Your proposal is another chance to show a prospective client what it's like to work with you. It is a critical document in the sales process that ties together everything you've learned about your prospect's needs and outlines your goals, strategies and plans to help them succeed. It must be well-written and persuasive to grab the reader's attention.

Today, even in a competitive environment, we see lots of generic proposal content that looks like it's written using AI. But, if you want your proposal to stand out, you need to personalize your proposal and go beyond the generic, artificial content.

Having a personalized proposal doesn't mean you have to start from scratch each and every time you need to send one. Starting with a great proposal template can help save you time so you can focus on the needs of your client and the details of your offer.

Looking for the best proposal templates around? We've got you covered!

What is a proposal?

In short, a proposal is a document written to convince the reader to take a specific course of action or make a decision. It is often submitted in response to a formal request for proposal (RFP) process and outlines a project, product, or service being offered.

Proposals are typically used in business transactions, where companies present their products or services, often using their preferred sales methodology, to potential clients with the goal of winning new business. For instance, a well-written sales proposal is used to persuade a potential customer to purchase a product or service, while a research proposal is used to convince an organization to fund a research project.

What makes a stand-out proposal in the buyer’s mind?

The best sales proposals stand out not because they are flashy or filled with complex information but because they communicate a clear and compelling message. Here are some key elements to help you write a sales proposal that wins your prospect's mind.

Understand your prospect's needs

A stunning project proposal only goes so far. You need to write your proposal in a way that shows you understand the buyer's challenges and goals. It should address the specific problems or pain points the buyer faces and provide them with actual, tangible solutions.

Provide a unique solution

An outstanding proposal offers something different from what is already available in the market. It should highlight your unique product or service and how it can specifically benefit the buyer. This will help you differentiate yourself from competitors and make your proposal more appealing. Even if your offer seems similar on paper, a detailed cover letter or an executive summary can help you explain how you provide a unique solution.

Adapting your proposal for multiple decision-makers

In the current market conditions, proposals often need to be reviewed by multiple stakeholders within an organization. It's essential to make your proposal easy for your champion to share and advocate for internally.

Watch the video below to learn how to craft a proposal that addresses the concerns of the "invisible buyers" and ensures your deal doesn't get lost in the decision-making process:

Make it visually appealing

While compelling content is crucial, the visual aspect of a proposal should not be neglected. A well-designed and visually appealing proposal can capture the reader's attention and make your message more memorable. A design tip that will never go out of style is to use visuals such as charts, graphs, and images to support your points and break up long blocks of text.

Show value

A strong proposal clearly outlines the value that your offering can provide to the buyer. This includes not only financial info (like what they can expect to pay and when) but also intangible benefits such as increased efficiency, improved processes, or enhanced reputation.

Be specific and concise

It is important to be specific and detailed in your proposal while still being concise. Avoid using vague business terms or filler words and provide relevant information highlighting how your offering can meet the buyer's needs. This will help build trust and credibility with your potential client.

Include a call to action

A good proposal should end with a clear call to action, directing the buyer on what steps they need to take next. This can be requesting a specific action, such as scheduling a meeting or signing a contract, or simply inviting your potential client to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Collaborating on your proposal with your client

A beautiful proposal is only effective if it resonates with your client and their team. It's crucial to review your proposal with your client and tailor it to their needs and the needs of their stakeholders.

Watch the video below for strategies on how to collaborate with your client to ensure your proposal addresses all necessary concerns:

What sections should you include in your proposal?

Sales proposals should be customized to fit your audience (both in terms of their business or industry and in terms of the specific needs each prospect has.) However, every good proposal template features the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of the proposal, including key points and a summary of your value.
  • Background/Introduction: This section should introduce your company and explain why you are uniquely positioned to offer the proposed solution.
  • Problem Statement: Clearly outline the challenges or pain points that your prospect is facing.
  • Proposed Solution: Share the details of your offering and how it can specifically address the problems stated.
  • Pricing/Quote: Provide a detailed breakdown of costs and payment terms associated with your solution.
  • Timeline/Schedule: Outline the timeline for implementing your solution and any key milestones or deadlines.
  • Testimonials/Case Studies: Include client testimonials and relevant success stories from previous clients to showcase your credibility and expertise.
  • Call to Action: Outline the next step your prospect should take to keep the sales process moving.

The best proposal software tools will include the above sections in their templates. Alternatively, you can try our AI proposal generator for free and create your own professional looking proposal in minutes.

While many factors go into creating a proposal that meets a prospective client's needs and helps you win their business, here are a few of the best proposal examples to get you started. Whether you're looking for business proposal samples or you need a proposal for potential sponsors for an event, these are great places to start.

Sales proposal template

A general sales proposal template is a more general blueprint you can use when writing your proposals. The Qwilr sales proposal template includes elements like:

  • Executive summary
  • An overview of your company and the value you offer
  • A summary of the prospect's needs and pain points
  • Details on your proposed solution and how it meets their specific needs
  • A section for pricing and payment terms
  • A timeline for implementation and key milestones
  • Customizable sections to add testimonials, case studies, or other supporting materials.
  • eSignature and payment options

Want to make your sales proposal shine? We put together a guide on how to write a winning sales proposal here. Check it out and supercharge your proposals to sign more deals.

sales proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Sales Proposal template

Enterprise sales proposal template

Handling enterprise deals is a different game, and so is the proposal you must write. Check out the Qwilr enterprise sales proposal template if you want to create a professional and comprehensive proposal to help you close enterprise-level deals.

This template includes sections for:

  • An executive summary
  • The mutual action plan
  • Your product overview
  • Notes from previous calls
  • Customer service information
  • Social proof
  • Security and compliance
  • Return on investment
  • Pricing
enterprise sales proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Enterprise Sales Proposal template

Marketing proposal template

A great marketing proposal template is perfect for agencies and freelancers who want to showcase their marketing services to potential clients, outshine the competition, and win more deals. The template includes sections for:

  • Executive summary
  • Your client's main challenge
  • Key priorities
  • 1-year goals
  • Audience segmentation
  • Marketing strategy
  • The services you provide
  • Your team and company
  • Social proof
  • How you will measure success
  • Pricing/ packages
marketing proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Marketing Proposal template

PPC proposal template

Running an advertising agency specializing in paid search or pay-per-click? Then, it's crucial to build a solid proposal to win new clients, which clearly outlines what you can offer, how well you understand your prospect's business, and how you will deliver results.

The Qwilr PPC proposal template includes all the elements you need to make your proposal stand out:

  • Executive summary
  • Your customer's challenges
  • The key priorities in your work
  • Your 1-year goals for working together
  • Current performance analysis
  • Campaign strategy (keyword optimization, ad placement, ad copy and creatives, tracking and measurement, and more)
  • How your agency stands out
  • Information about the team and company
  • Social proof
  • How you will measure success
  • Costs and packages you offer
ppc proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's PPC Proposal template

SEO proposal template

There are a lot of SEO agencies out there, so standing out can be tough. A professional-looking sales proposal can make a world of difference in terms of how your clients perceive you and the value your services provide -- so make sure you put some time into creating proposals that cross the t's and dot the i's.

The Qwilr SEO proposal template is a great starting point and includes sections for:

  • Your client's needs
  • Social proof (results you've had with previous clients)
  • Your agency's process (what's included, what's not included, etc.)
  • Cost breakdown
  • Information about the team and company
  • Call to action/ next steps
  • Terms and conditions

Want to learn more about writing pitch-perfect proposals for your SEO agency? We've brought together all our expertise to teach you how to write an SEO sale proposal template.

seo proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's SEO Proposal template

SaaS proposal template

SaaS is a battlefield -- if you want to win big deals for your software as a service business and if you want them to keep on recommending you to others long after they've purchased, you need to start on the right foot. And a well-built, enticing SaaS proposal will definitely help.

Qwilr's SaaS proposal template includes all the sections you need to make your SaaS memorable in your prospects' minds:

  • Executive summary
  • Your main challenge, priorities, and the 1-year goal
  • How your SaaS can help
  • What success looks like
  • Information about your team and company
  • Cost breakdown
  • Next steps and call-to-action

Want to fine-tune your SaaS sales strategy altogether? We have a guide for that! Check it out and start raking in more sales and revenue for your SaaS business.

saas proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's SaaS Proposal template

Mobile app development proposal template

As a mobile app developer, you know that it takes a lot of expertise, time, and resources to build an app that meets your client's needs. One way to make sure you showcase your experience, previous work, and the value you offer is by using a proposal template you can then adjust to your specific offer and your prospect's needs.

For instance, the mobile app development proposal template offered by Qwilr includes all the main elements you need to build an attractive business proposal:

  • A quick note from your CEO
  • Your customer's audience for this app
  • Your strategy for building the app
  • The process you plan to apply
  • The app's elements
  • The app's flow
  • Your timeline for the development project
  • Your portfolio
  • Cost breakdown
  • Terms and conditions
mobile app development proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Mobile App Development Proposal template

Software development proposal template

If you run a software development or web development agency and want to stand out from the ocean of low-ball, low-quality offers on the market, you need to make sure you create a great first impression. Using a customized sales proposal template can help you look professional, put-together, and results-oriented.

Qwilr's software development proposal template includes everything you need to make your offer stand out:

  • Executive summary
  • Your priorities for your customer
  • Goals for the collaboration
  • Current system analysis (if applicable)
  • Development strategy
  • Software architecture design
  • Platform selection
  • Functional analysis
  • User interface and experience design
  • Testing & Quality Assurance steps
  • How your software company can help
  • How success will be measured
  • Social proof and development awards
  • Information about your team and company
  • Cost breakdown
  • Next steps

Want to learn more about how to create a winning software proposal? We have just the guide you need.

software development proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Software Development Proposal template

Branding proposal template

Branding is part art, part science -- and your sales proposal should definitely reflect that. A branding proposal is more than just a graphic design proposal, and to create this type of proposal, you need more than just a design proposal template. To stand out from your competition and create a winning professional proposal, you want to make sure your sales proposal is nothing less than flawless every single time.

To help you get started, Qwilr's branding proposal template includes sections to address:

  • Executive summary
  • Brand strategy
  • Outsiders and insiders
  • Problem, solution, and benefits
  • Market research
  • Emotion and impact
  • Brand document
  • Messaging
  • Pricing quote
  • Contact information
branding proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Branding Proposal template

Staffing proposal template

For staffing agencies in competitive industries, a well-crafted staffing proposal can be the deciding factor between closing a deal and losing to the competition. A solid proposal defines your services and showcases your understanding of the client's staffing needs, your strategic approach to fulfilling them, and the measurable outcomes they can expect.

If you want to start on the right foot, get Qwilr's staffing proposal template and adjust it to your specifics. It includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Outlining your prospect's needs
  • Your agency's priorities
  • 12-month goals
  • Your approach
  • Services overview
  • Social proof and previous achievements
  • Information about your team and company
  • Cost breakdown
  • eSignature
  • Contact information
staffing proposal template preview

Preview of Qwilr's Staffing Proposal template

Final Thoughts

There's no universal recipe for writing professional proposals that win trust and deals. However, starting from a thoughtful, detailed business proposal template can help you save time and make sure you highlight all the elements your prospects care about.

Qwilr's templates are not only attractive from a visual standpoint, but they're also:

  • Built for your industry
  • Customizable with zero coding skills needed
  • Modular (you can add and remove sections quickly)
  • Easy to use, share, and sign off

The journey to winning clients through impactful business proposals doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Get a relevant proposal template today, customize it share it with your clients, and see how it goes! Need help getting started? Book a demo or score a 14-day free trial to see how it all works.

About the author

Brendan Connaughton, Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan Connaughton|Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan heads up growth marketing and demand generation at Qwilr, overseeing performance marketing, SEO, and lifecycle initiatives. Brendan has been instrumental in developing go-to-market functions for a number of high-growth startups and challenger brands.