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Components of a Good Sales Proposal

Written by Product Management, Thursday, June 01, 2017

A good sales proposal increases the likelihood that your prospective client will choose your business over another, but what goes into a good sales proposal? While the specific details vary considerably across industries and products, there are some key concepts that a good sales proposal covers.

Highlight Your Customer’s Needs

You need to show you understand what your customer needs and how your product accomplishes this. Start by reiterating the challenge or pain points that your customer is experiencing, and show what would happen if those issues are not resolved — a secondary impact. This reinforces that you understand exactly what your client needs and makes your client understand that you have the right problem in front of you. It’s at this stage that adequate notes of your client’s needs are passed on, and good software allows you to do this as well as cross-reference other opportunities.

This also gives the client the opportunity to correct your understanding of the situation, letting you resubmit based on this new information.

Sales Pitch

The next stage is to create your sales pitch. In this, you show how your product:

  • Solves the client’s problems 
  • Has worked in similar situations
  • Has been received by other clients
  • In general, you don’t want to focus on a long list of specifications, as this does not inspire the customer to buy the product. Instead, focus on key details and problem solving. If you have never delivered the same solution to a customer, you can briefly show how your company has solved problems for other clients as a measure of your expertise.

    In most cases, your product won’t be the only one out there that is capable of solving your client’s problems. As a result, you have to show how your product is better without referring directly to those products — but don’t make unsupported claims, and don’t say anything negative about the competition.

    Cost

    Remember, price is a key part of your proposal, so you need to have it placed prominently, preferably on the first or second page. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that you meet your customer’s expectations by providing a breakdown of the overall cost. If your client’s expectations of the cost are much lower than your proposal, it gives you the opportunity to justify why your services are the price they are. This can be made even easier with client management software such as ChannelOnline.

    Set out your financial information clearly with use of appropriate subheadings where necessary. Think of it as a detailed quote, and make sure there are no surprises in each section. The final cost should be clearly labelled.

    Testimonials

    When you make claims about what your clients have said about you, you need to back them up with evidence and names. This helps client know that they are dealing with a reputable business. It’s even better if you have testimonial letters. Good software lets you manage various documents associated with each sales proposal along with notes and queries.

    Terms

    The terms and conditions allow you to show under what conditions you can meet client expectations. Key performance indicators, if relevant, should be laid out clearly and succinctly, and any legal requirements to your business proposal outlined. This often takes the form of a boilerplate that doesn’t change from one proposal to the next, but it’s always good to recheck each time, just in case there is something new that it doesn’t cover.

    Always include a call to action at the end. This can take the form of a closing question or a statement asking for the order. In addition, you should include the lead time in this final section so that your customer knows how long you need to deliver.

    With a good sales proposal, you can create a powerful pitch that increases the likelihood that clients choose you to solve their problem. ChannelOnline helps you get great results from your sales proposals with solid communication and documentation throughout the sales process.


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