Even though most salespeople hate writing proposals, they spend a lot of time doing just that. That means managers spend even more time reviewing and revising proposals. Those same managers also spend a lot of time shaking their heads in dismay because the quality of the proposals just isn’t good enough.
Training salespeople to write proposals can feel like banging your head against a wall—and by the time you finish, everyone has a headache. So, let’s make this simple.
My colleague Mark Nichol on Daily Writing Tips shared his best tips on writing proposals, and we turned it into an easy-to-use guide for you and your salespeople. Use it to improve the quality of the proposals going out, and the results that come from them.
According to Mark, writing a good proposal is more of an exercise in persuading than reporting. A winning proposal requires the following elements:
- Summary: A short overview that highlights what will be most important to the buyer
- Statement of Need: Explanation of the problems this proposal solves for the organization
- Description: Detailed explanation of the proposed product and service
- Budget: A detailed breakdown of the pricing model
- Conclusion: Restatement of the important points, including how the proposed purchase will help the buying organization
It’s also important that every salesperson create a proposal that:
- Defines a problem and describes a solution so that the buyer understands the benefits
- Employs facts to bolster the argument for approval. Refer to similar successful projects or explain how the project solves problems or achieves goals
- Demonstrates possible outcomes using models, project plans, and expected results.
- Provides a realistic picture of the entire expense
The final, finishing touch on any effective proposal is clean design and meticulous writing. What the client receives should be easy to understand a free from errors.
The better your salespeople get at writing proposals, the easier your job will be.
How can you lead your sales team to better performance? I can help you make your team stronger and win more deals. Call me for a few ideas, 775-852-5020 or schedule an appointment.