If only there was a mathematical formula for sales proposal creation! It would have been so easy to master writing a sales proposal, isn’t it? Every customer has unique business needs and preferences, and it is imperative that every sales proposal is customized to accommodate their demands.
Unfortunately, most sales proposal fail to capture the customers’ needs effectively. In fact, statistics say that 90% of sales proposals don’t lead to sales! But, let’s not focus on the negative by analyzing what wrong the 90% is doing.
We will tell you how the 10% make a winning sales proposal and boost your proposal to conversion ratio.
Table of Contents
1. Understand Customer Needs
The first step towards quote creation is to get a deep insight into the customer’s business. Before you schedule an appointment call, dig into their website, brochures, blogs or any other material you can find to understand the nature of their business. When you meet the customers, engage them by listening to their needs and asking them questions so that you can have an honest discussion about deliverables. This way when you prepare the sales proposal, you would be able to outline the following aspects:
- What is the exact problem or requirement of the customer?
- What benefits can your product offer to meet the customer’s expectations?
- How different your product/solution is from your competitor?
2. Use Sales Proposal Software
We hope that you are not still stuck with the manual proposal creation tools such as MS Excel. Look around; your competitors have switched to proposal template software which can automate the entire process of sales proposal. You can create highly sophisticated, professional, content-rich, accurate and bespoke quotes with the help of sales proposal software at a few clicks! No need to spend hours making a quote and then another few hours rectifying the mistakes. Just imagine what could happen if you fail to make an accurate quote! It will look not only sloppy but also adversely affect your credibility.
There are several other benefits of sales quoting and proposal creations software:
- You can prepare quotes with real-time price and inventory information from multiple distributors. You don’t have to worry about changes in prices or out of stock scenarios by the time quote reaches the customers.
- You can create, modify, send and manage quotes easily.
- You can include upsell and cross-sell suggestions in the quotes.
- You can track the status of the quote and view its full history.
3. Pay Attention to the Format
Remember that your quote is not the only one to reach the customers. Your competitors’ quotes are too sitting in the e-mail boxes or on desks of customers. So, how would you make sure that your sales proposal stands out from the pack and helps drives sales? Simply by making it more effective!
First of all, find out if there if the client has laid out any particular format or outline for the sales proposal. If yes, then adhere to it. If no, then the following tips should help you:
- Keep it short and sweet. Focus only on what is relevant to closing the sales. Ideally, the proposal should not exceed more than two pages. Who has the time to scan through a proposal which appears like a thesis?
- Make it more interactive with multimedia (by embedding a product demo video or images, visual comparisons) and adjustable pricing calculations (so that customers can change the quantity or break down the cost, taxes and discounts).
- Support your statements with real facts and statistics to lend authenticity to your proposal.
- Give at least three options to customers – expensive to the low budget solution. This will ensure that you can pitch your high revenue product but at the same time offer an affordable so that the customers end up comparing three options suggested b y you instead of that of competitors.
4. Do Not Forget Call-to-Action
Your sales proposal should end with a strong call-to-action statement. If you are using sales proposal software, then it should have a call-to-action button or menu which directs customers to next step such as making payment or signing the contract. This will ensure that once the customers have made the purchasing decision, they do not get much time to retract it or pause for days/weeks to reconsider it. Even a statement like ‘Please contact us on XYZ number to finalize the proposal’ is call-to-action. Call-to-action creates a psychological impact and nudges customers to take action promptly.
5. Include Digital Signature Options
Sometimes, proposals fail to convert merely due to wanting of signatures. If your proposal requires being manually printed, signed and scanned back to you, then there is a high probability that the actual conversion can take days and meanwhile, customers may lose interest. So, it is advisable to incorporate a digital signature technology in your sales proposals. It enables your customers to electronically sign the document. While customers are saved from administrative hassles, you get a speedy conversion!
6. Embed Payment Feature
Payments are another reason why most sales proposals get stuck. Often after the customers approve the quote or sign the proposals, they have to go through another step of logging onto the payment page and make the payment to you. Once they lift their eyes from your sales proposals, anything can happen. They can postpone the payment for some or other reason. So, even if you are close to conversion, you haven’t closed the deal. A payment feature embedded into sales proposal will ensure that customers can access the payment page directly via a link or even better enter their credit card details on the document itself. There you go, the deal is sealed!
A winnable sales proposal is all it takes to push the greatness of your product to your product. Follow the above tips and watch for the results yourself.
Have any questions regarding sales proposal? Just drop your queries in the comments below:
To know why it is important to use proposal software, read the following article: