Would you like to bring more systematics and structure to your operational sales?
One prerequisite for this is that your sales organization is strategically well structured. Once strategic sales management has been defined, the task is to act tactically and skilfully in the competitive environment.
The task of operational sales management is to ensure that the sales strategy is implemented effectively and efficiently. The better you know your customers’ procurement processes, the more successful this implementation will be. Can your account managers tell you who is involved in the procurement process? Which operational functions on the part of your customers are indirectly or directly involved in the purchasing decision? Who are these individuals? Who is your advocate and supporter, who is your detractor? Who makes the final decision? Who signs off on the order? How do you communicate with your advocates and supporters? What arguments do you provide to your detractors? How do you bring about a conversation in the circle of buying influencers and decision makers, the so-called buying center? How do you control the topics in this conversation?
What supporting documents are available to your account managers? How many meetings are held? With what goal do your account managers go into discussions? What methods are used to achieve conversation results? How are they documented?
Where does your company actually stand in the customer relationship? Are you a potential supplier? Are you a listed supplier? Do you already supply them? What proportion of your customers’ purchasing potential do you supply? Are you also approached by your customers about new developments? Are you involved in product or process development processes? Are you also approached by your customers on strategic issues? Are you a partner at eye level for your customers?
Who do you talk to on the side of your customers? Is it only the buyers? Is it also the product users? Is it product developers? Do you also talk to your customers’ marketing team? Do you also have conversations at the executive level? How have you organized these multiple conversation opportunities? Do you apply a peer-to-peer approach? Create a matrix of who from your organization should talk to whom in the customer organization. And plan for building and maintaining those relationships. You may find our “Operational Sales Management” form helpful.
Operational sales management can be learned, but it must also be wanted and allowed. Three preconditions should be fulfilled: The willingness to lead, the ability to lead, the opportunity to lead.