May 2, 2023

How to Prepare A Sales Proposal: Step by Step Guide

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The sales proposal is so critical that a good one can ensure a sale, while a bad one can guarantee a no sale. For your convenience, here is an ultimate sales proposal guide and tips to improve any sales proposal you have.

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Tips & Tricks for a Killer Sales Proposal

Sales proposals matter. If you are looking to connect with your prospective customers, better explore how your product or service can solve their ongoing problem, and how it presents a unique sales opportunity for them. But, it is a very common handicap for sales professionals to prepare exorbitantly long, vague and generic sales proposals that are extremely disengaging. The sales proposal is so critical that a good one can ensure a sale, while a bad one can guarantee a no sale. 

Did you know that only 47% of sales proposals end up being successful in completing a sale? But, it is so common that sales professionals don’t make it their priority to prepare a solid and comprehensive proposal and commit the time to help them reach their full potential. What’s more, it makes sense especially if there is a time crunch on the part of the sales official. 

You can do better! For your convenience, here is an ultimate sales proposal guide and tips to improve any sales proposal you have. 

What is a sales proposal? 

Sales Professional

People or businesses prepare sales proposals when they are trying to pitch their product or services to potential customers or clients. These documents are correspondingly used by consultants, agencies and sales teams. What purposes can it serve? 

What can you use a sales proposal for?

  • Show your expert understanding of your customers’ needs. Ensure you have a solid conversation that is ongoing with prospects and understand what they are trying to solve with your solution. 
  • Engage with your prospective clients to confirm your unique solution is the best in the market. Show them you see the challenges they are facing and how they can benefit from your products and services. 
  • Inspire your clients to take action and click on that CTA. Provide your prospective clients with all the information they need before they make a decision about purchasing. Did you provide them with the necessary details regarding budgets, deliverables and processes? 

Ultimately, the message and story you are trying to tell concerns that your products and services are of value to purchase. Clearly convey this message and manifest and adept understanding of your individual prospects’ needs and desires. 

What does this involve? 

5 Key Steps For A Professional Sales Proposal

Sales Team

In the same way your solution is unique, so is your audience and the needs of your prospective clients. How are you going to reflect this on the proposal? Here are some strategies on how to construct a successful sales proposal that is applicable to all sectors and various sales cycles. Make sure you are following this guideline to create a solid sales proposal. 

1. Did you analyze your prospective clients? 

What are the relevant metrics you will have to analyze for your prospects? This will likely include their objectives regarding the critical problems they face and how they are looking for them to be solved. Further, understand their budget and if they are open to negotiating this amount. Who are the relevant stakeholders and significant decision-makers that are involved in this sales cycle? And, finally, what is their urgency? Is this something they are looking  to solve right now, or are they open to taking things slow? Through touching all these key steps, you can ensure that your customers feel heard as you deliver towards their needs in the sales proposal. 

Click on image to take the quiz

2. What is your unique selling proposition? 

Understand and clearly convey what separates you from your competition. You must identify how your products and services are unique and stand out among the crowd of competitors. Reflect this in your marketing initiatives, branding efforts, PR projects, customer services, and sales processes. The key point where this will happen is the sales proposal. Make sure the proposal includes the specific advantages you have when compared to other agents, your accounts of credibility in terms of user testimonials and previous results, and, finally, a feature or process that is unique to your product and services. Here, it is critical to shy away from being vague. Be clear and to the point in your directives. Reflect confidence. 

3. Are you utilizing copywriting best practices?

Today, digital content is the way to tell your story. Your brand’s online voice determines the overall presence and your prospects for sale. What can you do to make this proposal align better with your voice. Solid copywriting is important for everything that connects with an audience, including billboards, social media advertisements, websites and more. What are some great copywriting and SEO best practices and guidelines for you to use?

  • Utilise bullet points, shorter paragraphs and headings
  • Do not use unnecessary words just to make it look longer. Longer texts are undesirable. 
  • Do not use passive voice; active voice is more engaging and intimate. 
  • Utilize storytelling principles that capitalize on leading the course of the pitch naturally and in a certain order
  • Include full quality graphics and visuals to highlight key points

For your convenience, here is a guide to repurposing content that elaborates on how you can reshape your online content and have it better deliver your main message. 

4. Are you keeping things simple? 

People assume complex and elaborate make you seem more fancy and professional. That is not the case. Overly fancy proposals with too much text will not get you results. Indeed, this is a scientifically proven principle called the complexity bias, where people fall prey to a logical fallacy thinking that complexity equals credibility. Read more on why Einstein thinks “ Smart people simplify things on why the complexity bias is wrong. So, in your sales proposal, use minimalist, yet direct content and design elements. For instance, start out with a summary of key points, and then start expanding. Include benefits, facts, statistics and visuals to support your messages. Include bulleted and numbered lists for clarity. Keep things actionable and ensure consistency. Make sure you are creating a readable article that is proofread and grammatically correct. 

5. Are you making use of a great sales proposal template? 

Working from scratch for something as important as a sales proposal may not be the right way to go. To build up from an already proven to be successful deck or template may be really helpful. There are many sales proposal template solutions out there that can help you achieve this goal. Through this, you can ensure you are not missing key domains and using the right design elements and features that will definitely engage your audience. Are you remembering to give details about the problem in the market, finding an adequate pitch for your solution and building up on happy customers. How are your products and services uniquely better than other solutions. For your reference, here is what Decktopus includes in their sales and service proposal templates: 

What a Sales Proposal Should Include?

Sales Domains

  1. Prospect Company Name
  2. Company Information
  3. Revenue Loss and Issues
  4. Why Do Other Providers Fail? 
  5. How Your Services Are Unique
  6. Product & Service Outline
  7. Statistics
  8. User References
  9. User Testimonials

Check out the template for service and sales proposals here

If you prefer, Decktopus offers other unique business templates and decks that include: company orientation, strategic partnership, product demo, startup pitch deck, team portfolio, strategic plan, progress report and business plan. Check them out here

How is Decktopus Your Go-to Solution for Sales Proposals? 

Decktopus may be the optimum sales proposal solution you are looking for, especially given that it recently adjusted its business offering to primarily serve for sales proposals and relevant needs of small to midsize businesses. Through the solution, you can start working on proposal, report, catalogue and presentation templates, share them online and start capturing leads without any design skills. How? 

With Decktopus you can embed forms into your sales proposal, where you can input contact forms, application forms or feedback forms and receive relevant information from your prospects. Then, you can access this information in a single dashboard and utilize this in your corresponding mailing and communication. Then, you can connect your custom domain to your sales proposal and easily share the proposal online with your prospects. 

Start discovering our business plan where you can create unlimited numbers of documents, add brand features like colors and fonts to your documents, collaborate with your coworkers, export the document in PDF and PPT, embed forms and collect & monitor leads. If you are looking for an enterprise solution for your company with more than a 100 employees, get in touch with us now and see how we can deliver a solution that is unique for you.  

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