What Makes a Great Proposal?

10 May 2013


CallidusCloud’s Chris Lesar offered several ideas for improving proposal effectiveness on our recent webcast Optimizing Sales Proposals and Quoting. Lesar frames the discussion by suggesting fouressential elements in a CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quotation) process:

  1. Product Selection
  2. Proposals
  3. Negotiations and Approvals
  4. Order Fulfillment

Each element poses significant challenges, including delivering consistent and impactful content, managing compliance, improving response time, positioning product and articulating value, and integrating multiple price books, rate cards, and discount schedules.

For proposals, the trick for B2B organizations is to provide more than simply a collation of products and pricing, but a compelling statement of value. Lesar has a few suggestions, including: leveraging tools already familiar to sales representatives, developing a consistent branding message but also allowing sales representatives flexibility to adapt proposals to specific customer’s unique issues. Navigating these two competing objectives may be best accomplished with a question-based tool that queries sales people and automatically develops a custom proposal based on their responses. ABB’s successful implementation of this approach resulted in substantial “game-changing” advantage to that firm.

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