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Technical memorandum, commercial proposal and 2.0 tools

 
commercial offer

Writing a sales proposal or technical brief is a key step in the sales process. But this time-consuming task is sometimes neglected by companies, who simply modify standard documents. Yet a well-constructed proposal is an extremely powerful tool for winning new customers. How do you write a commercial offer to convince a prospect? What are the solutions to help you in this process? Here are our tips for writing sales proposals that convert and increase your chances of signing contracts.

 

Commercial proposal and technical brief: definitions

 

Let's start by recalling what a technical brief is, and more generally what a commercial proposal is.

 

The commercial proposal

 

A sales proposal or " propale " is a document given to the prospect at the end of the sales process, with a view to signing a contract. It is also known as acommercial offer or sales proposal.

 

The sales proposal differs from a traditional quotation, which focuses mainly on price. Much more detailed, it is a complete file that presents your product or service offer by answering the potential client's problems and highlighting your advantages over the competition.

 

The technical brief

 

A technical brief is a commercial proposal drawn up in the context of a call for tenders. Sometimes called an explanatory memorandum, supporting memorandum or methodology note, it enables the public or private purchaser toassess the technical value of the tender

 

The technical memorandum is a document generally required to respond to public contracts, subject to the obligation of fair competition set out in the Public Procurement Code.

This document is also often requested by the client in works contracts.

The content of the technical memorandum is protected by industrial and commercial secrecy.

 

The commercial offer, an essential step for the sale

 

A good sales proposal is a powerful tool for converting your prospects into customers with an excellent return on investment. It shows your future customers that you understand their needs and have the know-how to meet them. According to a survey of 150 French decision-makers, the "proposal" accounts for 35% of the final purchase decision.

 

The technical memorandum has become a major criterion for the selection of companies in public contracts. The weighting of the award criteria is set out in the tender rules. Although there is no precise rule, the technical note represents on average 40% of the total mark. It is therefore a crucial element in winning tenders.

 

The secrets of a convincing sales proposal

 

For a commercial offer to be translated into a contract, you must put all the chances on your side by respecting a certain number of good practices.

 

Write a personalised commercial proposal

 

Did you know that 75% of sales offers are perceived as generic and not adapted to the customer's needs (source: Vecteurplus)? Indeed, due to lack of time, many companies use a standard proposal or technical brief. However, to be effective, your sales proposal must be centred on the prospect. The aim is not to convince them that your products or services are the best, but that they are exactly what they are looking for. You need to show them that you have a clear understanding of their problem and that you have the necessary skills to solve it.

 

This is why you should not copy and paste, as it does not allow you to target the sales offer sufficiently. Furthermore, this method is prone to errors, which can seriously penalise your company if you have made unrealistic contractual commitments without realising it. In addition, inaccurate information in a technical brief can lead to the cancellation of the contract and the payment of compensation.

 

Structuring the content of the technical brief or proposal

 

There is no standard outline for a technical brief or sales proposal. However, your sales offer should follow a clear and coherent outline including the following elements

 

  • a brief presentation of your company, products or services;
  • a summary of the prospect's problems: his needs, issues and constraints;
  • details of the solution provided: operating mode, technical skills of the company, human and material resources used to achieve the objectives, provisional planning, etc. ;
  • an evaluation of the expected benefits, supported by a case study or client testimonies and specifying the methods for monitoring the results (statistics, monthly reports, etc.);
  • your price proposal and possible payment facilities;
  • a summary of the commercial offer, placed at the end or beginning of the document;
  • the necessary technical sheets and contractual documents.

 

In the case of a call for tenders, the consultation file often provides a framework for writing the technical brief.

 

Take care of the content and form of the commercial offer

 

In order to ensure that your sales proposal is well understood, adapt yourself to the person you are talking to! Use clear and concise language, avoiding technical or marketing jargon.

 

An attractive visual also plays an important role in convincing the prospect. For a better readability, think of :

 

  • make paragraphs short;
  • break up the text with headings and sub-headings;
  • Bold the essential elements;
  • insert visuals (graphics, diagrams, etc.);
  • group the technical details in the annex.

 

Assistance in drafting technical and professional briefs

 

Writing sales proposals is a time-consuming activity, especially for SMEs that do not have a dedicated in-house department. To save time and efficiency, you can manage your sales offers with 2.0 tools or call on an agency for personalised support.

 

The benefits of proposal management software

 

Commercial offers and technical briefs are usually written with word processing software such as Word, Google Docs or LibreOffice. There are also specific tools for preparing customised sales proposals. Using this type of software has many advantages in speeding up the sales cycle. In particular, you can :

 

  • automate the editing and management of properties ;
  • include multimedia files (photos or videos) ;
  • integrate your CRM;
  • send an email proposal to your potential customers;
  • benefit from electronic signature and online payment;
  • accessing analysis data, etc.

 

Support to enhance and manage your commercial offers

 

Autour de l'Image offers you a turnkey solution to help you structure your offers. The idea is to create a content library that will allow you to integrate pre-written blocks into your commercial offers in a homogeneous way. Our services include :

 

You will have access to a dashboard to manage offers and view their status.

Would you like to optimise your sales proposal ortechnical memorandum writing processes? Contact us to discuss it!

 

About the author

Philippe Rigault

Philippe Rigault is the founding President of the agency Autour de l'Image. He assists clients in the development and animation of their communication strategy, combining advice, creativity, mentoring and common sense. Autour de l'Image is a global communication agency that simplifies the life of entrepreneurs. It brings together all the communication and marketing skills needed to develop sales and brand awareness.

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