How to sell the price
Executive Master Class B2B Marketing & Sales
“As an engineer, you may have good analytical skills, but that doesn’t make you a good salesman.” An experienced engineer, Vincent Forge felt that after ten years in various technical positions, the time was right to move on. He wanted to get into sales, but didn’t want to venture unprepared. The Executive Master Class in B2B Marketing & Sales was the answer.
As Bid & Business Development Manager at communications services company BT, Vincent is responsible for proposing bids to existing and prospective customers. He manages a virtual team of ICT specialists and liaises with customers. It’s his job to ensure that the bid process runs smoothly and that the proposed solution meets the customer’s requirements, time and budget. He also advises customers and BT sales representatives on the technical and financial feasibility of business opportunities.
He took the Master Class in 2011 and certainly wasn’t disappointed. How has it helped him in his job? “The programme has taught me a lot, but most of all it’s given me a method, a logical and analytical approach to identify promising business opportunities. And I’ve learned how to analyse the competitive landscape better.”
Although his primary interest is in sales strategy, Vincent particularly liked the focus on marketing and the clear link between both domains. "Marketing is more important than I initially thought. As a salesperson, you have to be able to demonstrate the value of your product or service. You have to more or less sell the price your customer will have to pay. These core modules taught us all about how to create market opportunities, product value and brand name value."
He felt there was a good balance between theory and practice. The group and individual exercises allowed him to apply theoretical principles and to deepen his understanding of the real-life challenges involved. “Equally important was the interaction between the participants and with the professors. I realised the others were trying to deal with similar issues and challenges. Our discussions continued even after class!”
Finally, he has nothing but praise for the organisation of the Master Class: “The programme coordinator did a wonderful job behind the scenes. It can’t have been easy.”
A winning approach
As part of his in-company project, Vincent developed an approach to improve the success rate of the BT Professional Services branch in the Belgian market when bidding for public-sector contracts. “Combining everything I’d learned in the modules, I came up with an approach that has helped us win business with new customers.”
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