Whether you are a start-up in technology space or part of IT Outsourcing industry, you are most probably selling IT products(software, hardware etc.) or services to clients.
Typical sales cycle for selling IT products/services starts with customer showing intent to buy either via RFP or word of mouth. You would spend sales/management effort to take it to the closure , whatever the outcome – either win or loss. Once awarded, you would deliver it and move on to next opportunity, thus repeating same process.
Catch here is – you would have very limited sales or management bandwidth to pursue all opportunities on the plate. If you are really early-stage start-up, this problem is more acute.
How do you intelligently select leads/opportunities and convert it into serious sales pursuit ?
Here is simple framework you can adopt.
You should start by evaluating each opportunity with three simple questions.
- Whether I can win it in the face of competitive landscape ?
- Whether it is desirable for me to get into , looking into future relationships/technology roadmap etc. ?
- Lastly, can I deliver it to customer’s satisfaction if I win it ?
Let us look into each of these aspects in more details.
Ask yourself questions such as –
- Is client is committed to buy and can give decision quickly ? How engaged is he in the buying process ?
- How much you know about client – key stakeholders/decision makers and procurement process ?
- Do you have good relationships and frequent interactions with decision makers ?
- How does client view you in terms of your capabilities ? Does he harbour any positive or negative image of you ?
- How different you are from competition ? If yes, can you showcase and convince client about it ?
- What is competitive landscape ? Is there any competitor better positioned than you ?
- How closely product/service fit with customer requirements ?
- Does your price in ballpark range of what customer would expect ?
- Is your sales pursuit team capable to handle the sale in terms of skills/contracting etc. ?
- Do you want to associate with his client ? Is he of strategic priority in terms of long-term relationship/business ?
- Is size/type of work appropriate ? Is it too small or too big to handle ? Is work strategic in nature ?
- Are you able to win at profitable margins ?
- Does it match with your skills/capabilities ?
- Can you deliver it based on skills/timeline ? Have you delivered similar solution earlier ?
If you get a No in either of these questions, you should seriously re-consider your pursuit.
Idea is to work smart and not waste so much of your time on deals that would not give you a Winning chance.