Direct Opinions was engaged by a manufacturing organization to conduct a follow-up survey with prospective customers in situations where a quotation for products was submitted but the client was not awarded the work. The goal of the lost and inactive customer survey was to better understand why the client did not earn the business and to use this information to make any necessary changes within the organization to win future business and thus grow the organization. Because the client’s bid process was somewhat complex, management wanted to learn how to improve their operation and sales process.
After review of the survey information collected, it was determined that the number one reason why this customer lost opportunities was because their pricing was too high. This is now an opportunity to look internally and determine what can be done to improve pricing so that the company can secure more business. In addition, several of their customers commented that they never received a proposal. Here is a situation where further communication or follow-up can be done to ensure receipt of proposals. Another interesting point that surfaced was the fact that several of these opportunities were still “live”– the business hadn’t been awarded yet and was still an open opportunity. Further communication and follow-up could result in a win. It was also determined that there were people who needed a price for budgetary and planning purposes and did not need a full-blown proposal. Internal procedures can be improved to provide the client the information that they need without having to go through a full-blown proposal process if only a “quick price” was needed. This can definitely save on time and resources internally.