It is indeed frustrating.
You have spent hours creating the perfect proposal, sent it to the prospective customer (who seemed interested) – and hear nothing back.
Creating a proposal is a tedious process. Copying and pasting data from your easy to use CRM, looking for relevant case studies and testimonials, dealing with Excel to calculate the costs, and then after spending hours on those documents, you are unsure if the prospect had spent enough time reading them, or if they have even open your proposal at all.
Now it is true that we are selling in a marketplace that is flooded by advertisements and sales messages. Therefore, it is no wonder that some sales proposals rot in the mailboxes while matters that are “more urgent” are addressed, and others are moved straight to the trash.
Now, as one of the award-winning vendors of small business CRM software solutions, from our long years of experiences here is possibly what is holding your prospects back from signing your proposals and what you can do about it:
The direction is unclear
At times, while trying to be brief, short or concise; proposal writers can be too unclear and vague. In fact, many times they just forget to mention in their proposals facts like why their offering(s) is superior to others, or how their offering(s) can be specifically helpful to the prospect.
Prospective customers need to see a clear and transparent path from A to Z and want to understand the steps they are required to take to get the value the proposal promises to its users.
Now, if you are fearful of being too wordy in your sales proposals, it is advisable that you can use images and videos instead to get your message across.
Therefore, include a testimonial video, or a demonstration that clearly expresses the value of the offering(s) that you are presenting to your prospective customers and how customers can obtain a similar experience with your offering(s).
As people love videos, you can remain ensured that they will watch the one you are putting in your proposals now.
You are not reaching the decision-maker
Irrespective of how well-written or stunning your proposals are if they do reach the eyes of the person in charge of the purchasing decision your proposals will sadly fail to come back signed.
This is because in the B2B industries decision-makers many times employees someone else in the organization to collect the bids and then present them to him/her later on.
It is understandable.
The decision-maker in most B2B companies remain busy and so might not have time to sit through innumerable or lengthy proposal meetings and therefore rely on the collector of the bids to pass all information to the decision-maker, which creates gaps in the sales process.
Hence, it is always a wise idea to ask the collector of the bids to provide the contact information of all the stakeholders and parties involved in the deal, and thereafter email the decision-maker a copy of your proposal.
If you are using an easy to use CRM software by sending the proposal electronically, you can even track opens and views of your proposal with integrated document analytics tools.
It is not personalized for your prospect’s needs
In a proposal assessment study done by Shipley Association, whereby 340 proposals were collected for analyzing their data from 1999 to 2014 and for finding the key best practices and areas of opportunity in creating awesome proposals, it was observed that on average most proposals evaluated in the study scored marginally in a category called “Responsiveness”, which implied that they hardly addressed the prospective customer’s underlying needs.
In today’s marketplace, customers and prospects mostly remain overwhelmed and puzzled by several voices saying “purchase that” or “look at this” in the marketplace.
Nevertheless, as modern customers are also sharp enough to understand that several of these salespeople only care about selling, therefore to set your brand and your proposals apart personalize your proposals using information about the prospect in your CRM database , so that it meets the requirements which your prospective customer actually needs from your products and services.
Additionally, to distinguish yourself from the crowd you can also use the names of the key decision-makers on the cover page of your proposal and thereafter address the pain-points you see them struggling with before clearly stating why or how you can help to solve those issues.
Prospects do not know where to sign or how to pay
Finally, let us fast forward to another common bottleneck that can occur at the low end of your sales funnel.
The prospect has decided to purchase and/or sign the proposal but does not know how to proceed, since the proposal is too wordy or because the payment process seems to need an additional step (such as calling down a sales rep) which the prospective customer does not have time for.
Now in order to handle this situation, we advise you to build your proposals electronically. To do this you can integrate your easy to use CRM software with integrations like Panda Doc or DocuSign (e-signature platforms) or use QuickBooks CRM software that allows your sales reps to use the online accounting software for proposal generation from within their CRM platform seamlessly.
Always remember prospects and customers wants to work with sales reps those that have the best interest of their customers in their mind.
Therefore, use the right tools to eliminate the extra steps that are getting in the way of meeting the solution to the problem that your offering(s) and we can ensure that your company shall find a boost in its revenue and business growth.