3 landing page best practices you can use to make better sales proposals
Did you know that Patrick Mahomes, current face of the NFL and last year’s league MVP, played both football and baseball in college? Further, he was good enough at both that he actually had to choose which he would play professionally.
Initially, I was shocked. However, the more you learn about elite athletes the more you find out that they tend to be really good at a lot of sports. LeBron James was an elite-level wide receiver in highschool. Roger Federer played soccer in his teen years competitively prior to focusing solely on tennis.
As it would turn out, a lot of the key attributes that make someone good at one sport–strong spatial awareness, body control, eyesight, etc.–make them good at other sports. Luckily, transferable skills don’t only apply to sports. There are plenty of examples in all facets of life. Take for example, sales proposals and landing pages.
Though there are certainly key differences between the two things, they are both driving toward a conversion event. On a landing page the creator may want an email address, or something similar. With a proposal the conversion event is accepting the deal terms.
So, if the goals are similar, it’s not crazy to think that you could apply some lessons from one to the other. In this article I cover three landing page best practices you can use to make better sales proposals. Read on to learn more.
Keep your sales proposals simple
If you’ve ever heard the term “analysis paralysis” it refers to the phenomenon that there’s such a thing as too many choices. In theory, more choices is better. However, in practice, it turns out that may not be the case.
In a famous study, researchers put up two jelly displays at a supermarket. One with 24 options and one with six. Though more people stopped at the display with 24, more people purchased when seeing the display with six options.
What the study shows us is this: lots of options are enticing, but can make choosing very difficult. So, what does that have to do with landing pages, or proposals for that matter? The lesson can be applied by simplifying the elements on your page.
It may seem like a good idea to list out every award you’ve won, and jam pack your proposal with customer testimonials, but in reality, you’d probably be better served using some tact. And with a sales proposal, as opposed to a landing page, you have the ability to personalize.
So, if you have them, pick testimonials and awards relevant to the industry of the lead you’re sending to. If not, try to find one most relevant to their specific use case, or pain point they’re addressing.
Utilize social proof
When you see a line down the block for a restaurant, doesn’t it make you feel like you need to go there? It makes sense. If that many people are willing to wait, then it must be good. It’s a version of social proof.
If you’re not familiar with the term, social proof is the idea that we will follow what we see others doing. So, we perceive a packed restaurant as better than an empty one. It’s the same reason we read online reviews. In fact, 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a positive review.
When you see a landing page, it’s very common for it to include some sort of testimonial, or mention an award that the company has won. Those are both examples of social proof. It’s a way to draw people in and also further validate that they are a good option.
Just as people do with landing pages, you’re also able to utilize social proof for your sales proposals. For example, you might talk about an award your company won in your “about us” section. Or, right before your e-sign section, you could include a customer testimonial to provide some more positive reinforcement.
Whether you mention awards, or share a testimonial, what you’re really aiming to do is increase the level of trust your lead has in you. When you adequately show they can be confident in your ability to deliver on your promises, you make their purchasing decision that much easier.
Never stop optimizing
As I mentioned in the introduction, landing pages, and sales proposals alike, are both driving toward a conversion event. When making a landing page it’s standard practice to A/B test different layouts and copy. Each of those tests is meant to make the page more persuasive to the people who land there.
Since sales proposals have the same goal, why not apply the same practice? There are some limitations. For example, when you’re sending out a sales proposal, you’re just sending it to one group of people. You can’t wait to see if they don’t accept the terms, then redesign the proposal and see if the new one works (well, you could, but it would probably be wasted energy).
Though that is an obstacle to content with, it doesn’t mean you’re not able to experiment at all. For example, with a tool like Qwilr you can see what sections people spent the most time on, and how many times the sales proposal was viewed. By looking at that data for multiple sales proposals you can start to get an idea of what’s working best and drawing people in.
From there, you might consider making two different templates for sales proposals with a few differences. For example, with landing pages it’s common to A/B test section headings, copy length, design elements (like button color) and overall layout of the page.
Those are all items you can also test out with your sales proposals. And, if you think it sounds a bit superfluous, consider the fact that Google increased revenue by 200 million dollars by changing the shade of blue for advertising links. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the same type of return, but it shows the value of testing pretty definitively.
Staying the course
Though it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the best way to learn how to improve in one subject is to look to another. It’s the case of the football player taking ballet to learn body control. On the surface it sounds absurd, but once you peel back a few layers, it starts to make a lot of sense.
With landing pages and sales proposals the same is true. They are different, but in a lot of ways they’re the same. It only makes sense that applying lessons from landing page best practices to your sales proposals could make them even better.
Remember, there’s a lot to learn. So, keep an open mind and keep on searching. As long as you’re willing, there’s no telling what you might learn.
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