Many Sales Leaders are looking to gain a fast start on Q4 – starting with Q3 deals that slid. The ability to forecast accurately vexes many organizations. Studies show organizations that link forecasting stages to validated sales behaviors and proven effective selling practices get it right more often – just as experience and common sense might also lead one to expect.
Identifying these best practices and developing a repeatable process that insures key sales behaviors occur takes time – and because the stakes are so big it is indeed important that businesses get it right. For businesses that still may be a year or two away from accomplishing this, there may be something they can do to improve sales execution in the short term. Insights often lie in a key selling document – the Sales Proposal.
To be specific, I am not referring RFP Responses (although these may also be insightful) but rather the Sales Proposal that is the culmination of proactive, value-focused customer interactions (we hope). This is the document that your sellers place in the hands of your prospects at that critical moment when asking them to consummate that most sacred act of faith in business – becoming a customer.
Compare the sales proposals of your top, middle and low performers for a similar product or solution – what story do they tell? Do you see why this is the best use of your prospect’s money? Does the proposal clearly identify the problems that your solution will solve – not “typical” problems, but specific problems the prospect has shared about their business? Does it explain why your solution is the best solution for their business, or why your company is uniquely capable in meeting their needs? Are the proof points provided specific to their business and problems?
If you are like many of the B2B sales organizations today, there are more people involved on the buyer side in evaluating the purchasing decision than ever before – and chances are good that there may be financial decision makers who have had little or no interaction with your salespeople. When you think about it, it’s not only “usual suspects” of competitors in your industry that you have to consider – it is also every other business that is fighting for their share of the wallet.
Your Sales Proposal is Your Sales Execution Litmus Test http://bit.ly/1Q2u61w
If your sales proposal does not convey a clear and compelling story to you, chances are it may not be conveying one to your prospects either. Financial decision makers may be relegating your products and services to consideration in future quarters. To learn more about what makes a good sales proposal, check out our “How to Write a Winning Proposal” to make sure you are you’re on target.
The measurement of your sales proposal – be it good or bad – is directly correlated to your sales execution effectiveness. While it may seem like just another sales document, be sure you are giving it the respect it deserves!