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How To Structure A Proposal?
How To Structure A Proposal?
How To Structure A Proposal?
How To Structure A Proposal?
How To Structure A Proposal?
How To Structure A Proposal?

How To Structure A Proposal?

Structuring a proposal for your hot leads may sound like a daunting task. You may be an expert on the field or in terms of technicality, but could you be 100 percent sure about the content and structure of your sales proposal? 

What should I include? How long should the proposal be? How and where should you start? Oh yes, it’s a stressful situation and this is where the simple process of ‘breaking-down’ can make the task look less overwhelming. 

Yes, you read that right!

Breaking down your proposal into sections can help you easily come up with the content. So, grab your coffee and let’s get rolling. 

What are the sections in a project proposal outline? 

There are 10 important sections in a proposal outline. 

Proposal cover

The first thing your prospect sees is the proposal cover. So you need to make a good impression here. Don’t make the cover too flashy, keep it simple, to the point, and designed well. 

The proposal cover must include the following details:

  1. Name of the project
  2. Project reference number
  3. Name of the prospect and the contact who is the recipient of the proposal
  4. Name of your company and details
  5. Date of proposal submission

The other thing that’s inserted in your proposal covers are the logos. It totally depends on you if you want to have your company’s logo, or the prospect company’s logo, or both. In any case, make sure that the logos are of high definition, and look sharp on the cover. 

Pro tip: Research and visualize how you would like your proposal cover to look like. A fundamental design layout will help you make edits faster. 

Executive summary

The second most important portion of your proposal layout is the summary. Here, you do not summarize the history of your organization, instead; you list the summary of why your solutions are better than the others. It needs to convince your reader on why they should opt to do business with you. 

The executive summary should be focussed on highlighting why your organization is the right option for your prospects. Avoid explaining about your organization’s features. You dive deeper about the features in the later sections of your proposal. 

The executive summary must contain the following points in the proposal structure:

  1. Introduction  - The introduction part of your executive summary should be attractive and must grab the reader’s attention. In this section, make sure you cover more about the prospect, their issues, the results they are expecting, and how implementing certain strategies might help them get better results. Don’t exaggerate about your company in this section. 

  1. The Challenge - The issues that your prospects are facing needs to be clearly defined. If you cannot explain the challenges properly, the prospect might be less confident to hand over you the project. Demonstrate grasp of the situation, include some research and refer to some related experience your company had in the past. Focus more on explaining the prospect’s pain points. Don’t highlight your team. 

  1. The Solution  - This is exactly the section where you highlight the efficiency of your team and how well you can handle the issues. Outline the project approach, benefits, and strategies that the prospect will be interested to read. Draft this section at a fairly high level. Let the prospect read more about your strategy and your solution. This section should instil trust and relief to the reader and convince them on how you can deliver better results.
  1. The Proof - In this section, show some examples to gain their trust. Explain why your company, your team, and your product is the right choice. Highlight some examples from a similar domain, explaining your team’s skills, the technology you have built, the approaches you’ve taken that were powerful. Take more about your company’s strengths by explaining the first-hand experiences of similar issues. 

  1. Call to Action - The executive summary is a shorter version of the proposal. If the prospect is convinced with your services, they should be able to decide after reading the executive summary, or before moving on to page. Make sure you insert a call to action so that, if the prospect is convinced, they don’t have to scroll down to the end to acknowledge. Make their experience simpler with a CTA after the executive summary.
    Talk about your company’s experiences and your team’s strengths. Try to convince the prospect by giving them examples that set their basics right. 
Pro tip: Try to cover your executive summary in one page. 

About us/team

This is the section where you can define your company and the team in detail. Explain what you do as a company, what are your expertise as a company, what is the unique selling proposition of your company. Touch on all the services and products that you offer. You can have a chance to upsell your product/services here. 

Explain more about your team. Highlight their strengths and core values. Make your prospect feel confident about you and your team. Let them meet the team virtually. Include pictures, bios, and past projects for your prospect to see. 

Give your prospect the idea of who is going to work for them. Show them who their team is. Let them do some research if needed. 

Pro tip: Don’t just give out names of projects that are related to your prospect’s issue. Give them more options so they are more confident of their choices. 


This is the entire section where you clearly explain your approach to resolving the prospect’s issues. It is very important to be very specific in this section. Don’t send them approaches or solutions that are generic in nature. Work around for some time to layout a plan that you will follow along with your team to resolve the issues. When you know that your plan is set, pen it down under this section. 

Pro tip: Customize the approach/solutions part depending on the prospect’s issues. Don't keep this section generic. 

Project deliverables

In this part of your proposal outline template, you need to include the services you will provide for the project and what the prospect can expect from you. Example:

  1. Social media audit
  2. Competitive analysis
  3. Content strategy

It is important that you provide detailed descriptions for all your services. This will help the prospect be clear and avoid any misunderstanding about expectations later. 

Pro tip: Explain all your services in detail. Don't expect the prospect to know everything about the services. 

Project milestones

What is needed for a proposal is to break the project into milestones. Outline events and the deliverables along with the time duration. Include details such as which team member would work on which milestone, what will be the accomplishment from the milestone, etc. 

Pro tip: When you are creating milestones, divide the project realistically, for both the parties. 


This is the section where you define the project fees and descriptions. Try to give prospect’s multiple pricing options to choose from. This way they will have the flexibility to add or subtract services that they need and don’t. 

Usually you can give them 3 options depending on the situations below:

  1. What can be achieved as a minimal solution to their problems
  2. What can be done with the limited budget
  3. What can be done if they are willing to increase their budget

Give your prospect the flexibility to choose from the options, so they are comfortable in hiring your company. 

Pro tip: Give them some add-ons for every pricing option they choose at a discounted rate. 

Case studies/testimonials

After you have completely elaborated on your strengths, it’s time you give your prospect some testimonials or case studies to support your strengths. Include examples of your past projects describing the problems you have solved, and what were the results. 

Include these 4 elements in this section to highlight the content better:

  1. Background - Give some brief information about the past client’s company, their industry, and their problems. 

  1. Challenges  - Explain the client’s problems in detail, what kind of help they needed, and why did they choose you. 

  1. Approach - Explain what was your company’s approach to solve the problem, the process you chose, and why did you decide on a certain set of solutions to do so. 

  1. Result  - Results are critical. So, it’s important that you highlight what you achieved and how the prospect’s reaction was. Describe how your team’s approach was and how did their inputs frame a better approach. If you don’t have any positive case study, avoid using one. 

Pro tip: Adding video testimonials from your past prospects will make this section more interactive and engaging. 


This section is optional, but you can choose to provide your prospect’s list, their phone numbers, and emails for reference. Even if your existing prospect might not get in touch with your previous prospects, but having this section improves your chances of converting the lead and building trust. 

Pro tip: Make sure to check with your previous prospects before disclosing their details to your future leads. 

Terms and conditions/Next steps

This is the last section of your sales proposal, so make sure you include call to actions that can be a statement of work, contract sign off, or even just filling in their name and contact details. 

Pro tip: It’s always better to consult a lawyer who can help you in structuring your terms and conditions that would be best suited by both the parties. 


Above is a proposal outline example that more or less remains the same depending on your business. You can always change the format or add or delete a few points. You may at first have to write the proposal content from scratch, but after a few proposals, you can reuse the template for your future prospects. This way you can save time, pitch more, prospect more, but still deliver a persuasive sales proposal. 

Hope this article clearly answers the 2 biggest questions of every sales person before creating a new sales proposal: what does a proposal look like and what is needed for a proposal!

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