A Professional Services Sales Primer

A Professional Services Sales Primer

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An effective quality assurance (QA) function can detect many but not all of the potential root causes. But leaving QA to detect the issues and risks of a bid is an indictment of the professionalism of your business. It is everyone's responsibility to de-risk a project. The vendor should discuss buyer-induced root causes with the potential buyer and suggest ways of de-risking the project. Strategies might include: for a 'full scope' development, breaking the project into a number of phases, starting with a requirements definition phase; phasing delivery of a complex project to provide a number of software 'drops'. This provides usable functionality early and early proof of project viability; the concept of a 'pilot' or 'proof of concept demonstrator' to enable requirements to be honed or infrastructure to be proved before more substantial in vestment is made. 24 out of the 40 root causes of troubled projects can be detected and prevented at the bid stage, given a professional approach by all in the business. A strong and independent QA function can detect most but not all of these. The sales pipeline is a leaky one. Your sales people need to work hard at lead generation and opportunity generation to provide sufficient new business op portunities for your business to grow. You can't afford to rely solely on follow-on business. Good qualification of the potential opportunities increases your conversion rate and filters out many potentially troubled projects.

Inspec keywords: project management; procurement; software engineering; quality assurance

Other keywords: sales pipeline; lead generation; professional services sales primer; troubled projects; project viability; procurement strategy; proof of concept demonstrator; quality assurance function; proof of project viability; phasing delivery; buyer-induced root causes; software drops; opportunity generation; requirements definition phase

Subjects: Business and administration

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