For businesses seeking to increase sales conversion in a business-to-business environment, it often surprises them when we say, “quote less”.
Businesses crave the opportunity to quote as often as possible in the hope some of them will convert. Sales teams justify their very existence on the number of quotes they send out and sales leaders apply pressure and manage them on this metric.
From our experience of working with hundreds of businesses across the globe, the number one reason we see for low conversion rates is that businesses quote much too soon in the sales process and as a consequence lose the sale. Let me explain…
The typical scenario starts with a sales manager or leader from an organisation engaging a prospect in a discussion to do business with them. The first meeting provides the opportunity for the sales manager to understand the prospect’s needs and look for a way they can solve their problems. The sales manager then asks for the opportunity to quote so that he or she can negotiate and close a deal.
The above example is a logical process but the problem is that in today’s complex business world it is typically not enough to convert the opportunity. Why? Customers want MUCH more from the sales process and a business’ conversion rate will rise dramatically if it is provided to them. So what more can a business provide during the sales process?
Firstly, a business needs to be more selective about the prospects they engage. Spending time in the sales process with the wrong client profile for your business is a waste of time for all parties and leads at best to a bad type of customer and more likely will never to convert to a sale at all.
The second aspect is understanding that just matching a prospect’s problems to the businesses solution is not a deep enough conversation. Most prospects already have an idea about what they might need to do. They have access to information and the internet in this modern business world so are looking for a business to provide new insights and challenge to their thinking. Ultimately a prospect wants a business to customise a great value-adding solution to address their specific challenges.
Finally, a prospect wants a business to assist them in engaging all their internal stakeholders as even if they are the leader/owner, decision making is becoming more and more collaborative as organisations become more risk adverse.
So imagine if businesses engaged the right client profile, understood their world, added valuable insight and challenged their thinking, collaboratively developed solutions that added demonstrable value, engaged all the stakeholders in the process and then quoted? What do you think it would do for conversion rates? From our experience, implementing these adjustments has seen businesses achieving more than 80% conversion rates where previously they achieved less than 10% and yes, they are quoting less often but when they do it counts.