Chad Quinn with Ecosystems and I have held many discussions about the topic of B2B proposals over the past several years. Recently, we decided to conduct a bit of joint research and present our general findings in a post. We reviewed 100 B2B proposals that six different clients presented to their customers over the current year to date. While reviewing, we tried to “put on the hat of the customer” and what we found was not totally unexpected. However, it was problematic – from the customer’s perspective.
Let’s start with the purpose of the proposal. After submitting a proposal to the customer, what do we expect it to do? If there are six to 10 decision-makers (Gartner), we can pretty much assume that our champions will need to use it to help sell our company and our offer internally—when we’re not there. In order to do that effectively, these champions need to 1) understand it; 2) believe it; 3) be able to explain it. Using these simple criteria here’s what we found: