Securing sponsors is an art…. as well as a science.
One of the key steps to securing a right-fit sponsor is a proposal or business case document. This is an important step in going from sponsorship hunter to securing and developing a valuable partnership or sponsorship with an organisation. It can literally make or break a deal and set you apart from other opportunities and options which are on the table.
Creating an effective proposal is probably one of the most asked for, yet misunderstood, aspects of the sales process.
So how should you be developing your proposals? We see a lot of sponsorship proposals and most of them are lacking the core information which enables an organisation to make a basic decision.
Your asset or programme of activity may be amazing, but if your proposal is flimsy and missing the core details, you’re not going to get to the next stage of discussion or negotiation, let alone to an agreement.
Here are our Top 5 areas that membership and industry bodies should include within their partnership and sponsorship proposals:
Who you are, the value of the industry, sector or profession your organisation represents. You’ll be amazed at how many proposals we see that miss this key piece of information.
This is all about the value of the opportunity to the sponsor. The key reasons Why a partner will be interested in the opportunity and why your offer is the strongest in the market?
This is basic but essential. Always outline What the opportunity is that you would like the sponsor to become a part of? Explain the activity and share core details, including statistics, evidence, metrics and profiles.
What benefits or rights will the sponsor receive in exchange for their investment? Be specific and to the point.
5. Investment & ROI
The level of investment, including how payment will be structured and how the sponsorship will be measured, are at first glance the most important. However, many organisations forget to include information around the outcomes and the drivers that would be achieved from the organisations involvement post-sponsorship activation.
Lastly, once you have your proposal ready for sharing, there are some final details that should NOT be missed. To maintain momentum and interest, don’t forget to include the next steps, timelines and ensure that your proposal is bespoke and tailored to the sponsors objectives to ensure maximum engagement and consideration.
In addition to the key things which need to be included within a proposal, there are a number of red flags which should be avoided. So, here are a few of our proposal destroyers:
Always Serve Purpose and Value
Ensure every part of the proposal serves a purpose and adds sales value.
You only need to say something once. Say it with confidence and meaning. Repeating yourself over and over will not make the sponsor more likely to spend with you.
You are not Fundraising
Never use fundraising or donation wording within the investment section: words like ‘help’, ‘gift’, ‘assist’, ‘support’, ‘fundraising’ and ‘tax deductible’ are all irrelevant in a true sponsorship and commercial partnership proposal. You are sharing a 2-way commercial, marketing-based opportunity which provides an organisation with commercial, measurable benefits and value.
Sponsors Hate Levels
Gold-Silver-Bronze tiered and ‘off the shelf’ packages just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sponsors are looking for creative, bespoke opportunities. Create one and stick to it. You can always negotiate and re-structure the opportunity from there, but you need to start in a strong position which meets their needs and objectives.
Don’t assume you know your sponsor well, address their objectives in your proposal and outline how your activity will fits with these but don’t pretend you know your sponsors business like they do.
Value for the Sponsor not your Organisation
Never value your proposal on what the activity ‘costs’ you. Always, evaluate what the opportunity and the range of benefits associated is worth to the sponsor!
Don’t get us wrong – we know how difficult sponsorship sales can be and how you sometimes need a new perspective or health check. We also recommend sharing your proposal with a colleague or someone who is a little removed from the opportunity to see if they understand the key points and that your opportunity is coming across strong, clear and valuable. If they don’t understand part of it, it’s certain the sponsor won’t as well when reviewing the proposal.
We work with lots of professional bodies and membership organisations on their sponsorship opportunities and proposals, so if you wanted to have a chat or talk to us, feel free to get in touch.