How do I put together a simple sales proposal?
Sales proposals are an essential part of the sales toolkit that can really reinforce the sales offering and close the sale. I see lots of sales proposals that actually are not sales proposals at all; they are actually either a quote for services or a deck of slides that would be used in a presentation. This is quite common practice too.
A sales proposal is document outlining the problems, goals and needs of the client, and then having the solution presented to them together with costs and logistical information on how things will work.
Already it is beginning to sound complicated right?
It needn’t be. There is a better way.
Why Do We Use Sales Proposals?
First up remember why we send proposals in the first place. We do this to show the client in writing how we can help them reach their goals or solve a problem. It also demonstrates that we have listened to them and understand what was said in a previous call that would have resulted in the client asking for the sales proposal. The sales proposal also help the client to make an informed decision too, as they might be talking to a number of providers and want to compare offerings or they could be part of a formal tender process, in which case the document will often work with a presentation and precede final negotiations.
The SerialTrainer7 Key Ingredients and Logical Structure of a Sales Proposal
The sales proposal will usually contain the following ingredients and these are structured in the following order. Simple.
- A recap of what was covered in the initial call with the date of that call, who was present and an overview of the clients needs
- A solution offered by the provider that refers directly to the clients needs and contains key benefits and value statements that make the offering stand out through a process of differentiation and use of USP’s
- A short bio of the provider explaining why the clients have and should use them, this can include a testimonial statement too.
- Investment and costs required from the client
- Logistical information on how the solution will work, and how the two businesses will work together.
- The follow up action points and timeline of events that will happen as a result of the client receiving the proposal.
- Some polish. This can include your company logo, page numbers, a contents page if the document is extensive, a cover page and any relevant imagery
Once the proposal is written, get in sense checked by another person to check for grammatical errors and typos, and ask the proofreader if it makes sense and sounds exciting and irresistible. After all it has to sell and it is essentially the sales person on paper.
SerialTrainer7 Extra Tips
- Don’t put the client’s logo on the proposal, it is an old fashioned thing used to flatter and looks a bit fake. It can be off putting believe it or not and sometimes sales people can use the wrong logo. Instead use the clients name and the name of the business by all means, the logo is not as essential as it was years ago.
- Always make sure the proposal is a PDF document attached to an email. Never create the proposal in the main body of the email as formatting can change the layout, make it look rushed and a bit tatty.
- Use the main body of the email as the compliment slip, just the pleasantries and light chit chat
- In the subject line put the words Requested Information: Sales Proposal from XXXXX
- Use testimonials to great effect, it is a form of social proof that substantiates why someone should work with you
- Create a footer in the document with the date the proposal was created, and by who, and when the document is exported to PDF is acts as a reminder
- Include a ‘sell by’ on any costs quoted, as this stops the client holding you to ransom on outdated quotes. It reads like this, ‘prices quoted are valid until Dec 2019’.
There you go, a simple format that will help you to create a well-crafted and effective sales proposal. I hope that helps to clarify things, keep things simple and hopefully generate some all important sales.