Does this happen to your sellers – they don’t hear back from the prospect after they’ve sent the proposal?

Emoticon holding his nose because of a bad smellDoes it mean your proposals stink?

Not necessarily.  More likely than not…

It’s all in the set up prior to mailing or emailing the proposal.

As a sales manager, I bet it’s frustrating for you to listen to seller after seller say the client went ‘AWOL’. 

Every one of those ‘AWOL’ prospects add up to lost revenues and a higher cost of sale because of the time and resources the sales person poured into getting to the point to present a proposal.

The obvious reason this might be happening is – the seller ‘smells’ a deal and/or becomes desperate and skips necessary steps of the sales process. 

Note to self:  It’s more important to be discriminating than desperate.

Here’s where the seller may have skipped some steps:

  • Sticker shock –The budget question wasn’t asked. 
  • Priorities shifted at the prospect’s company – Omitted prioritizing this initiative in relation to everything else with specific timelines and deadlines
  • Buyer was price checking to current vendor – Avoided a question many sellers are uncomfortable to ask – “What brought you to this juncture where you picked up the phone to seek out an alternative to your current supplier? “What roadblocks do you foresee to switch suppliers?”
  • Prospect not ready to buy – Didn’t ask, “What are our next steps?  What’s the downside of moving forward?  What’s the upside?  How important is that?”

But there’s another problem for the missing in action prospect after a proposal is mailed or emailed…

And that’s all in the set up prior to mailing or emailing the proposal.

So, what’s the proper set up?

When it’s time in the sales conversation to discuss the next steps – and the next step being the seller will prepare a proposal  here’s how to set it up:

  • Explain how the next steps work
  • Proposal is presented at a face-to-face meeting in person where applicable and via Skype, GoToMeeting, or whichever resource you use – preferably with a 2 way web-camera
  • All decision makers are available and committed to attend
  • The proposal may (and I emphasize may) be sent 15-20 minutes prior to the meeting. There are times where the person does need to review the information and there are several buying styles where this is actually beneficial. 
  • Calendars come out and set the next appointment.

This is non-negotiable.  This is how you and your company go to market. 

It’s time to rethink how your team delivers their proposals. The benefits of sticking to your guns and only presenting together are:

  • Establish yourself as a strategic business partner
  • Avoid looking desperate
  • Not over-investing in non-qualified buyers
  • More qualified buyers
  • More closed deals

Together with better selling skills – not skipping steps and a firm in person delivery plan, your sellers will be closing more deals and investing their time with the most qualified buyers.


By the way, if you’d like your sales reps to crush their numbers monthly check this out.