Your sales hand-off to the professionals who implement what you’ve just sold sets your table for renewal business.
Can your company truly execute and sustain service quality on what you’ve just sold?
The buyers were skeptical, in the first place, about their decision to select you as their vendor-partner of choice. You overcame that hurdle and were awarded the contract.
The decision makers expect excellence in service quality delivery. However, they anticipate disappointment once their project comes into your house, based on past history with other suppliers.
Your sales hand-off to internal project management hinges on your succinct articulation of the buyers’ expectations, anticipations and specifications.
Is your sales hand-off slippery or rock solid? Are your specifications sketchy or crystal clear? Are your internal capabilities able to deliver on your sales promises?
Your sales hand-off to the people who will design, develop, implement and support that contract is critical to the long-term success of your company.
How many of the folks who implement what you’ve just sold are involved in pre-sales activities – and not just to demo?
The anatomy of your sales hand-off involves a hard look at the interface of the hand-off between executive management, sales and engineering.
It’s more than closing the sale, making your quota and earning your commission.
One company I worked with involved their entire company in every sale, from start to finish. Engineering input and oversight, although outsourced, was present from the first customer dialogue. Even the individuals answering the phones and manning the loading dock understood their importance in maintaining the company’s revenue stream.
Yes, there was a can of worms we identified, explored and respectfully opened. Employees wanted training and certification to grow into bigger roles within this organization. The Executive Team committed to investing in their company’s future by investing in their employees’ futures.
Everyone was important in this internal- and external customer-focused scenario. The company grew and sustained themselves due to the value of their business outcomes to their customers.
That sales hand-off was consistently rock-solid.
Another company I worked with functioned as order-takers to a group of manufacturers’ reps. Regardless of their internal titles of President and Vice-President, in actuality these individuals served in accounting and engineering functions. They executed what was sold and handed-off. Sometimes the contracts were well-executed and specified, sometimes not. Sometimes the contracts were profitable, sometimes not.
The sales reps were the rock stars and true executive team in this internally-focused, self-serving scenario. The company grew in its primary function: to sustain the reps’ revenue streams. They left the internal teams holding the bag regarding service quality delivery. The focus of the company on their own commissions and profits made them vulnerable to those competitors offering more fully-integrated, customer focus.
That sales hand-off was inconsistent and slippery.
How would you describe your own business case scenario? Is your sales hand-off slippery or rock-solid?
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a business leadership coach, management strategist and consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for individuals and companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on practical collaborative leadership and business development strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.