Sales, in comparison to any other business activity, is the number one revenue generating activity you can have.
For many businesses, a strongly written sales proposal can result in a long-term business arrangement and can even be the key to help save a struggling company. It is important to examine the strength of your proposal prior to delivering it to any potential clients to ensure that it is short, to the point, and factual.
Buyers like numbers and honest projections based upon industry trends and direct product comparisons. Here are 5 hacks for writing better sales proposals.
1. Know your Customer
Before you even start writing your sales proposal, research is necessary. It is just as important to know about your potential clients, as it is to be knowledgeable about your product or service. You should also research the client's position in the industry, the buying pattern, and the average length of a business relationship. This gives you a general idea of how your potential client operates and what the company's business model looks like.
You must be able to relate to your customer. You have to know what his or her business goals are, and what their company needs. It is preferred that you write individualized proposals for each potential client so that you can make a business-specific point within the proposal.
The company will be shown that you have done your research and know what they need or that your product is better than what they are using now.
2. Have Confidence
The type of language that you use in your sales proposal helps determine its strength. Potential clients can sense weakness, even through simple words. Your words must show confidence to be believable.
If you know that your proposal is not going to result in a sale, do not spend the time sending it and following up on it. Only distribute your sales proposal once you have full confidence in it and believe it is strong.
To further show confidence in your words, set your writing software to detect passive voice. When running a spelling and grammar check, it will also check for passive voice. While a couple of sentences including passive voice is okay, your entire proposal cannot be. Remove as much of the passive speech as possible and read the proposal aloud prior to distributing it for consideration.
3. Templates Help
Formatting a sales template can be difficult. You can use templates to help format the proposal, like those available through Proposable as an example, to ensure that the right information is in the right place.
You should use an approach including a major fact or feature with supporting information. Stay on topic and do not stray off into topics that are industry-generalizations.
Depending on your needs, there are different templates available. It is important to examine the options and ensure that you are selecting the right template. Presenting your information in the proper way can be the make or break point of a potential deal.
4. Use Comparisons
Although a sales proposal is supposed to be short and to the point, including two or three comparisons within it is ideal. You should provide direct features and performance comparisons.
Refrain from including information that is unfounded and merely claimed as that discredits your company and your sales department. Keep the information factual and non-defamatory.
Bashing your competition is no way to gain new clients, simply show why your product out performs the competition without saying what the competition is doing wrong.
5. Avoid Price Range Use
Potential customers do not want to see price ranges in sales proposals. Provide specific examples with specific pricing. Even though a price range is given, it is not telling the customer how much their particular product actually costs.
A good approach here is to provide three main options with exact pricing in your proposal. Also, provide a short description of the product/service and why your potential customer needs it.
Once your proposal is complete, have a third party view it. It should be someone that is in the industry, or within your same company, that understands sales. Once your proposal is complete, distribute it to the proper channels and begin the follow-up process.
In the follow-up process, you should be attempting to make appointments for face-to-face meetings to further expand on the information presented in the sales proposal. A full demonstration or presentation should be completed for these meetings.
What are some hacks that you use to make your proposals better?