Many a time we find that our proposal to closure ratio is low. We also find that our sales proposal template we fill and submit does not get responses after we submit that to our prospect. This is in spite of the fact that the buyers have spent a lot of time with us and have asked us to send a proposal. They also give us a notional go ahead that they are confident about us doing the job and we think that we have got the go ahead.
We get together a bunch of people within our company and they work on the proposal based on the RFP that has been sent. The team will have one more conversation that clarifies the questions we will have in the RFP. In short, understand the language and the words that have been written in the RFP by the prospect.
The proposals should have a standard template for sure but should have specific content mainly focusing on
1. A short introduction to your company
This one page gives a good overview of who you are and what you do. You can give a contextual snapshot of your services, solutions, and your accomplishments in reference to the opportunity you are discussing with the buyer. This will give the confidence to the buyers that they are dealing with the right company. You can also squeeze in a list of the benefits that your clients have got (if possible, a set of logos or client names in a similar industry as well). This should cover all the benefits you think you can offer to the buyer based on all the sound-bytes you have heard from multiple buyers.
2. Your understanding of the company and the pain points
This one page should give a good overview to the buyer on your understanding about their company, on the issues they face and what they would like to achieve as the end goals. Looking at this will give the buyers the confidence that you, as a vendor, have understood their pain points and they are in good hands
[bctt tweet=”Confidence to multiple buyers – Capture their problem and your capabilities to solve those within the first two pages of the proposal. #salesproposals” username=”csbalaji”]
3. The possible solutions
By this time, the executive team members (the ones who will only scan the proposal ) would have got the idea that you are a good company to deal with. The two pages would have given them the confidence that they are in the right hands.
You can explain how you will be able to help them achieve their business goals. You can now talk about how your solution will solve each of the issues they have told you when you were in the selling stage., You can talk about the solution in detail, also include certain limitations from the buyers’ side and also factor that as part of your solution
In this section, you can highlight the benefits that the buyers will get by implementing or by buying this solution/product from you.
Ultimately, buyers buy a solution based on a business benefit that they would like to achieve. You can include certain charts (if it is possible) where you are able to quantify certain business benefits. Otherwise, you can stick on to what you think the buyer will get if they would adopt your solution.
[bctt tweet=”Highlighting Benefits along with your Solutions adds more power to your proposals. #salesproposals” username=”csbalaji”]
5. Timelines of Delivery
In this section, you can cover the timelines that need to be taken in order to complete the scope of work and the deliverables.
6. Out of Scope
There is a finite chance that you may end up having a disagreement with the customer at the end of the engagement in terms of what needs to be completed. Hence, it is important that you document what will not be included in the deliverables
This need to be documented if there is a quantum of work that needs to be completed by the client for you to be successful. This can range from assigning stakeholders, doing certain quantum of work, giving you undivided attention on certain days or to complete certain milestones, etc
[bctt tweet=”Transparency in the proposal on what the deliverables and the timelines will help you to avoid disagreement with the clients towards the end.#salesproposals” username=”csbalaji”]
8. Financial Terms and Conditions
This should include the entire financial terms in one section. The components would include the total price, the payment schedule against selective milestones or time period, Payment dates and the mode of transfer of payment, etc.
9. Business Terms and Conditions
The legal terms and conditions that include Business and Legal terms that encompass the contract. This will include payment, termination, liability, IP terms, and conditions, Confidentiality, Non-Solicit, Warranty, Governing law to name a few. This would cover you in case there are any disagreements that might come
[bctt tweet=”A well-defined Business, Legal and Financial terms & conditions in the proposal will help you insulate yourself against any legal, payment and customer satisfaction issues.” username=”csbalaji”]
How to increase your closure rates?
Taking care of all these in your proposal will insulate you against any changes in terms of buyers themselves, their mind , their perceived change of scope, and any other related issues that might come in while you are implementing and make sure that you save your reputation, relationships and of course, the payments to you as well. You will have to look at the sales proposal from an enterprise level and not just a single buyer perspective.
Take a look at your existing proposal and think about it from a buyers point of view. What would they be looking for? What is missing in your proposal? You will have to design a sales proposal based on the feedback that you have got so far.
Make a list of those and begin completing those sections. This would get you 1) a higher percentage of closures and 2) a high level of customer satisfaction because of the deliverables documented well.
Make contextual changes in your proposals based on past successes and failures. This will improve your closure rate. Do Share this in your preferred social media channels if you found this article useful..Also, Subscribe to receive constant updates on B2B Sales tips and techniques.
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