Writing Template – Commercial Sales Brief


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Great sales pitches supported sales professionals in the past.  A brief summary, covering offering, competition and value proposition. But as the number one sales job is shifting to understand your customers’ business. Your old sales pitch templates are becoming obsolete as an enabler to kick-start engagements. And new tools are moving in.

Purpose of this writing template

The purpose of this template is to equip your sales force with commercial opportunity essentials on one page. Allowing sales professionals to better navigate early stages of new complex business opportunities. Where VUCA is the norm rather than an exception. And where numbers shape engagements from day one.

Core Job to Be Done for your customer

Start by articulating the core Job To Be Done. The center of gravity for the whole opportunity. The job customers expect your offering to do for them. Describe if you find this job over-, under or un-served in the market today. Articulate jobs in terms your customer would use, decoupled from your solution. Be clear on if the job is contributing to increasing sales, reduce capex or reduce opex for your customers. Add a rough order of magnitude for the size of the expected outcome. And state who would be responsible to do the job, if done in-house by your customer.

Customer business metrics

Your customers “hire” your solution to improve specific metrics in their business. What do they expect to increase? What do they expect to increase? Dare to be specific and concrete. The sharper you are in your formulations the higher impact in your customer engagement.

At the early stages customers look for metrics improving in a material way. Where the benefits delivered are greater than the implementation cost. Aim for metrics where +20% improvements seem realistic.

Compelling Event

Compelling events trigger all new business opportunities. The jobs to be done and metrics are time independent. But a compelling event make an opportunity start moving. Be specific on the proven and expected customer triggers. Pains creating stronger events than gains. The compelling event is your key to understand. To understand if customers will start moving and when the move will occur.

Solution building blocks

Summarize the main elements of your solution. Aspire to articulate what role each building block play. What are the parts you win the business with? What do you add to make the solution complete? Where do you see the margins coming from? And finally which expansion opportunities can you expect at a later stage?

Commercial Rule of Thumb – Rough order of Magnitude

Commercial considerations are coming in earlier and earlier in customer engagements. Expect rough order of magnitude conversation be in play from start. Aim to articulate a commercial thumb rule hypothesis early. Anchored in technical and/or commercial dimensions. Designed to serve as a base for budgetary ideas or sanity check for bottom up proposals.

Business models – standard & disruption options

Beyond finding winning price levels, winning business models are as important. Businesses look for innovations increasing simplicity and better correlations. between what they buy and what they sell.

Clarify the price parameters your model use. What is industry standard (used by market leaders)?  Which options exist for attacking an incumbent with disruptions? Consider using different models depending on if you are incumbent or disrupting to enter.

Competitive Scoping

Professional procurement organizations and fierce competition shape business models and scoping. Resulting in business models with low upfront price on the “optical focus” for a deal. With extras excluded from evaluation of initial scope.  Articulate how solutions need to be scoped and priced to pass this first hurdle. Where optimized scoping, low optical prices and strict terms & conditions goes hand in hand.

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