Looks Like an Incredible Opportunity. But, Wait …. Is that For Real?
“Hello Abilash” said Sharat “How was your weekend?”
“The week never seems to end for me at least” laughed Abilash “In our business, recovery and rest don’t go together. But on a positive note, Sharat, things are looking up. While textile industry isn’t fully out of the pandemic woods yet, our line is showing strong signs of demand revival. We are lucky to be in sanitary linen segment. The pandemic did us a small favour by turning the entire world hygiene-conscious overnight”
“I can see that” said Sharat “My weekly dashboard shows a steady uptick in the export sales numbers”
Sharat was heading Finance for Gossamer Linen Ltd (GLL) that manufactured bath and sanitary linen. Once a fortnight, he always touched base with Abilash, Director Operations for GLL.
“Sharat, would you have some headroom for an important investment in the coming year?”
“Why don’t you check with our MD? I’m not sure what’s on his mind, Abilash. We have had a tough year”
“But you are God Almighty for us Sharat” laughed Abilash again “You hold the key to the money vault. You would have seen our CEO’s interview to Textile Star where he was asked about our sustainability practices and he had responded saying our company is committed to achieving Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) progressively by optimising our water footprint. The best way to do it would be to replace our existing effluent treatment plant with a cutting edge ZLD system that combines plate evaporator with decanter centrifuge technology”
“I know how nice it would be if we could do it straightaway” said Sharat “It will help us vastly improve the ESG scores that banks and fund houses have started assigning for good environment, social and governance practices. But I can’t see how we can budget for it immediately”
“I understand Sharat” said Abilash “This Sales Engineer from Pristine Aqua Solutions (PAS) has been chasing me. After seeing our MD’s interview, he thinks we are sure to switch to ZLD tech as soon as possible”
“In normal times he would have been right” said Sharat “But given the tight budgets we’re operating on, fresh capex on that scale would be a tough ask. Why don’t you give me, instead, an estimate of what it will cost to further improve our present effluent treatment unit till ZLD comes in. Something that can reduce the percentage of discharge still more while raising the quantum of water recycled?”
“Will give you a ballpark number” said Abilash “But this PAS Sales Engineer seems willing to take care of our needs end to end. Including assessment and customization of ZLD system, installation and commissioning and a period of handholding till our people get a grip on the new system. Sounds like a great deal to me. PAS is keen on presenting their solution to us. They have even readied a proposal and an expert group to do it for us. Can we give them some time next week?”
“I wouldn’t want to rush, Abilash” said Sharat “Keep our PAS friend on hold for some time. Given multiple projects on hand that require immediate investments, we have to decide whether we need a complete ZLD system right away or we can simply make a smaller investment to further improve existing effluent treatment efficiencies. That will bring down the discharge percentage even further. Let’s not forget, we are fully compliant with the existing regulatory standards on liquid discharge. We can revert to PAS after we have clarity on this”
After overhearing this conversation, what would be your advice to the Consultant from PAS?
Opportunity Assessment is Strategic Work
Working on large opportunities requires large investments of time and expertise. It demands cross functional work that involves work by experts from varied functions that go beyond just the sales teams.
Such opportunities also need strategic work with multiple stakeholders to sell the concept first. and assuming that there are other solutions to the unique problem experienced by the potential buyer, the seller has to “fight” against other alternatives while working with the decision-making unit.
Before diving in, the expert salesperson will ‘qualify the lead’. He will use special tools to see through and plan how he will counter possible” hurdles” so he can move forward strategically and convert the proposed “idea” into an “executable order”
Opportunity Assessment: 4 Key Questions to Ask Before Diving into a Potential Large Opportunity
Yes, it might look like an incredible opportunity. But is that for real? Here are 4 key questions that Sales Teams working on large opportunities must ask, to ‘qualify the lead’ checking if it is for real:
- Are you diving in before being clear about the Selling situation?
- Are you certain that the selling situation as well as the competitive landscape has been clearly identified?
- Do you employ a differentiated sales approach to match the sales situation or use one sales approach for all selling situations?
- Does your sales approach take into account how the prospect perceives you with respect to competition?
Asking these questions can give you a good assessment of how much the opportunity is likely to shape up into a purchase intent at the buyer’s end.
It is no secret that jumping into an opportunity early enough will give you the advantage to ‘scope’ the deal. But the Caveat to remember always is: If you jump in before ‘qualifying the lead’, you may land up scoping a mirage.
Want to get better at ‘qualifying’ large complex deals?
To know more about the O2O Process, and how it can bring in greater rigor to your prospecting, by ‘qualifying the lead’ better, leave your contact details here. A Mercuri India Consultant will be happy to call you at your convenience to understand your needs better, and put together an O2O Solution for you and your Team. Let’s talk. Let’s make sales happen!
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