Sales Proposals 5 Tips

Posted on November 9, 2012. Filed under: account management, Funnel Audits, Lead Generation, negotiation, Pipeline Measurement, Sales, Sales forecasting, Sales Funnel, Sales Goals, Sales Management, Sales Metrics, Sales pipeline, sales process, Sales Quota, sales training, Sales Velocity, strategic account management, win win |

I want to give you some tips on delivering compelling proposals.

No, not this kind of proposal, though it can be the toughest sale some guys make!

First, the best proposals demonstrate to the customer a good understanding of the customer’s needs.  When you struggle to believe your own proposal it’s probably due to not knowing the customer’s needs that well.  If you have time before you present it consider calling an Advocate to get insight.

Two, try to never just send the proposal in any form.  Unless you don’t have faith in your own selling ability.  A proposal presentation is an excellent opportunity to sell.  You link your solution to the customer’s needs.  You see the reactions of the stakeholders.  You have a better chance of getting the customer to commit to a call to action.  You learn which options the customer prefers and why.  Which leads me to the next tip.

Three, give the customer more than one option to buy from you.  Giving only one option invites the customer to show you the door if that option isn’t valued.  By giving multiple options you show flexibility and willingness to make it work for the customer.  Usually that suggests that once you get the business you’ll continue to work with the customer collaboratively and flexibly.  Finally, by offering more than one option you invite the customer to think of options you haven’t – like combining elements of option 1 and 3 to make option 4.  Again this invites collaboration and improves your chances of making a sale.

Four, don’t be shy about putting the competition in its place.  This is your chance to differentiate.  One way to do that is to be clear about factual shortcomings of the competition.  Offer these clearly with evidence to support them.  Unless the shortcoming is a deal breaker don’t dwell on it.  Quickly move on to the next item.  You’ve made your point.  One way to differentiate you is to put the competition in its place by positioning them away from you.  Remind the stakeholders that you bring a very unique solution to their needs and the competition brings another very unique solution.  Link yours back to the customer’s needs.  If the needs have changed then maybe you’re not the best solution.

Finally, a lot of the success of your proposal lies with having the right stakeholders in the meeting.  Be sure you get them there.  Otherwise you’ll be presenting to stakeholders who have no authority to change and perhaps little influence on those who do.

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