Nobody likes rules and regulations – until you need them. Picture this…you’re a sales manager in your quarterly review with your sales and implementation team. Looking at the sales for the quarter you see a startling trend that resulted in $100,000 in lost margin.
Unfortunately, this is not a made-up scenario. A Midwest-based technology integrator experienced this in Fall 2016. The Director of Sales and Marketing set out to discover why this happened. His finding revealed major holes in the process:
- Opportunities over a certain size. With larger opportunities reps were using old proposals – sometimes with outdated information. In addition, they left out important information such as network services.
- Advanced applications and/or Contact Centers. Reps forgot large portions of the design because they didn’t know all the questions to ask. This resulted in costly services for advanced applications being omitted.
- Changed terms and/or labor rates. To win a deal, reps would change terms and even labor rates without approval from the Director.
- The scope of work lacked carrier services information. Many times nothing indicated a carrier’s involvement.
- Hosted solutions. Reps neglected to do a network assessment. This resulted in the network not able to support the sold solution. The company would have to foot the bill to bring in a team to update the network to make the sold solution work.
Rules Make it Easier for Sales
The Director knew he had a problem. He had a strong sales team and a process in place but no way to actively enforce the rules (without looking over his team’s shoulders). He reached out to the CorsPro Client Services team for help. As a long-time SalesDoc Architect (SDA) customer, he knew CorsPro could build in automated rules and an approvals workflow into SDA to prompt sales people to ask the right questions based on what is being sold and the customer situation.
At first, the sales team didn’t welcome the rules – would it slow down the process or hinder them from doing their jobs? The exact opposite occurred. Gone are the days of incomplete and out of date proposals with slashed margins. Now, proposals are consistent across the board and there is no confusion between the sales and engineering teams. Sales welcome the rules which have made their jobs easier.
The result? The quarter following the implementation of SDA with the rules and approvals showed a $0 loss. Nothing, Nada. It took less than two months from the initial meeting with CorsPro to develop, implement and train the team. Once trained, they saw immediate results.
Stop Margin Erosion in its Tracks
Do you see yourself in this situation? Below are the top four areas of concern for most sales teams:
- Tracking margin percentage – do you have a minimum margin sales reps must meet before seeking approval?
- Hosted solutions network assessment – is this being done? Sales engineering knows this must be done but do the sales reps even think about it or know what to ask?
- Advanced applications – similar to the above; is sales asking about and considering how these advanced applications impact the total solution along with the increased cost? Do you need a high-end specialist for this?
- Opportunity size – is the appropriate labor and programming being taken into account for large deals? Do certain deal sizes require approval before delivery?
CorsPro can help you discover where margin erosion may be creeping into your sales process. Contact us for a consultation if you see yourself in any of these scenarios. We will work with you and your sales team to kick out the scope creep and stop your company’s margin erosion.