They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, which means every sales proposal you send must hit all the right notes for each prospect. It has to be targeted to their business needs, customized for their industry, and give the prospect a feeling that “this fits.” Because a customer can often get a sinking feeling when you send them the same old stale proposal instead of a real sales proposal.
Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean you need to create a custom proposal from the ground up each time you pitch a new prospect. With an automated sales proposal solution—pre-populated with targeted templates that enable fast and easy customizations—you can ensure a professional, personalized touch in every single pitch you make.
The best part? What feels fresh to your prospect is in fact a repeatable process on your end, one that you can optimize with every customer interaction.
What a sales proposal should not be.
Keeping it fresh is more than just a look-and-feel thing. It’s knowing that a sales proposal is not simply a price point or an estimate, nor is it a business plan, nor is it “about you.” It’s a clear, concise presentation of the customer’s problem and how you’ll solve it.
Yes, there’s a quote in it—and make sure it’s specific: no one likes a ballpark figure—and, yes, there’s a scope of the work you’ll do in it. But the main takeaway for your client after going through your proposal should be: “This company understands me.” Spend as much time defining their problem as you do presenting your solution.
And don’t give anyone a yes/no sales proposal. You should be presenting a multitude of reasons to say “yes.” This doesn’t mean a long proposal, but rather a series of options and choices that puts the prospect in the driver’s seat.
It’s ok if a prospect says no to option 1 if you have given them a reason to say yes to option 2. (Ever seen Mad Men? Don Draper never entered a room with one pitch for his client. There was always an option or two for the client to reject—making them feel empowered—which would in turn give the client a feeling of control when they eventually chose an option to accept… and they always accepted.)
What a sales proposal should be: three “E”s
Engaging! Use “YOU” language. This proposal isn’t about your company—it’s about your prospect. And remember that they need to know their money is well-spent, so say things like, “You will enjoy benefits such as A, B, and C,” rather than “The project will cost X.”
Expeditious! Automating your proposal process means you get there faster, every time. And studies have shown that the sooner a proposal arrives, the more likely it is to close. It’s no secret that the early bird wins.
Electronic! An online proposal gets from you to the client faster, and makes its way among the client’s decision-makers faster. And your sales proposal automation solution should also track proposals, reporting on critical customer touch-points, ensuring a timely response at each step of the process, and more data on your end.
With iQuoteXpress (IQX), you can automate your process and ensure every sales proposal you send is both engaging for customers and effective for your business. And with its ability to easily and quickly customize every quote for every client, IQX can help ensure each proposal you send feels fresh rather than half-baked.
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