The SalesEdge Advantage

Executive Summary Format for Clarity & Appeal (Part 3)

Posted by Jeanne Schulze on Apr 28, 2015 9:32:00 AM

The proposal executive summary may be your client’s first experience with your proposal—and one that hopefully inspires them to read on.  A well-organized and visually appealing executive summary format makes it easy for your client to read and understand your solution and its’ benefits to them.

Looking for an easy-to-follow executive summary format?  Read on.  We’ve outlined a format that makes it easy for you to implement—and more importantly, easy for your client’s proposal reviewers to read and understand the value that your proposal offers.

A Well-Organized Format

Once you have identified the critical sales strategy and defined the customer focused messaging for your proposal—we recommend that you start to draft the executive summary with an outline.  Your 2 to 3 page executive summary should follow a well-organized format.  For example, you may incorporate the following sections:
  1. Introduction. Open with an introduction that summarizes your client’s goals and introduces your solution.
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Topics: RFP Response, Sales Proposals, Proposal Writing

How to Write an Executive Summary (Part 2)

Posted by Jeanne Schulze on Apr 2, 2015 5:06:00 PM

We understand. You want to learn how to write an executive summary that sets your proposal apart from the competition's. To be successful, you must first gather critical sales intelligence. Do your homework and understand:

  • The client's business drivers. What does your client seek to accomplish? What are the client's business drivers, their requirements, their painand the solution that they are seeking?
  • Your sales strategy for customer success. What customer success vision have you, or the sales team, shared with the client throughout their buying process?
  • How your organization complements the client's vision. You need to understand how your organization's resources, people, product and services, complement the client's business needs and how your resources will contribute to the client's success.
  • Your competitive strengths and value opportunity to the client.  Why should the client select your offering over a competitor's solution?
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Topics: RFP Response, Sales Proposals, Proposal Writing

Why We Love The Proposal Executive Summary — And You Should Too! (Part 1)

Posted by Jeanne Schulze on Mar 23, 2015 4:41:00 PM

Write a compelling executive summary that introduces your proposal or RFP (request for proposal) responseand you will set your proposal apart from the competition!

The executive summary is your proposal’s powerhouse! With the right messaging and visual experience, it provides an opportunity to make a great first impression, encourage your client's proposal reviewers to explore the detailed proposal content, and gain executive attention.

Still not convinced you should invest the time? Consider this about the proposal executive summary. Executive summaries:

  • Help the client's proposal reviewers recommend your solution to their executive team. This may be the only section of your proposal, along with pricing and delivery information, that is submitted to the executives for final approval.
  • Usually read by all members of your client’s proposal review team—including the executive decision makers.
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Topics: RFP Response, Sales Proposals, Proposal Writing

Write a Proposal Cover Letter that Captivates!

Posted by Jeanne Schulze on Mar 9, 2015 2:48:00 PM

Your proposal cover letter serves as your most cordial handshake when delivering RFP (Request for Proposal) responses and sales proposals.

It may seem like a superficial addition to your well-crafted proposal, but if you deliver a proposal without a cover letter you are missing a valuable opportunity to connect with your client.  

Specifically, the proposal cover letter enables you to:

  • Succinctly restate your client's goals to demonstrate that you understand their needs.
  • Summarize the two-or-three compelling reasons why the client should select your offer. Deliver the repeatable elevator pitch for your proposal! 
  • Identify the timing of the next steps for follow up and review of the proposal.
  • Demonstrate that you care enough about this opportunity to invest the time to write a cover letter!

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Topics: RFP Response, Sales Proposals, Proposal Writing

Better than a Fairytale – RFP Software

Posted by Lisa Plourde on Mar 1, 2015 3:51:11 PM

Have you ever wished there was a magic button to answer request for proposal (RFP) questions?  A button that would magically fill in answers to all the questions. That might work if you have a fairy godmother with a magic wand. But most people do not. 

The magic to answering RFP questions is a resource with knowledge and skill. Answering RFP questions requires knowledge of your company, your products—or where to find the information that you need to convey, and an understanding of the specific solution that each client seeks. From the skill perspective, answering RFP questions requires superb communication skills with the ability to tailor answers to each client and their required solution.

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Topics: RFP Software

4 Rules to Win the RFP Response Game

Posted by Jeanne Schulze on Feb 17, 2015 9:32:00 AM

Responding to request for proposals (RFPs) is frequently seen as an undesirable task.  Sales people, subject matter experts, and others may not understand the thrill of the challenge!  The RFP pursuit is to create the best response that helps the client select your offering—or at least takes your team to the next qualifying level.

Approach the RFP as a competitive game—with tactical maneuvers to craft the most persuasive answers, and the event becomes much more fun.  Here is a quick list of game rules to coach and inspire your players—formerly known as responders and writers!

Tactical Maneuvers to Coach the Team

Rule 1.  Identify the critical questions

Plan to invest the most time crafting your best responses to the critical questions.  Save time on the less critical by using preapproved answers from your RFP response database.  If resources permit, invest more time later developing answers to the less critical questions.

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Topics: RFP Response

Dress Your RFPs for Success with an RFP Template

Posted by Stacey Gerred on Feb 2, 2015 10:10:40 AM

If your RFP response document isn’t as polished as your first interview attire, would you hire you? Your response document makes a big impression. You are presenting your company and all it's qualifications.  This response document may be your client's first introduction to your proposed solution.

An RFP template helps you "dress" your response documents for success.  Let’s break this down. 

An RFP template contains your standard title page, cover letter and/or executive summary. These elements are your first impression--like your coat and hat. The title of your cover page should capture your client’s attention. The cover letter should let them know that you not only understand the problem, you offer a solution.

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Topics: RFP Response, RFP Template

3 Challenges Sales Proposal Software Will Solve

Posted by Lisa Plourde on Jan 23, 2015 2:58:34 PM

Managing sales proposal content can be a challenge. Ensuring that each prospect or customer receives a proposal that helps win more business can be a bigger challenge!
Challenges Sales Proposal Software Will Solve

Generally speaking, most companies have some form of a standard sales proposal template that contains approved information. For companies that don’t have a standard template, the sales team usually starts with the last proposal they wrote and makes it the foundation for the next sales proposal.

Here are the three common challenges that I see with new clients who want to improve their sales proposals. Can you relate to any of these?

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Topics: Sales Proposals, RFP and Proposal Automation

5 Signs You Need to Automate Your RFP Response Process

Posted by Kym Harrington on Jan 12, 2015 11:28:00 AM

Do you feel that RFPs are never done—just due?

Could you be winning more business by delivering better quality RFP (request for proposal) responses and proposals?

Are your RFP responses never done ... just due!

Here are 5 signs that you may need to automate your RFP response and sales proposal process by investing in RFP and proposal automation software. 

1. Your RFPs do not align with your value proposition

Your RFP responses do not successfully convey and align your value proposition with your customer’s objectives. This is a missed opportunity that may result in a prolonged sales process—or even lost sales.

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Topics: RFP Response, RFP and Proposal Automation

The SalesEdge Advantage

SalesEdge is passionate about helping our clients win more business! Contact SalesEdge when you need to:

  • Accelerate your RFP response time
  • Deliver persuasive sales proposals every time
  • Ensure content accuracy and consistency

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