B2B Sales

How to Create Proposals That Stands Out (with Template)

Tired of seeing no action on your proposals?

We can help with that. Dive into this guide to write effective proposals, sidestep old habits, and follow a simple 5-step plan. Let's write proposals that get answers.

👉 Access the free proposal template here.

What Is a Sales Proposal Exactly?

A sales proposal is like a written handshake. It shares what you have to offer, how much it'll cost, and the terms. The main aim? To show how you can be of service and to match the unique needs of your client.

A sales proposal not only outlines the services or products offered but also builds trust by showcasing a clear understanding of the client's requirements. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between a client's needs and a company's solutions, fostering a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship. Furthermore, it provides a tangible blueprint for potential collaborations, setting the stage for effective partnerships and ensuring both parties are on the same page.

What Should Be Included in a Sales Proposal?

Opening Note

This is your first opportunity to connect, so make it impactful. Your introductory note should encapsulate not just what your company does, but why it does it. Conveying a sense of purpose can set you apart from competitors. Mention briefly any achievements, values, or missions that steer your company's journey, giving your client a glimpse into the heart of your operations.

Overview

Use this space to foster understanding and empathy. Summarize the identified challenges faced by the client and hint at the solutions you're about to provide. It's not just about stating the problem and solution, but also showing that you've dedicated time and effort to deeply understand the client's position. It's about setting the stage for the rest of the proposal, laying out what to expect in the following sections.

Challenges

While the overview mentions the challenges, here you’ll break them down in more detail. Demonstrate your thorough understanding by acknowledging any subtleties or nuances. This isn't just about stating the problem, but connecting the dots — showing how the challenge might be affecting the client’s business or growth.

Our Approach

Detail how you plan to address the challenges identified. Explain the rationale behind your approach, showing the client that every move is calculated and in their best interest. Provide some insight into your methodology without overwhelming them with jargon. Make them feel confident in the steps you propose, reassuring them of the thought process that led to this proposed solution.

The Team

People buy from people. Showcase the human side of your solution. Highlight a few key team members, perhaps with a brief note on their experience or past achievements. Let the client know that behind the solution is a dedicated team of experts genuinely committed to their success

Wrap-up

End on a strong note. Summarize the main points, reiterate the potential benefits of your approach, and express a sincere hope for future collaboration. This section can also be a gentle nudge, reminding them of the next steps or actions you'd like them to take after reviewing the proposal. Always thank the reader for their time and consideration, signaling respect and appreciation.

When's the right time for a proposal?

Timing is everything. Knowing when to present your proposal can be the difference between sealing the deal and missing the boat. Here are the moments that signal it's time:

  1. Post Product Trial: Once the client has tried your product, they have a tangible sense of its benefits. This sets a solid foundation for deeper discussions and addresses any feedback they might have.
  2. Product Familiarity: Ensure the client fully understands your product's functionalities. When they grasp its advantages, they're more open to long-term collaborations.
  3. Understanding Buying Intentions: Through your interactions, gauge their interest and intentions. Shape your proposal based on this clarity, ensuring it aligns with their needs.
  4. Client's Readiness: External factors, like budget cycles or strategic changes, can influence decisions. If you sense they're about to make a move, that's your cue.

In short, your proposal should be timely, responding to both the client's needs and readiness. Being in sync with their journey ensures your proposal makes a lasting impact.

The Issue with PDF Proposals

PDFs have been the go-to for proposals for ages. But this method has its problems:

  • Getting Overlooked: In crowded inboxes, your proposal might get lost.
  • Hard to Use: Long PDFs can be a hassle, especially on mobile.
  • Which Version?: With each edit comes a new PDF. Clients can get confused about which one is current.
  • Flying Blind: Once you send it, you can't tell if they opened it or where they spent the most time.
  • Big Files: Large PDFs can be hard to send and might not display well everywhere.

These issues show that there's room for a better proposal method.

Tips to Crafting Proposals That Standout

Your proposal isn't just paperwork; it's a handshake, an introduction, and a promise rolled into one. It speaks of your dedication, your expertise, and your commitment to meeting your client's needs. To make sure it speaks loud and clear, here are some expanded insights:

Be Upfront with Pricing

Clients value clear communication. When you talk about pricing at the beginning, it establishes an atmosphere of trust. This transparent approach eliminates any uncertainty and ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the financial aspects. No one likes those last-minute cost revelations, so keeping things clear from the start sets the tone for a more open dialogue.

Use Templates Smartly

Templates are fantastic tools to get you started, but they're just the beginning. Every client is unique, with individual needs and challenges. Adapting your template to each client shows that you're not offering generic solutions but are instead investing time to understand and cater to their specific situation. It's about merging efficiency with a personal touch.

Offer Multiple Solutions

Every problem can have multiple solutions. By offering a range of solutions, you're providing your client with a choice, allowing them to pick what aligns best with their objectives and budget. It also underscores your versatility and the breadth of your expertise, reinforcing the idea that you're equipped to handle a variety of challenges.

Ensure Visual Appeal

Your proposal's content is vital, but so is its presentation. A well-organized, visually attractive proposal speaks to your professionalism and indicates that you care about all aspects of your work. This visual harmony helps convey information more effectively, making it easier for clients to understand and appreciate your offerings.

Link Instead of Attach

In our digital age, ease of access and navigation are paramount. Using links instead of attachments ensures your client can easily view updates in real-time, without sifting through multiple file versions. This streamlined approach is not only more efficient but also presents you as tech-savvy and environmentally conscious, cutting down on unnecessary digital clutter.

Provide Resources for the Buyer

Informed decisions are always the best kind. By providing clients with additional resources, like ROI studies or cost calculators, you're giving them the tools to understand the full value of your proposition. These resources can alleviate doubts, answer unasked questions, and bolster your proposal's credibility.

Monitor Engagement

Understanding your client's engagement with your proposal can be a goldmine of insights. It helps you gauge what parts resonated most, where they might have concerns, or what areas captured their interest. This information can guide your follow-up discussions, ensuring they're tailored to address your client's specific interests or concerns.

Guide to the Next Steps

A proposal is a starting point, and it's essential to map out the journey ahead. Clearly outlining the subsequent steps after the proposal helps your client visualize the path forward. It sets expectations, establishes timelines, and ensures that the transition from proposal acceptance to project initiation is smooth and well-coordinated.

How to do proposals that get the deal done with Forward

Centralized Content for Easy Access

Forward's Digital Sales Room ensures that all elements of your proposal are housed under one digital roof. Forget the tedious task of sifting through a flood of emails to find that one crucial attachment. Instead, everything, from initial interactions to the nitty-gritty of the proposal details, is conveniently located in one accessible space.

Real-time Edits

The dynamic nature of business means that sometimes, plans change. Forward supports this fluidity by allowing for on-the-spot edits within the proposal. This feature means that prospects always have access to the most recent and relevant information, without being overwhelmed by a cascade of updates through email.

Interactive proposals that standout

It's one thing to tell prospects about a product or service, and it's another to show them. Forward's platform takes proposals beyond the confines of static text. You can integrate interactive components, such as videos or clickable charts, to offer a richer understanding of what's on the table.

Personalised and Branded Experience

Beyond just customising content, Forward offers tools to ensure your proposal reflects your brand's ethos and aesthetics. The ability to personalize the look and feel of the digital room ensures that prospects not only receive a proposal tailored to their needs but experience it in a space that resonates with your brand's identity.

Insights into prospects’ Interactions

Wondering what parts of your proposal intrigue prospects the most? Forward offers insights into which sections of your proposal the prospect spent the most time on. Such knowledge can guide subsequent discussions or hint at areas where the prospect might want more clarity.

Collaborative Space for faster Decision-making

Effective proposals are a collaborative effort. Forward's platform is designed as a shared space where both you and the prospect can converse, refine, and conclude the proposal in real-time. It's all about ensuring that every stakeholder is on the same page.

Mutual Action Plans for Transparent Progress

Navigating the path from proposal to partnership can sometimes be murky. Forward's mutual action plans offer a transparent roadmap of what steps are to be taken, by whom, and by when. Both parties can chart the course of action, ensuring that expectations are set, met, and exceeded.

In short, while PDFs have their uses, the interactive and user-friendly nature of a Digital Sales Room gives you a better shot at turning proposals into signed deals. This method makes talking easier and increases the odds of turning proposals into long-lasting partnerships.

Forward’s demo follow-up template

Proposals are a pivotal point in the sales journey because they solidify the potential value you bring to the table while showcasing your understanding of the client's needs.

Crafting a proposal via Forward's workspace is as swift as drafting an email. Our template ensures you design a comprehensive proposal in record time without missing any vital details.

Here's a glimpse:

👉 Access the free proposal template here.

How to use Forward Proposal Template

At the heart of a great sales proposal lies an understanding of your potential client's needs. When you craft a proposal that's aligned with these needs, you're telling your client, "I've listened, and I can deliver." Let's explore the components that elevate a sales proposal from good to outstanding.

A Personalized Introduction

First impressions count. Start with an introduction that echoes your understanding of the client's challenges. This not only shows you're well-informed but also helps in establishing a rapport right from the start. Think of it as laying a foundation for the rest of your proposal.

Project Overview

Clarity is king. Present a concise summary of the project, explaining the problem you've identified and the solution you're proposing. Chart out a roadmap, highlighting key milestones and deliverables. This approach shows your potential client that you're organized and proactive.

Mutual Action Plan

This is where collaboration shines. A Mutual Action Plan demonstrates a commitment to partnership. By defining roles, timelines, and shared goals, you're assuring the client that this journey is a combined effort with clear accountability.

Solution Deep Dives

The solutions deep dive allows you to understand and address the needs of your potential customers. Be clear and concise in outlining the benefits of your solution and how it will impact the client's business.

Product Demo

A product demo is a powerful tool for showcasing your offering. It demonstrates how your product or service can solve customer pain points and provides a clear understanding of its value. Engage your audience with visuals and interactive elements. Keep it concise and focused to maintain attention. Personalize the demo to the customer's specific needs for a memorable experience.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, it's important to strike the right balance between value and cost. Clearly outline the pricing structure and packages in your proposal. Highlight any special offers or discounts that may be available. Remember to address any potential objections about price by emphasizing the long-term benefits and return on investment for the client's business. Be open to negotiation while staying firm on the value of your branding solution.

Case Studies and Testimonials

Incorporating case studies and testimonials in your sales proposal builds credibility and provides social proof. It helps clients envision the potential outcomes of working with you. Make sure the case studies and testimonials are relevant to their needs and industry. Use specific details and metrics to demonstrate your expertise and past successes in achieving results.

Tools to Close the Deal (e-payment, e-signature)

In today's digital world, incorporating e-payment and e-signature tools into your sales proposal can be a game-changer. These tools enable a faster and more efficient sales process, offering convenience for clients and reducing the risk of delayed payments. E-signatures provide a legally binding and secure way to sign contracts remotely, enhancing your professional image and attracting clients who prefer digital transactions. By embracing e-payment and e-signature options, you increase the likelihood of closing deals and positioning yourself as a forward-thinking and tech-savvy business.

👉 Access the free proposal template here.

A well-written sales proposal not only details the goods and services to be provided, but also establishes credibility by demonstrating familiarity with the client's needs. With Forward, crafting demo follow-ups is no longer a jumbled mess but a seamless journey. Our platform ensures every buyer finds what they need effortlessly, while also allowing for personalized experiences tailored to each client.

Send standout proposals today with Forward:

Explore Forward's Digital Sales Room and see how it can help you create proposals that win the deal faster. Sign up for a for 14 days trial and access Forward proposal template for free.

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