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How to Write a Sales Proposal [10 Tips]

How to Write a Sales Proposal [10 Tips]
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Last updated: September 30, 2022
Reading time: 10 minutes

You’ve finally landed that meeting with the client you’ve been chasing for months. Now, it’s sales proposal time! You know what product or service you’re selling and have all the stats and figures to support your proposal. But here’s the thing – a big part of whether or not you’ll land this client is based on the copy in your sales proposal.

Why? Because your potential client will be reading through dozens, if not hundreds, of these proposals. They want a reason to say yes to yours and move on from the rest. This is where copywriting enters the scene. A good copy will make your proposal stand out and attract potential clients. 

Today we will walk you through the critical components of a successful sales proposal and share tips for writing each section of your proposal. By following these steps, you can create a proposal that impresses your reader and helps close better deals.

What is a Sales Proposal?

A sales proposal is a document you use to sell products or services to potential customers. It typically includes an overview of your product or service and explains how it can help your customer. It also includes your company details and pricing information. 

The purpose of a sales proposal is to convince the customer to purchase what you are offering. To be effective, a sales proposal must be well written, clear, and concise. Plus, you should tailor it to your target audience’s needs. 

This proposal is an important tool in the sales process, as it helps ensure that both parties are on the same page. Knowing how to write a sales proposal letter correctly can help you close impressive deals and boost your company’s profits.

How to Start Writing a Sales Proposal?

Want to write a proposal for selling a product? First, you will need to research your potential client’s needs, objectives, and the challenges they are facing. And once you understand your prospect’s situation, you can tailor your proposal to meet their standards. 

It is also a good idea to organize a dedicated sales team with the necessary skills and experience to close the deal. Your team should be smart enough to understand and answer any questions the client may have and address their concerns right then and there. This way, your company will appear as an authority and someone the client can trust. 

Besides other general information, creating a detailed budget for a good sales proposal is crucial. This budget should include any costs associated with your sales proposal and any ongoing expenses that may appear when implementing your suggested solution. Your sales proposal will sound trustable and practical when you have these important details. 

Let’s dive deeper and understand the steps involved in the sales proposal writing process. 

Here’s how to write a sales proposal:

1. Conduct Market Research

Market research is the process of gathering information about your potential customers. The most useful way to collect data is through online surveys. You can use social media to listen to what people are saying about your industry and what challenges they are facing. 

Another option is to interview people already familiar with your product or service and note down their feedback before writing the proposal. Once you have gathered this information, you will be in a better position to write a business plan that resonates with your target audience and has better chances of converting. 

Besides studying your target clients’ needs, problems, and requirements, you should conduct feasibility studies and research the competition. This will help you understand the overall market conditions, such as trends, growth potential, and challenges to position yourself as an authority. 

Competitive analysis is a smart way to get into the market and see what other brands are doing before offering a better deal. Once you have this information, move on to the next step of writing your sales proposal. 

2. Include Vital Elements in Your Sales Proposal

No matter which industry you are targeting, your sales proposal email should include vital elements that help you bank a client. Let’s quickly go over these elements and see how they work:

Executive Summary

The executive summary is a brief overview of a sales proposal. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to read the rest of your proposal by addressing their concerns or putting your best deal forward. 

We recommend you write the executive summary after writing your sales proposal. But you should position it at the top of your document to help the reader quickly skim through it. Here’s what an executive summary should include:

  • An overview of the problem that needs to be solved
  • The proposed solution
  • The benefits of your proposed solution
  • A brief overview of your company’s qualifications
  • The cost of your proposed solution

Make sure your summary is free of technical jargon and complicated terms. The goal here is to give the reader a general idea of what the proposal is about and give a quick glimpse into the proposed solution.

Information About Your Service/Products 

To write an effective sales proposal, you must provide a brief overview of your product or service in its initial sections. This will help the reader understand what you are offering and how it can benefit them. Moreover, consider including a brief product overview in the document, as it will help establish your credibility as a vendor. By explaining what you offer, you will show that you are knowledgeable about the solution in question and confident in your ability to meet the client’s needs. 

Reasons the Client Should Join Hands With You 

The next section of your sales proposal should include a few bullet points or brief sentences about why the client should collaborate with you. You can experiment with this section to explain your core services/products or explain your experience with other customers to build better credibility. 

Clear CTAs

Another critical aspect of any sales proposal is the inclusion of a call to action and steps the client can take to onboard you. This CTA should clearly explain the steps you expect from the client. 

For example, if you are selling a new software system, your CTA should say, “Click here to download a free trial of our software.” These steps should thoroughly explain what the client needs to do to get started with your product or service. 

3. Outline Your Proposal 

Your sales proposal is only as good as the research you’ve done beforehand. Make sure to spend enough time understanding your potential client’s business, their needs, and what a successful outcome would look like for them. Only then can you start putting together a proposal that addresses those needs.

When you have important user insights and complete a sales proposal checklist, it’s time to outline it. Start with outlining the problem that your client is facing and then explain how your product or services can solve it. 

Include your pricing information and other relevant details next to the solution you brought to the table. You can use our free written sales proposal template or learn how to make a sales proposal from scratch, depending on your preferences. 

This outline should include the sections you want to explain and how your whole proposal will come together. Instead of starting from the middle or writing without a proper road map, this outline will help you timely complete the proposal without missing any crucial piece of information. 

4. Write the Proposal

Once you have a good sales proposal outline, it’s time to start writing the copy. Remember to incorporate the most relevant information for your audience. Be sure to include an executive summary outlining your proposal’s key points, and be clear throughout your writing. 

  • Start with a strong opening that captures attention and articulates your proposal in clear, concise language.
  • Use persuasive language throughout the proposal – think of terms like ‘improve,’ ‘boost,’ ‘upgrade,’ etc. This will help reinforce to the reader that agreeing to your proposal will benefit them.
  • Use specific numbers and data points wherever possible to back your claims. 
  • Don’t include larger-than-life claims in your proposal because it can backfire. 

5. Proofread and Remove Irrelevant Details

After you have written the first draft of your sales proposal, it is time to proofread the document and remove any irrelevant details. This step will ensure that your proposal is concise and contains only information relevant to the client. 

Removing unnecessary details will also help make your proposal more persuasive. This step will ensure that your proposal is not overly long or complex. 

What Should You Include in a Sales Proposal?

When crafting a sales proposal, you should ideally include the following:

  • An executive summary
  • A description of your product or service
  • Your pricing structure
  • The terms of your agreement
  • A timeline for the project

Include anything else you deem fit according to your target client, such as personalized services you can deliver or extra conditions for the project in question.

Sales Proposal Format 

Here’s a sales proposal format you can follow and tweak to suit your projects: 

Title
Sales proposal for [Prospect’s company name]
Subheader
Prepared by [Your company name], [detail the scope of work for proposed solutions, pricing, key timelines, and terms].
About us
[Your company/product/solution name] is a [software/agency/type of company] committed to [explain the main challenges you solve].
[Add up to two more sentences about your work]
[Add your unique sales proposition]
Your desired outcomes and challenges.
Based on everything we’ve learned about you, we’ve outlined your main goals — desired outcomes — in the next section.
Thanks to our experience working with [X number of businesses], we understand your challenges and the solutions you seek. 
Your goal is [insert goal], but you cannot achieve it because [insert challenge]Your goal is [insert goal], but [insert challenge] is a hurdle in your way. You want to [insert goal] but cannot attain it because of[insert challenge]
Proposed solution
To help you reach your goal(s), here are our proposed solutions:
Solution 1: [product/service name #1]Solution 2: [product/service name #2]Solution 3: [product/service name #3]
We’ve specifically developed these products/services to assist companies in [customer’s industry] because we know how crucial it is to [add your solution’s key offering] to overcome your challenges.
Pricing
In this section, you can find everything you need to know about our pricing.
Here’s a quick overview of our pricing:
[Create a table with your service/product options and pricing]

Our Timeline
The total time of our work association is [X days/weeks]. Here are the key dates we’re suggesting to get started:
Step 1: [brief description, length, and start date]Step 2: [brief description, length, and start date]
What our clients are saying!
Our customers/clients’ feedback keeps us striving for the best. Here’s what some of them had to say about our services:[Insert a few testimonials. After each testimonial, add the name and title of your customer]
Terms[Include the terms, conditions, and guarantees of your product or service concisely. 
Ready to join hands with us?
Ready to solve the XYZ issues you’re facing? It’s easy:
Enter your first and last nameEnter your signatureEnter today’s date
We look forward to working with you! If you have any questions before accepting this proposal, don’t hesitate to contact us at [[email protected] or 00-0000-000].

Strategies for Writing a Sales Proposal

Sales proposals are not one-size-fits-all documents. The best sales proposal is the one that’s been customized to fit both your product or service and your prospective client’s needs. 

But how do you customize a sales proposal?

Here are some strategies to help you at this stage: 

Start with an Executive Summary

The executive summary is a brief overview of your company and proposal. It should be no more than one or two paragraphs long and highlight the most critical points from the rest of the proposal.

Use Client-Focused Language

Use language focused on the client and their needs throughout your proposal. For example, instead of saying “our product is the best,” try “our product will help you achieve your goals.”

Include a Case Study

A case study is a real-world example of how your product or service has helped a similar client in the past. 

Explain the Benefits

In addition to describing your product or service, explain its benefits. For example, don’t just focus on the features if you’re selling a new CRM system. Explain how it will help the client save time, increase sales, and improve customer retention.

Get Specific

The more specific you can be in your proposal, the better. This means including concrete numbers and statistics whenever possible. Instead of saying “our product will help you increase sales,” try “our product has been shown to increase sales by 20%.”

Customize the Proposal

Be sure to customize your proposal template and copy to suit each client’s requirements. This means using their name, referencing their particular needs, and tailoring the solution to fit them.

Ensure It’s Easy to Read

No one wants to read a wall of text. So make sure your proposal is easy to read by using short paragraphs, clear headings, and plenty of white space.

The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide

Sales Proposal Writing Tips

Here are some tips to follow when you write a sales proposal:

1. Start with a smart introduction

Present your company in a way that the client gets impressed by your industry knowledge. 

2. Keep your proposal short and sweet

Get to the point quickly and don’t include any unnecessary information. 

3. Focus on the benefits

What’s in it for the customer? How will your product or service solve their problem? 

4. Personalize it

Address the customer’s specific needs and make sure to include their name. 

5. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Include a special discount or add-on that will sweeten the deal. 

6. Include a call to action

Tell the customer what you want them to do next and make it easy for them to take that step. 

7. Be clear about pricing

Don’t play vaguely in money matters – directly quote your price in the sales proposal. 

8. Use visuals

Breaking plain text blocks with appealing visuals is always smart.

9. Proofread

Always double-check your proposal for any spelling or grammar errors. 

10. Get feedback

Ask a colleague or friend to read over your proposal before you send it off.

What is a Request for Proposal (RFP)?

A request for proposal, or RFP, is a document that solicits bids from potential contractors. It is typically used when a company wants to outsource a project or service. The RFP will outline the scope of work and provide instructions for submitting a proposal. 

An RFP is not a contract; instead, it is simply an invitation for contractors to submit a bid. Once the proposals have been received, the company will choose the contractor that they feel is best suited for the job. In some cases, the RFP may also include pricing information which is helpful for contractors trying to determine their bids.

Conclusion

A sales proposal is a formal document used to secure new business. It should be clear and concise and outline the products or services that you are offering, as well as the terms of the sale. A well-written proposal can be the difference between winning and losing a new client, so it is essential to take the time to craft a convincing proposal. 
However, even the best proposal will fall flat if it is not backed up by strong sales skills and tools. Dripify LinkedIn automation tool can help you improve sales prospecting and increase your chances of success. This LinkedIn automation tool has been developed to help you close more deals and grow your business by automating repetitive tasks and getting your hands on insightful data.

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