A friend related the story the other day of a conversation he’d had with the managers of two neighbouring – but very different – supermarkets. The boss of the more upmarket store explained to his counterpart that -
“When we run out of bread, our customers comment that they must get here earlier next time. When you run out of bread, your customers complain that your bakery department hasn’t done its job.”
Others recognise that this is a recipe for disaster: cost of sale is far from unlimited, and it’s vital that the proposal centre focuses on the best opportunities.
Sure, they’ll be flexible and responsive to their (internal) customer base. They may well have an infrastructure in place that enables sales staff to respond to simpler, less strategic opportunities without hands-on support from the proposal centre. But they’ll also have careful sizing and capacity models, a clear Service Level Agreement, robust qualification processes and a solid understanding shared with the sales team and senior management that “no notice may result in no proposal”.