How to Write Customer-Driven Sales Proposals
Are you writing your sales proposals from your—the seller’s—perspective, or the prospect’s? If your proposals are written from your point of view, they’re probably missing the mark.
There are two types of proposals: sales-driven and customer-driven. While the former focuses on what the seller thinks the buyer wants, the latter actually meets the buyer’s expectations. If the gap between the seller’s perception of what the buyer wants and the buyer’s actual expectations is too wide, the prospect has little reason to buy.
Template vs. Content
While it’s important you have a sales proposal template locked in, ensuring all branding and necessary legal information is included in every proposal that goes out, you don’t want to simply change the name and date on the cover of the proposal and send it to multiple prospects.
While certain aspects of your proposals should be the same, you need to customize the content for every prospective buyer. This is a huge difference between sales-driven and customer-driven sales proposals.
Think about it this way: if you’re simply trying to sell your product or service, all of your proposal content could be virtually the same. However, if you’re trying to help the buyer buy instead of solely trying to sell, you’re going to need to make sure the proposal content specifically addresses your prospect’s pain points and how your solution can help solve them.
Focusing on the Customer
Customer-driven sales proposals carefully and specifically outline the prospect’s unique needs and wants, thereby meeting his or her individual expectations.
In order to properly put this proposal together, you’re going to need to do a fair amount of research. After all, how will you understand and be able to articulate your prospect’s pain points if you don’t understand their particular industry and how their business fits into it?
Once your research is complete and you’re able to accurately outline the buyer’s business needs, it’s time to focus on how your solution can help. Remember, this has to be done with the aim to help and focus on the customer, not talk yourself up. That’s why it’s incredibly important to focus on the specific financial and non-financial benefits your solution can offer the buyer (not solely on pricing and/or additional features or services you offer).
To put it simply, customer-driven sales proposals should include a lot of buyer information and minimal seller information. Remember: this proposal is about them and their business, not you and yours.
If you successfully demonstrate that you thoroughly understand their business problem and that your product or service is the best solution to that problem, you’ve got the deal in the bag.
When in doubt, just think customer, customer, customer!