It’s important to have goals. That goes for salespeople, executives, students, and every sentient human being on the planet.
In our opinion, it also goes for every quote you send. Yes, the main goal for ALL proposals is revenue, of course, but each proposal can have its own purpose and point, too.
So when you’re putting a quote together, make sure you define the one thing you want it to say, the takeaway for anyone who reads it… What. Is. Its. Goal?
More than “problem, solution, price”
Ask anyone who has ever written one @@what are the three basic ingredients to any business proposal@@, and they’re sure to correctly reply: problem, solution, price. We agree. And those are elements practically baked-in to any proposal automation software worth its salt.
But let’s pretend your proposal is a story (not that crazy of a thing to do: it’s being read, after all). @@Problem, solution, and price are merely plot points in a quote; they’re not the goal@@ of what you’re trying to communicate.
For example, Huckleberry Finn could be described as a story about a kid who runs away, and rides a raft on the Mississippi River with an escaped slave. But Mark Twain’s goal was likely not to list a series of plot points, but get his readers to view race relations differently. You may have gone through the plot points, but you experienced something larger.
And while it may be highfalutin to compare a business proposal to The Great American Novel, we hope it makes you think about the larger point of this critical contact with your prospects: Yes, you want to communicate problem, solution, price, but if your proposal communicates a larger and ideally shared goal, you will make a greater connection. And sales is all about connecting.
Proposal automation software doesn’t make you an automaton
Automating doesn’t mean losing a personal touch in what you send to customers. Just the opposite. Because if you can use proposal automation software for the nuts and bolts of every quote, you have more time and freedom to concentrate on parts where you can make that critical connection.
So start with a built-in template, populate it with products from a cloud-based product catalog, automate pricing, let your sales reporting tools tell you what’s going on after it goes out… but use your personal skills to build a goal and an experience into your proposals that connect with your customers. @@If you’re competing solely on price, you’re simply a commodity.@@
But if you build a goal for each proposal that matters to your prospect (e.g., the goal of proposal A is to establish our environmental bona fides; the goal of proposal B is to connect with the prospect over our shared New Jersey heritage; etc.), you move from pitching a commodity to making a connection, and that’s easily the best business to be in.
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.