5 Power Tips for Writing Winning Sales Proposals

9th September 2014 | By Frances Pratt

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You write sales proposals to win clients and so it should be tailored to persuade your potential client that you are the best company to help them solve their problem.  Keep this top of mind as you read on.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to have a laundry list of your achievements.  It’s a bit like trying to talk to someone, and all they do is talk about themselves.  It’s a turn off in conversations and it’s a turn off in proposals.

Follow these Sales Proposal Power Tips and I promise you your clients will be happier to read your proposal AND you will win more business.

Sales Proposal Power Tip 1:  Start With Them (not you)

Start with them – it sounds simple right?  Look at your current proposal, or one that you have received recently and you will probably see that the first page is something like … About us / Our achievements / Why work with. No No No!  Start with them. 

Your first page should focus on what you know about your new client, here are some suggestions:

  • Current Situation:  Show that you know who they are what their current situation they are in, which some background as to how this occurred. 
  • Current Problem:  What is their problem?  What impact does this problem have on their business in terms of impact on revenue, risks or controlling costs.
  • What are you proposing to do about it:  A brief description of your solution with an introduction into what impact this will have on their business. 

Here are some things other things that will show that you are focusing on them:

  • Have their logo on the page
  • Have their mission statement or other important information
  • Use people’s correctly spelt names and titles

Sales Proposal Power Tip 2: Solve Their Problem

Show them that you have a solution that fits their needs and their business.  Show them that you can solve their problem.  This part of the proposal is about building a credible picture of how you are going to approach their problem and details on what you will do.  This is like a roadmap on how you will take them from A (their pain) to B (your solution).

Think about the process from their perspective and what investment is required in effort from them.  It is important to be clear about what they will have to commit in terms of time and resources in order to make this work in their business.

Go through why you have made these recommendations.  This should have some detail so that they fully understand what your solution and most importantly why they should have invest in this.  Show them clearly the benefit to them and their business.

Sales Proposal Power Tip 3: Return on Investment – Get Crunchy!

Now that you have shown them that you can solve their problem, they need to know what the 'hard benefits' of this solution will mean for their business in terms of:

  • Increasing revenue
  • Decreasing costs
  • Decreasing or controlling risks

It is important to also consider the ‘soft’ benefits of your solution.  For example, will it make the staff happier, more productive or be a better experience for their clients.

Sales Proposal Power Tip 4: Show Me The Money!

You have told them you know their problem and they understand that you can offer a credible solution and the benefits that this will bring them. 

The next part of the proposal is all about their investment.  It details exactly what you are asking your customer to buy and how much this will cost.

If you have done a good job in detailing the benefits and return on investment, then this section should be easy to create.

SALES TIP:  Don’t do options! > By all means discuss options, but your job as a professional is to create a proposal that gives them exactly what they need.

Sales Proposal Power Tip 5: The Next Step

Don't get all fluffy now ... you need to be really direct the next steps and what is required.  Who owns the next step and when is it going to be completed by.

If you have persuaded them in your solution, then they should be eager to talk about dates and delivery times .... their response is the best indicator to if they think that you have proven that you have a viable solution for their business.

SALES TIP:  Be positive.  Assume that they are going to say YES - and let them know what the next steps are.

Let me know how you get on!

Happy Selling!


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