In a world where selling is considered an art, sales proposal is the heart and soul of the deal. Sales proposals are not just contracts, in fact, they summarize a lot about the prospect’s problems, outline of approach, and ways to provide solutions. So, when you are approaching any hot leads, carefully plan and write your sales proposals using the best tool at your disposal.
Elements of the sales proposal conveys your understanding of the prospect’s problems and helps the prospect understand why your organization is the best fit to solve their problems. And successfully it leads to closing of deals. Without an interesting sales proposal, even your best solution can be rejected in minutes because of lack of appropriate sales pitch.
Creating business proposals that are unique in its own way for every prospect can help you close deals faster. But you must not forget to apply the best practices that stand universal for every business proposal.
Here are 10 must-have elements in a sales proposal that will nudge your prospects in saying a YES after reading the proposal.
Salespeople cannot be wrong or lost at the first step. Don’t you agree?
Introduction or the cover letter is one of the most important elements in a business proposal. In fact, personalized cover letters attract and engage prospects to read further. In most times, the business proposal is read by multiple stakeholders, so a captivating cover letter is your only option to keep the readers engaged.
It’s your prime responsibility to craft a business proposal that fits every reader’s requirement and conveys the message. While personalization is the powerful tool in your arsenal, below are some more tips to create an outstanding cover letter.
Knowing the prospect's motivation is just not to write on your sales proposal, in fact, it’s more than that. While writing business proposals, it’s important that you understand the prospect’s needs. And you can’t do this without being informal, or into your prospect’s shoes.
Before you craft a business proposal, it is important that you analyze your market offerings and how you can assist your prospect better.
When you know more about the decision makers from the prospect’s organization, you are at an advantage in the sales process. In fact, when you know where the prospect’s organization is positioned within the industry, you gain more insights to accomplish your motive.
The executive summary should be more focused on the value you bring to your prospect and projected outcomes. Unlike the cover letter that’s broadly focused, this section should be tightly focused on describing your plans to implement the solution, timeline, and details about the required resources.
Use a strong and compelling opening statement that clearly defines your motivation to help your prospect achieve a solution.
A few other things to consider in this section are,
B2B prospects are in the market expecting outcomes. While creating a proposal template, your executive summary should define more about the outcomes they can expect by explaining about your approach to solution.
Provide as much detail as possible when laying the scope of work, highlighting the steps you would take to achieve the goal, leaving no room for confusion or miscommunication. This serves the purpose for you to clearly outline a strategy that’s prospect inclined and reduces probability of misunderstandings.
Show your value proposition with overcomplicating the offer. Be specific while explaining strategies, and what sets you different from your competitors.
“Our G-Suite-compatible CRM can help you to build more sustainable relationships, reduce the cost of sales, increase employee productivity and offer better customer service.”
“With product analytics solutions, you can generate useful, actionable insights from your users’ behavior at a lower price point.”
“Our hiring system can help you ease 30% of the costs of hiring freelancers on a by-project basis by providing you with access to a constantly replenished, liquid supply of contract workers.”
Always explain in detail about your product offerings and why they are important for the prospect. Avoid just listing your services or product offerings without helping the prospect understand the scope of the technology.
Interactive pricing tables
If your prospect is engaged in reading till this point, then the prospect is sold. You’ve successfully done your homework and shown a strong understanding of their needs and issues.
In this section, lay out a proper cost with clear, and understandable pricing breakdowns. Give them pricing options to choose from, as this would help the prospect choose the services that they are in real need of.
Keep the content short and easy. Interactive pricing tables give you an advantage to engage the prospect more in this section to edit quantities, products or services, allowing them to customize their solutions.
Instead of simply stating that you charge X amount, give them a justification of the services. Break it down for the prospect’s easy understanding.
Powerful imagery will make your proposal more pleasing. Images and videos convey the same context 60,000 times faster. Including images and plenty of white spaces will attract your prospect’s attention, present valuable and actionable messages.
Using infographics and flowcharts will also help you to break the flow of continuous text, and engage the prospect more with your business proposal. Images and videos can also help you to create a better bond with the prospect and help you explain the concepts in an engaging way. In fact, images and videos will also save your prospect’s proposal reading time.
Make an action plan
Explaining your action plan is the most crucial point of your business proposal. Most B2B solutions require some level of setup, training, and other support, so here is the section where you explain about the requirement.
Outline how you plan to move ahead with the issue, propose your solution, and ways you plan to implement the approaches in real time. Don’t be generic, rather focus to provide a strategic plan that delivers maximum value to the prospects.
You can also use illustrative charts, tables, diagrams, and outlines that support the value of your business proposal and the steps you plan to take. Use this section to the best of your capacity to explain your prospect by carefully defining the time, effort, resources and potential of your team and solution.
You can also use testimonials from your previous prospects to highlight situations, problems, and similar conditions to demonstrate the value and outcome of your services and products.
Too many proposals just set the expectations high with no proof of their service value. And to stand out from the crowd, it’s always better to have your credibility highlighted over social platforms.
Now that you have talked about why your solution is the best fit, it’s time to show some authentic examples to your prospects. And no platform is better than the social platforms to showcase the various testimonials from your previous prospects.
Prospects attach with stories that resonate their current situation and engage with content that describes more about their survival journey. Use case studies, testimonials, references, and third party reviews to highlight the solutions and success stories.
Key things to do in this section,
Now that the prospect is ready to move forward with your plan, services, and solutions, it’s time to close the deal. But you shouldn’t rush to close the deal, rather provide them with a proper flow, expiration date, and an area to sign.
Set a deadline within which they must make a decision regarding the sales proposal. Don't surprise them with the deadline, in fact give them ample time to decide. Communicate with them prior and mutually set an agreed upon deadline.
Use technological advancements to close the deal by providing e-signatures that save them time and paper. Stakeholders can easily sign the document electronically and send you a confirmation without the delay of printing and scanning the hard copies.
The last elements of a sales proposal are not just one option, in fact the list is below,
Now that the basics are covered, be ready to put your best foot forward. By following the framework of the must-have elements of sales proposals, you can speak with your prospect easily, and explain them better of your services and what makes you stand out from the competition.
“All effective sales proposals should address your audience’s needs specifically. Get to know what your prospects want and describe in clear terms how you are going to deliver it.”
Marie-Therese Joyce, Head of Sales at Pilot.com
Armed with customizable, tightly focused, and well-framed sales proposals that fit your prospect’s needs will give you the advantage of closing deals faster!