Standards and processes permeate nearly every area of business today. They enable management to control, direct and delegate, giving people the ability to focus attention on the more difficult issues the business faces. Processes drives predictability, consistency and efficiency.
Despite all these benefits, sales departments have been much slower to move down this path. Sales people usually baulk at the idea of processes, complaining that “form-filling gets in the way of actual selling”.
Yet, according to Dario Priolo and Bethany Schultz, from sales training company Miller Heiman,
Our research clearly shows that “Winning Sales Organizations” take a much more scientific approach to selling and sales management than others. While there will always be a certain art to selling, it’s an increasingly sophisticated business world…How much better would a CEO sleep at night if he knew his sales force had a consistent, professional approach to interacting with customers! An improvement in these factors helps drive revenue predictability, reduces cost of sales and increases sales force productivity—all critical business objectives.
Miller Heiman argues that a sales process can help sales people “sell more and sell faster”.
Any successful initiative must include tools to streamline the process and remove any barriers to change. In this context, it makes sense to streamline one of the most time consuming aspects of selling – responding to Request for Quotation and other forms of sales proposals.
As we mentioned in our post “Building intelligence into business documents“, it’s now possible to create a system that can build the bulk of the document in a matter of minutes, leaving the writer with the task of customising the information to suit the requirements of each particular situation. These systems can even include training videos and text to guide a writer through the process of developing a new document, as well as enforce consistency and standards.
In the near future, we’ll be providing details on some the solutions available to organisations that want to improve the process of writing sales proposals and RFQs.