Are You Making These Basic Proposal Mistakes?

BY Kathy Crosett
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You’ve tried your hardest to get in front of the top decision-​makers at your prospect’s site. But you’ve not been able to advance. What’s your next step? Jay Mitchell advises you to put together a top-​notch business proposal.

The problem with most proposals is that they don’t include what the internal folks at the prospect site want to see. Mitchell shares the details of a study conducted by The Ohio State University to help you understand what prospects are looking for. These decision-​makers are the ones you haven't been able to score a meeting with. But their stamp of approval is a must if you’re going to close the deal.

Project Description

You can snag their attention with a strong project description. Not surprisingly, every buyer expects a proposal to start with a project description. For some inexplicable reason, only 88% of sales reps include a description in their proposal. Don’t make this basic mistake. It will turn off prospects before they even begin to consider what you’re offering.

Value Drivers

In your sales training, you may have learned to address a prospect’s pain points. During your discovery process, you likely asked the business problem the prospect is struggling with. If they’re having trouble selling their parking lot monitoring robots, your description should acknowledge the problem. Then move on to how the features you propose to add to their robots will increase their attractiveness to buyers. Maybe your solution includes faster processing capability. When your prospects incorporate your technology into their robots, they’ll be able to increase sales. These details make up the value drivers of your proposal. Without them, you won't get far.

Nearly 71% of buyers want to see value drivers in pitches from sellers. Don’t be like the 86% of sales reps who ignore this critical detail. That’s right. Only 14% of sellers include value driver details in their proposals. 

Ramp up your win rate by including the specific details your prospects expect to see in sales proposals.