People in sales sometimes get a bad reputation. Unfairly or not, many are seen as pushy and brash. In reality, only those bad at sales display such characteristics. Those in the know, and have exceptionally high conversion rates, are able to improve sales figures often without clients knowing that they are even being upsold to.
And that is so key. Achieving sales is at the heart of many businesses and their ability to succeed. Without sales, many companies will not bring in revenue and as a result no profits. There is no getting around that. No sales means no income. No income means no business.
Having a steady stream of sales income is therefore required, but getting to that stage can be tricky. Pitching for work and selling products consistently demands time and effort. Any way time and effort can be reduced or minimized can help improve a company’s profit margins. Having a sales proposal template is one such method many companies employ to help quicken the pace of the pitching and selling process.
But what exactly is a sales proposal? And how do you write a good sales proposal that reaps rewards? Here, we answer those questions as well as examining some of the best sales proposal templates that will provide inspiration for one you can use to help your company’s sales no end.
What is a sales proposal?
Let’s start with the basics. A sales proposal is a document which a company uses to pitch their products or services to another entity. That entity - be it an individual or a company - can then accept that proposal to enter into an agreement, or use it as a springboard for negotiations.
However, proposals are more than just putting a price on a product or service that your business can offer. And that’s why we have written this blog. A sales proposal can be the first interchange you have with a potential customer that helps show them you are the best company that will answer a particular want or need. A sales proposal can demonstrate that you have done your research on your potential customer and you fully grasp their needs.
Once you have managed to demonstrate that you know their issues, you can then better target how you specifically can answer their needs. Doing so can be an extremely persuasive way of highlighting why you are the best person for the job. In doing so, and with the right terms involved, a sales proposal will then behave like a call to action. A potential customer will be so seduced by a good sales proposal that they will sign up to your business’s offering as soon as feasibly possible.
In short, a sales proposal is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd to ensure you are the one making all the sales, while your competitors pale in comparison to your offering.
How to write a sales proposal
Knowing what a sales proposal is, and what it should contain, is sadly just the first step to achieving those much needed sales. Knowing how to write a sales proposal that is compelling and persuasive, without being pushy and intimidating, is a fine balance to make.
That being said, do not overcomplicate the situation. Firstly, layout your sales proposal so it is easy to read. Ensure you use simple sentences that are not convoluted. Do not try to hide any information in the middle of lengthy paragraphs. Instead, put important information in clear places within the document and break up texts into sections. Using numbers or headers can help a potential client scan the document more easily. Keep jargon to a minimum.
In terms of what to start with first, in a few short sentences, write who you are and what issue you are going to solve. Note down your company’s process and timeline. Give enough detail that your potential client understands how you work, but not too much that the document becomes lengthy and dry. It is also a good idea to write a little bit about your team and why they are the best at what they do. If you are a lone ranger, talk about your experience and why you are good at your job.
Finally, put all of the above into a template. Your future self and colleagues will be so grateful. A template means that when you come to rewrite a new sales proposal for a new potential client, you do not have to start from scratch. Instead, you can easily amend and edit the template as and where you need. Doing so can quickly minimize the time you spend on the pitching process when the need arises.
It does not mean that each proposal is a carbon carbon of the previous one. Every sales proposal needs to be personalized to help make them as persuasive as possible. However, that is not to say that huge sections of the proposal will not be the same. Make use of technology to make the pitching process painless by using a template or automation.
Best sales proposal templates
The best example of a sales proposal template will include all the details we mention above, ready for you to amend as necessary. Importantly, the layout and look of the template will reflect and strengthen your brand. And, essentially, a sales proposal template should work with a final sales and purchase agreement. In practice, this means that all the terms and conditions you layout in your proposal, can be pulled directly from the document and inserted quickly into a sales and purchase agreement.
The whole process is far more straightforward this way and is a big time saver. Plus, it is far less prone to error. In fact, a good sales proposal template can help autogenerate sales contracts when certain events have been triggered and by pulling data from the proposal too. For, it is frustrating and a total waste of time when sales have to spend time creating sales agreements. It’s a long journey of copy and pasting of data that already lives in your CRM system. Further, your team probably live most their day in Slack or MS Teams. With Contractbook, we connect your CRM, contracts and communication flow in one automated connection where data flows frictionless between your favourite tools (Not just into Contractbook from your CRM but from Contractbook back into your CRM).
We think this is so key for a sales proposal template to be able to autogenerate into a sales contract. For, when a salesperson has closed the deal, it is up to the customer or operations team to execute on it. But the handover can be difficult and often falls between the cracks relying on people to manually notify someone that an agreement needs to be created.
Instead, with Contractbook and a great sales proposal template, salespeople can focus on pipeline management in the CRM, while contracts are created automatically, triggering a variety of other things like notifying the team of a new sale and making your finance team aware of a new customer that needs to be invoiced.
Sales proposal overall takeaways
Sales proposals are where so much of a business’s income starts. Not to go too overboard, but their use and importance really cannot be overlooked. A well written proposal is the initial way a company can start to build a relationship with a potential customer so that all future dealings with them are profitable. Repeat business is far more likely if the entire process of agreeing to and finalizing sales is simple and effective. Repeat business is so important to a company, that doing anything to improve the chances of it can materially help a business’s bottom line.