4. Confirmation of goals
Clearly state your potential customer’s problem as you understand it and list what you believe to be their main goals. This reassures the buyer that you both are on the same page. If there is a misunderstanding or additional goals, your prospect will surely correct you.
Though it may seem redundant to summarize your understanding of what your client wants to accomplish, it prompts buyers to be more honest about what their needs truly are. This allows you to suss out a more accurate picture of what your client wants in an ideal arrangement. It also gives you a chance to rework your proposal and sales pitch—if necessary—so you may effectively address the issues your customer cares about. Therefore, if you don’t get it perfect the first time, you will surely provide a proposal that will thrill your client the second time around.
5. Value-driven deliverables
Recently, a marketing agency owner told me he was able to double his close rate with one simple change to his sales proposals: With each new proposal, he provided a written explanation of his services. He also outlined the process he would take to craft each deliverable and added notes on what the expected outcomes should be.
In the past, his sales proposals featured a basic list of available services alongside cost. For recipients, though, he learned that this didn’t engage them. Most understood what “social media management” meant, in theory, but it became a lot clearer when his proposals stated he would post five new updates every day to his client’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts at times when the client’s audience was available and engaged. He even added that he would take a systematic approach to testing fan and follower engagement at different times of the day to confidently identify which times were the best to post. Finally, potential clients understood what they would receive in exchange for his monthly retainer. Knowing he would take a methodical approach to social media management, customers could more easily justify the cost.
6. Custom packages and pricing
Customers have a habit of changing their minds at the last minute. For example, when people shop online, they typically add more items to their cart than they end up purchasing. During checkout, they may increase the quantity of their favorite items and remove any products they no longer want. Sometimes, too, they continue shopping and add extras they never anticipated buying. After checkout their order may have changed entirely, but for the better.
In B2B sales, buyers exhibit the same impulsive behaviors. Fortunately, you can use their indecision and spontaneity to your advantage by offering customers the option to expand or shrink the scope of the engagement to fit their current needs and budget. According to sales expert Natalie Davies, “Your sales proposal should offer some choice and options for your buyer. Not only will this let you sneak in some other (and more expensive) alternatives or promotions, but will make it seem that you’ve taken the time to craft a personal offer for your potential customer to get to the point of requesting a proposal.”
7. Document analytics
What Document Analytics Can Tell You About Your Sales Proposals
- [Design idea: 3 person icons (like the MSN Messenger icon) with one shaded in]
Who opened your proposal
- [Design idea: a calendar with a green checkmark in it]
When the proposal was opened
- [Design idea: a pair of eyes]
Which pages were read
- [Design idea: a stopwatch]
How long that person spent on each page