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Commercial vs Technical Proposal


Sales people with the skills to write a technical proposal are scarce. The same is true for technical people who can write a commercial proposal. The persons that possess these tech-skills are often engaged in projects for which the commercial process is completed. On the other hand industrial clients demand more and more information and details during the commercial process. How can suppliers provide proper and complete proposals efficiently? A combination should be made between commercial and technical colleagues.  

“Sales” describes Purpose


The sales person often is the first point of contact for clients. He (or she) is the person that knows the requirements of the client. He should focus on identify and describe the purpose of the goods to be supplied or the outcome of the service that will be offered. He should focus on describing the client’s wishes as detailed as possible. It will help during the briefing with his technical colleagues.  

Engineers to indicate pitfalls


The engineers working on the proposal should first identify the possible technical, project and planning risks. They should discuss these risks with the sales person. The sales person is to decide at what stage the client needs to be briefed; before submission of the proposal, at the proposal submission or during the execution of the project. The sales person can judge what strategy suits best.  

Prepare Preliminary Planning


After clarification of the pitfalls and discussion of the project risks, the technical person is required to prepare a preliminary planning. During the preparation of this planning he should keep track of his thoughts. Especially in terms of the items where he takes risks or where he includes extra time. In case of product supply the technical person should include a list of components, which are required. During the preparation of this list he should keep track of alternative components. Keeping track of the thoughts during the preparation of the list of components or the planning will help the sales person during the next steps of the commercial process.  

Sales to finalize the proposal


The sales person has to complete the proposal. He should include the planning and component gross lists. He should prepare a clear overview of the roles and responsibilities between all project partners and he should calculate the costs and sales price. It is advisable to let the technical person have a final look at the proposal. This will lead to better support in the next stages of the commercial process and after project award.  

“Only when the “submission of the proposal” is the next step in the agreed sales template the Sales Person should commit to his promise to his client”