Sales Process Meets Project Management
By Mike Cunningham
The essential characteristic of most sales situations is that the supplier is keen to sell and is in competition situation with other vendors. Conversely, the customer has a choice of vendor and is seeking the best capability on the most favorable terms. All the time the sales team will be under pressure to offer the best price and delivery time. The vendor is keen to win the business and not do anything to put that at risk. Equally the customer is keen to secure the best deal. In this situation there may be negotiated changes in pricing, and undocumented promises and assumptions that introduce delivery risk and latent issues. For example:
- During commercial negotiations project pricing may be reduced without clear and fully justified reductions in scope.
- The timeline is invalidated due to changes in scope, budget or start date.
- Risks are overlooked and not sufficiently reflected in contingency
- Risks are not all understood by vendor management nor customer management.