I recently received a phone call from a frustrated executive: “Lee, I just read a proposal that one of our salespeople sent to a prospect and I fell off of my chair. It was an embarrassment to our brand! I don’t know what he was trying to communicate in the proposal, and it’s my company.”
This executive’s frustration is not unique. The concern about sales-writing skills has long been one that irks executives. What has changed over the last several years is the level of written communication in business-to-business selling and its impact on buying decisions.
Some try to brush off this issue on millennials who are accustomed to communicating with their thumbs on a phone. While there are certainly communication issues with millennials, poor writing skills have always been a problem in sales. The issue has become exacerbated in recent years by the pervasive use of emails and electronic-document sharing in the sales profession.