A Quote is Not a Proposal


Posted By Qvidian | Nov 09, 2015


I recently attended the Corporate Executive Board's annual Sales & Marketing Summit, and had the privilege of working with Qvidian's VP of Alliances, David Blume, on his session titled, "Not All Proposals End in Marriage - Even in Vegas." The thought-provoking session reminded the audience of a key fact regarding sales proposals that has become lost in this world of getting things done quicker:

A quote is not a proposal.

With the rise of a new generation of CPQ vendors (CPQ = configure, price, quote), the benefits of being able to combine complex pricing structures in a quick, consistent manner has started to overshadow a key element of a successfully sale - the sales proposal.

A sales proposal is different from a quote in that it is intended to persuade. It is a critical sales tool that not only provides the prospect with key information in order to make a purchase, but also demonstrates that the vendor understands their needs, knows exactly what outcomes they are aiming to achieve, provides a solution that is specific for the problem they are trying to solve, and demonstrates evidence that the vendor has done this before with others successfully. This is a far different objective than what the quote aims to achieve - which is simple, digestible pricing so a prospect can understand their investment cost.

All that said, pricing can be a key piece of the sales proposal, so please don't think one replaces the other. Nor should we consider these two separate tools for sales to (yet again) over-complicate the process for buyers.

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That's why we're excited for the upcoming Fall 2016 Release of Qvidian where our latest advancements in our Salesforce.com integration include the ability to integrate with your existing CPQ tool through your CRM.

By being able to integrate related lists into your custom sales proposal, sales reps can now seamlessly combine pricing tables created from your CPQ tool directly into their persuasive proposal. This can change the game for companies that need to be able to simplify complex pricing configurations, while also demonstrating to the customer that you aren't just looking for their money - you are specifically addressing their needs, and have shown them a clear path to success.

Our fall release will be available on November 21st, so keep an eye out for more.

To learn more about what makes a good sales proposal, join our webinar on November 12 on "Not All Proposals End in Marriage" where we will examine the role of the sales proposal in today’s buyer-centric world and present proven strategies to better align your content with buyers’ decision-making behaviors.