As an experienced sales representative, you know the needs of your customers like the back of your hand. Nevertheless, life has a way of throwing challenges your way . This is not due to lack of knowledge or experience. It is the way your company is presented or how the company profile is handled. With these 8 best practices for acquiring new projects, we show you which steps and measures need to be taken to be successful. Get your sales department off to a flying start!
1. Use different acquisition channels
For successful customer and project acquisition it is helpful to use several channels. For example, you can use these in your search for new projects:
- Social networks
- Networking Events
- Recommendations by third parties
Freelancers in particular can take advantage of digital channels and design their profiles for discoverability via LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, etc. in such a way that potential customers are notified of availability for new projects. At networking events you can make new contacts, learn about new projects, find out about upcoming projects, demonstrate your expertise and value and, hopefully, win new contracts.One of the most important acquisition channels is through recommendation. It is both simple, cost-effective as well as time-saving. So always try and leave your customer with a positive impression of the work that you and your company did.Through invitations for tenders, potential customers will even ask you to submit an offer for an open project. This can be done via newspapers, awarding platforms or trade journals.
2. Continuous support is the be-all and end-all
In project sales, first-class customer relations are crucial for your success. After acquiring a new potential project by inbound or cold-calling, the deepening of that relationships is crucial to winning that new deal.Through continuous and mutually beneficial contact, you will be the first to know about upcoming projects and can take care of project acquisition at an early stage. At this point, your strategy changes: the focus of your attention is now on the new project.For successful support, customers should know exactly what your competencies are. In this way, they can take your company into account in upcoming projects. Regular communication as well as personal visits, which you repeat at regular intervals, are therefore important to stay relevant. In the initial phase of project acquisition it is important to learn about new projects and investment plans in good time. This allows you to start project sales in a timely manner.
In the initial phase of project acquisition it is important to learn about new projects and investment plans in good time. This allows you to start project sales in a timely manner.
3. Create a project list – for a better overview
The project list is an essential control tool for successful order acquisition. It provides you with an overview of the respective projects and the people involved in them so that you can discuss them together in the Selling Center.The Selling Center is a group of professionals within a company that wants to sell a certain product to another company. This includes, for example, project managers, controlling specialists and sales people.A structured and clear project list usually contains the following information:
- Customer name/Company name
- Project name/type
- Project value (after € and %)
- Order probability
- expected order date
- Potential margin (after € and %)
- Date of submission
Using the structured project list, you can then plan and track the development of a new project in a structured manner.
4. Concentrate on the offer preparation
After a successful winning over of new customers or projects, the company enters the offer phase.Formalities such as specifications, special contractual conditions (BVB), purchasing conditions and the date for the award of the offer are determined by the customer.At this point of project acquisition, you should therefore concentrate your resources fully on preparing the offer and meeting the customer’s requirements. This includes adherence to the desired form as well as all deadlines in order not to be excluded from the awarding process.
Discussions with your customer and his employees should be intensified at this point in order to obtain as much extra information as possible about the project environment.
Decisive details for the successful project acquisition are, among other things: the criteria of the bid evaluation, information about members of the awarding team, other competitors and their techniques as well as the planned project budget.Also, keep in touch with the buying center and show them how important the project is to you.The Buying Center is the counterpart to the Selling Center and describes the group of people in a company who are involved in the decision to buy the product. Common positions include product users, buyers, consultants and managing directors.Ask how it goes on, find out how your offer has been received, find out about the competition’s offer and, if necessary, explain your offer to the customer in greater detail. If possible, agree on the next step as soon as possible.
5. Develop an sales strategy in the Selling Center
Ideally, the experts from your company’s Selling Center will work out a coherent sales strategy that clearly communicates the value that you bring to the customer. The following are a list of important points to create clear communications on;
- Special feature of your concept
- Competitive advantages over the competition
- Added value/benefit of your offer
Correctly presenting and placing the advantages of your offer to all the parties involved in the buying center – that is the core element for success in sales.
6. Build relationships with the buying center
As a counterpart to your company’s Selling Center, the Buying Center acts on the customer side. There, employees from different departments are involved in the respective project. They decide together on who they award the contract to. Finding out who is involved in the project awarding process and building relationships with the responsible parties is a big way to influence the decision making process.Therefore, keep in touch and, if necessary, suggest solutions for specific bottlenecks your customers might be facing. This will give your company a decisive advantage in the awarding phase.
Communication with the buying center can take place according to hierarchical levels – but in the end, what counts is good relations.
7. Apply sales techniques that work
Mastering good sales techniques such as Value Selling and Consultative Selling is essential – both for B2B customer relationship building, project acquisition and an effective sales strategy.
Value Selling is all about demonstrating the value and benefits of your product or service. Offer the customer better profitability, a competitive advantage, minimized risk, improved process chains and commitments to quality.
In consultative selling, the connection between selling and buying center again plays a key role. This is more than just consulting sales. Your experts from the Selling Center are in close contact with the Buying Center staff and try to find appropriate solutions for their problems and bottlenecks through your company and your offer.
In the final phase of project acquisition, your skills in negotiating the contract are crucial. Being patient, attentive and above all listening carefully – these are the keys to your success.
A salesperson must inspire instead of instruct. He must seduce instead of educate.
8. Wait for the right time for your price offer
The earlier you can get in touch with decision-makers in the planning stage of a project, the better your chances are for a negotiation meeting. This is exactly where our in-house sales solution for the construction industry comes in: Enabling you to discover, qualify and contact new projects as early as possible.When negotiating the contract for a project, one needs to have a final clarification of technical details, commercial conditions and the final determination of the price. You should withhold your price as long as possible in order not to influence the award conditions. However, a price offer is ultimately indispensable in order to be invited to a negotiation meeting at all.You have won the contract? Then you deservedly can sit back and enjoy your success.