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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Three out of four Sales Proposals fail because of basic mistakes

It’s been a long week!

So, why has it been a long week?  Because of a few statistics!

100% of Buyers know what a “Benefit” is,

but less than 10% of Salespeople
and Only 2% of Marketing people
write Benefits Statements correctly!


And, imperfectly written “benefits”
are NOT Benefits they are just words.


99% of Buyers (100% of Financial Buyers) know what a “Value Proposition” is,
but only 5% of Salespeople write Value Propositions correctly,
(I have not yet seen a Value Proposition in the Marketing Boilerplate, so they score 0%).

Since the New Year I have audited 23 Proposals, they contended against 78 Competitive Proposals,
the win statistic I can’t reveal is how many of my reviews won (due to Client confidentiality).
But you can see that 78 Proposals LOST, THREE out of FOUR are losers!

It is like missing three out of four short putts on long Par 4’s,
you have done all the hard work then you fail at the finish,
change this and you will be a Top Performer!

I launched this new product back in December 2010,

Sales Proposal Evaluation.

You e-mail me your Sales Proposal before you send it to the Prospect

then I ‘audit’ it and give it a rating 1-9.

  • 1, 2, or 3 (Red), sure Loser

  • 4, 5, or 6 (Amber), doubtful winner

  • 7, 8, or 9 (Green), a Winner

I won’t go into the technicalities of the scoring, but I will overview results.

Red, simply means that your proposal has no Buying Reason.
Yes, the Proposal has managed to avoid giving the Prospect any reason to buy.

No Benefits, no Value Proposition, no understanding of the Prospects, needs or purpose.

A Red 2 has also failed basic proof reading, with Grammar and Spelling mistakes.

A Red 1, is actually ‘unreadable’, even if you had nothing to read on a long boring night-time train journey you would not read this Proposal. Microsoft Word detects these with its “Readability Function”, so why do Salespeople (or Marketing) continue to write ‘boilerplate’ this way.

Amber (5 and 4) will have proofreading and readability problems,
but they will also have some BUYING REASONS.
Once they have been tidied up, then they have a chance of succeeding.
They succeed only against Competitor’s Proposals ranked as RED.

If they are against a Competitive GREEN proposal you will LOSE.

Green (7 and 8) will have proofreading and readability problems, but they contain a feast of BUYING REASONS.
If sent out an un-Readable Proposal and with serious Grammar and Spelling problems they could still LOSE,
but when ‘tidied up’ they are sure winners. They cover all the BENEFITS;
they have an understandable VALUE PROPOSITION
(what some people have now ‘reinvented’ into an “outcome”).

Successful Proposals show:

  • WHY the Prospect should accept your offer?
  • HOW your offer fulfils their requirements and needs?
  • WHAT is the Financial Value the Proposition will deliver?

The Proposal does all of this as simply as possible,
as unambiguously and unmistakably as possible and in as few words as possible.
Ideally in a summary with a Picture and a Chart! 

I give my Sales Proposal Rating, then my suggested corrections.

My Pricing reflects my confidence in my ability to do the Audit.

If a RED rated Proposal wins I don’t Charge, and if a Green rating that Loses then I don’t charge.
I always charge for Amber, (win or lose) WHETHER you use my suggestions or not!

£225 value, given FREE of charge

Send me one of your Sales Proposals in “Complete Confidence”,
I delete the file after you acknowledge receipt of the my rating
(test me send me one where you know the out come!)