Anyone who has managed a sales force will know that sales people have a tendency to be bullish when it comes to sales forecasting.
What better grounds for being bullish than a pipeline packed full with tender opportunities? However, if these opportunities don’t turn into business they are worthless! Unfortunately, many sales people fall into the tender trap. Having competed for a tender and lost it they find that the winning company turned out to have the “inside track”. Our hapless sales person, considering this to be unfair, goes off in search of the next opportunity only for the same to happen again.
In reality the winning company has spent some time and effort researching the opportunity, developing relationships and preparing a bid plan founded on a thorough knowledge of the prospect and the factors likely to affect the outcome of the tender.
Our poor unfortunate sales person, now becoming desperate, and with no decent wins under their belt, has an inkling of this but is too busy responding to Invitations To Tender (ITTs) to have time to indulge in good sales building activity.
This is the tender trap!
My tip, if you manage a sales force, is to critically evaluate tender opportunities. Develop a strategy for when to bid or not bid, create a check list and make robust decisions about which are the right ones to go for.
Ensure your sales force is spending their time doing the right things, gaining the “inside track” and developing a leaner pipeline but a stronger stream of tender wins!