Thank you to everyone who met to discuss how we could approach large opportunities. A bit of structure will help us as we identify and secure chances. My take-aways from the talks:
- Large opportunities generally take 9+ months to close, have multi-year sales, and orders are rarely in batches under 20 units. They can be for OEM’s, End Users, or Factory Integration.
- Alicat adds value to this type of opportunity through application expertise, special engineering, Halma related information, references from like customers, and special terms/pricing.
- Reps add value to this type of opportunity through specialized market knowledge, physical proximity, regional knowledge, account management, and alignment with other products in the rep’s portfolio.
- Our combined team may include Sales, Engineering, Coordinator, Marketing, Operations, Service, and Finance.
Engineering should be brought in only after customer business goals have been determined. Engineering can then help the discussion based on special needs of the customer and realistic specs for the price points needed.
A coordinator should be involved once Sales and Engineering agree this is a viable opportunity and the customer has begun introducing us to other people in the decision making chain. This should include operations, sales, and purchasing. The goal at this stage should be to get an implementation plan from the customer.
From there the team will request other specialized roles as the opportunity dictates. The goal would be to create as large a social network between us and the customer as possible. In big purchases it is often that no one person can say yes, but any one person can say no. It is in our best interest to engage all roles in the customer’s buying process with like roles from our companies.
We spent some time talking about what the service model after the sale might look like. Some concerns that might come up during the negotiation would be: account team, packaging, spare units possibly stored locally, warranty, recalibrations, training, and product refreshes.
We still have much to do to identify strategic accounts and to define account management once the opportunity is secured. This discussion did clarify some of the concerns and processes involved. Thank you for taking the time to work on it with me. When you find large opportunities, please drop me a note. I would like to know how well this is working.