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Why did Cloverleaf fail to secure the sale?

There are three major reasons why Cloverleaf plc failed to secure the sale and they fall into the following categories; sales strategy, sales process and the structure of the sales organisation, all of which ultimately led to Commercial SA placing its order with Hofstead GM – one of Cloverleaf’s competitors. Other related marketing factors also contributed as this report implies but the three explained above were significant in explaining Cloverleaf’s downfall.

(1) Sales Strategy:

Having a sales strategy means that you have accessed the big picture of what it takes to get the customer to want to buy and although Cloverleaf plc based theirs around “high quality”, “enhanced reliability” and “superior performance”, its salespeople often lacked the skills and knowledge necessary to improve the chance of sales success. This concerned understanding the buying organisation’s decision making unit (DMU), product knowledge and information on competitors’ products and their criticisms.

(A) Understanding buyer behaviour:
It is evident from John Goodman (sales executive) and his record of sales calls, that he was not familiar with Commercial SA’s decision making process and how they made their decision. In particular, on April 5th, when negotiations had finished and a decision was going to be announced soon, Mr. Goodman had to be told by M. Bernard (Commercial SA’s purchasing manager) that “the decision was not his alone” and that other influencers were involved. In this respect, it hardly seems surprising that Cloverleaf plc failed to secure the sale since most of the decision makers had not even come into contact with J. Goodman which gives the impression of a lack of commitment, as well as product information.

(B) Product knowledge:
Cloverleaf’s sales executive did not possess an accurate and full knowledge of the product he sold and could not answer all product questions. When asked the price for example,...
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