Heard about the three R’s? Reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic?
In a business proposal template, we follow the three C’s: customizable, customer-friendly, and clean. (Bonus: unlike the three so-called R’s, the three C’s don’t force you to mutilate the English language!)
Easily customizable—a keystone of proposal templates
When you think about it, every proposal is customizable… in some cases, you only need to be a designer with a deep set of Photoshop or InDesign skills, in others you only need a bottle of White-Out. Ugh.
For salespeople, it’s all about how easy is it to customize. Do we have to take time to learn a new programming language, or can we just drag and drop what we need? One of the benefits of CPQ software is the availability of easily customizable templates. With the right CPQ software, you should be able to change a headline or add an image using all the technical know-how it takes to send an email.
Before you choose a configure, price, quote solution, give it a test run and check out its customizable templates. Ensure there are some in there that you can use right now… because the time when a request for a quote comes in is not the ideal time to find out you don’t have a template you can use.
Customer-friendly: the quote’s for them, not you
@@Put your audience and their business front and center in every quote you send.@@ Whether you build your templates yourself or hire a designer, ensure each template leads with information about your customer, images that reflect their business, even testimonials (where appropriate) from similar businesses in their vertical.
We know it’s tempting when you’re building a quote template—or any sales collateral, for that matter—to trumpet your strengths. And you should… just make sure, before you talk about yourself and your solution, that you have first talked about the customer and the problem they’re trying to solve. After all, the equation is problem/solution, not solution/problem.
A clean proposal, free of tpyos and other mistooks
"Clean" applies to the design (proper indents, smart fonts, clear imagery), and to the words. And while you can address the cleanliness of the design at the template stage, the words can be tricky because they’re adapted for each prospect.
Run your proposal by a coworker who knows that a quote must be written well (rather than good). And if you don’t have anyone like that on staff, for just a few dollars you can send any quote out for a proofreading (there are dozens of online services that can help). @@You’ll never catch your own mistakes, at least not all of them.@@ (And if you’re like every single person who has ever lived, you make mistakes.)
We’re not saying this needs to be done every time, but it should probably be done with every proposal template. It’s too easy to miss a business opportunity because of a typo. Your quote is usually one of many—make sure it’s clean and easy to read and free of mistakes.
So if you’re considering CPQ, always remember CCC in your templates and every proposal you send will help you to ABC (always be closing).
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.