3 Secrets to Creating Winning Proposals in Any Market

Once a prospective buyer has been identified and qualified, and the ROI of a potential deal and strategy developed, it is time to develop a proposal to present your offering. Occasionally, this step occurs after an initial, exploratory meeting to determine needs. More often in business to business sales, the proposal is the end result of months of fact finding and discussion. truly are, but it can usually be done based on the research already conducted as part of a formal sales.

Business sales training is not complete without addressing this crucial component, which is too often hurriedly put together using a few PowerPoint slides and graphs, resulting in lost sales opportunities.

Prepare an Excellent Executive Summary

The executive summary should not be brushed off, as it is the most important part of the entire proposal. A weak executive summary ensures the rest of the document will be ignored.

  • Make it compelling. This is often the only part of the entire proposal which is actually thoroughly read, so make it worthwhile.
  • Summarize all of the important facts needed to make a decision. Don’t send the reader into the rest of the document to get answers. The body should be for fleshing out details and to support the arguments in the executive summary as to why the prospect should be buying from you.
  • Close with a strong call to action. Delineate what the next step should be, whether it is a test run, a meeting with the corporate team, or a site visit.

The Body Should Be Concise, Readable, and Persuasive.

The remainder of the text is where you get into details — but make sure you have a professional writer and/or editor working with you to keep everything to the point and persuasive.

  • Avoid long, uninterrupted blocks of text. Break things up into shorter paragraphs.
  • Use plenty of bullet points, white space, and meaningful graphics which are easy to decipher.
  • Keep the jargon down to a minimum. This document might be passed around internally within your target buyer’s organization, so do not alienate those readers who are not technically inclined.
  • Sell. Address the needs of the prospect rather than just focusing on the basic features and benefits.

Make it Mobile

A recent trend is for sales teams to work more fully with iPads and other tablets with which to make their presentations. This is because business documents are increasingly being read and even signed on tablet and smartphone devices, rather than on paper.

Use this to your advantage. Make your proposal easily digestible via mobile devices:

  • Prepare a mobile-only version of your proposal if feasible, in addition to a printable version. This should be optimized for smaller screens, including larger text, bigger graphic elements, etc.
  • Consider incorporating video right in your proposal document. Video is a powerful medium, and is easily embeddable in PDFs and other formats.

Business sales training involves a wide variety of skills, and writing proposals is one well worth acquiring. A solid proposal can cut through buyer fear, even in tough markets. A poor one will just raise doubts in the mind of those you are trying to sell. Avoid this by following the tips above, and ensure any business sales training you invest in addresses this topic.

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