Companies are beginning to realize that the flow of information can be a competitive advantage. In B2B environments, the foundation for any sales opportunity involve exceptional skills in customer management and communications, and for any project, there are budgets, stages, and timelines from conception-to-completion.
When projects miss delivery targets, it is usually the result of information delay from the customer. It is difficult to move a project forward when information is missing from the BOMs or from engineering specifications. Conflicting information between supplier and customer is also a major contributor to project delay—the difference between Rev A and Rev B can produce unwanted outcomes.
If your customer resides in the backyard of your business, you could certainly run back-and-forth to get answers and resolve questions, but this disruptive behavior is not efficient, nor effective. And, it is usually not the case—your customers are not in close proximity of your business.
Optimize With Technology
It can be frustrating when information is missing and late. Even the simplest question could take days for an answer. Why is this? It stems from a lack in project leadership and communications. Some company’s add a project specialist or an account manager to coordinate the flow of information, but with good intentions, this too, results in frustration and disappointment.
What is the answer? An interactive digital whiteboard with video conferencing and
TeleSpin is a contract manufacture of high-tolerance, high-complex machined parts for the telecommunications industry. Their primary contacts are design engineers and materials managers, and are located throughout North America. Historically, TeleSpin sales reps were responsible for making-sure a quote package is complete with all information necessary to bid. Unfortunately, this is never the case—there are always questions and requests.
Scott, the VP of Sales, recognized this disconnect and decided to install an interactive digital whiteboard in the companys’ conference room. The primary goal was to make the quote review and project management activities visual between TeleSpin and customer.
Scott’s strategy is to schedule weekly meetings with the customer to:
*Resolve any questions and discrepancies of the quote package. The whiteboard showed the BOMs, engineering drawing and other pertinent information. The discussion evolved around quote accuracy and project expectations, so all involved have a clear focus on the deliverables—changes are made in real-time with key members present.
*Resolve any questions and discrepancies of the part design. The whiteboard showed a 3D part image that is view-able by engineers from both companies.
*Identify and eliminate any constraints that would derail the project. A detailed, view-able Gantt Chart was designed by TeleSpins’ project manager, so everyone involved is on the same path. There is clarity and agreement on ‘who does what and when’.
The Gantt Chart holds people accountable to priorities, timelines, costs, and deliverables.
There are many advantages of using a whiteboard for the sales function. The most obvious is the reduction in travel expenses. But, there are other viable benefits such as improved morale and better working relationships, as questions are now addressed and answered using a structured process. Time is another benefit, as sales reps have more to allocate for growing existing accounts and participating in key sales activities—verses time spent in travel and lodging.
Improve your competitive advantage—the interactive digital whiteboard allows the B2B environment to conduct and complete projects quicker than the face-to-face meeting approach and more accurate than the conference phone call.