5 Steps to Writing Sales Proposals

Why should we buy your product, Josh?” How often do businesses ask you that question? And how often do you find yourself sending them a proposal without concrete numbers?

Or you’re working with your champion and they just aren’t capable of articulating to their leadership team the expansive amount of benefit your solution offers. I cringe just at the thought of our champion going into an executive meeting and saying something like, “I really like this tool, I think we should buy it!”

5 Steps to Writing Kick-Ass Sales Proposals

In this article I’m going to break down how to send kick ass sales proposals & help your prospect articulate value, that in -turn, will win you more deals using a mix of V2MOM, KPI’s & content.

Mark Benioff’s V2MOM method gives us a clue into how organizations today make complex buying decisions. The final “M” in V2MOM stands for measurement. As in…..

“If we take on this project, how will the organization measure success or failure?”

In a B2B buying scenario with sales cycles longer than a few weeks (especially if you have SDR’s) it’s imperative that they start planting the seed early with questions like these….

-How would you measure the success of a Bizlibrary implementation?

-Have you thought about what Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) would be affected by this project?

-Who would be responsible for tracking that?

This will get the wheels turning in your prospects head about how they’ll prove the ROI to the buying team. It also tests the temperature on how far along the prospect is in their buying cycle. 9 out of 10 times your prospect won’t know the answers to these questions and it’s part of your job to educate them and help build out their use case.

If they know what KPI’s are going to be affected and how they’ll measure success – that’s a huge clue! That means your prospect is extremely far along in the buying cycle and may even have a written plan or requirements sheet.

In most cases, that’s just not what we’re working with. But you’ve planted the seed for measurement and you’ve gotten the prospect thinking about KPI’s. Now it’s time to start putting the pieces together and building your case. Here’s how I suggest you go about doing so throughout your sales cycle.

Step 1:

Uncover the business challenges your prospect is trying to solve by asking questions that align with your solution.

Step 2:

Confirm & agree with the prospect on what KPI would match their business challenge.

Step 3:

Use the pain funnel on the business challenge. Take it all the way to the money and ask “How much do you think this has cost you?”

Step 4:

Use your proof! While on a call with a prospect, position yourself as a expert with external research to back up your claims.

Step 5:

In your follow up email, send a customer success story & your external research. Make sure to encapsulate the important info in the text of the email, assuming they won’t click on your content.

Sandler Pain Funnel

I tirelessly push the Sandler Pain Funnel and if you’re familiar with it you know that the 6th question asks, “How much do you think that has cost you?”. Pushing business challenges this far down the funnel allows us to associate a dollar value with their pain. There’s almost nothing you can do that’s more important in a sales cycle than you and your prospect coming into agreeance on a $ value – associating that $ value with a KPI – then showing them with external and internal research what impact a change in that KPI will make.

For example……

Business Challenge: High potential employees are leaving

KPI: Turnover

$ Value: Onboarding a new employee costs the company on average 20% of the employee salary.

External Research: Forbes article stating that onboarding a new employee costs on average 20% of their annual salary.

Internal Success Story: Customer success story stating that our solution reduced turnover within 6 months by 25%.

Now if our target company is 500 employees we can do some quick math to come up with the potential savings. REMEMBER this is for just one business challenge. The more challenges you uncover the more times you can do this.

Once you have multiple challenges that you’ve worked through this process you’ve got the proof for the pudding.

Now ask these types of questions to your prospect!

“What if your organization had results like this?”

“How would that impact your business?”

“What could that do for your department or your career?

Then go take all of this info and write your proposal’s executive summary with concrete numbers that cannot be ignored.

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