Best Proposals Software

What Should a Sales Proposal Look Like?

Did you know that more than 54% of sales managers say that sales proposals are the most vital metric to track during a tender process? With this document being the difference between winning a contract and missing out, the importance of a sales proposal looking the part is undeniable. 

Many options exist for creating stand-out sales proposals, from corporate paper documents to snazzy digital designs. However, what should a sales proposal look like, and what information is essential? At Best Proposals, we have spent lots of time and energy looking into this question to ensure business professionals can be represented in the best possible way. 

Keep reading this article to learn what your future sales proposals should encompass and find out how you can achieve killer tender submissions with complete ease. 

What Does a Sales Proposal Need to Tell Prospective Clients?

One of the easiest ways to understand what format a sales proposal needs to adopt is to pay close attention to the messaging it’s responsible for sharing. In short, a high-quality sales proposal will let potential clients know how your business plans to resolve their problems and the steps that can be taken. Clients want to know how you will fix an issue, the process, timeframe and costs to compare the resolutions you propose with others. 

The key to a contract-winning sales proposal is convincing the potential client that your service is the best. The format is essential because it allows sole traders and organisations to direct the client’s journey when reading a proposal. By ensuring they interact with all dynamic content and quantitative information, all boxes should be ticked to ensure the contract is awarded.

What Format Should a Sales Proposal Follow?

Firstly, the applying business should take time to understand the audience they are pitching to. Whilst the format of a sales proposal will be similar in all circumstances, the audience and the criteria will impact the balance of information that needs to be provided. A strong sales proposal should look like the business or sole trader has paid attention to their specific needs and reflected that in the ideal information offered. 

The information that should be included within all sales proposals, although differing in the balance of content provided for each, are as follows:

  • A formal title page, executive summary, introduction, and contents are needed to ensure the sales proposal can be read easily.
  • Information about the company’s background includes mission statements, operating style, employee hierarchies relevant to the product or service offered, and background information.
  • A clear depiction of the challenges, results from competitor and gap analysis, and a top-level view of how the applying business can meet these requirements.
  • Proposed solutions, including the product and/or service and pipeline for implementation.
  • Pricing and cost information, including payment terms and onward costs.
  • Contact information and the process that can be followed should the sales proposal succeed.
  • A mock-up of the proposed contract for the work, including all terms and small print. This means that should the proposal be chosen, the awarding process can proceed rapidly with little room for confusion or delays.
  • Case studies and client testimonials show that the product or service has successfully met the needs of similar clients in the past with proven success.

How Should a Sales Proposal Be Delivered?

Another consideration when wanting a sales proposal to look its best is how the client receives it. The best and most often requested method of providing a sales proposal is sending it digitally. This is typically done via email, but using a specific platform, such as Best Proposals, is another method of ensuring the intended person receives the content. 

When delivering a proposal, an attention-grabbing subject line should be used to ensure the content is not just lost within the client’s inbox. 

As well as sending sales proposals digitally, they should also be followed up in the same manner, at least in the first instance. Clients are likely to receive lots of proposals all at once, so if you have not yet responded to them, calling directly is the best course of action. The advantage of using proposal software like ours is that sales personnel can always be clued up on their proposal stage. By this, we mean you are not left wondering if your proposal has been opened, as the software can tell you exactly what has been looked at, taking away the guessing work. As well as keeping everyone in the loop, this helps to keep CRM pipelines up to date as the software can feed directly into other tools.

Tips for Ensuring a Sales Proposal Looks Its Best

Proofread All Content

The last thing you want is for hours to be spent curating a killer sales proposal to fall at the first hurdle due to avoidable errors. As well as ensuring the grammar and spelling are correct, multiple people should fact-check the piece to ensure everything is correct. Making errors on a sales proposal can lead the client to think that the business or person needs to pay better attention to detail, which can negatively affect the proposed work.

Use Professional Templates

Use a professionally created template to save you time on the style and design of a sales proposal. Not only does this keep the look on brand for what you are trying to achieve, but it is also a great way to provide pointers during production, meaning that information is less likely to be missed out.

At Best Proposals, we allow clients to create templates and save them for future use, meaning that sleek, branded content can be produced in record time. Furthermore, this is vital as a sales proposal is the first insight that clients will receive into the standard of work that can be produced. It is therefore imperative that this offers continuity for other things that may follow otherwise the client may feel like they have been mis-sold.

Maintain The Format

As we mentioned, you will need to start by defining the structure. It’s then important to ensure this is stuck to throughout production. It can be tempting to go off on a tangent if you strike on a pot of gold content wise, but always ensure the published structure is satisfied in the final copy. 

Use Visuals

Lastly, our final tip for ensuring sales proposals look their best is to include some form of visuals throughout. Whether this is an image of the proposed product, diagrams or other charts, it’s essential to break up text to improve its effectiveness. 

Visualisation through imagery and diagrams increases a person’s ability to recall and memorise information. When it comes to submitting a sales proposal, one of the areas that businesses and sole traders suffer in is standing out from the rest and being remembered. When there are a pile of papers on a desk or emails in an inbox, it can be tough to be chosen and stand out. By hitting all of the psychological markers by adding visuals, sales proposals offer memorability and look the part as they are proving their legitimacy with evidence. 

How Can Best Proposals Guarantee a Professional Looking Sales Proposal?

Hopefully, you now have a clear image of what a sales proposal should look like. From the content itself to how it’s perceived upon delivery, every step of the process offers a chance for companies and individuals to stand out if the steps in this article are followed.

By choosing Best Proposals for the task, you can ensure that consistently high-performing and professional sales proposals are produced. Making a brilliant impression through a strong sales proposal not only helps to ensure the work is awarded but also improves brand image at the same time. 

To try out the software now for free, click this link. Creating professional sales proposals is possible without the guessing work thanks to our tried and tested software.

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