May 23, 2022
Active Approaching Sales Strategy: Convert Customers into Partners

Do not wait for your customers to bring you business but identify opportunities for them that will turn into business for you.

Chasing opportunities for your customers

Some players will wait to receive a request for a quotation for equipment or services that their client will include in the offer for which they are currently bidding for the end-user. This may work for recurring businesses and on markets where there is a shortage of suppliers. However, there is no doubt that most sales professionals will consider:

  • This is a passive sales strategy
  • This is not business development

Some players will not just wait to receive the request for quotation but will manage to know (from the direct client himself, from end-users, or from other players) that their usual direct client is bidding or will shortly bid (much better!). He will proactively contact the direct client to include its equipment/service on its bid. Any sales professional will agree that:

  • This is an active sales strategy
  • This is short-term business development

Eventually, some players will actively chase business opportunities for their customers: that they might have not identified themselves. If you manufacture and sell inverters, one of your job, as a business developer, will be to identify turnkey installation projects (where inverter supply will be definitively part of the scope of work) and inform companies that may be in a position to bid for the, full scope of the tender and therefore your potential direct customer.

If you have a good intimacy with the end-user publishing this RFQ and in the case for example the installer is a new player in this country you could introduce the installer to the end-user.

This strategy will strongly increase the opportunity to sell your products to the direct customer you have brought the opportunity to and that you have introduced to the end- user if and when he will be awarded for the turnkey solar installation project.

Convert your customer into a partner

The most successful business development strategy is when an organization is successful in converting a customer into a key partner. Turning a customer into a partner requires a drastic change of mindset and a global effort from the whole company.

Build a ramp-up strategy with a partner

Let’s take an example of a company SYS CONTROL designing Control Systems in Germany for turnkey substation projects for an end-user OVIMO based in Malawi. Till now the strategy of the Commercial Director of SYS CONTROL was:

But for some years now, the competition is getting harder and harder: New players from South Europe and India have been approaching OVIMO and are now accepted as vendors, the new players are creating as well a good intimacy with OVIMO engineers, SYS CONTROL solutions do not have a key differentiating factor to justify the higher price of their solution compared with lower-priced players. In the recent bids, the hit rate is decreasing as winning EPC’s are able to find other solutions than SYS CONTROL and consequently, the sales are decreasing.

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