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Sales and Customer Relations Management

You are Rob (or Roberta) Allison from Boise Automation Canada Ltd. You have been working on a large sales opportunity with Northern Paper Inc. The date is June 6, 2011. You are updating your Strategic Selling – Strategic Analysis/Deal Sheet to reflect the pertinent information for this selling opportunity in preparation for a sales funnel meeting with your regional sales manager Dieter Haase. Below are the areas of the Deal Sheet that need to be updated using data from the Boise Case. The format will expand to accommodate however much you want to write. Be detailed and specific. Your boss will want to see that you are effectively gathering all the pertinent information to be successful in the sale.

Ideal Customer Criteria – characteristics that fit best with Boise’s products, services and go-to-market strategy. They can be demographic, psychographic or needs-based. One way to think of this is what specific types of customers would pay a premium for Boise.

1. Customers who desire a high performing machine
2. Customer who value quality over pricing
3. Customers who embrace dynamism in technology

Single Sales Objective – Northern Paper Opportunity (i.e. what do your internal functional teams need to know about this potential sale to be prepared?)

Product & Services being offered Designing, supplying, and installing an automated control system for wood chip handling
Sales revenue opportunity Approximately 1.2 million dollars
Estimated close date April 4, 2011

Buying Influences / Role (Economic-User-Technical-Coach), Degree of influence, Response Mode:

Last Name and Title Role Degree of Influence Response Mode
Jennings, corporates Economic Low Positive
Raynold, procurement officer Economic Moderate Not sure, due to the issue of pricing
Muma, plant manager User High Negative
Li, engineering manager Technical High Negative price to high

Results – What organizational benefits can you deliver (corporate, tangible, measurable, process oriented). What is a B2B customer looking for when they buy Boise’s system? Must be specific and compelling.

Results and Rationale
The new technology integrated in the Boise system makes it more effective in wood chip handling. The machine is not only fast but also upholds a high level of accuracy in handling. Your organization will benefits in terms of increased volume of loads handled per hour as well as a significant reduction in probable errors and delays. Enhanced process performance will culminate in an increased overall performance of the organization.

Key Personal Wins for Buying Influences

 (Benefits that a buying influence directly attains when you deliver Business Results as described above). Must be personal.

Last Name (from above) Describe Possible Key Win
Jennings Jennings will benefit directly from the good business relationship development between the two organizations. The absence of conflicts in such relations will enable Jennings to smoothly run the organization. 
Raynold Raynold will benefit from the quality of the machine. He will not have to go through a supplies and procurement process in the near future, since the system will serve the company for an extended period
Muma Muma will also benefit from the system. The enhanced process performance, more chips handled, and minimal errors will make the work of Muma easy. Moreover, as technology advances, he will not have to make changes to adopt the new technology, as the machine uses the latest technology.                                                                                                                        
Li Li is also likely to benefit from the minimal instances of breakage and low maintenance costs that will be achieved with the purchase of a high-performing machine. His job will be made easier since he will not have to always organize for repairs.

Summary of my Position today (Identify Red flags –uncovered bases/positions, new players, lack of data, uncertainty; Identify Strengths – areas of differentiation or opportunities to improve your position)

Red Flag or Strength?   Position Summaries
Red Flag Jennings, the corporate manager, stated that the organization was not concerned with the use of a machine with sophisticate technologies; as such, Boise should just give their quote.
Red Flag Having worked with another supplier for the past 10 years, it would be difficult for the company to leave the supplier for another since they have a strong relationship and understand their quality standards. 
Strength We offer a new technology in the market. Our machine is not only swift but also efficient, making it an economically sound choice for any manufacturer.

My Position vs. Competition? (Are we Only Alternative? Front Runner? Shared? Zero?) Briefly assess the competitive landscape – one, two, several? And the incumbent competitor (JTB) – entrenched? highly regarded? weak?

  Overall position? From runners
  Rationale – Provide evidence to support your position rating above.   There were a total of 4 other companies competing with us to get the opportunity. The completion presented was not intense since we believed that we would outperform the other players due to our quality product. In essence, we thought we were front runners.              

Best Action Plan – Describe next steps to improve your position by eliminating Red Flags and/or Leveraging Strengths (Be specific about What…Who…Information Needed…From Whom; This sale is clearly not going smoothly. Your manager will be expecting YOU to recommend and implement specific actions and timelines to improve your position. Simply cutting the price is not an option. What can you do to shift the discussion from a simple price comparison to more of an “investment thesis”? References from other customers? Innovative financing options? Guarantees of some kind? Be resourceful

The next step that can be adopted to enhance the position of Boise is to communicate the strengths of the machine and its benefits over other similar machines in the market. The idea is to communicate the benefits of the new technology and convince Li, the engineering manager, that the technology will enhance business operations. He should feel the need to abolish the old technology.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The premium price set for the machine is justified based on its value and quality. The initial cost is high, but the efficiency and the beneficial outcomes the machine offers outweigh the cost involved.

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