I’ve been working with a young man who recently started a new job with a software company. He has six years of sales and marketing experience with another company in a different industry.
He is getting excellent training with his new company. However recently, one of his new prospects asked for a quote on the software his company sells.
His new company has never done business with this prospect, and yet they wanted a quote.
He did the quote and sent it off to the prospect. He sent it off without consulting me first. And now he has found out that his company is one of five companies quoting for the business.
I also know that his company is usually the most expensive in the market. And they are the most expensive because they deliver the most value.
What do you think his chances are of getting the business?
I believe they slim and none.
Why do I say this without knowing the prospective company?
I guess 40 years of selling to the B2B marketplace has taught me a few things.
So then, what should this young man have done before sending off a quote?
The Reasons Why Not to Quote
There are a few things that would have helped him.
1. He should have found out if there is an incumbent with this prospect. Why? Because 99 times out of 100, this type of quote is usually to keep the incumbent honest, and also to compare the incumbent’s quote with others in the marketplace.
2. He did not have a conversation with the decision-maker in this instance, only a gatekeeper. By finding out what main the decision-maker wants he would have saved himself a lot of time and energy. In this conversation, with the right questioning techniques, he would find out;
a. Why they wanted a quote now; was there a determining event causing this quote at this time?
b. Was the incumbent quoting,
c. How strong is the incumbent in that company; how long have they been there?
d. What are the deciding factors are for getting the business,
e. If the value of his company’s product could unseat the incumbent,
f. Could they meet with decision-maker before they quote?
3. Work more with his internal ream to find out what the incumbent (their competitor) usually does in this situation, and what their pricing model is.
4. This would have given him a leap forward in his training and how to sell his company’s products and services better.
What to Do NOW
As you can see, there are many factors that go into giving a quote or proposal.
And this is a trap even many “experienced” B2B sales people fall into.
If you want to learn more about what to do in situations like this, I invite you to contact me for an in-depth presentation to you and your sales and marketing team, about how to succeed in today’s B2B marketplace.
I’ve just completed an in-depth research and benchmarking study about the factors that really drive revenue and profitability for B2B companies, and I’ve discovered some surprising findings.
If your sales people aren’t reaching quota, and/or your marketing team isn’t delivering the results you want, then this research will help your company get better.
I’d be quite happy to share the results with you in a short meeting.
If you’re interested, please email me at my email address below, and we’ll set up a time to go over the results.
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