Marketing Matters

Blog archive

6 Tips for Compelling Proposals that Prospects Want To Sign

When it comes to marketing content, the early stages of the customer journey seem to get all the attention, whereas proposals -- one of the most important documents in the buying process -- are left to the sales and technical teams to piece together at the last minute. Customers notice.

A hastily built proposal can undo all the hard work of your marketing and sales team to build a professional image. To maintain the momentum of your sales process, proposal templates should be carefully crafted to embody the very best of the business.

Know Your Audience
Technology service proposals are no longer the sole domain of IT teams. Your proposal will likely be reviewed by a number of people, including business and technical decision makers. Just like the rest of your marketing and sales content, proposals should focus on business issues. Explain, in plain terms, how your services are going to benefit each of the business units you expect to serve.

Start with the Benefits
When your prospects have arrived at the proposal stage, they are making a benefits-versus-costs decision. Focus on the benefits, getting as specific as possible. The proposal is an opportunity to demonstrate how much you know about their business and the challenges you can help them solve.

Provide proof points, like case studies. And be prepared to back up your claims if the prospect wants to speak to a current customer. Identify customers who are willing to speak to prospects about the value of your services.

No Big Surprises
The proposal should confirm conversations with sales and technical people, not deliver any new information. If there are issues the prospect has expressed concern about, those should be hashed out before the proposal is presented.

Make It Easy To Scan
Just like any other content, keep your messaging simple and make it easy for the reader to scan. Use subheads and bulleted lists to create an easy-to-read document. Checklists can be very helpful in proposals to spell out the laundry list of services you will deliver. 

Use Graphics
Whenever possible, simplify concepts with graphics. Keep your audience in mind -- business decision makers aren't likely to be interested in a network diagram but they might appreciate a diagram of the support ticket resolution process. Put technical diagrams in the appendix as much as possible.

Pay Attention to the Details
A hastily thrown together proposal with poor formatting or grammatical errors does not instill confidence. Spend the time to create proposal templates that look professional. The marketing, sales and technical teams should collaborate to create pieces of templates that can be assembled quickly and still look polished. 

A proposal should be a document the salesperson delivers to the prospect with pride. Reflecting the professionalism of your company, proposals can be a powerful tool to get your customer relationships off on the right footing.

What do you include in your proposals? Add send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 29, 2017