When meeting customers, you make the effort to look good personally (no bed head); to dress neatly in appropriate clothing (matching customers’ cultural dress code);
You show up for appointments on time, and know something about the customer you’re about to meet;
Your business cards and leave-behind marketing materials present your firm professionally;
You work with your marketing department to ensure your firm’s web site is contemporary looking and mobile-friendly.
So, when the opportunity comes to have a customer sign a contract that will give you revenue and profit — why would you submit a proposal that’s out-of-date, tired-looking, bloated with cut-and-paste drivel that’s focused on your firm alone?
Obviously that’s not the message you want to send.
But really, it happens all too often. Why would you put up with it?
When you respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) and submit a B2B sales proposal it’s the moment of truth. Customers can only select your firm when they have a solution to buy.
All those other stages in your B2B sales cycle:
- Targeting Opportunities
- Contacting Leads
- Following Up Prospects
…while important, are secondary to when you submit your sales proposal.
Because up until that moment — all your previous sales efforts are meaningless unless customers have something to sign, unless and until they’re in a position to engage you in their contract process.
If you blow it at the RFP/proposal stage all that prior effort, time and money spent is lost…gone…evaporated into thin air…never to be recaptured.
Your sales proposal must not only be reader-friendly and contemporary-looking (this would be the “beauty” part) but it also must be a smart, well-considered, innovative solution to deliver the outcomes customers are willing to pay for (this’d be the “brains” part).
“A sales proposal is a plan for how things will get done. It shows off your brains for solving customers’ challenges and delivering their outcomes. It had better read smart.”
— Chris Arlen, Revenue-IQ
What this means is that only having a beautiful looking proposal (think fashion magazine proposals) will lose out to a proposal that is both beautiful AND smart.
A beauty AND brains proposal compels the decision makers to read it because it:
- Describes the customer’s specific needs/wants & presents a compelling supplier solution
- Is easy to read with lots of white space, visual harmony, conciseness & clarity
- Presents a supplier (seller) who merits that customer’s bringing them into the fold, and all that entails
When upgrading B2B sales proposals, do more than just the cosmetics, add a sales methodology that brings customer intel into the proposal narrative; where it can do it’s magic and secure the contract.
Beauty gets our attention. Brains seal the deal.