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Sales & Proposals Aren't One-Size-Fits-All: Why Personalization Closes Deals

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Cheryl Smith

05.02.2024

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5 min

Gone are the days of generic sales quotes and cookie-cutter proposals. Today’s customers expect more for their time and money. They want to buy from someone who understands who they are and values what they want to achieve.

This year, it’s personal.

In a world where virtual interactions are the norm, personalization has emerged as a key differentiator. Want to boost sales? Win more proposals? Appeal to the human on the other side of the business transaction. 

Personalized sales quotes and proposals have the power to make customers feel valued. That advances opportunities. Read on to learn how to deliver the impactful personalization you need to close more deals and drive more revenue.

What is Personalization?

Imagine walking into your local coffee spot or lunch stop. You’re greeted by name. They remember your favorite sandwich, and that you like the bun toasted. They recommend a new dessert on the menu because they know you love butterscotch. This personalized experience transcends your typical shopping trip, making you feel understood and valued.

That’s personalization. Now, translate that into a personalized sales quote or proposal. 

You open a document from your vendor and a feeling of confidence washes over you. Instead of dry facts and figures, it reads like a continuation of a conversation. There’s the offhand comment you made about productivity, and their recommendation. They even  mention your company’s recent sustainability push and include eco-friendly strategies.

This feeling isn’t simply delight; it’s newfound trust. Reading their words is like stepping into the future where your challenges are overcome and your goals are met. Suddenly, you aren’t just another anonymous face in the crowd. And they are a trusted advisor.

That’s exactly how you want to make your customers feel. That’s the power of personalization, or account and customer-centric selling. 

Why Personalization Works

Emotion plays a large role in driving purchasing behavior. Making personalization a potent strategy for building relationships and closing deals. It shows you care about your customer’s feelings and values. This triggers positive emotions, forging connections that close deals.

How does personalization tap into the emotion that drives purchasing behavior?

  • Relevance. People yearn for experiences that resonate. Personalization delivers this by being individualized. This triggers interest, drawing them in and making them feel that you understand them. 
  • Reciprocity. People reciprocate positive actions. Taking time to personalize your approach subconsciously triggers the need to reciprocate. And makes them more open to considering your offer. 
  • Trust. People crave rapport. Personalization builds trust by breaking down the “customer vs vendor” barrier. This creates a sense of collaboration and rapport which leads to trust.    
  • Overload. People’s brains look for quick choices that don’t require a lot of mental energy. By personalizing, you present your information in a more digestible format which smooths the decision-making process. 

In a world full of generic experiences, personalized sales quotes and proposals stand out. They create fertile ground for closing deals, while making the customer feel confident in the outcome. 

How to Personalize Sales and Proposal Content

Effective personalization uses storytelling to connect with your customer on an emotional level. By weaving your customer’s specific challenges and aspirations into your narrative, you deliver information that makes your offering feel natural. And not just like another generic sales pitch. 

How do you personalize your sales quotes and proposals?

  • Know your Customer. Do your research and dig deep. Listen attentively and read between the lines. What do they really want? Like data-driven selling, the more you know, the more you can tailor your content and engage your customer.  
  • Embrace Storytelling: Facts and figures are important, but stories create emotional connections. Share customer success stories that mirror the prospect's situation, allowing them to envision how your offering can solve their problems.
  • Value-driven Focus. Don’t just list your features and benefits. Articulate how they directly address your customer’s specific situation. Quantifying the value will help you break through their information overload. 
  • Personalize. Map your customer’s journey. How can you make it easier for them? More successful? When you adapt your content and your communication style to dynamic content, your content resonates with the human on the other side of your business transaction.

In other words, want to boost sales? Make product recommendations based on your customer’s past purchases. Want to win a proposal? Articulate how your solution will positively impact your customer’s environment. Fueled by customer data, empathy and a laser focus on value, personalization can help you advance each and every sale.  

Content Personalization Challenges

According to McKinsey & Company, personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent and lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent. Yet, despite its proven effectiveness, personalization in sales quotes and proposals often faces significant roadblocks. 

What’s standing in the way of personalization? 

  • Time Tyrant. The fast-paced environment of competitive sales and proposals is a hard-hearted tyrant of personalization. Heavy-handed process causes friction. Teams are pressured to rush through writing and rely on generic, one-size-fits-all information. Little time is left for in-depth research and thoughtful personalization.
  • Data Detours. Data is scattered across the organization, and often incomplete and inaccurate. Data management and governance take a back seat to other priorities. Teams take so much time to access and leverage existing content, they have little time left for personalization. 
  • Blind Spots. Teams are not always equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to sell effectively, let alone personalize. Spreadsheets are frustrating, often out of date and prone to error. Resources and templates tailored to specific scenarios and customer personals are missing from the content library. 

Basically, there is a disconnect between what you have and what you need to personalize, sell and propose. These challenges are real, but they are not insurmountable.

Save Time to Personalize and Win Big

Personalized sales quotes and proposals present you and your business as prepared, polished and engaging. As with most things, the hardest part of personalization is getting started. 

Here are three steps you can take right now to jump-start sales quote and proposal personalization:

  • Content Collaboration. Organize pre-written, tailored content by industry, project type and client pain points. This allows you to quickly assemble a strong foundation. Combined with collaboration and automation, this leaves you with more time for personalization. 
  • Guided Selling. Configure and price accurate, personalized sales quotes without the typical knowledge demands. Select and visualize on the fly, including recommended upsells based on your customers purchase history. This ensures you personalize the most relevant offerings at a competitive price, while it accelerating your sales process. 
  • Sales Rooms. A quantum leap forward in sales personalization, digital sales rooms centralize the customer conversation by creating a secure digital space or “hub” for collaboration. Share a veritable buffet of resources that personalize their experience. Customers are more likely to remember details when they interact with your personalized content. 

When it comes to sales quotes and proposals, personalization is no longer a nice-to-have marketing gimmick. It is the foundation for creating successful connections that build trust, win deals, and turn customers into loyal advocates. 

Learn how Xait can help.

 

Read more: How Xait Helps Companies Respond to 65% More Bids

 

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Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.

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