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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Danger Of Breathtaking Proposals

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You gotta know that modern software and a bevy of specifically-trained digital layout specialists is lifting the tide for everyone when it comes to creating absolutely gorgeous proposals. Who knows what tomorrow’s technology will produce for us. Perhaps 3-D versions of a proposal delivered by hologram, featuring the best-looking and best-sounding salesperson technology can conjure up.  Intriguing to think of, isn’t it?

Despite the fact that very few proposals are unattractive these days, I hear from salespeople that it seems fewer of them actually get read—or if they are delivered in person, not enough of them are being sold. So what is going on? What the high-powered graphics packages don’t take into account is that a proposal must me more than a pretty face. CONTENT trumps appearance 9.9 times out of 10.  A plain-looking proposal with strong content is more likely to sell than a graphically appealing production with weak or generic content. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

Close More Deals and Build Long-term Customers Using a No-surprise Proposal

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Surprises are fun when they are part of a birthday; not so much when they are involved in selling. Salespeople should do their due diligence to minimize surprises during the sales process, especially when presenting and closing proposals.

Salespeople can improve their closing ratio and improve customer results using a no-surprise proposal (NSP) technique by clarifying these five things before they build and present a proposal:

Topics: Proposal Sales

What Marriage Proposals Teach Us About Business Proposals

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I’ve been divorced and remarried. I’ve also lost and closed sales opportunities. As I think about the courtship of either kind of relationship, I’m reminded of how a marriage proposal simulates both really great and not-so-great business proposals. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

The Language In Your Proposal Might Be Holding You Back

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Recently I had a conversation with a manager where she was expressing concern about the language she was seeing in their proposals. In reading them over, the words were crisp and highly descriptive. The problem was, the language and terms were those they use in their own internal discussions—their industry jargon. This is a problem. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

How to Close Sales Faster Than Ever Before

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Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game, right? Of course! The more you have out there, the better off you are, so I’ll agree that sales is a numbers game. But, today I am going to argue that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

I’ll start by asking you, how many times have you heard or said: "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!” C’mon—be honest! If you are like most people, you’re thinking that’s not so uncommon. 

I have to ask you, does anyone actually get paid on pending? Not anyone that I know. That’s the catch.

And that is also what tells me that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

Topics: discussing price Proposal sales strategy Sales

Why 75% of Proposals Will Never Close, and 10 Ways to Improve

Proposals

These days it seems like every time I ask someone in sales how they’re doing, I get the same response: “I’ve got a lot pending!” This has become so prevalent in every market I visit, I could easily be convinced that compensation plans have changed so radically that people are now getting paid on pending! Because I know this is not case, I also know we have a problem. 

500 Proposals Don’t Lie

Over the last 6 months, I reviewed over 500 proposals from a variety of B2B sales organizations. These were all legitimate proposals, actually presented to a prospect or client, and they have provided me with some valuable insight that I am going to share with you today. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

Improve Your Proposals, Improve Your Performance

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Salespeople too often rush to deliver their proposal to the prospect, often believing that the sooner they deliver it the sooner they’ll get the order. Maybe—but only if it’s the right proposal, fully vetted.

Instead of being in a hurry to hand off the proposal, be in a hurry to uncover all the possible objections. Ensure that the vetting process happens by finding all the decision-influencers, running the plan past them, and looking for problems. When you’re present for that vetting, you can fix the problems and switch thumbs-down opposition to thumbs-up support. If you’re not there, you won’t know the issues and you won’t be able to do anything about them.

Topics: Proposal Sales

Improve Your Sales Performance: Don’t Become a Victim of Your Own Success

Sales PerformanceI see this happening all the time. You may not stop to think about it, but it’s probably happened to you. 

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis sales performance Sales

Sales Strategy: Tired of Hearing "Give Me Some Time to Think About It?"

Sales Strategy

Topics: Proposal sales strategy Sales

Does Your Sales Process Turn the Prospect into a Spectator?

sales strategyThink of the last family wedding you attended. Did you sit at a table with Aunt Nelda, picking at your salad? Or did you get up and mingle and dance? Did you do the funky chicken?

Topics: Proposal setting expectations new business development Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales