The $100M Problem You Do Not Know You Have

 

Posted By Kathy Kliskey | Nov 20, 2015

 

These days it comes as no surprise that we have to work a lot harder to win deals. There are more stakeholders leading with fresh perspectives and insights focusing on value and differentiation. It’s not enough to believe that we can rest upon our company’s reputation, no matter how strong and secure we believe it is. We cannot afford to pass up an opportunity to articulate the value we offer, yet many of us do. We pass up these opportunities and they quickly add up to millions of dollars we’ve left on the table.

“We’re closing deals. Maybe not at a stellar rate, but what are you talking about – leaving $100M on the table? You’re wrong,” you say. But, are we?

Well, here's a question: In the last 12 months, what is the $ value (win or lose) of all of the business influenced by proposals (RFP responses or sales proposals). Three things are certain:
1) You won't know the answer to that question off the top of your head
2) When you find out, it will be a much bigger number than you thought
3) If you're not optimizing your proposals to capture that business, you're leaving a lot of money on the table

Sales is more than just sales reps closing deals. It often involves proposals, but there's a big disconnect in a lot of businesses. Despite the huge amount of money at stake, in the majority (over 80%) of cases, the proposal function is not considered strategic to the sales organization. Quite often, it doesn't even report to sales. Proposal opportunities are rarely evaluated leaving proposal managers to waste hours upon hours working on unwinnable bids, feeling overworked and under-resourced. Someone summed up a day in the life of a proposal team as doing the impossible with the unwilling for the ungrateful. It doesn’t have to be this way nor should it.


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We calculated the amount of money sacrificed by inadequate proposal support at $100M based on the average business influenced by proposals from the customers attending our annual user conference. How can you address this and begin to capture the revenue you’ve been missing? View proposals for what they are: a vital and integral part of sales. A sales proposal is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your company’s value and what separates you from the rest. But, you can only capitalize on this if you know what goes into writing a winning proposal.

When the prospect asks you for that final proposal, it's the perfect platform to encapsulate all that good sales activity, to articulate a deep understanding of the client's needs, share the value you deliver, and articulate why they should choose you. But in the hundreds of sales proposals and executive summaries we're asked to critique each year, this is rarely the case. All too often, the proposals we see look like an afterthought - a check in the box, a necessary evil.

While a great sales proposal won't win you the deal on the spot - a poor proposal will create unnecessary sales cycles, delay decisions, and no doubt put more focus on price.  At worst, a poor proposal can lose you the deal. Another opportunity consigned to “close but no cigar”.

Qvidian understands proposals and we know how to write proposals that win deals. We provide proposal automation software that gives you the best chance at winning. Our customers have partnered with Qvidian because they know that it takes more than automation software to create a winning proposal. And they know that Qvidian stands ready to help them in every area of proposal writing and development. After all, we wrote the book!