Proposal Coaching: Template and 8 Questions to Ask
Your salespeople need your support. And while they may try to entice you to write or help them with their proposals, in fact they need your support in the form of coaching, not doing their work for them. Of course, when a customer dictates the format of a proposal it is essential to adhere to it. But even with that encourage your salespeople to ask their customer if they may either add to the information requested to help the customer make the best decision.
One way to help salespeople write winning proposals is to provide them with a template to use to organize and structure their recommendations. We've found the following categories apply to almost all proposed solutions!
- Customer Objectives
- Proposed Solution
- Why X (Your Organization)
- X (Your) Team
- Pricing Information/Value Justification
- Organization Chart
- Information on Ownership of Your Company
- Financial Information
- Cover Page
- Table of Contents
- Page Numbers
- Plenty of White Space/Bullets
- Cover letter
- What are the customer's objectives? Priorities?
- What does this customer value?
- What are the elements of our solution?
- How do the elements of our solution relate to the customer's objectives? (look for percentage of customized vs. boilerplate)
- What are the key five or ten customer words/language from your notes you've integrated into our information about us and our solution throughout your proposal? How often do these words appear in our solution? Where?
- What internal resources did you tap into?
- What research did you conduct?
- With whom will you validate your ideas to test your thinking before you presented your proposals?