Developing world-class sales proposal content


This well-known global ERP customer has a world-class training academy for their best and brightest people. Every year they fly cohorts in from around the globe to spend a couple of months in intensive sales training at a purpose-built campus in the US.

The Challenge

While this training is comprehensive, they also recognised that their bid and proposal content was letting them down, so they asked for our help.

Bids and proposals for this customer typically have values from hundreds of thousands up to millions of dollars and come at the end of a long and complex sales process that can run for months or even years. It is also a highly competitive marketplace. So, it was vital that their content was convincing, differentiating, and told a really strong story to persuade their customer to buy from them.

We took a deep dive into what they were producing and uncovered one of the most common mistakes we see when looking at proposals – the content was almost entirely focused on them and how clever their solution was, with little to no exploration of their customer’s unique situation, needs or challenges and relied far too heavily on bland and generic library content. This lack of tailoring also made it deeply impersonal.

4 years

200+ people

The Solution

Fortunately, this meant that there was a lot we could do to help. As  a result of this assessment we developed the appraisal and scoring rubric that we use with customers today. This allowed us to systematically inspect and score their content, show them exactly where they were going wrong and give them a baseline from which to improve.

The Result

On the back of this work, the customer asked us to develop and deliver a full proposal writing training course to underpin their Sales Academy.

Assessing their content prior to the training showed scores of 4 20 against our rubric against a maximum potential score of 72.

Post-training, we found these scores improved significantly to the 40-55 range.

Attendees take their learnings back out into the field to hone and continuously improve their documents. Going through this process is now an embedded part of the customer’s Sales Academy process.

We are looking forward to being involved for the 5th year running in 2024.

"Partnering with Sales Engine, we've crafted an Executive Writing Workshop tailored for the SAP Academy for Customer Success. This internal early talent program is shaping SAP's next generation of sales representatives. Mastering effective written C-Level communication and asset creation is a critical element in our curriculum. Sales Engine has been a great partner for us. The team is extremely easy and flexible to work with. This workshop continues to be highly rated by our participants, and has resulted in some very creative, compelling, and impactful executive summaries."
Julian Bender

VP SAP Academy for Customer Success - Sales Program, SAP

Huge uplift in
content quality