One way to sell more products and services is to improve your proposal process. The fastest and easiest way to improve the quality and persuasiveness of your proposals is to develop a proposal template that all sales representatives use. Understand how to develop an optimized proposal template and what that template should contain and you will improve your sales process.
Ask all of your salespeople to provide samples of proposals they have written and if the proposal generated a sale. Review the proposals and make note of what you think the best ideas and content area. Check with industry trade associations and contacts you may have at other companies serving similar markets as you do to look for additional template optimization ideas.
Include an introduction. This personalizes the proposal and provides an opportunity to thank the prospect for the proposal opportunity. It also allows the representative to compliment the prospect.
Include a list of features of what is being sold and the benefits of each of those features. The salesperson can then select and use the features and benefits that best apply to the prospect for whom the proposal is being written. Sales proposals should not only list the features of what is being sold but, more importantly, the benefits of those features. Different benefits may be more important to different prospects.
Write and provide a company background sheet for inclusion in the proposal because a prospect is buying a complete package--your company and the item being sold. Stress company benefits such as a 24/7 customer service department.
Provide a sheet as part of the template that includes testimonials from satisfied customers. Testimonials add credibility to your company and positively positions what you are selling.
Develop and provide a cost work-up sheet for the salesperson to break out costs into logical components. Leave space for all cost elements to be completed, such as freight and taxes.
Include a contract or agreement for the customer to sign. Consider providing the prospect with a reason to place an order now.
Keep statistics on the percent of sales made with the proposal template versus what the percent of sales was in the past. In six months, reevaluate how to fine tune and improve the template.
Avoid a rigid approach requiring that all sales reps follow the format of the proposal template at all times. This will demotivate some reps and does not allow for proposing in a different way based on unique situations.
- Keep statistics on the percent of sales made with the proposal template versus what the percent of sales was in the past. In six months, reevaluate how to fine tune and improve the template.
- Avoid a rigid approach requiring that all sales reps follow the format of the proposal template at all times. This will demotivate some reps and does not allow for proposing in a different way based on unique situations.
Frank Girard is a copywriter and marketing consultant who has been working in the field since 1995. He has published ebooks, including "How to Succeed as a Freelance Marketing Consultant" and "101 Questions and Answers About Internet Marketing." Girard provides freelance copywriting work for clients around the country. He has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of North Carolina.