Here are three tips to writing the perfect proposal:
Don’t doubt your expertise in products, pricing, or positioning.
Doubt yourself elsewhere: hire pros for both design and copy.
Use quote management software for every logistical step.
Sales proposal products, pricing, and positioning
You got this!
There’s a reason you got that RFP. Your name is out there, your products are recommended, you’re generally seen as a contender: well done!
Lean into all of this when you’re putting together an RFP response and provide a deep dive into the benefits of your products/services and position them differently than the benefits of competitors’ products/services.
Notice we didn’t say FEATURES? The reason being is that in that RFP, the features your future customer is looking for are generally listed out and they’re also features shared by your competitors.
What’s going to make your sales quote pop will be how you make those product features into customer benefits. It’s not enough to say, “Our widget does X tasks at Y speed.” You need to say how that feature delivers a benefit to the customer: “Our widget can reduce your manual labor costs by Z% as it does X tasks at Y speed.”
In addition to benefit-fueled positioning of your products, you need to ensure the pricing you include is optimized for you and your customer. If you’re using quote management software to create, send, and track quotes, then you’ll have captured data on optimal pricing from earlier proposals and be able to automatically populate following RFP responses accordingly. If you’re doing things manually… well… maybe it’s time to reconsider.
You’re a brilliant writer, a gifted artist, and an accomplished editor
Why are in you in sales?
You know who writes stellar, gripping copy, or executes flawless, engaging proposal designs? People who have dedicated their professional lives and six-figures’ worth of education to it. We’re in sales: let’s do what we do best and sell.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contribute to the copy or drive the design. Just like with your products, how these proposal elements are positioned is well within your purview.
But if you want copy that grabs a reader from the get-go and a design that delivers an improved user experience and furthers the fluidity of each RFP response you send, get professional help.
You can make minor investments in both templated copy and layouts that you can use over and over and over again, and make a professional impression each time.
If you are the writer and designer of your own proposals, good on ya! Just do your best to put a second set of eyes on every sales quote… because it ain’t easy to always catch your own mikstates 😉.
Quote management software makes everything else easy
Yes, products, pricing, positioning, and a professional look and feel to every proposal you send are critical. But so much of an effective sales process comes down to timing in both delivery and follow-up, and this is one area among many where quote management software can make a dramatic difference. Here’s how:
The knowledge you have about your products and pricing can be shared enterprise wide via the software’s product and pricing configuration engine, which you centrally administer.
The investment you (hopefully) made in professional help with copy and layout can be stored in sales proposal templates that every rep can access and lightly edit to meet the needs of each customer.
The follow-up required after a quote is sent can be automated, and tracked every step of the way via the software’s sales analytics and reporting tools.
In short, when it comes to creating the perfect RFP response, there are the people parts (your expertise on products and pricing; professional design and copy) and the process parts. You take care of the people parts, and let your quote management software handle the rest.