Do Your Salespeople Use Proposals to Avoid Negotiations?

In some of my recent articles I have discussed the merits surrounding getting salespeople to hold off on producing proposals until the prospect is fully qualified.  I have observed that many salespeople produce proposals because they are not skilled negotiators and they somehow think that if they put the information in writing the prospect will buy.  The truth is that the proposal should really be a confirmation of what has already been agreed to, or has been determined that the prospect wants, needs and is interested in buying.  Unfortunately, salespeople frequently rush in before these factors are understood.


The skilled negotiator […]

Do Your Salespeople Rush to Provide Proposals?

Frequently salespeople are all too happy to produce proposals for anyone who is interested.  It is common that those same salespeople are avoiding truly qualifying prospects before producing the proposal.  It has become apparent to me through years of working with sales teams that much of this behavior is due to the belief that if they just put the information in writing they will avoid having to explain or address any concerns a prospect might have.  It is really a form of conflict avoidance.

Unfortunately, we allow salespeople to spend time producing pages and pages of proposals without truly understanding whether […]

The Scary Math Associated with Producing Unqualified Proposals

In my last article, Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome, I wrote about the time, effort and money associated with salespeople producing unqualified proposals.  If you are having difficulty breaking your salespeoples’ habit of producing unqualified proposals get them to do the math associated with their lost income as follows:

1. Calculate the per hour rate of pay (based on last year’s total compensation divided by 52, divided by 40).

2. Calculate how long it takes to produce one proposal on average (1 hour, 2 hours?).

3. Then add in the number of hours spent trying to chase the prospect down after sending the […]

Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome


Okay, so if you are monitoring your salespeople’s pipelines then that is a start.  Many managers focus on getting opportunities into the pipeline.  This is also a start.  If you want to be ultimately effective predicting closings and therefore revenue growth then you need to stop focusing on the pipeline value and focus on the pipeline velocity.  What I mean is that salespeople will typically behave in a manner that provides them reward and/or recognition.  Many salespeople seek the approval and recognition of their managers.  If you are focusing on patting people on the back for putting deals into the […]