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3 August - Proposal outcomes with numbers are stronger than just words

Identify measurable proposal outcomes and spell out the KPI improvements

Hello Subscriber,

This week we’re looking together at how to write more compelling proposals.

Yesterday, our focus was on proposal outcomes. We concluded that the most important thing to prioritise in your proposals is what your proposals will do for your customers. You practised writing proposal titles that were all about the outcomes customers will achieve if they go ahead with our proposals.

Today, we’re taking this idea one step further. But it is a BIG step!

Here are two ways of defining proposal outcomes:

  1. Proposal outcomes that are defined in words

  2. Proposal outcomes that are defined in numbers

Which is better?

Let’s look at an example

Here are two proposals. Which is stronger and more compelling?

  1. If you commit to practice and improve your selling skills by using the ideas in these Daily Sales Reset emails, you can expect to improve your sales results and career earnings significantly.

  2. If you commit at least 15 minutes every day to practise and improve your selling skills by using the ideas in these Daily Sales Reset emails, you should expect to improve your sales results and career earnings by at least 50% over the next three years.

Which is the stronger proposal?

Proposal outcomes that are all about numbers are typically stronger than outcomes that are only described in words.

People who are most effective in selling roles are familiar with two important acronyms. If you don’t know enough about these topics, click the links to learn more.

Ideally, you will:

  1. Identify KPIs - Identify the most significant key performance indicators (KPIs) that relate to your products and services for this customer.

  2. Establish Current Performance - Identify the levels of performance for these KPIs that are currently being achieved by your customer. Include these in your proposal.

  3. Review possible outcomes with your customer and how these outcomes can be reported using your chosen KPIs.

  4. Agree on Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for achievable improvements using your proposed products and services.

  5. Put these OKRs at the heart of your compelling proposal - State these KPI objectives and an agreed timeframe if your proposal delivers the planned outcomes.

This will enable you to build your whole proposal around these pivotal numbers. These performance improvement outcomes are what your customer is buying. So focus on these measurable outcomes. Your products and services are simply the mechanisms by which the outcomes are achieved.

Here’s one area of practice to emphasise today

For our single area of practice today, pick one or more current opportunities. Have a look at your proposals for these opportunities. Have you done enough research with your customer to state proposal outcomes that include specific numbers?

In your most important opportunities, identify measurable proposal outcomes and spell out the KPI improvements

Why can it be hard to identify and agree on Proposal KPIs and OKRs?

  • There are many challenges to overcome to place specific KPIs and OKRs at the heart of our sales proposals.

  • Often, the customers we’re speaking with may be unaware of the need for and value of such KPIs.

  • Customers who are unaware of the value of these KPIs might feel uncomfortable speaking about KPIs with somebody in a selling role.

  • You’ll almost certainly need to establish higher levels of trust with customers to have conversations about actual performance levels.

  • You will, of course, need to take great care about committing your company to whether or not these measurable outcomes are actually achieved. It will be necessary to communicate clearly and explicitly that it’s the customers’ responsibility actually to achieve these outcomes. You are providing them with the products and services that can enable the outcomes to be achieved.

Coaching Focus

  1. Look at your current proposals. Are your proposal outcomes defined in words or numbers?

  2. What KPIs might you possibly include in your proposals?

  3. How might you and your customers develop conversations about current KPI achievements and how they might be improved using your products and services?

Reminder: One area of practice to emphasise today

In your most important opportunities, identify measurable proposal outcomes and spell out the KPI improvements

If you have questions or comments, it would be great to hear from you. Just hit reply and send me an email.

Have a great day!

Founder & Leader

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