You see, commercial floor salespeople love fresh and shiny bids that provide new hope. They don’t care to follow up on the old ones (where you have invested lots of sales and estimating dollars).
2 weeks ago in our blog, When you change the way you look at things we wrote about how you to age your pipeline and the insights gained when looking with a different perspective.
One big “aha!” was many bids sit in the pipeline for 180 days and more. Not uncommon so what should we do about it? Because really most of them are decaying or dead at this point.
Most owners recognize the problem but treat the symptom. They launch a pipeline clean-up. A BLITZ.
People go into the pipeline and rapidly delete all the old bids.
Result. A nice clean pipeline. Problem solved until the next cleanup blitz? Nope
They treated the symptom and in doing so made the problem worse. Much worse. BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID.
Does this ring any bells?
There are 2 very bad unintentional consequences:
- The delete or lost button is the easy solution. The wrong sales behaviors are being reinforced. We want them to have diligence not surrender.
- The investment dollars made by preconstruction (estimating) and possibly many other resources have been wasted.
Solving the underlying problem is requires changing sales behavior.
Easier said than done… right!
We have come up with a radical solution that has been somewhat tested in the form of the following policy:
Any salesperson can get dibs
Salespeople will howl with resistance. In fact they will exert more energy on this than actually selling. They’ll invent some myths:
Other salespeople don’t have the relationship, so they won’t be able to effectively follow up on the bid.
There is very little relationship in place anyway or the salesperson would have known what was happening and closed it already!
I did all the work. It’s not fair. Blah blah. (Tissues provided)
No, you did not do all the work. Your job is to close the deal or at least get a timely outcome (and know why you did not get it so you learn to bid better next time).
Bunging a bid from the bid board over to estimating and then retiring to the golf course ain’t selling.
Remember the behavior that we are looking for is fastidious follow-up. The customer needs to know we want the work.
Please give this radical strategy some thought. If you have implemented better ideas, we would love to hear them.