As a salesperson, one of the most important skills you need is to know how to write a sales proposal that will indeed help in closing deals. After all, your proposals are often what stands between you and closing the deal with a new client. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
This ultimate guide teaches you how to write a sales proposal, we’ll walk you through everything from crafting an attention-grabbing introduction to nailing that all-important call-to-action. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what it takes to write a winning sales proposal!
How to Write a Sales Proposal: The Ultimate Guide
A well-written, persuasive, and convincing sales proposal can make all the difference in closing deals. There is no secret to it, but there are steps you can implement to up your sales game.
In this article, you will learn how to craft a winning sales proposal. Read on!
Sales Proposal Definition
A sales proposal is a document that outlines the offer you are making to a potential customer. It should include information about your product or service, your price point, and your unique selling points. A well-crafted sales proposal can be the difference between winning and losing a sale.
It should be created with the potential customer in mind and should be structured in a way that is easy for them to understand.
12 steps that should be followed when creating a sales proposal:
Step 1. Start your proposal with an Outline
To write a sales proposal, start by creating an outline that includes the key sections: an executive summary, market research, the solution, deliverables, pricing, and a call to action.
Utilizing a template is an easy way to get started on your sales proposal. Having a pre-made proposal can help you save time in the future when creating sales enablement content.
Include these sections in your sales proposals:
Tailor your proposals to each client. Every business is different, so each presentation should be different.
Tailor your script to each individual prospect, industry, and needs.
Step 2. Understand your prospect’s problem
By researching your buyer’s needs, you can better provide them with the solutions they need.
Your prospect may have challenges they haven’t thought of. This is your chance to highlight the value of your product.
As you develop this part of your script, ask yourself the following questions:
The potential customers’ needs include improving their businesses and making more money. They may not know how to accomplish this or what options they have. Our solution is one that will help them do this. Our product is different from other solutions because it is more effective and more efficient.
Step 3. Conduct a market research
It’s essential to understand your customers, including their market, competition, and anything that may affect their buying decision.
Your summary should show that you have put some effort into researching your buyers’ problems. Keep in mind that your prospect is very busy, so keep your research brief.
Don’t bombard them with too much information.
The buyer’s pain point section can be included in your proposals but isn’t always necessary. However, it can give you a better understanding of what the buyer is looking for.
Use that data wisely.
A few things to ask as you complete your market research:
As you research the market, ask yourself what solution(s) did your buyer(s) previously used? What were the positives and/or negatives of that solution? Also, who are the direct or indirect competitors? How do they compare to your offering? Lastly, what’s the competition doing better? By answering all of these questions, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of the industry.
Market research can help you identify new opportunities. You can also use it to improve your business and to test your market or product. You can use SEO to help your web content rank higher on search engines.
Step 4. Offer a solution to their problem
This is the most important part of your winning sales pitch. Above all, you should come across as an expert.
If they don’t believe you, they won’t either.
Explain how your product will solve the buyer’s problems. Include the objectives of the project, the timeframe, and the expected outcomes.
Keep it short and to the point. You can elaborate more during the in-person (or zoom) interview.
A great way to show a prospect that you can help them is by including a solution for their problem in your proposal.
A prospect will want to know that you have a proven method for achieving results and that your sales teams are held accountable. A convincing solution is a great way to show this.
Step 5. Determine the deliverables
Once you’ve made your pitch, lay out the deliverable. Keep it simple, but make sure it’s clear.
Once you’ve agreed on the specifics of your proposal, we can cover any additional details.
Asking too many questions early on in a relationship can create unnecessary tension. It’s important to get to know one another, but sometimes less is more. Too much information can be overwhelming and off-putting.
As a deliverable, include a timeline of when you can expect your results. This can be in the form of a bullet list or calendar.
Step 6. Know Your Prospects
Your sales proposals should address your prospect’s needs. It’s important to understand the problem your buyer is facing.
If you want to stop your prospects from ignoring you, it’s important to learn about their business and tailor your sales proposals accordingly.
When writing your proposals, it’s important to understand your clients’ needs, values, and future plans.
When you understand your target audience, you can tailor a proposal to them. This makes them more likely to do business with you because they feel like you truly understand their wants and needs.
Step 7. Be precise with your pricing
The budget can be the deal-breaker or deal maker of the sales presentation. Always discuss budgets before creating the proposal.
This helps you and the prospect get on the same page before diving into the document.
Offer a few different packages at different price points. Giving your buyer some choice gives them a sense of control over their purchase.
Offer three different price points. Show buyers the value in each option.
A list or table of costs is the easiest to understand.
Where you place your price information is very important. It’s usually best to share it right after the benefits that you offer.
This will make it easier for buyers to “connect the dots”.
Step 8. Call-to-Action
This is where many businesses go wrong. A call-to-action (or a CTA) is the most crucial aspect of drafting proposals.
Tell your buyer that the next step is for them to approve your proposal.
If you’re unsure about your tone of voice, your prospect will be too.
Your call to action should aim to close a deal. Remember to always be closing, and this is no exception for proposal writing. Your clients’ needs vary, so make sure your call-to-action is tailored to them.
If a client tells you they want to talk to another representative before making a decision, ask if you can be on stand-by just in case they have any follow-up inquiries.
And, be sure to tell them that you’d be happy to provide them with copies of your proposals. Also, mention that you’d love to attend their next meeting.
Make sure your call-to-action is clear and concise, and that you are asking for a purchasing decision. Be confident in your request, and make it easy for the potential buyer to say yes.
Step 9. Include testimonials
Include client recommendations in your proposals. These can come from similar industries or businesses facing the same problems as the client you’re proposing to.
The goal is always to positively impact others.
When gathering client feedback, always go for quality and less for quantity. Having one great review from a customer will be more effective than having 3 mediocre reviews. Be sure to get approval from your client before including their quote in your marketing materials.
When you have been given the go-ahead to use a client as a testimonial, be sure to include the following information:
Our customers are always our top priority. We’re so happy to have received such great feedback from them!”I’ve been working with the team at Helpful for a few months now and they have completely changed the way I do business. They are always available to help me with whatever I need and their customer service is amazing.” – John Doe, CEO of XYZ Company”Helpful has helped me grow my business in ways I never thought possible.
Their team is always available to help me with whatever I need and their customer service is amazing.” – Jane Smith, Owner of ABC Company
Testimonials are an excellent way to show potential clients how your solutions apply to their real-world problems.
Step 10. Proofread your sales proposal
It can be very difficult to correct such an error. Nothing can be more off putting to a customer than seeing their name spelled incorrectly. Imagine how the buyer will feel if they see the name of their company spelt wrong.
It can be difficult to fix a large mistake like this.
It’s important to take the time to proofread your sales proposal multiple times. Once you’ve gone over it yourself, ask a colleague or friend to read it as well. This way, you can be sure that you haven’t missed any errors.
It’s common to miss mistakes when you’ve been staring at the same document for a long time. That’s why it’s a good idea to have someone else review your proposals.
There are a few free resources online that can help proofread your document and make it more readable, check grammar and spelling errors.
Step 11. Presentation
Once you’ve finalized your proposals, it’s finally time to present them. Make sure your presentations are top-notch, and your prospect will be impressed.
Templates are the way to go. Once you’ve designed one, it’s simple to pop in the content for the proposal you’re working on. Make a few changes here and there and you’re good to go.
Creating a new, custom, and personalized sales presentation for each prospect is a waste of your time.
There are a variety of important factors to consider when giving a presentation.
Your sales deck should have a clear and consistent design and layout. It should be easy for the buyer to skim through the pages and quickly find the information they’re looking for. The visuals should be clear and easy to understand.
The format of your design presentation will vary based on what type of project you’re pitching. Don’t let your design team just wing it.
Send over low-resolution versions of the designs with notes on what you’d like changed. You know your buyer’s preferences, so do what feels natural.
When an RFP specifies how a proposal should be formatted, you’ll need to make changes to the document so that it meets those requirements.
Step 12. Follow up
Now that you’ve completed your sales presentation, what’s next?
Salespeople often forget to continue following up after the proposal has been sent.
A follow-up should be sent two to three days after the meeting. This will give the prospect time to review your proposal with their team members, but continue to remind them of who you are.
A consistent flow of communication with your prospects and customers is important. Follow-up phone calls are an ideal way to answer any questions, address any reservations, and confirm the next move.
If you’re looking to know how to write a sales proposal that’ll close the deal, following these tips will help you craft a winning document. Remember to start with an attention-grabbing introduction, clearly state the problem your product or service solves, and finish strong with a call-to-action that compels the reader to take action. Don’t forget to make follow-up phone calls. With these elements in place, you’ll be well on your way to writing a proposal that’s sure to win over any client!
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