Our main challenge in business to business sales is "closing the deal". Most prospects have no problem allowing us to give them a quote or estimate. Why would any potential customer ever refuse the opportunity to potentially save money?
It doesn’t cost them anything to allow you to spend hours, days, weeks, or months drafting up the perfect proposal for your products and services. So here you are presented with you big opportunity to show what you’ve got. You draft up the perfect cover letter, sharpen your pencil and do the math to get the best possible price. Your marketing team delivers the perfect content to pitch your product. You bundle that into neat and tidy PDF and send it off to your prospect.
What happens next? Your company ideally should have sales enablement policies and procedures in place to dictate next steps. Follow up with a phone call and/or an email, then mark the deal as won/lost and move on. Everything in customer relationship management flows back to understanding your customers behaviours. By the time your client asks for a proposal they should have progressed to the RFP in your deals pipeline, this is nearing the end of the buyer's journey or the bottom of the sales funnel. From this point forward you should have a clear path to purchase laid out in your Sales CRM.
Personalizing the proposal will help separate you from your competitors and stand out in the prospects mind. Address your contact by name, and identify their specific need or opportunity. Offer up solutions but don’t just list features, focus on the benefits of those features. Most importantly clearly and definitively answer the question ”why do they need your solution?”.
Within your CRM system there are opportunities to gain valuable feedback from your customers behaviour. Tracking email, website visits, page visits, and document tracking are all popular methods of monitoring customer behaviour commonly available in a variety of CRM platforms. To really maximize your analytics you will want to integrate your CRM with a 3rd party proposal writing tool.
Integration will allow you to:
- Personalize using your contacts information from the CRM, saving you the time of duplicating data entry
- Place the proposal directly into your sales pipeline, again saving you valuable data entry time
- Collaborate with team members, share notes and ideas within the proposal
- Communicate with the client through notes within the proposal
- Track email opens and clicks
- Track page views and timed results from within the proposal
These features combined with the analytical power of your CRM will give you increased insight as to why and how you are winning or losing deals. The results of this insight will translate into more won deals, and a more profitable business.