Complacency in Sales Proposals

I have a dream” — “To be, or not to be” — “Four score and seven years ago…

Do you recognize these from the few words shown?

They’re memorable because of what they mean and stand for, not just because they’ve been heard before.

In the B2B world we can make sales writing memorable too by matching the seriousness and commitment of those historic writings.

In sales proposals, as in life, the written word matters.

For those of us who write sales proposals, we’re overly familiar with ours. And we end up believing our customers are tired and bored of getting them, which is true because:

Customers don’t care about canned, anonymous, mass-produced proposals.

Customers are interested in reading proposals that show insights into their business; that paint a picture of their winning future; and that help avoid their pitfalls on the road to success.

The Opportunity & The Burden

Being familiar with proposals may not breed contempt but it can certainly breed complacency among sales and marketing folks.

As a result, we may not always do the challenging work to create engaging and compelling proposals: That work is the effort needed to be persuasive, the work that increases our chances of customers awarding us contracts.

Writing sales proposals gives us opportunities to win more often. B2B contractors can create between three and thirty proposals a month. That’s a lot of chances.

The burden then is on sales and marketing to continuously improve their proposal writing. It takes courage, creativity, and intelligence to do the work rather than pushing documents out the door just before deadlines.

It’s Not a Calling – It’s A Craft

Writing sales proposals will never reach the status of being a New York Times bestseller.

But when done successfully, it can create jobs, employ communities, raise revenues, and support businesses – if it’s given the seriousness and commitment it deserves.

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No Time for Waffling