Remember your sales proposal is a very important document – it sets the agenda for the sale, differentiates your business from your competitors, and, in your absence, does your selling for you.
I recently worked with a client delivering consultancy services. They had made the startling discovery that their sales success in six-figure qualified deals was less than 20%.
However, they were winning 60-75% of qualified deals which were on average less than £50k in value.
When I investigated, I discovered that they were using the same sales documentation for the big deals as they were for the smaller ones – and this was putting them at a serious disadvantage.
Let me explain. With smaller deals, the buyer usually had the budgetary sign off up to the deal value, so the communication and relationship with this person helped cement the deal. The paperwork – usually two or three pages – was simply a quotation that confirmed the financial details.
With the larger deals, there was typically a buying team involved, each with different requirements for a sub-set of the overall solution. This resulted in a lead buyer orchestrating the whole process, and not everybody being involved in the complete discussion.
The lead buyer would then have to answer any questions raised by the quotation document to his/her team, so they would end up acting as a ‘proxy salesperson’ for my client.
Unfortunately, product knowledge and understanding of the solution were not always present in replies from the lead buyer, which resulted in a loss of confidence in the solution and a failure to win the sale.
My advice – bigger deals need better proposals. Produce a different standard of sales proposals for larger team purchases, thus empowering the lead buyer by addressing the issues raised by the whole team and articulating how these would be handled by the software solution.
The result? Sales conversions for larger deals have steadily grown to their current level of 50%. My client’s proposal is now differentiating the company by spelling out how their solution will help the customer, and letting it do the selling in the absence of a company salesperson.
If you missed last weeks new 5 Minute Guide: 7 Steps to Achieving Winning Sales Performance please download it now to find out how to boost sales. If you want to discover what makes a winning sales proposal then download our whitepaper “Win More Business with a Successful Sales Proposal”.