What Is A Sales Proposal?
A sales proposal is a document that pitches your product or services to a prospective client. It details the deliverables, benefits, and costs. A successful sales proposal should outline what your product or service is, the value that it can create for your prospective client, and why your team is qualified to deliver this value (ideally by illustrating similar projects you’ve delivered in the past). The goal of an effective sales proposal is to impress and reassure the prospective client, and win their business.
5 Tips for a Winning Sales Proposal
Drafting a sales proposal can be a daunting task, particularly with an inevitably tight deadline looming. We understand that there are a seemingly endless number of considerations to factor in, and this may seem overwhelming. But don’t fret! It might seem hard to believe – but it is possible to draft a winning sales proposal in minutes, not days! Here are our 5 tips to help you create the ultimate sales proposal;
Start from a template
Focus on the benefits for your prospect
Include testimonials and case studies
Present multiple pricing options
Ensure all information is accurate
1. Start from a template
Starting your proposal from a template will allow you to hit the ground running, saving you time than if you were starting from scratch. A template will ensure that your sales proposals are consistent in terms of formatting and branding. Coordinating structure, color schemes, fonts, and graphics will make your sales proposals cohesive, and your organization appear professional and credible.
Include space for visuals. Charts, graphs and process flows can often communicate information more efficiently and effectively than text. They can help highlight important points and make your proposals easier to read. A sales proposal that has a satisfying visual design will help you stand out from the crowd. Remember: Keep your sales proposals clear, simple and organized!
“We needed clean templates for our various solutions that we could quickly export for customer-facing proposals. We have a dozen or so templates that we’re using to rapidly create solutions, export them as a Word file, do a final line edit and distribute to the customer. This feature allowed us to create 45-60 proposals in a given month.”
Administrator in Education Management
2. Focus on the benefits for your prospect
It’s easy to list all the fantastic features of your product/service. But don’t fall into the trap of focusing on yourself. Put your client at the center of your proposal. Show your client that you understand their unique needs. What challenges do they face, and what is happening in their industry? Then you can apply the capabilities of your product, as to how it can help solve their problems, and seize opportunities. Don’t just list what your product does – but highlight the value it will generate for them.
Do your research! Let your prospect know this proposal is geared toward them – and that you understand who their competitors are, and what demands their industry requires of them. A personalised, relevant sales proposal will be much more effective than a generic, cookie-cutter proposal.
3. Include testimonials and case studies
Prove your value and experience by including case studies, testimonials and performance statistics. Writing an effective sales proposal requires you to include statements of how fantastic your products are. But make sure you support your claims with proof! Prospective clients are much more likely to believe in your marketing, if you highlight your industry experience using past case studies, and testimonials from relevant clients.
Save time by preparing a number of case studies, and having them stored in a content library. You can then pick the most relevant testimonials and case studies to include in your sales proposal, based on the prospect. Don’t simply paste them in – Outline why the information has been included, in relation to your prospective reader.
4. Present multiple pricing options
As you’re thinking with your prospect in mind – understand that a number of internal factors will influence their purchase decision. Your prospect might be on board with your solution, but your service must also match their budget. Instead of presenting 1 option – include 3 (or more!) options at different price levels. This gives you a greater chance of meeting their price expectations. Rather than shopping around your competitors for price options – you’re effectively setting yourself as your own competition!
By presenting each solution at various price points, your prospect can gauge the value of each package you’re offering. Remember: Order your package prices from low to high! This will reduce any initial shock, and will allow you to highlight the additional benefits they receive with each incremental pricing tier. Having your standard pricing packages already prepared will save you time whilst drafting your sales proposal. But again – Personalize your service to your prospective client’s needs wherever you can!
5. Ensure all information is accurate
It almost goes without saying, but you must ensure that all information included in your sales proposal is up-to-date and accurate. Particularly if you are operating within heavily regulated industries such as finance or healthcare, accuracy is imperative. Presenting incorrect figures, even unintentionally, can land you in trouble.
A quality assurance process can help you achieve accuracy, such as storing all your information in a centralized content library. This content library can become your single source of truth for accurate, up-to-date information to use in your proposals. You can assign colleagues the responsibility of keeping changeable information up-to-date, such as financial figures, compliance policies, and industry awards. This content library will save you time whilst drafting your sales proposal, by streamlining your quality assurance stage!
Learn more about Mastering content management practices here. Proposal generator tools can help you with this, with features that include content management libraries and SME collaboration…
+ Extra Tip… Use a Proposal Generator!
If your organization needs to send a lot of proposals, then consider utilizing a software that can help streamline this process, and will do a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’ for you! Proposal generators, such as RapidDocs, a RocketDocs software, can help busy sales teams craft beautiful and professional sales proposals quickly and efficiently. Not only do these generators help control the look of proposals via easy-to-use templates, but also guarantees accurate and up-to-date information by pulling from your content library! The low cost outlay will be more than returned by the time savings and efficiencies. Not to mention, the higher win-rates! Read our guide 3 Benefits of a Proposal Generator to see how easy it is to streamline your proposal process.
“I can respond to proposals quickly, using less resources or enable my sales team to save HOURS of time creating proposals, SOWs, and PPT presentations in a super user-friendly manner”
Senior Sales Engineer in US