Managing Sales Projects

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I must give credit to my colleague Mark Price Perry for this article. He was the person who first got me thinking about sales activities being projects, and this article would never have happened without that initial thought. Mark pointed out that one of the leading Customer Relationship Management solution vendors was advertising their (then) new project management module in a project management magazine rather than a sales magazine where you might ordinarily expect to see it.

This clearly demonstrated that this vendor recognized the importance of project management in the management of the customer relationship. The vendor was targeting project managers because they recognized that many CRM activities would drive projects. So far, so good. But Mark went further with his thinking, suggesting that the sales themselves were projects. That’s something that more people would be resistant of, but that’s what I want to explore in this article.

The concept
We are not talking about every sale of every product or service being a project here; rather, we are talking about more complex sales where the sales cycle from opportunity identification to closing the deal can go on for some time and involve a number of different people.

These more complex sales will have a well-defined sales process that the organization goes through that is …

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