In many cases, winning new business is simply a matter of knowing how to write sales proposals that compel more prospective customers to buy.
Although research shows that fewer than 50% of prospects will prove a good fit for your product or service, it also suggests that, given the opportunity to present a quality proposal to a qualified prospect, you can expect an average sales win rate of 47%.
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into writing a quality sales proposal so you can generate more business and expand your customer base.
Preparing to write a sales proposal
A winning sales proposal is clear, concise, and dedicated to resolving a buyer’s problem or challenge. Before writing and submitting any new proposal, you should make it a point to research your prospect’s company and schedule a discovery meeting or call to find out:
- The nature of the issue your prospective client is facing
- Their budget and purchasing timeframe
- The outcome they’re looking to achieve
Rather than providing a generic overview of your product’s features, be prepared to create a proposal that stands out from the competition by demonstrating an authentic understanding of your buyer’s pain points and needs.
What to include in your proposal
Simple language—accompanied by visuals where possible—works best in the average sales proposal. Aim to get your information across succinctly, while covering these three essential points:
- Details of the solution you’re offering
- Results your prospect is likely to see
- Reasons why your company is the best choice as a sales partner
The key is to make every proposal you write relevant by establishing a clear connection between your product or service and how it will solve a particular customer’s problem.
That said, many sales experts suggest giving clients multiple ways to take advantage of the solution you’re offering.
If, for example, you run a SaaS business, you might outline two or three differently priced subscription plans. Providing comparative information and context won’t just make it easier for prospects to assess the value of different options, they’ll be less likely to shop around as a result—and more likely to make their buying decision that much faster.
You’ll make an even stronger impact, meanwhile, if you support your written proposal with some or all of the following items:
- Company brochures or links to your sales materials
- Client testimonials or positive news stories about your product or service
- Related technical studies or documentation
- A breakdown of the financial benefits or expected ROI from using your solution
- Detailed price quotations
Finally, whether you choose to share your proposal digitally—or make a presentation via video conference, or in person—do make a point of finding out who the decision-makers are so you can engage everyone involved in the buying process.
Following up on sales proposals
Now that your proposal has made it easy for your prospect to connect the dots between their challenge and your solution, you should make it equally convenient for them to ask questions or—better still—take the next step and seal the sales deal by:
- Always placing your contact information, and a clear call-to-action, front and centre
- Considering an investment in e-signature software to facilitate the exchange of sales documents and contracts
- Following up on every proposal at the appropriate time (e.g., 1-2 days for single buyer transactions, 4-5 days for buying groups)
No client is looking to make unnecessary work for themselves. The more you can do to educate your prospects and streamline the sales process, the more likely your proposals are to win—and retain—the new business you’re after.