Proposals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are highly-technical and data-focused, while others are more detail-driven. Some are filled with fluff, while others are pretty worthless. The best proposals are a combination of data, solutions, and detail.
The Best Proposal Template
Here’s a template you can use that provides a nice blend of data, solutions and detail, plus some built-in mini closes designed to increase the likelihood of closing the deal!
Create a title focused on the desired business result. Remember to list all those you are presenting to and include your name, job title, contact information, and the date.
Desired Business Result
State clearly and succinctly the desired business result you and the prospect/customer have agreed to focus on.
Measures of Success
List the ways you and the prospect/customer have agreed you will measure success (we recommend 2-4 as a best practice).
Insert mini-close #1 here. Ask the following question, "Are we in agreement on how we will measure the success of this campaign?"
Present the solution in the context of how it will influence the consumer journey. Other recommendations that are not included in your solution, but will benefit the customer, and increase the chances of success are added here.
Insert mini-close #2 here. Ask the following question, "Do you have a high degree of confidence that this solution will deliver the agreed upon results?"
This closing and confidence building mechanism is simply a list of all both parties have invested to this point and evidence that you are thinking of the fulfillment plan going forward.
The sign-off page to ensure both parties are committed and that they feel the commitment of the other party. Use an expiration date to create urgency. Include language that communicates what it will be like doing business with you.
Insert mini-close #3 here. Ask the following question, "If we are both ready to commit to this plan today, we can keep the momentum going and start working on implementation. Are you ready to proceed?"
If you include all the sections above and in our recommended order, you will present the right information in the right order, without getting in the weeds—making it easier for the perspective buyer to follow. That’s why you want all the supporting details in the appendix.
Omit at your own risk!
Too many proposals omit a summary of desired business results and measures of success. These elements require a seller to do some probing during the needs analysis process. Reminder, a no-surprise proposal is the best way to close deals, so clarifying specific things during the process can eliminate the surprise to the prospect. Surprises can be fun when they are part of a birthday; not-so-much when involved in selling and closing a B2B deal.
At times this work can be tedious, maneuvering around sensitive topics. Don’t let this scare you because these elements generally separate the best proposals from the rest! Use this suggested proposal template to help you improve your sales performance!