I have reviewed the mechanism for Sales-issue management of Questetra, on the occasion of starting the new fiscal year of 2016. Throughout the review, I thought many things. And I wrote the previous post concerning “To whom is a management of Sales-issue for?” In this post, I am going to write about the “Status” of a Sales-issue.
“Status” of a Sales-issue?
Among the chunk of information in a Sales-issue, there is an item of the “Status”, which represents the current status of the particular issue, in addition to customer name, contact name, orders period, expected delivery date.
Preparing multiple “Status categories” for the item of “Status” beforehand, and set either of the Status category into the item.
For the “Status categories”, prepare five categories, for example, Category A, Category B, Category C, Category D, Category E. Category A being the closest to the closing, Category E being the farthest.
By setting a proper “Status category” to the value of “Status” according to the current situation of the issue, the estimated time to the closing or upcoming closing will become apparent.
Also, by calculating the sum of the total amount by their “Status category”, it will be easy-to-understand whether or not the number of current issues are enough for the fiscal year’s goals.
Purchasing Process and Sales Process
What shall I consider when determining a “Status category”?
I suppose it is good to begin by organizing what the Purchasing process on the customer side is, and what the Sales process on our side is.
Purchasing Process of a Customer
There is a description for a purchasing process of a customer which is referred to as the “Five stage buying decision process model” promoted by Philip Kotler. It explains that the purchasing process of a consumer can be broken down into five individual stages.
- a1) Problem Recognition
- a2) Information search
- a3) Evaluation of Alternatives
- a4) Purchase decision
- a5) Post-purchase behaviour
(A variety of other classification methods also advocated by great people.)
For details on the “Five stage buying decision process model”, please refer to related articles describing the details of Marketing (Introduced in the Endnote). For now, please guess the meaning of each stage from its title (The Sales representative is involved on stages a2, a3 and a4).
Even though one of the methods is to set these five stages as “Status categories”, it would be good to consider the “Status category” as the process in which the customer, who would try to buy your product or your service, finally would make the decision of buying it concretely.
Sales Process on our Side
There is another way to define the “Status”, which is to set the stages according to the process on our side (Sales) as the “Status categories”.
In the case of Questetra, our company, we finalize a contract roughly in the following process.
- b1) Presentation of overview
- b2) Suggestion of solution for challenges
- b3) Support for evaluation
- b4) Closing
For the sales of “Questetra BPM Suite”, our Cloud service, contact a customer following-up a sales lead to present the service overview (b1), and then we make suggestions for solutions to solve the challenges according to the information obtained upon the contact (b2). And we support the customer to examine and to evaluate our product (b3). If they found it good, we get into the closing (b4).
In this way, clarifying the flow of the activities on the seller side, and referring to it to determine the “Status categories” is also a good idea.
The sales activities for a sales representative are, to guide the customers identify the situation, and doing whatever he or she would do. Therefore, the determination of “Status categories” requires considering the aspects of both, the “Purchasing process” and the “Sales process”.
In the next post, I will write about how I determine the “Status category”.
That’s it, for today!
- Daily Report by Sales People. For Themselves? Or for Managements?
- MARKETING THEORIES ? EXPLAINING THE CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS
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