Sales proposals are the heart and soul of every deal. Moreover, that’s what it takes to crack a successful deal; your heart and soul.
Not every salesperson feels the same for writing a sales proposal, but after dealing with many successful small and midsize businesses, we have realized the fact that sales proposals are indeed the most potent sales instrument.
Why? It is simple, they help you maintain a good closing ratio and churn the economy rate; which means an enhanced revenue generation for your business.
What is a good closing ratio?
A 50% closing ratio of the pipeline opportunities is considered to be a good closing ratio for businesses of any size or scale. If your sales team is facing a low closing ratio, worry not, it can be improved by solving these two controllable factors.
1. Value Perception
“The difference between a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of one product when compared with others” – Wikipedia
Providing more discount means quicker deal closure is the myth that many sales personnel work with and it is not the kind of attitude you would want your team members to have. They will only close more deals if the customer can see the value in your product or service.
Your offerings value perception starts even before you start your sales process. You will be amazed to know that when the prospects engage with your website and its content, they start perceiving how your offerings will be.
In the next stage, the communication with the prospects helps in reinforcing or demolishing that value perception. If you talk in a manner that “we can work with you on the pricing front”, will undermine all the efforts that you have made till this point.
2. Dynamic Sales Qualification
We have observed that when sales representatives are allowed or ordered to close one in every five opportunities, they lose their qualification standard and start pursuing the sales prospects that are less-qualified.
Just as value perception begins before the actual sales process, sales qualification follows suit. All the lead generating and nurturing content that is posted to your website must create a “conversation” with the visitors who can be converted into prospects and then get qualified into valuable sales prospects so that your sales team can make the most closure.
A quick guide on how you can improve the above two points:
- Complete understanding of the visitors/prospects business requirements
- Understand the impact the problem is having on the prospect’s business
- Use a sales proposal template that helps you visualize data, organize information and stick to the point.
- Provide the prospect/decision-maker with a clear path towards the solution
- Qualify their budget for your solution
- Re-qualify your opportunities during further calls
- Present the proposal, preferably in person
- Provide proper financial justification
- Perform trial close
- Follow up until you get the final “Go” or a “No”
Focusing on the right things before and during your sales process helps increase the sales ratio to 60% or higher.
Writing sales proposals that win business
The above segment was about addressing the issue with the closing ratio, now, let’s go in-depth with your proposals structure so that you can edge near that perfect closing ratio.
1. What are your prospect’s objectives?
Writing your proposals solely on the deliverables that your business can offer to the prospect is not the right way of going about it. It is compulsory to include the essential features and benefits of your product or service in the document, but they must not be the focal point of your sales proposal.
While writing a successful sales proposal, you must make it a point to include the objectives of your prospects first and then hit them with the solution that your services will provide in achieving those said objectives.
Yes, the prospect’s objectives are precious for you to establish a connection with them in your sales proposal.
- Focus on the critical issues they are currently facing.
- Point out the ways your service will address those challenges.
Doing so will allow you to convert your sales proposals into a powerful tool that outlines the client’s specific objectives and will also build a sense of trust in them about your solution.
2. Play precise and to the point
Lengthy documents that are filled with jargon do not impress the prospects because they are not looking for them in the first place. They are not going to waste their time going through multiple pages of technical language if you cannot summarize your sales proposals within one-two pages with the required information.
- Create a sales proposal that prospects will be interested to read all the way through.
- Concentrate on making your sales proposals concise and relevant.
- Mention the pain-points that are worrying about the prospect.
- Don’t include your company’s biography or list of impressive achievements.
- Put in something relevant in your sales proposal that the prospect will connect to from the first paragraph.
3. Provide options to prospects
Have you ever wondered why your proposals are not hitting the right mark with the prospects? Have you given it a thought that the problem might be the options you are providing to your prospects in your sales proposals?
Getting straight to the point, most sales personnel don’t provide ample options to their prospects, and that’s where they lose them. Yes, negotiations are the next step to your proposals. However, that next step might not even come into the prospect’s mind if they do not feel that warmth or friendliness in your sales proposal.
Providing options to your prospects based on your understanding of their objectives is the right way of writing a successful sales proposal.
We all are part of the “always-on-the-go” generation who like to surf the internet to search through the options we can get for our favorite product or service.
- While looking for a smartphone or MacBook, you will see the various options that are available.
- Then you will check the technical specifications of the chosen product.
- Moreover, based on the payment option available to you through the digital seller, you will narrow down your search.
- The best quote, against the best available feature, will win your loyalty.
The same situation applies to the prospects. If you make the mistake of providing them with only one option, then it gets tricky for them to make the decisions and they feel forced to select the options provided. This leads to a situation where they will backtrack from your proposal, and the opportunity will be lost.
Why is this important?
Well, this will allow you to do two things:
- You can put in more expensive options in the sales proposal that have more features than the basic ones.
- You will create options that will dissuade them from looking for alternate vendors.
Prospects like to be treated with goodies. Moreover, the goodies, in this case, are the various options that you are providing them with so that they don’t need to inquire around with other salespersons.
Become the person that attracts the results you seek – Jim Cathcart
4. Outcomes and Results Matter
We have previously established that writing just about the deliverables is not going to make your sales proposal successful. You must understand that your prospects will only pay if they can feel that this purchase will deliver the outcomes and results they are expecting.
5. State the Next Steps
Sales persona helps you to understand the traits prospects display while making purchase decisions. As sales personnel, you must know the prospects’ likes and dislikes, apart from the problem they are currently facing.
- Make yourself aware of the steps they generally take in their customers journey.
- Adhere to those steps for a successful sales conversion in the later stage of your sales process.
- Always keep yourself and the prospect in a loop like a quick review call to discuss the proposal.
- Entertain some questions regarding your offer with proper justification.
- Once you are done, finalize your proposal and outline a short call to action.
6. Make it a contract
After keeping all the points mentioned above in mind, create an attractive, influential and informative sales proposal and at the bottom of it allow prospects to place their signature to make it look like a contractual agreement.
This simple technique increases the chances of a successful close. It is ideally suggested to make your sales proposal the first step of the contract between you and your prospects.
We have a relationship with our customer, and that relationship translates into sales. – Richard Hayne
Summing It Up
Sales proposals are mighty sales instruments, and if crafted intuitively, they can fetch you better deals with your prospects. We hope that this article will help you solve the issue of creating a sound sales proposal.
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