Choosing The Right Proposal Template That Just Works
What is common in most sales companies is that you create a sales proposal by going into the files and pulling out a proposal that has been created for the previous deal which is a bit similar to the current deal you are trying to close. You change the client name, specific features, contact person name, etc., and voila! – you have a new sales proposal. This definitely saves your time to build a proposal from scratch.
But what if there is a typo in the previous proposal and Control F + Replace all doesn’t work, and the client sees wrong/inapplicable information? Woahhh.
Are you sure you are not doing the same deadly mistake while writing a proposal? Because if you are, stop it right there.Are you sure you are not doing the same deadly mistake while writing a proposal? Because if you are, stop it right there. Click To Tweet
At a high level, there are two things which will decide if your proposal wins – if it is reflecting that
- You understand challenges prospect is facing
- You have the right skills, capabilities, experience and approach to solve those challenges
Customizing your proposal is a convenient way to show your prospect that you understand them. The more you tailor your proposal, the more it will be effective and convincing.
That’s why my advice is to use the RIGHT template to create a sales document. Sales proposal templates not only help you hit the right targets it also saves a lot of time and most importantly it ensures consistency.
Choosing the right sales proposal template enables you to set
- Clear structure to your proposal that is easy for your prospect to navigate your understanding of the client’s problem, your proposition, approach, capabilities, timeline, showcase other work and quotation
- Use of sections and headings
- Right tone that makes easy for your prospect to see that you are already involved with him/her to solve the problem
- Right visuals which enables prospect to subconsciously engage you for next stage
- Use of images reflecting the prospect’s industry/ or challenges s/he is facing or how your solution will solve his/her business challenges
- Use of colours and text styling to enhance the tone you want to set through the proposal,
In this article, we are going to look at all the things that you need to tick off before you create or select a sales proposal template to win that client.
#1. Master the Tone
Business proposals must have the right tone to ensure it is effective. If the tone makes the content unclear, confusing or even worst – offensive, the reader will not be able to soak up or react properly to the proposal.
The overall tone in a written document affects the reader just as the same way the tone of voice affects in face to face conversation.
How do you know if this is the right tone?
Document Purpose: Each document has its own purpose and the tone must match that purpose. For example, a user manual is intended to instruct, which is why it has a direct, neutral tone. Sales proposal is intended to win business which is why it uses a convincing tone.
Simple logic, right?
Brand Personality: Every brand is unique in its own way and has a different style. Your brand may be hippy and fun or serious and steady. Whether casual, formal or something in between your as long your tone matches your brand personality and the needs of your prospect it will serve you well.
What are the factors that can help your business proposal achieve the right tone?
Confidence: Companies closes deals with people who are confident about their business, their product as well as their own.
- a. Health goals will be achieved with the help of our health plan. (Passive tone)
- b. Our exclusive health plan will help you achieve your health goal. (Active tone)
Sincerity: Sincerity can be proven by the evidence of past success. Numbers play a major role in maintaining the tone of sincerity. For example,
- a. We helped many customers to reach their health goals. (Without numbers)
- b. We helped 20,000+ customers to reach their health goals. (With numbers)
Positivity: Positive tone is more appealing. Make sure your template has a phrases used in a positive manner.
- a. Please accept the contract by Friday, otherwise we will become too busy to process your order. (Negative tone)
- b. For top-quality service please accept the proposal by Friday. (Positive tone)
The look and feel of the proposal template should differ depending on the type of industry. For example, you can’t just pull up the real estate proposal template and use the same for a marketing industry deal. And hope that you will magically walk away with a sale.
Of course, that’s never going to happen.
Have a look at the covers of the real estate sales proposal template and a marketing proposal template. Can you spot the difference between the cover images of the above two templates?
The first thing your client is going to see is the cover image, and what if the cover image itself is misleading? Crap. He won’t even spend time to look at the rest of the proposal. It doesn’t matter how interactive your sales proposal is because no one will review it if you go wrong with the template selection. Not all the templates follow the standardized structure, wedding planning is very different from construction, web design is different from cleaning services.
That’s why always choose a proposal template based on the type of industry.
Creating a business proposal is exactly similar to building a house. The way structure of the house varies according to the location, architecture, owner’s requirements, the same way business proposals varies based on the industry type, company size, and many other factors.
There are some important factors that are always essential in both cases.
Which are those Elements that Define the Structure?
- About your company: Who are you, what qualities do you have why should a potential client prefer you over the competitors?
- Problem awareness: Show that you have done research and you know the problem and the results potential client wants.
- Pricing and the process: Clear picture about how will you solve their problems and how much will it cost?
This basic structure applies for almost every business proposal templates.
You may have the best content but if you fail to present it well, you won’t be able to catch your potential client’s attention. Keep one thing in mind that you have to make your proposal dynamic and memorable.
A well-designed business proposal will not only sell your business but also help you win more deals. Proposal template should follow a document type design format but that doesn’t mean you can not dress up your proposals.
What are the Factors that Please the Eyes with the Design?
- If the layouts are not mandated then you get complete freedom to design a proposal to stand out from the crowd.
- The layout of your proposal should represent a relationship between various ideas. Headings can reflect a hierarchical relationship between your ideas – like from major ideas to minor ones.
- 10-12 point fonts are most commonly used.
- Make sure your proposal does not have those funky or non-standard fonts. What if your client won’t be able to read the proposal because he doesn’t have that font?
c. Table of Contents
- It is often neglected but it’s still an important part of design.
- All proposal templates must have a table of content to help readers where to find key information.
- As per the saying ” show, don’t tell”. To enhance your text incorporate visuals like charts, graphs, infographics, screenshots, photos.
- Video testimonial from a satisfied customer in a proposal can turn the tables for you.
e. Brand Logo
- A logo is the best representation of any product or company.
- It’s not just an image. It establishes identity, awareness. That’s why you must include a logo in your proposal design.
The goal of any business proposal is to sell something and if you want to sell something the first task you need to accomplish is to grab the attention. And of course, color plays an important role in capturing attention and setting up a path for the readers’ eye to follow.
You don’t want to be that person who lost a big client because you sent a high energy red, orange, and yellow color proposal to a conservative client. Or a grey color proposal to a hippy, funky startup, do you?
- If the color theory is too confusing for you, then you can go with blue. Blue is the safest color used across the world- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. You can’t really go with BLUE.
- If you are in a creative industry, you can make use of the high energy colors such as yellow, red, orange.
- If your industry is dealing with nature or natural products. Choose earth tones, water or natural colors in your proposal.
You know all your problems for building a sales proposal can be easily solved by using a proposal software.
Now, get started with your work.