1. Understand requirements. We encourage our sales managers to study the initial requirements carefully, pay Attention to any teeny-tiny details and Structurize each task or requirement. Understanding the project in core at the beginning prevents many potential issues. Incorrect quotes, confusion and misunderstanding between the team and client often occurs when the sales manager doesn’t understand what the project is about and yet passes it over to the development team. At Bineks we teach our sales manager not to pass the project for estimation unless they understand and can describe the project idea and high level functionalities in their own words to the development team.
2. Always ask. Ask about anything that might potentially be a matter of a question, confusion, clear up strange phrases, words or figures of speech. As they say – ‘Better safe than sorry’. Sometimes managers want to look good and very smart in the eyes of a customer and are ashamed or not comfortable to ask. This good look leads to many issues afterwards though. Term, page or function often means different things for customer and developer. In order to give right project details to PM and development team, sales manager should be a 100% sure that s/he understand the project clearly (certainly in case there is a specific technical language used, the details should in any case be discussed with a CTO or a team lead before passing to the project manager).
3. No fixed price for fixes. Never ever agree to discuss a fixed price for fixes. As our developers say, when you they are researching to find out where is the problem, they do 80% work needed for fixing it, thus you actually make your developer to actually work on the task without knowing if you are going to be paid for that work or not. Moreover, you never know what skeletons in the closet the project has – at first glance it might look as a small thing to fix, and then it takes several times more than ever expected.
4. Transferring session. This should be a time between sales manager and project manager when all requirements and each feature is discussed between the sales and project manager or sales manager and the development team. At this point deadlines, methodology, delivery expectations, acceptance criteria are specified and project is ready to kick off and becomes mainly responsibility of a project manager.
5. Control. Even when the development stage started a sales manager should keep an eye on the project flow. A random ‘how is it going?’ or a simple update might be very helpful to adjust the workflow at the beginning and set up a fundament for successful project delivery at the end.