June 2017 – June 2018

Subject: Company wants to achieve ISO 9001 (QMS) and ISO 27001 (ISMS) certification.

My Task: Create, implement, document and maintain all necessary processes in the Sales Department.

Used Tools: Microsoft Office, Atlassian Confluence, Gliffy, GSuite, Salesforce

Solution

Firstly I observed and documented all processes in the sales department. In addition to various guidelines that are valid throughout the sales area, various detailed flow charts of child processes were created. In addition to a process description, these guidelines also contain dependencies on other processes as well as responsibilities and time limits or other regulations.

The whole sales process consists of some smaller sub-processes which I first documented as guidelines and then simplified all to a generic picture of a sales process with all responsibilities, dependencies, interfaces as well as input and output materials.

After 1 year of preparation time there was a successful certification of ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 on June 15th 2018 with no nonconfomities detected within Sales Department / Sales Processes.

Sales process contents

  • Lead generation / Lead qualification
  • Opportunity management
  • RFI & RFP procedures
  • Contract management
  • Order management
  • Account management
  • Sales Controlling
  • Sales planning & Sales Forecast
Sales process
Flow Chart
Process Description (exerpt)
Guidelines

As an example of an implemented guideline the following short version of “Opportunity Management” is shown. A guideline consists of different types of data such as metadata, responsibilities, descriptions and graphics if needed.

Metadata

Responsible Sebastian Stange
Associated process Sales
Status Approved
Class Internal
Goal and purpose Manage and edit opportunities
Scope Sales & Business Development

Responsibilities

ResponsibilityTask, activity
Head of SalesQualify the opportunity, put solution design in final status, negotiate contracts, control offer, support Key Account Manager
Key Account ManagerCommunicate with the customer, qualify opportunity, collect requirements, suggest Bid Manager, send offer, internal communication of success / failure
Bid ManagerOrganizing Solution Desgin, Quote Support, Internal Project Kick-Off
Sales SupportSupport in qualifying the opportunity, assisting in creating the solution design, creating an offer, creating an order
Kiwigrid internalRisk Analysis, Solution Proposal Support, Quote Creation Support, Internal Kick-Off Assistance, Order Management

Process description

The starting point of the opportunity process is a qualified lead, so that an opportunity can be created and qualified by the KAM (Key Account Manager). The first phase after the opportunity has been created is the “Qualification Phase”, in which the probability of winning the opportunity is 10% by default. In the first phase, the KAM and Head of Sales with the support of Sales Support qualify the opportunity in an iterative process. Internal risk analyzes (strategic, legal, technical) are carried out in collaboration with product management, service, quality assurance and procurement. In addition, discussions or workshops with the (potential) customers take place to find out more information about the budget, the desired solutions or the time horizon. As soon as all the required information is available, the Head of Sales decides whether the opportunity is qualified. If the opportunity qualifies, it can move to the next phase, Requirement Analysis / Solution Design (30% default). If the opportunity is not qualified, the process ends with appropriate information to the customer.

In the next phase, KAM first names the Bid Manager and queries the customer’s needs so that a solution design can be organized by the Bid Manager. The Bid Manager is supported by Sales Support and various departments such as Product Management, Marketing, Service and / or Quality Assurance. Further risk analyzes are carried out in parallel. To move on to the next phase, the Head of Sales needs to decide if the solution design can be considered final. If not, more exacting customer needs must be obtained and the design re-adjusted. Once the design is recognized as final, the opportunity can be taken to the next phase “Proposal / Price Quote” (50% default). If it is decided that no further action is taken, the customer is informed and the process ends.

In the next phase, the KAM prepares price proposals / offers. The KAM is supported by the Bid Manager. In addition, a quotation is created in the ERP system in the Sales Support, should this be necessary. For this process, the sales support of marketing, product management, service and other departments is supported. In the next step, the offer is reviewed by the Head of Sales. If the offer is in order and approved (also observe the guidelines for the competence catalog), it can be sent to the customer. Otherwise it needs to be revised. As soon as the offer is sent to the customer, the opportunity is taken to the next phase “Negotiation / Review” (80% default). In addition, the customer checks the offer after getting. At the same time, negotiations on contracts can begin.

The negotiation phase is influenced by the customer feedback on offers and draft contracts. If the feedback is positive, the contract negotiations can continue and the signed contract is sent to the customer by the Head of Sales. After the customer has signed back the contract, the Head of Sales informs KAM about the success. The next kick-off meeting will bring together all the people who worked on the opportunity with whom they will take on the project. Finally, Sales Support creates the final offer and the opportunity can be classified as a “won”.

If there is negative feedback on the draft contracts in the last phase, negotiations continue or the Head of Sales decides to break off the negotiations. This would lose the opportunity.

Throughout the process, the Head of Sales can pass the decision-making responsibility to KAM. Furthermore, the probability of the opportunity can be adjusted individually at each stage. If the opportunity ends in a different phase than the final phase, information must always be passed on to the customer.

IMPORTANT: When communicating with the customer, always follow the information classification and the action guideline!

More guidelines are for example:

  • Create Offer
  • Create Order
  • Order Management
  • Documentation / Filing of documents
  • Lead qualification
  • Sales goals planning
  • Contract documentation