Case Study 3 – Industrial Alarms Industry
Call to Action (CTA):
Increase alarm testing/service/maintenance five fold in the next 15 months by aggressively competing with the number one provider in the region. Current data shows that the competitor is vulnerable on pricing. The company has proven that it can readily poach customers through price comparisons and better quality of service.
Expand the existing lead generation reports to other internet-based, lead-producing websites like onviademandstar.com, which focuses on government projects. Follow through on all leads, with direct contacts by the salesmen and through permission e-mailing.
Do an e-mailing to existing accounts to cross sell other company services, including security monitoring. Aim for at least 2000 e-mails. Expect a 3-5% response and a 10-15% conversion rate. If it meets the criteria, repeat it periodically or change the message and proposal. In the covering letter underline that “one- stop purchasing of sound, fire alarm, and security systems” will save time, money and offer consistent quality. Offering a “FREE” consultation by our system specialists is another good hook to use in the letter. All e-mails must be addressed to a specific person – preferably the final decision maker.
Determine the undesirable effects (UE) of the Company’s product/service offering through feedback from clients, and find ways to solve the perceived negatives in the sales proposals – payment terms, completion terms, quality, safety, and service. This is a way for the Company to establish the real needs of the customers, and make the changes that will make it stand out in the marketplace.
Review the website to make it a more proactive tool with higher “Top Of The Mind Association (TOMA)” characteristics. Guidelines for possible changes are included below.
The use of lead groups, where individuals from non-competitive companies meet and exchange leads, has been successfully utilized in the construction services industry, where networking is one of the most effective avenues for generating new leads. Organizing a lead group is not that difficult, because it becomes a win-win situation for other members of the group. In the company’s case, useful contacts can be found with: commercial real estate agents, insurance agents, architects, fire damage adjusters would be the type of people to include in lead groups. A good lead group contains a maximum of ten people, otherwise it become unwieldy. The Sales Manager would be a good candidate for starting such a group.
As each sales person gets feedback, they incorporate their UEs into the master file. In the beginning the master file will appear to be a random complaints list. It is very important that no changes be made at this point and no decisions made. It is not a question of addressing each UE but to pinpoint the core problems that caused the UEs.
The best solutions are those that:
• Address core problems caused by the way in which the company does business (modify their offerings).
• Have little or no cost involved with implementation (again modify the offering not the service).
• Are difficult for competitors to duplicate quickly.
• Offer benefits to the Company as well as the customers.
• Segments the market – some customers will not be willing to pay a premium for improved services and better quality of equipment. Others will want to take advantage of the added value in new offerings.
The only real mistake the Company’s sales representatives can make in this process is to assume that they already know the UEs of the clients. It is very important that all of the sales personnel understand where the Company is going with this process and what specific information is required from the client.
The next problem is to carefully evaluate the UEs to identify the core problems that the Company is causing, but may be ignoring. The solution to overcome each core problem must be simply structured and easy to understand by the sales personnel.
Most sales people sell by pushing the benefits of either the service or products of their company. This leads to a defensive attitude on the part of the buyers – they are always looking for the hidden problems or drawbacks. Many buyers see aggressive negotiations as one of their most important skills. This can lead to a confrontational mentality between buyers and suppliers.
It is more advantageous to approach sales issues from an UE position. The sales person begins by discussing with the buyer the list of UEs that the company compiled from the discussions with other customers. Then they can admit that the company acknowledges that these UEs are caused by the way the company did business in the past, and how it has corrected this.
By admitting the weaknesses of the existing approach to sales and the company’s culpability, the sales person becomes a partner instead of an adversary. Occasionally, a customized quote can be created to solve unusual problems for a specific customer. These very-targeted proposals can only be achieved when complete mutual trust is firmly established through the UE process. This leads not only to an immediate sale but also an enhancement of the relationship that the Company seeks to build with its clients.