Best Practices

Inside Sales Tip: Only Send a Prospect a Proposal with a Scheduled Time to Review it

Christopher Tuttle

(Louie Bernstein is Chief Sales Officer (CSO) for Izenda, an XANT client, a serial entrepreneur, and a consummate, award winning salesman.)

You’ve made it to the stage in your prospect’s buying cycle when they either ask you for a proposal or you suggest, if the previous action or commitment steps have been completed successfully, that they should review a proposal to see if they can move ahead with a purchase.

Never send a proposal without confirmation that your prospect will review the proposal with you.  Your conversation should go something like this:

“Rick, we like what you have shown us so far, so can you send us a proposal?”

“Lee, I would be glad to.  Let’s confirm what you are looking for.”

Then Rick and Lee can verbally go over the details of configurations, quantities, resources, model numbers, etc. to be included in the proposal.  Rick says, “Lee, I’m going to get to work on putting this together for you right away.  When will you have time to review it?”  The wording is crucial.  Rick has not told Lee he’ll be emailing it over when it is ready.  Rick said he was going to work on it.

If Lee says he doesn’t know when he will have time to look at it, Rick will not send the proposal.  If your prospect will not schedule time with you to review the proposal, they are not qualified.  Their pain or urgency is not great enough yet.  If, on the other hand, they give you a time they will review the proposal with you, you are moving in the right direction.

You may get a prospect who will say, “Just send me a proposal.”  Don’t do it.  Simply say, “I’m sorry, we don’t send out proposals unless our potential customers schedule time to review them with us.”  It takes a little bit of confidence to say those words but if you stick to it you will see your closing ratio go up.

Sales Homework – Starting today, never send out another proposal without your prospect willing to schedule time to review it.

Sales Managers – This one approach to proposals will save you and your reps a lot of time and effort and will give you a more accurate pipeline.

Be sure to check out Louie’s Sales Getters site for quality sales training material.

Inside Sales Industry Research

Free Inside Sales Industry Research

Gain access to additional inside sales industry research, including the original Lead Response Management study.

Get email updates from the Sales Insider