Sales in our business is client service. It is repeat business. One doesn't sell a management consulting project, one develops a proposal that works for the client.
Cresta must always be aware of the big-company consulting phenomenon of the split between selling the job and fulfilling the job, which leads to client dissatisfaction. The job should be developed and scoped, sold, and fulfilled by the same people. Our clients should never buy a job from one consultant and have it delivered by anybody other than that same consultant.
We need to avoid the temptation to drop fees to gain jobs. When a potential client questions the cost of a project, we explain the benefits. If the budget is for less money, then we must offer less service. Billing rates are not negotiated.
The sales strategy for Cresta is simple and straightforward: customer satisfaction. Repeat business occurs at more than 70% of Cresta's customers, supporting the proposition that quality service delivery has led to strong "internal reference selling."
Cresta plans to develop and train two additional sales people by year end 2003 and 2004. At present the primary sales contact is Mr. Paul Gallico, but this will change as revenues increase, and the Company is able to invest in human capital.
The sales approach will focus on an initial "needs analysis." Once the high level results of the analysis has been determined, a team comprised of Cresta personnel and customer personnel will take an opportunity to sit down and discuss specifics. At no time should this be perceived by the potential client as "pushy" or "agressive."
Cresta is not trying to "sell" themselves; instead, Cresta aspires to achieve the role of trusted advisor. The goal of this sales process is to get behind the numbers, and the business successes, to identify where the client's needs lie. Once this is mapped out, Cresta will decide how these problems can be best addressed, and will offer both a bid and some action points. If the client wants to use the action points to move forward on their own, this is very acceptable.
Cresta's research has shown that the clients that choose this path, often come back to seek additional information, and more often than not, accept the bid. This strategy differs from the course often taken by large consulting firms in that the customer is not condescended to, or treated as if the knowledge isn't right there in their own heads. Often, consulting companies will send a large ego to clean up a client's mess, and find that the strategy backfires when the client only chooses to give the consultant the chance to bid. Cresta's sales strategy revolves around customer service and empowerment, not condescension and sales "closers."
The 2003 sales forecast monthly summary is included in the appendix. The annual sales projections for three years are included in the table below. It should be noted that as Cresta becomes more established and well known in the market that sales are projected to increase at a faster rate than the current year. This may seem like an aggressive approach at first glance, but Cresta is not a large company. The smaller the company, often the larger the opportunity for exponential sales growth, and especially if the firm uses sound sales and marketing strategies to take share from the larger, less nimble consultancies.
In the following Sales Forecast Table please note that "Units" represent days billed.