Recently, I attended a Miller Heiman strategic selling training session (hosted by Tim Robertson), which led me to wonder if it’s time to rethink the way organisations create bid/proposal documents.
Typically, a proposal document sits outside of the sales prospecting and the Account Management systems and tools that a sales person may use. With the ability to create collaborative information systems, wouldn’t it make more sense to create a system that integrated the bid writing process into a wider sales management system?
We experimented with this idea in our sales proposal generation tool, to see if we could integrate a bid document more closely into the Account Management process. In particular, we wanted to know if we could we record some strategic sales information similar to that stored on a Miller Heiman “blue sheet” in the system.
When we did this, we found it resulted in a project-based narrative – something that helped people joining the bidding process or the Account Management team familiarise themselves with the project and the client.
We also found that by recording details on “players” involved the decision making process (their motivations and requirements), we could also take a strategic look at the proposed solution and check their key issues were actually being addressed.
For complex, strategic and technical sales, this approach certainly does seem to add value.
For more details on our solution, see our sales proposal generation tool
Note: For good reason, Miller Heiman protects the intellectual property contained in its blue sheets – if you’re a user of the blue sheets, you’d need to check whether you allowed to replicate these electronically. If you’ve developed your own way of reviewing and managing accounts, then this could be incorporated into a system such as this.