Sales proposals - can't live with them, can't live without them. As a salesperson, you may either love them or hate them, but you can't ignore them. And while writing sales proposals could seem like an arduous task, they are one of the most critical tools in your salesman toolbox.
As you know, sales proposals can either make or break your deal. And when done right, not only will a proposal help seal the deal, but it'll also help establish a long-term relationship with a client, maybe even land a few good recommendations.
But knocking your sales proposal out of the park may not happen with the first swing. And as much as we'd like, there's no secret recipe for writing the perfect sales proposal.
But don't fret, for there are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to help you.
In this article, we'll cover the basics of sales proposals, how you can write a winning sales proposal, and how you should pitch your sales proposal.
So let's get to it.
What are sales proposals?
You're probably familiar with sales proposals, so just a quick brush up.
A sales proposal is a document used by an individual or a business to pitch their products or services to potential buyers and clients.
Sales proposals are usually used by sales teams, agencies consultants, and anyone seeking to explain how they can fulfil the needs of their target market.
Now to the segment we've all been waiting for
How to write a winning sales proposal?
Your business is unique, and so are the products and services that you offer. This should be the focus of your sales proposal -your primary selling point.
But no matter how unique your business is, there are a few universal tips and tricks to writing winning sales proposals. So use these tips to help you make your proposals the best versions of themselves.
Emphasize on the prospect's objectives. It's common to write proposals that concentrate solely on the deliverables that you offer. These proposals often focus on listing the features and benefits of the product or service. And while this is not wrong, your prospect is more likely interested in how your products and services can serve their objectives.
Instead of dwelling on what you have to offer, you should emphasize on the central issues that your prospect needs to solve. Start at this point and reel your prospects in.
As previously mentioned, most salespeople write suggestions that are entirely focused on what they have to offer. It's lines and lines of how great their product and service is, the features, benefits etc. And while a brief overview of the features and advantages is required, this approach misses the mark: Prospects don't buy deliverables, they want to see outcomes and results.
So use the proposal as a medium to express what effects and outcomes your prospect will receive. Once you've established how you can help them, you can talk then about the deliverables but keep in mind, no dwelling.
When it comes to business, you need to keep your competitors close as you will learn valuable lessons from them. How are your deliverables different from those of your competitors? What gaps can you fill for your prospects that your competitors haven't?
By monitoring your competitors and their practices, you'll get familiar with things about your target market, such as:
- Interests, habits, needs and challenges of your target audience.
- Sales strategies and tactics that bring results
- Types of sales proposals that have worked for your competitors.
If you're a novice at writing sales proposals, monitoring your competition and their processes will give you ideas on how you can pitch your prospect and write winning sales proposals.
Would you like to read pages and pages of how great a product or service is? Your answer is likely no, so why make your prospects go through that.
A large number of proposals are way too long and can sometimes be a snooze fest. So it should come as no surprise that prospects would choose to just flip through such proposals and miss out on important information. Now, we wouldn't want that, would we? Especially considering the amount of time and effort you put into the proposal. Don't worry, the solution is simple: keep your proposal short and sweet. Ensure that it doesn't extend beyond a page or two.
By doing so, you can produce a proposal that is far more likely to be read by prospects all the way through. Brevity is the key, so keep it short yet relevant. Most importantly, focus on what is important to the prospect and don't throw in all your accolades and accomplishments. As tempting as it might be, limit this to a line or two at the end of your proposal.
Imagine going to a store and finding out that there is only one product available? While that might suffice to meet your requirement, you would prefer more options, wouldn't you?
Similarly, most sales proposals offer only one solution or option. This is an area where salespeople lose out. Instead of providing the prospect with only one option, offer him/her with a few options to choose from. This will achieve two things. First, you can provide higher-level options (to be read as more expensive) in your proposal. This often leads to the prospect bringing in more money than you'd anticipated.
Second, by providing a sense of optionality and giving your prospect choices, they won't be tempted to look at alternative businesses - you'll serve as your competitor. By doing this, prospects will feel they have more options to choose from, and you may end up bagging a bigger deal than you'd expected—a perfect win-win situation.
You can seal the deal by showing your prospects that you aren't just selling them a product or a service but selling them value.
By showing them you're selling them an opportunity to be successful, you'll end up getting a higher conversion rate.
Also clearly include your pricing and plans in detail- don't leave any room for interpretation. When you explain the price, start with the highest-priced option and move to the lowest priced one. As previously mentioned, this gives your prospect the liberty to choose the option they prefer.
Last but not least, seal the deal by adding an area at the bottom of your proposal for prospects to sign. This fundamental trick will increase the likelihood that a prospect will get into business with you. You can always create a more complex contract down later. But ideally, your sales proposal should lead the way to seal the deal.
However, before you can get working on your sales proposal, you need to sell your idea right. And the best way to do that is by using a killer sales pitch. Your sales pitch is what'll initially get the prospect interested in what you have to offer.
When you are planning your pitch, there are some tested ways to stand out. For instance, check out Danny Wong's tips to create a sales pitch. He offers three essential tips that will help you overcome hurdles and deliver your best sales pitch.
You can also check out the blog by Pipedrive, which takes you through the nuances of perfect pitching and will help you nail that sales pitch.
Summing it up
There, we've covered it all. And while there is no secret sauce or recipe, these tips and tricks will surely help you draft a winning sales proposal. It's time to bring those leads home.