Director of Product Bill Wilson talks more about the relationship between SaaS proposals and trust on the Salesforce Quotable podcast.
AH, the dreaded SaaS proposals.
We know them, we loathe them by times, and we love them by others. SaaS proposals are a great metaphor for what it takes to be a great salesperson: investing time, dedication and effort into your presentation is a sure-fire way of putting your best foot forward with prospects.
And yet, sitting down to write a SaaS proposal feels like valuable time lost. Let’s face it: writing SaaS proposals isn’t as exciting as spending time completing higher-value activities like demos. Still, both are necessary pieces of the puzzle when it comes to closing.
Viewing SaaS proposals as a formality, not an opportunity, is the biggest mistake a sales rep can make. In fact, they’re a great way to differentiate from your competitors and prove your value. But this doesn’t mean sales reps have to spend all their time creating masterpieces.
There are easy steps sales reps can take to cut down on their SaaS proposal creation process. These are the key areas to concentrate efforts on:
1: Clearly Define Opportunity
SaaS proposals should show prospects that you truly understand them.
Don’t fill SaaS proposals with marketing copy. Marketing copy has one goal: to focus on how great you are. At this stage in the deal, your prospect already knows your pitch, so your proposal should not sound like an encyclopedia entry on your company. Instead, they want to know what you will do for them.
Do focus on the opportunity presented by discussing your understanding of their current problems, business goals and path to future success. Incorporate your prospect’s language to create messaging centred on them. This may mean regurgitating information you’ve learned from them — and that’s great because it shows that you’ve listened to their needs and keyed in on the pain points they need help tackling. Show them the better version of themselves that they get by working with you.
Remember to reinforce that you’re on the same page as they are. Prove that your values align, and sow the seeds of a valuable relationship built on trust.
2: Create Concise Solutions
The solution you’re offering needs to be concise.
Don’t include everything that you offer in SaaS proposals. Key in on the four or five features that your prospect immediately needs to solve their pain points. Any more than that is information overload. You can — and should! — be proud of the many offerings you can provide a prospect with, but your proposal should only outline the ones they urgently need.
Do clearly describe what each feature will accomplish for your prospect. These should clearly connect to the pain points you know need solving. Do you increase operations efficiency while lowering time investment? Close more deals in a specific timeframe? Complete number-crunching so data is readily available? Describing clear outcomes like these helps prospects see a future without their pain points — and who wouldn’t want to invest in relief?
Remember SaaS proposals only needs to guide prospects to the right path — to close. Don’t worry about details you’re not highlighting — prospects can (and will!) grow in to your other offerings down the road.
3: Establish Value in Pricing
You have the opportunity. You’ve identified the solutions. Now, focus on your value.
Don’t undervalue the pricing section of SaaS proposals! This is the section your prospect will likely spend the most time consulting, so it is critical that you present it in a way that translates your value. Your pricing should continue to tell the story of your quality and competitive advantage.
Do take time to ensure details are concisely and clearly outlined. Putting in this extra effort shows that you’re committed to building a deal in the prospect’s best interests. Not only will this position you as the right solution, but it will help build the trust necessary to build long-lasting relationships.
Remember never to undervalue your offering. If you have proven that you are the right solution, your value will be worth the investment.
Wrapping Up SaaS Proposals
Strong SaaS proposals should prove to your prospect that you’ve been paying attention to their needs and are ready to build them a better future. But before you even start writing, you need to make sure you ground your writing in the facts…
BONUS 4: Focus on the Bottom Line… Literally!
Before investing time in creating a full SaaS proposal, try sending your prospect a pricing guide.
Pricing guides are a sales tool that allows prospects to pick the exact options they want in the deal. Sending a pricing guide before building SaaS proposals will help you by showing you these 3 things:
- The value your prospect is perceiving
- The future your prospect envisions
- The specifics your prospect is interested in focussing on
This is the cheat-code for building strong SaaS proposals. No more guessing what prospects want and feeling stuck in the writing process. Plus, your prospects will trust you more because this process makes them feel involved in the creation of the deal. It’s a solution that considers everyone’s interests and aligns expectations. What more can you ask for?
Click here to see how live SaaS pricing proposals can instantly boost your opportunity to close rate by 30%.