Top Distribution Sales Priority: Closing More Open Bids and Quotes
In our recent series of focus groups, 90% of the distribution executives we surveyed indicated that closing more open bids and quotes was one of their top priorities this year. In fact, one of the main issues that keeps distribution sales managers up late is keeping track of all of their open bids and quotes. We know that there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in those bids and quotes, but without a consistent follow up process it can be difficult to get them over the goal line.
That’s why we created a special process for SMP users to follow up on open bids and quotes and the results have been astounding. In fact, sales teams are increasing their close rates by 25% to 30% on average?
Having the right technology in place can help you close more open quotes and bids in many ways, such as:
- Automatically creating follow up activities for your sales reps for any bid or quote over a certain dollar amount
- Increasing visibility into your pipeline
- Bridging the gap between inside and outside sales
- Coaching your team to wins on important bids and quotes
Why Closing Open Bids is a Top Priority
There are many reasons why distributors are marking it a top sales priority to close more open bids and quotes. Your team has invested time and resources in finding new business and it hurts to lose quotes just because of a lack of follow-up or a disconnect between teams.
Unfortunately, distributors struggle in a variety of areas when it comes to open quotes. As it turns out, most of the obstacles to closing more open bids and quotes come from three main areas:
Late or No Customer Follow-up
Without technology to track open quotes, business falls through the cracks. In addition to adding risk to your sale, late follow up means the energy and information surrounding a bid goes stale. How often do inside sales people quote something significant but the outside reps have no visibility. Having the right technology in place to track open quotes and bids eliminates this frustration and keep your quotes from falling through the cracks.
The main reason quotes aren’t followed up on in a timely fashion is lack of visibility to the significant quotes by outside sales and sales management. This is because that data isn’t actionable and doesn’t create an opportunity for sales management to inspect follow up, or to coach on how to close those quotes. Just handing a report with open quotes out is better than doing nothing. How much more powerful would it be if you had a tool that automatically created a visible opportunity with predefined follow-up tasks and allows you to do a simple inspection process to make sure your team is following up on those large opportunities? And you’ve got visibility to all of this as a sales manager so you can inspect the quotes and follow up with your team.
Sales Team Accountability
People are calling the order desk to place orders and ask for new quotes. Your inside reps are doing this as part of their day to day job. Some of these bids and quotes get lost in this day to day shuffle and you need a way to create accountability and visibility to the significant quotes.
By automatically assigning follow up tasks to your outside sales reps on significant quotes, you’ve now created a simple follow up process that allows you to very quickly see who has or has not followed up on a significant quote and send them a quick reminder to follow up on that quote. Remember people respect what you inspect.
SMP allows you to focus on all of your sales tasks to create systematic, traceable and measurable processes around your quotes. Your team is freed up to focus on revenue-generation rather than running down quotes, reports and paperwork.