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True Sales Tales: How a Crazy Sale Became a Product Feature
Blog / True Sales Tales / Apr 25, 2017 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 6781

True Sales Tales: How a Crazy Sale Became a Product Feature

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If you deal much with government agencies or larger companies, you probably know that when they’re given a yearly budget, they tend to spend the entire amount. This is because if they don’t, the following year they’ll get less of a budget. For example, if a government department is given a budget of $1 million for the year, and they end up spending $900,000, the following year their budget will be $900,000. So government departments, agencies and some larger companies tend to go all-out in making sure they spend that entire budget.

My Government Agency Sale

Here’s how it worked in my case. A certain government agency contacted my company about midway through their fiscal year, and sent us an RFP for software services. We then provided them a proposal for $120,000.

At this point in their year, they didn’t know for sure how much of their budget would go for what products or services, so our proposal basically waited until their fiscal year was almost over. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I wasn’t holding my breath, because I’d seen these things go all kinds of ways: the deal could come in, or it could come in for less money than the proposal, or we might get a phone call or an email saying, “Sorry, the money has already been spent on other priorities.”

In this particular case, though, the wildest and most unexpected thing happened. Our contact with the government department contacted us and said that they had funding way above and beyond the amount stated in our proposal. They actually had $150,000 to spend! It was another case of a department trying to spend their whole budget for the year. Our contact calmly asked if we could please adjust our proposal to match the amount they actually had. And oh, by the way, they needed the revised proposal back in 2 to 3 days!

We did have to do a bit of scrambling. We had to precisely name all of the services we were going to provide for this revised amount, make sure it matched the amount of their budget to the penny, and get it back to them on time.

Fortunately, it all went through. They accepted our proposal, we provided the services, and we were paid.

This Incident Becomes a Product Feature

A few years later when when I was deciding on the next possible feature-set for my product Pipeliner CRM, I got to thinking about what might have happened had the story gone a little differently. What if the government agency had contacted us and told us the deal was off, and because it was dead we had then removed it from our CRM? But then what would have happened had they called us back up and said the deal was back on for the higher amount, and they needed to hear back right away?

It would have been a mad rush to pull back together the documents, the emails, and any other data pertinent to the opportunity. And we might not even have found it all–we might have had to create some of it all over again from scratch. There was a real danger, in such a scenario, of not getting the proposal in on time.

I realized that this kind of thing happens in the business world all the time. A sales rep puts together a deal for a prospect, but the deal falls through. Some time later–even as much as a year or more–the prospect calls back up and says, “Hey, you know that deal we were working on? I finally got budget approval for it!” The sales staff then needs to go racing around, having to reassemble all of the information pertaining to the deal, and hope they get it right.

I then thought, “What if the salesperson, upon getting this call, could just click a button and have the deal, with every bit of data intact, restored to the active pipeline?”

This bright idea led to the creation of the Pipeliner CRM Archive. This feature–not available in any other CRM system–makes it possible to instantly restore any deal to the active pipeline, that has been removed from the main pipeline for whatever reason (lost, put on hold, etc.). The deal is restored with every bit of data from the original opportunity–what stage of the pipeline it was in, activities, pertinent documents, even emails and phone and meeting notes.

The moral of the story: be prepared for a deal to come to life again! If you haven’t, I highly recommend that you learn more about Pipeliner CRM so that you can take advantage of its totally unique archive feature.

About Author

CEO and partner of pipelinersales.com and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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