The sales landscape is currently undergoing profound upheavals and change. Beyond increased competition, buying impulses are dictated by new parameters and business practices are naturally impacted.
Sales departments must take these new parameters into account and equip their teams to guide them towards good practices with confidence and understanding.
A successful Proposal Management system requires the implementation of a well-organized change management process. Here are some key pointers to help you guide your teams towards commercial excellence.
1# What are the changes related to proposal management?
The modern consumer is much more demanding as they have access to everything as a result of always being connected. They want efficiency and simplicity when they are considering investing in a new brand relationship. Seeking brand validation through authenticity, trust and differentiation before making a transaction on any level.
On the sales side, practices have adapted to these new requirements. The boundaries between B2C and B2B practices are also blurring with new parameters combining to create new challenges. Salespeople become expert advisors, social sellers, hyper-connected, company ambassadors to build a lasting relationship with the future customer.
This is where Proposal Management takes on its full meaning. Reasoning and rationale when considering the effectiveness of writing for this target audience has become more demanding than previously and requires real expertise and skill. The practices that in the past proved themselves to be tried and tested are now challenged daily and often replaced with new processes.
The customer's needs are the key driver of this change and the customer is the central focus of the proposal. Ignoring this fact is incredibly risky and dangerous! Ensuring you have the correct content is not only essential but critical. The content delivery must be succinct, precise and have the correct context. In short, the proposal text and visuals must tell a story to the customer and provide a coherent message outlining a winning solution.
And beyond the written word, Proposal Management establishes an effective tool for commercial organization and information management. Sensitive corporate documentation that demands careful handling for an agile working user base is vital.
2# How to support sales teams and improve sales efficiency?
Accompanying change means putting in place parameters so that new uses and new practices are encouraged and completed. It is essential to help motivate your business to work within the new processes and practices by communicating the benefits and illustrate the success that can be achieved.
Why review commercial writing if it doesn’t help you to be more relevant, drive efficiency and allow you to better meet customer needs? And why change the organization or implement new tools if it doesn’t improve the working environment for salespeople?
3# What check-list to use for successful change support?
For the project duration:
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
- Make it a business project, not just a team.
At project launch:
- Involve the sales teams in the project from the start of the change management process.
- Getting management involved from the start is important: they must “push” the project, in particular by organizing incentives.
- Identify the referents who are sponsors of the project to evangelize the positive future outcomes.
- Highlight the benefits provided and above all ensure that the salesperson becomes aware of them and is assured by them to instill confidence.
- Organize meetings, workshops, training with several types of profiles (refractory, sponsors, neutral, etc.) to allow people to provide input and become an integral part of the change process.
- Highlight the people most involved who will move the project forward.
- Share successes and best practices.
- Set up governance with defined interlocutors with specific roles.
- Devise a training and refresher plan for sales teams.
- Implement a continuous improvement plan to develop the system.
Proposal Management combined with change management will provide real measurable and sustainable commercial results. With a real positive impact on business units and teams, helping motivate them to deliver best practices on commercial proposal writing and drive sales success!
Related article: How can Proposal Management software help you drive sales success?