Why guesses are good for jelly beans but not your business proposals

In large groups, people are actually pretty good at guessing. If you let a bunch of people guess how many jelly beans are in a jar and then take the average of their answers, they'll actually be right most of the time (within a jelly bean or two of course).

But unfortunately that's just not the case when it comes to business proposals: you can't put a bunch of wild guesses into them and hope to convert. That's because @@with each prospect you only get one shot, so you've got to make it count.@@

And if you're in the business of B2B selling, we can help you make that shot count. Why? Because we know business people. If you're a business person, you probably try to base your decisions on reason and research—not wild guesses. We know this because we're business people, too, and that's how we try to make our decisions. Not only that, we here at iQuoteXpress have designed online proposal software explicitly to help your B2B sales.

Because business people tend to have a lot in common, you can use that to your advantage when drawing up your proposals. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help you get the guesswork out of B2B sales.

Proposal best practices 1

1: Business people want investments, not costs

Compared to B2B sales, selling ice cream is easy. All you have to do is convince a potential customer (i.e., everyone) that they will be happier with ice cream right this minute and, voila, you have a sale! But most B2B sales are more like insurance than ice cream: your prospects are thinking about how what they buy will help them in the future, not today.

What that means for your proposals is that you want to present what you're selling as an investment. That means convincing each prospect that what they're buying will be worth more to them in a year than their costs today—show them data, not guesses. And if you're feeling really ambitious, try to convince them that your product is not just a good investment, but the best investment.

Doing so is easy with online proposal software like iQuoteXpress (IQX). Our CPQ software makes it easy to create a proposal template that puts your prospect's ROI front and center. Further, if you frequently sell to a particular kind of business, the software makes it easier as you move forward in a specific market. You can optimize new proposals based on the sales analytics gathered from previous proposals: Which ones converted? Which ones stalled? Etc.

Proposal best practices 2

2: Business people care about relationships as much as they care about investments

Even if it sometimes seems that business people try to make their decisions based only on numbers and data, they certainly don't. (Only robots really manage that.) Instead, business people make their decisions based at least in part on personal relationships.

Which is why you need your B2B sales process to always keep those personal relationships in mind. If you let correspondence fall through the cracks, it probably doesn't matter how good a job you do convincing a prospect that you offer an amazing ROI.

The right online proposal software makes it easy to stay on top of those relationships which are too important to leave to guesswork.

If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.