Is congratulation a good sales technique 1

Ten steps in project sales to successful project acquisition

Project sales (also: project-driven sales) describes the task of acquiring projects that result from a usually one-off customer investment, usually of considerable value. In project sales, months or years can easily pass between the request and the order.

You will receive inquiries in project sales if you are trusted to be able to implement large projects reliably and with high quality (perhaps for you from 10,000 euros, for another reader from 100,000 euros or whatever project value). To do this, you need references, proof of qualifications, a high level of awareness and perception in your market, as well as an excellent reputation.

First-class relationships with your customers are the be-all and end-all. In project sales, it pays to continuously look after your customers, because only then will you be one of the first to find out about an upcoming major project.

As soon as you know that an investment is pending on the part of a customer, your sales system changes from Customer sales to the Project sales. From now on, the focus of your attention is not the customer, but the major project.

The following ten steps should help you to organize your project sales efficiently and to handle larger projects (purchase of a machine, construction of a plant or a building, large software project, etc., i.e. investment projects from approx. 10,000 euros) in discontinuous project business to successfully acquire. Use these steps if you want to significantly improve your chances of getting a contract for a large project.

Step 1 in project sales: Continuous support

Your customer needs to know you (and you your customer!). Only if your customer knows what competencies you have to offer in the project business, he / she can consider you / your company in an upcoming project. Even if there is no upcoming project, which is the norm, you have to communicate with your customer on a regular basis. Personal visits are part of it. You have to decide for yourself in which cycle you do this. Depending on the customer, this can be from once to several times a year. In this phase, it is still a matter of customer-driven sales with the aim of finding out about an investment project in good time in order to start project sales in the preliminary project phase.

Step 2 in project sales: The project list as a central control instrument

put a Project list at. The project list is the central instrument in your project sales. On the basis of the project list, regularly, e.g. B. monthly, all projects discussed with those involved in the respective project (Selling Center). The project list contains all projects that you are familiar with and that are being pursued in project sales in a project-driven manner. The following information must be provided:

  • Customer [customer's company name]
  • Project [project name]
  • Project type
    • [VP = preliminary project]
    • [PJ = project]
    • [AN = offer]
  • Project value [€]
  • Order probability [%]
  • Project value according to% [€]
  • possibly margin [€]
  • possibly margin according to% [€]
  • expected order date [date]
  • Persecution notes, remarks, [text]
  • Resubmission [date]

Step 3 in project sales: qualification of the provider (your company)

On the customer's side, the team responsible for the investment project (Buying Center) has to decide which suppliers the trades are to be requested from. The companies in question must qualify for this (prequalification). As an “applicant”, you have to prove your competence in order to get on the bidder list.

The following information about your company is requested, for example:

  • Age of the company
  • Schufa entries
  • Sales with project-related products and services
  • Number of employees
  • Order sizes
  • Manufacturing location / s
  • Number of employees in the manufacturing company
  • credentials

Step 4 in project sales: preparing the offer

After completing the qualification, your customer sends the tenders to the companies on his bidder list. You can do little to contribute to the tendering process itself. The customer determines the texts and specifications as well as the (often) very extensive conditions (special BVB contract conditions, procurement and contract regulations for services VOL, procurement and contract regulations for construction services VOB, purchasing conditions, etc.). The customer also determines the date for submitting the offer and how the tendering process should run. The only thing left for you to do is to provide the resources to prepare the offer and to meet all of the customer's requirements. This also applies to compliance with the form and deadlines. Otherwise you run the risk of being excluded from the award procedure.

During this phase in particular, there will be discussions with the customer and their employees. Project sales are in full swing. Questions are useful and allowed. Take this opportunity and ask as much as possible about the project environment. For example:

  • According to which criteria is the offer evaluation carried out?
  • Who are the processors in the Buying Center and what are they responsible for?
  • Can alternatives be offered and how is it dealt with?
  • Which competitors were asked?
  • What technologies do the competitors offer?
  • What is the budget for this trade?
  • And a lot of other questions, as they arise from the documents and the environment of the project constellation.

Step 5 in project sales: Follow up!

With considerable effort and some costs, you have created your offer. The customer has what he wanted to achieve for free. Don't gamble away a millimeter of your potential now. Stay on the ball. Project sales now still means finding access to the editors at the customer. Far too often I watch companies sink into a downright slumber during this important phase.

“I can't annoy the customer.” I hear that again and again. But this is wrong. Show the customer how important they are to you. He must feel that you are very interested in getting the project off the ground.

Follow up! Pleas e ask your question! You have the right to know what happens next! This is also what defines the skillful project sales.

  1. Response: Find out how the customer received your offer.
  2. Competition: How do you compare to the competition - in terms of price and technical design?
  3. Details: Does the customer need explanations? When can you explain your offer to him?
  4. Additional offer: Which improvements are necessary or appropriate?
  5. Procedure: What is the customer's path until he decides on the order?
  6. Further procedure: Always agree on the next step or steps!

All information is collected and documented - by the way, ideally in your project list (see step 2) or in the appendix.

Step 6 in project sales: offer strategy in the selling center

Several people in your company are working on the project or offer (Selling Center). Work out an argumentation strategy that is valid for all parties involved with your customer benefits.

Arguments for your offer

Do persuasion and highlight the advantages of your offer. Think and act from the customer's point of view. Find the Advantages for the customer:

  • Offeradvantages: the special features of your technology offered, your concept,
  • Competitionadvantages: the advantages of your offer and your company over the competition and
  • Customersadvantages: the benefits that the customer and his company gain from your offer concept.

Record the jointly found advantages arguments for your offer in the project list and its attachments.

Project sales means correctly placing the advantages of your offer with everyone involved in the buying center.

Step 7 in project sales: Good knowledge of the buying center

Just like with you, several employees from different areas are involved in the project and the decision about the award of the contract (buying center). Make sure you try to find out who these people are and build good relationships with them or with some of them. Autocratic decisions are rarely made here; rather, consensus is the norm. There is often a separation between technology and purchasing, but the two areas do not usually decide against each other. Try to find out where these employees have bottlenecks and problems. In the allocation phase, you can gain a decisive advantage if you keep in touch and suggest solutions to the bottlenecks and problems.

Communication with the processors in the buying center

Who can do it best with whom? Where does the chemistry fit? Assign your employees precisely to those agents in the buying center with whom they have established a good relationship. This can be done according to hierarchical levels, but does not have to be. Have the same benefit arguments put forward everywhere. The people in the Buying Center exchange their findings and make your well-placed arguments their own. You will notice the success!

Step 8 in project sales: sales techniques - value selling / consultative selling

If you can't already, learn. We are talking about good sales techniques such as value selling and consultative selling, which make up excellent project sales.

Value selling

Customers don't buy products or services, they buy what the products and services can do for them. You buy the benefits. If you could buy holes, nobody would buy a drill. Customers do not want quarter-inch drills with a center point, double cutting edge, black oxide finish with soldered-on carbide splinters. Rather: Customers just want clean holes.

A product or service is valuable, though

  • Customers a better one economics to reach,
  • the company is one with it Competitive advantage can provide
  • thereby Risks be minimized or more manageable,
  • the Process chain is improved at the customer,
  • Commitments like Dates - costs - quality - functions are permanently adhered to.

Consultative selling

Consultative Selling? No, much more! In Consultative Selling, the Selling Center deals in detail with those involved in the Buying Center. What is the role of the respective processor there? What are their problems and bottlenecks and what solutions do my company and my offer offer them? What exactly moves this person? Fears, frustrations, urgent problems, "pains" and fears, wishes, goals and demands, everyday experience and lived reality, practical constraints, need for improvement? That is also project sales.

Step 9 in project sales: Skilful maneuvering in order negotiations

Skilful maneuvering makes the order negotiation successful. Admittedly, experts have to get down to work. The art lies in listening and listening carefully. The expert is silent for a long time and lets the buying center do the talking. It is not uncommon for differences to emerge within the buying center team - usually a comfortable situation for the provider and his arguments.

Basically, an award negotiation takes place in three phases: 1. Clarification of the last technical details, 2. Clarification of the commercial conditions and 3. Determination of the final price. In phase three you have to be particularly careful. Hold back your price until the very end. Because changes in technology and in the framework conditions always affect the price. You can and must always express this.

Also read the article: How is an order negotiation conducted?

Step 10 in project sales: Celebrate the job

You won the contract. Congratulations! Now you can also celebrate, because that is also part of good sales. Stop and rejoice. Only a bad corporate culture can drown success in everyday life. Stop and celebrate. This strengthens the feeling of togetherness and the belief in the company.

Overview of the series of articles "Basics in Sales"

  1. CRM - Knowledge of the customer (customer data and addresses)
  2. Sales in SMEs: address qualification
  3. Telephone acquisition: "First contact with the right employee at the customer"
  4. Telephone acquisition: "Follow-up contacts to the customer's contact person"
  5. The sales pitch - personal meeting with the customer
  6. Telephone acquisition: "Follow up with the customer"
  7. Preparation of an offer - How do I prepare an offer?
  8. How is an order negotiation conducted?
  9. The crowning glory - “The Mission”, it can be celebrated
  10. Acquisition of existing or new customers?

Or you can download the sales manual: Sales manual - short and sweet for free download

Overview of the series of articles "Sales for advanced users"

  1. Marketing and sales - the right way to the customer!
  2. B2B market analysis very simple: hold partnership talks!
  3. Sales systematics is the engine of your acquisition
  4. Ten steps in project sales to successful project acquisition
  5. Eleven tips from sales psychology for your successful sales
  6. Value selling - real benefit for your customers
  7. Identify and sell added value in 5 steps with value selling
  8. Consultative selling - in seven steps to solution-oriented sales

The sales manual part 2 - the free e-book “Sales for advanced users” is in preparation.

(Photos: see above | © Artmann Witte | © Dr Dufhues Medizintechnik | © Studte-Cartoons | © Lambert Schuster)