´Cold calling and tenders. Is there a conflict?

Armin L. Rau shares a question from a coaching session of the AMF Account Management Formula Programme. The VLOG is about cold calling, tenders and whether these two go together. Do you also need cold calling in the public sector? I will give you tips on how you can become active even before the tender.

Hello everybody this is Armin Rau from Armin L Rau opening doors, making you grow. I am sharing today with you a result of a coaching session that I had lately with a client and we were talking about cold calling.

Some of you might know my account management formula program. It’s a 10 months program that teaches organisations in B2B how to increase their share of wallet with their current clients by at least 10% and also how to win new clients. So session two of account management formula is about cold calling.

And as this client has quite a strong presence in the public sector, they asked me now Armin, we’re in the public sector and we’ve got tenders that come out when we want to win a new contract so what does that have to do with cold calling?

Great question I would say and I’d like to explain to you how many aspects of cold calling can be, I would even say must also be applied in the private sector and that is because there is life before the tender so to speak. Because when the tender comes out, there’s no way that you can influence, there’s a limited way of influencing the development within the customer's organisation because the tenders out, the process is very, very defined and you have to comply with that process. Now that process which starts with the tender, let me just take a fresh piece of paper here. So let’s say we’ve got the point in time x where the tender is out.

This kicks off a process. The first process is maybe an RFI process, so you’re asked for information. Then out of the RFI responses, a shortlist is created. The companies that end up on this shortlist say three, they go into an RFP phase.

So a request for proposal, RFI, request for information here a request for proposal and maybe this shortlist is again reduced to two companies maybe. You then go into contract negotiations or say negotiations, only it might not even be contract.

Then there might be a phase of handing in the best and final offer and then you do the contracting for example. And here the whole thing is signed. So in a complex environment, this can have a duration of between 6 and 18 months from experience.

And my client asked me quite correctly why don’t we start here? How do we do cold calling? Well, thing is this sales process starts much, much earlier than when the tender comes out. The sales process actually starts here at the beginning where your customer even in the public sector has an idea or a problem that must be solved.

Based on that problem and a discussion that is taking place here internally, a project will be defined and a budget will be allocated and based on that the tender document will be produced right? Say tender production. So cold calling in the public sector when you want to get into new fields starts here, way before the tender is presented to you or way before the tender is published in the, for example, Official Journal of the European Community in the OJEC alright?

So here in this phase, it is your sales peoples role or you as a salesperson or your salespeople, if I’m now talking to the sales manager or the head of sales is that here you work on relationship building and also on active idea generation together with your client in the public sector in this phase.

And in an ideal case, you even get the possibility to help crafting the tender document and that will be very, very advantageous for you. So there is no real contradiction between cold calling and acting in a very, very defined sales process, for example in the public sector. And by the way, even in the private sector, it is very important to be close to your customers and to act in this area of the sales process.

So, the tender starts before the tender that could be the conclusion of this video. Please leave a comment underneath the video.

If you are interested in having a planning session with me on a similar challenge that you have with your sales team or as a sales representative, feel free to click on the blue button underneath this video to book a private session with me which is 100% free.

See you soon, Armin Rau from Armin L Rau opening doors, making you grow.