The best sales proposals make a prospect feel comfortable, like a well-worn couch in a family rec-room, or dad’s recliner, or — for us B2B people — like a Herman Miller Aeron chair.
At IQX, we have more than a few clients working in the custom- and office-furniture markets and, when we have discussed it with these clients, we’ve realized that using an online business quote generator makes building a custom proposal very similar to furnishing a home or work space.
You start with a proper foundation: in a home this would be an actual foundation or a wood floor; in a sales quote, this would be a template. Then, to your home or quote, you add furniture or products, lighting or pricing, etc., building it to suit the exact needs of the resident or customer.
In this post, we’re going to help you @@learn to build a sales proposal from the ground up, and make it as inviting as possible.@@
Vertical market: furniture
A sales proposal should read in a linear fashion, going from point A to points, B, C, and D finishing at Z. However, with a CPQ solution, your linear proposals are actually built in a modular fashion.
You begin with a basic template, ideally one that is somewhat customized to your target market. E.g., if you’re selling software, your template may have a section set aside for integration and support; if you’re selling office furniture, your template may have a section for delivery and/or assembly services.
Then, you use a products and pricing catalog to stack modules on top of your foundation. With an online business quote generator, it’s fast and easy as all your products and pricing are preconfigured and hosted in the cloud. You simply point and click to add them to your quotes.
A fresh coat of paint, a manicured front lawn
Modular does not mean boring. If you’re using CPQ to its fullest potential, you have customized your quotes in two ways: 1) to build and reflect your brand, and 2) to address your specific prospect. (Same way you’d customize the outside of a home or office to both show a little of who you are while also showing how you fit into the community..)
Your custom templates? They should have custom colors and fonts that are in line with your business’s signage, logos, and collateral.
And each page of your quote should have a subtle reminder of your company’s value — sometimes it’s a tagline, sometimes an image, and sometimes it’s simply the products you sell.
Your prospect should feel that the document in their hands is consistent on all fronts, and should come away from it knowing not just what your business offers, but what it represents.
Additionally, your prospect should feel that the quote you generated addresses not just the tactical business challenge they put forth in an RFP, but their overarching business strategy. Your goal — in almost every quote you send — is to earn repeat business. A targeted, customized, well-branded quote with a customer-focus is always the first step.
No matter what market you serve — online or off — the customer wants to feel comfortable, and a CPQ solution can help make “delivering comfort” an easier undertaking.
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.