. But don’t underestimate the other costs to your organization as well. The process is incredibly important to ensuring that your sales team is able to maximize every opportunity and close every sale at maximum profit margin. Wouldn’t it make sense to take the time and effort to implement a more effective presales plan that enables your team to succeed?
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