Helping your team members to create genuinely compelling proposals

How to improve sales results with significantly better proposals

Hello Sales Reset Leader

Last week, we looked at how your team members can coach their customers to define more effectively the outcomes that customers are seeking.

If your team members are successful, they will finish every selling conversation with an agreed and prioritised list of the customer’s objectives and key results (OKRs).

In this week’s Weekly Sales Reset, your team members learned how to incorporate these agreed OKRs into their proposals. We’ve emphasised that this approach will make it easier for customers to forward proposals to their colleagues.

How to improve your team's results this week

Evidence of the quality of your team’s proposals

Great coaching starts with evidence of the current situation.

We STRONGLY recommend that you take time to review recent and current proposals from each team member.

We gave your team members a recommended proposal structure in their Weekly Sales Reset.

Here’s the same list with suggestions about the evidence you can seek as you review the quality of your team’s proposals.

  • Title - Does the title create a great first impression, raise curiosity, and highlight the highest priority outcomes for this specific customer?

  • Summary - Is there a summary at the start of the proposal? In our experience, it is often missing or mixed up with the background section.

  • Background - Is there sufficient background to brief various stakeholders without previous engagement with these discussions?

  • Outcomes - What is the quality of the outcomes in the proposal? Are they generic outcomes or specific to this customer? Are the outcomes defined explicitly in ways that enable subsequent reporting of measurable success?

  • Recommendations - How effectively have recommendations been made and connected to desired outcomes? Is the level of detail appropriate, or has your team member over-emphasised this part of the proposal with templated content?

  • Investment - How easily can the customer understand all the most significant commercial implications?

  • Return on Investment - How effectively has your team member made the business case for this proposed investment?

  • Next Actions - Is there a clear and agreed-upon schedule of next actions that will maintain momentum with this opportunity?

  • Appendices - Has your team member effectively included or signposted necessary or valuable resources?

Before leading your coaching sessions, ask your team members to review the current edition of Weekly Sales Reset, which focuses on compelling proposals.

Give yourself time to reflect on WIIFM, “What’s in for me,” and empathise with your team members about how they might be sufficiently motivated to become more skilled in developing effective proposals.

Here’s this week’s recommended coaching session agenda:

  1. Start with a brief review of their experience and results from their previous coaching session.

  2. Ask this team member for their observations about writing effective proposals.

  3. Review the evidence you found in your preparation as you looked at the proposals from this team member.

  4. Identify and prioritise a small range of specific practical things that this team member can do differently and better to improve their proposals.

  5. Spend some time role-playing (working with these guidelines).

  6. Finish the coaching session with agreed and specific action conclusions.

Expected pushback about writing proposals

So you know what to expect and can be prepared, here are three areas of possible pushback from your team members on the theme of writing compelling proposals.

  1. I haven’t got the information - Your team members cannot write compelling proposals without leading the right customer conversations.

  2. I don’t have the time - Some team members might believe proposals are an administrative task that should be fully automated.

  3. I don’t have the writing skills - Many people in selling roles have not developed high-quality business writing skills. This lack of skill might make them insecure about grammar, structure, vocabulary and presentation.

What are your best responses now that you know these potential pushback areas?

Compelling proposals role play recommendations

  1. Pick one aspect of one proposal - Choose the most significant aspect of the most important proposal and role-play the part of the conversation that should have supplied the required information.

  2. Role-play being a recipient - Identify two or three typical roles of the people to whom this proposal might be forwarded. Role-play their possible reaction when reviewing a proposal from their specific role’s perspective and priorities.

  3. Prepare for an important meeting - Look at the team member’s calendar and select the most significant scheduled meeting. Role-play parts of that meeting that must be effective to prepare the best proposal.

Leadership reflective practice

At the end of this week, ask yourself these key questions:

As I reflect on how I developed my team this week, how effectively did I improve the quality of their proposals?

What must I do in the future to retain this focus on increasingly effective and compelling proposals?

We hope you’ve found this edition of Sales Reset Leaders valuable.

Have a great week!

The Sales Reset Team

Sales Reset Founder & Leader

Sales Leadership Coach

How valuable was this issue of Sales Reset Leaders?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Community of Practice

Ask Questions, Share Your Experience

If you have any questions or experience to share:

Do your team members subscribe to our companion weekly newsletter, Weekly Sales Reset?

Should you give each of your team members access to Weekly Sales Reset?

This is a terrific way for your team members to come to every coaching session with you fully prepared! 😃

Subscribers to this week’s Weekly Sales Reset will learn how to coach their customers more effectively.

Make sure to get time in your calendars for coaching this week!


or to participate.