Smart Selling: Small Things Can Have a Big Impact on Organizational Profitability

smart selling professional services

Every service delivery manager focuses on profitability. In an increasingly cost competitive marketplace, a couple points of margin can mean the difference between a good quarter and a bad one. Effective project execution and tight control of overhead costs are the most common practices for managing operating margins. There are, however, a number of less obvious factors affecting margin health that take root in the sales process.

The primary focus of any sales cycle is winning profitable projects. Firms employ formalized review processes and scrutinize the financials, contracts and business terms. The results, in theory, are deals that meet the profit and risk goals of the firm. However, there are a number of smaller things that should be considered in the sales process that do not reveal themselves in the project economics, but impact the overall organizational profitability.

This paper covers four such “traps” of the sales process that can go undetected, or worse, are behaviors embedded in an organization. The good news is that these traps are not hard to solve, but do require communication and education between delivery managers and their sales counterparts.

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