How the Specification Channel Works

This course will introduce the Specification channel, roles, responsibilities and processes. You will learn about:

How the Spec Channel Works

The objectives of the Spec channel

What do we want to achieve?

In the introduction to specification training, we learnt the basics of the specification process from client and architect, through the main contractor, and finally to the subcontractor who purchases and fixes the specified materials. In short, the objective of the Specification channel is to understand and interface with that process at every step to insure we are targeting, securing, and servicing new developments and project opportunities. We want to:

  • Target the biggest, the brightest and the most relevant projects. Projects that develop our brand, speak about who we are and where we want to be, and increase our share of the UK specification market
  • Understand these projects, understand the clients, and approach the specifiers with a proposition based on the quality of products and design, our British heritage, our strong environment credentials and perhaps most importantly of all...the quality of our customer experience
  • Once we are specified, we want to track the project from the point it only exists on paper to the point a subcontractor fixes the tiles to the wall. We make contact with the right people at the right time, and manage every aspect of their customer experience from technical information to stock availability, sales orders to credit availability and customer service issues to samples and boards

How we're setup

Specification team organisational chart

What the roles are within the team, and who does what

Roles and Responsibilities

Below we'll look at the 3 main roles on the spec team, and how each of those roles is created to support and develop the channel. Each region consists of a Specification Sales Consultant, Sales Manager, and Project leader who work together as a team to hit their regional target.

Specification Sales Consultant

Sales consultants research new projects and prospects and qualify leads from marketing. They open new doors, then understand who makes the decisions, where, and when. It's their job to get the specifiers attention, make them excited about our brand and make them want to learn more. 

They work on their own opportunities, and provide a stream of appointments for their field based partner. Once we've secured a specification, they also then work with their specification manager to take it through to subcontract stage.

Sales consultants also grow relationships with their own contacts to secure incremental orders and specifications.

Responsibilities: New projects, New opportunities, new appointments, developing the Specification sales pipeline and getting new specifiers interested in learning more about our brand

Specification Sales Manager

Sales Managers are the face of the Specification sales process. When a Sales Consultant opens them a door, it's then the Sales Manager's job to walk through that door and turn the meeting into an opportunity to secure a new specification. 

They meet with specifiers, attend shows and buyer events, write product proposals and trading agreements, offer ongoing consultation to the specifier, and manage the specification through to tiling with their internal sales consultant.

 They also have overall responsibility for the performance of the region, and for producing their region's sales forecast.

Responsibilities: Meeting specifiers and representing British Ceramic Tile, forecasting sales, achieving against regional target, Securing new project specifications and developing strong, consultative relationships with the specfiers

Specification Project Leader

Sales Consultants and Sales managers are responsible for the sales process, however once the specification becomes a live project it's the Project Leaders responsibility to insure one thing above all else: the absolute best customer experience possible. 

Once all the sales work is done, the project leader takes over responsibility for managing the project through to the end. They work directly with the subcontractor to understand what's needed where and when, and then work with our demand planning team to insure availability.

They also co-ordinate resolutions to issues and challenges with other departments, and insure nothing causes any delays on site.

Responsibilities: Delivering outstanding customer service, managing all aspects of live projects, liaising with other departments and planning and forecasting demand

The overall process

The specification cycle

The above graphic illustrates how leads move through our specification process to emerge as finished projects. Sales consultants and Sales managers are responsible for the sales cycle, Project Leaders are responsible for the project stage. 

The overall process, roles, tasks, and responsibilities

Graphic: Overview of who does what

The above graphic summarises what we've looked at so far and breaks it down in terms of the most common tasks we encounter, and where responsibility for dealing with them sits. Next, we'll move into a some scenario training to make develop and test your understanding of this, and the overall functioning of the channel.

How the spec channel works: Scenario

Review learning outcomes

  • I understand the objectives of the specification channel
  • I understand how the specification channel is setup
  • I understand what the roles are within the channel, and how does what
  • I understand the overall specification process within the channel from lead to finished project