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Preparing A Sales Proposal: Stages, Templates, And Examples

Preparing A Sales Proposal: Stages, Templates, And Examples

In our recent post, we discussed how to write a sales proposal that brings you real results. This time, I’d like to dedicate more attention to sales proposal planning and share some sales proposal templates and examples to fill you with motivation and confidence in case you are among those sales reps who still think writing sales proposals is double Dutch.

But first, let’s talk about how to write your sales proposal step by step.  

How to prepare a sales proposal in 5 steps

Okay. Let’s say you’ve researched the market, studied your target audience, and now clearly understand the fundamentals of their business and the challenges they’re facing. It’s time to start planning your sales proposal draft. I suggest splitting your sales proposal writing into 5 stages.

How to prepare a sales proposal in 5 steps

1. Understand your sales proposal structure

Your sales proposal can be as long as 2 to 10 pages, depending on your offering and goals. But if you want it to bring you the desired results, I would recommend that you keep in mind the following essential elements of a sales proposal:

  • Title and credentials. This section contains the title of your sales proposal, information about who prepared it, and their contact details.
  • Executive summary. Being the most crucial element of a sales proposal, it serves as a concise outline of your document, where you introduce your product, connect its benefits with the prospect’s pain points, and explain any unfamiliar terms or conditions.
  • Background information. This section introduces your company to a potential client and states your mission. As an option, you can add several sentences from one of your testimonials or case studies to make your point more impactful.
  • Proposed solution. In this section, you disclose how your products/services can solve the prospect’s problem. You should use compelling visuals, statistics, screenshots, and graphs to present your case in the best way.
  • Pricing/budget information. At this point, you clearly state the budget/price for using your products/services.
  • Action step outline. This section contains a list of clear steps for a prospect to follow to buy your solution. 
  • Attachments. Here you attach all the supporting documents that a customer can refer to before purchasing your product/service, such as the company profile, legal contract, glossary of terms, or other testimonials from previous clients.

2. Outline your sales proposal

Considering all the above elements, draft a sales proposal outline. It will help you better organize the content of the document. For beginners, I would advise writing down the headlines of the main sales proposal elements I’ve mentioned in the previous section and adding some key relevant information you’re going to include.

With time, you will create your own sales proposal structure (the one that works best for you) and make the respective outline. Meanwhile, here’s an example of the alternative sales proposal outline you can use now:

Outline your sales proposal

After creating the outline, take some time to review it from the perspective of your target audience. Does it make sense? Is there anything missing that might be important for them to know? 

3. Write your sales proposal

At this stage, you can finally start drafting your sales proposal. Although there are no strict requirements for its length, I recommend that you first write as much content as possible, especially if you haven’t yet had enough experience in making sales proposals. You can review the document and remove any unnecessary details later if needed.

What’s more, I strongly advise that you focus on the most relevant information. Your sales proposal body must look as valuable to the reader as possible. Include the information that resonates with the pain points of a particular prospect. 

Write your sales proposal

4. Don’t forget about your sales proposal design

As soon as you’re ready with the copy, it’s high time to think about the design of your sales proposal to ensure the document looks appealing. 

Use formatting strategies such as section headings and bullet points to structure your sales proposal, think about its colors, and don’t forget about visuals. Graphs, tables, or other infographics will help present your solution more informative and engagingly.

5. Edit and proofread your sales proposal 

Your proposal is written for professionals; it has to be perfect. Small comma misplacement or spelling mistakes can make your proposal look amateur. 

Take a small break after writing a sales proposal, come back, and proofread it with a fresh perspective. Ensure you:

  • Eliminate all complex sentences
  • Shorten your sentences and reduce paragraph length
  • Add visual elements wherever possible
  • Make sure that prices and facts are written correctly
  • Follow a consistent tone throughout the sales proposal 

For better proofreading, use tools like Grammarly or Hemingway. This way, no spelling or punctuation mistakes will be left unnoticed.

Sales proposal templates and examples to start using today 

Only 47% of sales proposals get any results. That means you must write your proposal carefully to improve your conversion rate.

For your convenience, I’ve created a simple sales proposal template that you can apply to your sales route and speed up your sales pipeline. You can also download it here.

To boost creativity and find inspiration, consider another example of a product sales proposal template with a neat design and a well-thought structure:

Sales proposal templates and examples
Source: Pandadoc

I assume you might have liked this template and are waiting for more examples, aren’t you?

I’ve collected several more sales proposal examples in case you need a template for your specific industry.

SaaS sales proposal template

If you’re a SaaS company like Snov.io, you know how challenging it is sometimes to find new customers. Nowadays, the competition is fierce, with more and more applications seeing the world daily. It’s time to shine up with your perfectly written sales proposal – the following SaaS sales proposal example will help:

SaaS sales proposal template
Source: Pandadoc

Advertising sales proposal template

If you are an advertising agency, you’re literally selling your advertising services to other companies that need them. In this case, you should be prepared to make a sales proposal that will convince your prospective clients you are their best fit. How? Use this advertising sales proposal example: 

Advertising sales proposal template
Source: Pandadoc

IT sales proposal template

IT companies inevitably face the moment when they have to charm their prospective customers while pitching their IT services or consulting expertise. It will be useful to have a sales proposal template at hand, which will help convince their prospects to sign the deal. Here’s an IT sales proposal example:

IT sales proposal template
Source: Freshproposals

SEO sales proposal template

If your company offers SEO services, you should know how to pitch your expertise effectively. Use this SEO proposal template to persuade prospects your SEO knowledge and skills are a real finding for their business.

SEO sales proposal template
Source: Freshproposals 

Digital marketing proposal template

If you operate in digital marketing, you must know how important it is to successfully pitch your service at a time of serious digital marketing competition. This professionally made digital marketing sales proposal template can help you present your offerings in the best way possible:

Digital marketing proposal template
Source: Freshproposals 

How to customize your sales proposal template

When working on a sales proposal template, it’s tempting to cut and paste content from one proposal to the next, like you do while drafting a professional email template

But that’s a big mistake! 

Templated content within your sales proposal won’t make it stand out in a sea of competitors, as 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

Take time to customize your sales proposals for each prospect. It might take a bit more effort up-front but pay off in the long run. 

Here are some tips for customizing your sales templates:

Demonstrate you’ve done your homework

Include a section or slide discussing how you learned about your prospect’s business and why you’re excited to work with them (this way, you’ll show that you understand their needs and goals).

Focus on ‘You’

Personalize all sections of the sales proposal by using customer-related information and using more “you” and “your company” instead of “we” and “our company.” While discussing benefits, shift the focus from the detailed description of your tools and features to their value to the prospect.

Reveal your plans

Add a slide or a section to your sales proposal explaining how you plan to work with the prospect. This way, you’ll show your serious attitude and communicate the message you are a company they can trust.

Use relevant examples

You’ve helped companies like your prospect’s to overcome similar problems? Don’t forget to mention it in your sales proposal, using a case study or testimonial. This way, you’ll assure potential customers you have experience handling similar challenges.

Draw out real customer-related data

In your sales proposal, include success metrics that would matter for the specific customer – based on the real industry or market information. Refrain from just generic stats or useless averages.

Wrapping up

Writing an astounding sales proposal is, without a doubt, a job that will want your time and effort. It doesn’t mean, however, you won’t cope with it if you lack experience. Remember about a proper sales proposal structure, include only relevant information, make the content of your document as personalized as possible, and wrap it all in an appealing design.

I hope the sales proposal examples I’ve shared in this article will become your motivational pill, while a simple template from Snov.io will serve as a good crutch during your first endeavors. 

And if you need more help with selling your product, Snov.io tools are always at your disposal.

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