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Tailored Business Proposals: 19 Examples for Different Industries

Marketing16 mins
Marissa Taffer|Updated Jun 30, 2024
a purple background with the words 19 business proposal examples

The cornerstone of winning any new business lies in the strength of your proposal. The aim? To not only outline your offer, but to paint a picture so vivid your prospects can see the brighter future your partnership could bring.

In this guide, we unpack everything you need to paint this picture. First, we’ll work through the theory: showing how to structure your proposal for maximum impact. Then, we’ll see how these look in practice with 19 industry-tailored, time-tested business proposal examples.

In short, everything you need to take your proposal game to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • A Strong Start is Half the Battle: Your proposal's introduction should grab attention like a headline does. Think of it as the trailer to the blockbuster that is your proposal.
  • Clarity is King: Aim for a fluff-free zone. We'll show you how to be crystal clear about what you're offering and why it matters.
  • Tailor Made to Fit: Like a bespoke suit, your proposal should be customized to fit your potential client's needs. Leave the cookie-cutting to the competition.
  • Evidence, Please: Back up your claims with solid proof. Testimonials, case studies, and data are your best friends.
  • A Call to Action That Calls Out: Don't leave your reader hanging. A compelling call to action prompts their next move - so it's imperative that you're crystal clear about what you want them to do next to move things forward.

How to structure your business proposal

Every element of a great business proposal should serve the overall objective. Clarity and concision are your priorities. In the spirit of being direct, here's a blueprint (as well as some tips) to get you there:

Executive Summary: After your title page, begin with an executive summary that captures the essence of your proposal. This section should be compelling, providing a clear snapshot of the client's problem and your proposed solution, setting the stage for the details that follow.

Define the Problem: Show your deep understanding of the challenges your potential client is facing, showing empathy and insight. This reassures the client that you grasp the nitty-gritty and the nuances of their situation.

Propose Your Solutions: In this section, outline your proposed solutions. Each solution should directly address a facet of the client's problem, clearly explaining how your services or products fit their needs. Focus on how you solve the problem, not just the features and benefits of your product or service.

Methodology and Timeline: Discuss your methodology and project timeline, providing a clear roadmap of how and when you plan to implement your solutions. This section should reassure the client of your project management skills, communication and planning abilities and that you have a realistic approach.

Pricing: Transparently outline your pricing structure while emphasizing the value provided. It’s crucial to balance cost with the benefits your client will gain, presenting your proposal as a strategic investment. Remember to include any add-on services or additional charges to avoid surprising your client later on in the process.

Proof of Success: Support your proposal with concrete evidence of your past successes. Include case studies, testimonials, and relevant data that validate your claims and demonstrate your capability and experience. If it's appropriate, you can provide some references your prospect can reach out to.

Conclusion and Call to Action: Conclude with a strong call to action. Clearly state what steps you want the reader to take next, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or any other specific requirements.

This structured approach ensures that your proposal is a persuasive, coherent argument that effectively communicates why you are the best choice for the client.

19 Business proposal examples to use

When it comes to your unique needs, you're the expert. But, in order to get you started or inspire you to sell in new ways, we offer a robust library of business proposal templates. Each one is tailored to a different sector, showcasing how to apply the structure we've just outlined in real-world scenarios. Here are 19 different sample proposals, so you have plenty of choices to use or peruse!

1. SaaS Proposal

When writing a SaaS proposal, you must detail the office chaos your software will calm. Show them a future where productivity soars, thanks to your cloud-based wizardry. Be specific about features, but link each one to a benefit. "Our feature X means your team can do Y, leading to Z% more sales." Don't forget to sprinkle in client testimonials from other businesses that have achieved zen thanks to your help! Look at our SaaS Proposal Template to see exactly what I mean.

2. Mobile App Development Proposal

Here, you're the architect of the next app everyone can't live without. Your mobile app proposal should start with the vision: the gap in the market your app fills beautifully. Describe how smooth and intuitive the user journey is. Outline the development timeline and the rigor of your testing and quality assurance strategy. Then, pull out the portfolio and social proof to show that you have the experience to match the vision. Our Mobile App development template will give you a better idea of how to tell your story in a way prospective clients won't be able to refuse an opportunity to work with you.

3. Enterprise Sales Proposal

This is where you think big - there are so many proposal creation possibilities. You're addressing companies with complex needs and multiple stakeholders. Your sales proposal should reflect that. Start with an executive summary that speaks their language—efficiency, scalability, ROI. Dive deep into how your solution aligns with their strategic goals. Use data to lead them to the inevitable conclusion that your solution isn't just the best option; it's the only one that makes sense. Our enterprise sales template belongs in your proposal kit and shows how this is done well.

4. Software Development Proposal

This one's all about transformation. Your opening should paint a picture for a prospective buyer of the digital makeover their business will undergo. Detail the technical wizardry you'll employ in your software development proposal, but take the time to demystify all of it. Break your process into clear, digestible phases, showing milestones and success at each turn. When discussing costs, emphasize the long-term value of custom software—like investing in a high-quality tool that pays for itself over time. Our software proposal template shows what this all looks like in practice.

5. Investment Proposal

Here, you're wooing investors with a unique idea that's as solid as it is exciting: your business model, your market analysis, and your growth projections. These are particularly crucial for larger projects that require significant capital. So, you need to present a clear and concise outline of the opportunity, the potential ROI, and the associated risks. Look at how Qwilr’s investment proposal template establishes a clear understanding between the investor and the opportunity. It also leaves space for all of the important contractual language to ensure you're staying compliant while you pitch.

6. Marketing Proposal

Imagine you’re crafting a strategy to turn a brand from a wallflower into the life of the party. Your marketing proposal should delve into the current market position and paint a picture of the potential you can help them realize. Outline a multi-channel approach, weaving in success stories like proof points in your narrative. Include your proposed project scope and include the deliverables like brand guidelines, design assets, copy and strategy work. Show them how your unique blend of creativity and analytics will boost their visibility and engagement, leading to a measurable uptick in sales and brand loyalty. Our marketing proposal template shows you exactly how it's done.

7. SEO Proposal

Your SEO proposal acts as their map, guiding them through the winding terrain of search engine algorithms to the pinnacle of those Page 1 rankings. Start by laying out the stark reality of their current online presence and its untapped potential. Break down your strategy into tangible steps—keyword research, on-page optimization, content marketing. Use case studies to illustrate the climb from obscurity to prominence. Make it clear that investing in SEO is not a cost but a growth catalyst. How do you do it? Use our SEO proposal template. It's designed for engagement and interactive storytelling.

8. Paid Search Proposal (PPC or Google Ads)

Think of this as plotting a direct route to sales growth. Your opening? It highlights the inefficiency of their current advertising efforts compared to the precision targeting Google Ads offers. Your PPC proposal should map out a campaign that targets their ideal customers with laser focus, promising better conversion rates at a lower cost. Include projections to illustrate the potential return on ad spend, turning skepticism into anticipation- as this Google Ads proposal template neatly demonstrates.

9. Influencer Marketing Proposal

Begin your influencer marketing proposal by introducing yourself, your brand, and your audience. Then, demonstrate your understanding of the target brand's needs and how your content and audience can help service those needs. Drill down into the metrics that will define success for them here: people interacting with the content, website visitors, sales, new followers, etc. Showcase success stories as evidence that this approach isn't just trendy; it's transformative.

This influencer marketing proposal template helps you create a data-driven, results-orientated proposal in a fraction of the time.

10. Branding Proposal

You're the artist envisioning a brand's rebirth. Start your branding proposal with a critique of the current brand identity and its market perception. Propose a rebranding strategy that promises to not just change looks but revitalize the brand's story, making it resonate with today’s audience. Include mood boards, success stories, and market research to back your vision. Paint a picture of the future where their brand isn’t just seen but felt deeply by its audience. Our brand identity proposal template helps highlight the unique approach to identity, positioning, and messaging that you bring to the table.

11. Sponsorship Proposal

Position your sponsorship proposal as a win-win partnership that elevates both parties. Begin with an analysis of the potential partner’s audience and how it overlaps with your client’s target market. Propose a sponsorship deal that feels less like a transaction and more like a collaboration towards a shared goal. Highlight past sponsorship successes as proof of concept, ensuring the partner feels confident in the mutual benefits. Our sponsorship proposal template helps you create a detailed, goal-orientated and mutually beneficial pitch in minutes.

12. Content Marketing Proposal

With your content marketing proposal, you're the storyteller proposing a saga that captures and holds the audience's attention. Start with the harsh reality of their current content's performance—or lack thereof. Lay out a content strategy that spans blog posts, videos, and social media, all designed to engage and convert. Use metrics from past campaigns to underscore the value of quality content, positioning it as the cornerstone of digital marketing success. Qwilr’s content marketing proposal template helps your team close impactful, high-value clients and expand your business.

13. Email Marketing Proposal

With your email marketing proposal, you’re connecting your knowledge of email marketing to the potential client's needs. Showcase your content plan, focussing on segmentation and personalization methods aimed at deepening relationships and driving sales. Present data from successful email campaigns to illustrate the potential for increased open rates and conversions. Our email marketing proposal template can be the shortcut to your success.

14. Website Design Proposal

Here, you're the digital renovator, promising a website that wows and works hard. With your website design proposal, it's no surprise that aesthetics are important. Use rich media, interactive elements, and high-quality images to heighten engagement. Show mockups or case studies to illustrate the transformative power of good design, framing the website not just as a cost but as an investment in the brand’s digital footprint. Our website proposal template will help you land clients while showcasing your expertise.

15. “Spin Selling” Proposal

Adopt the role of a sales strategist, advocating for a method that spins ordinary conversations into sales opportunities. Highlight the inefficiencies in their current sales approach with empathy. Introduce SPIN Selling as a proven methodology focussing on Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff questions, promising to elevate your sales professionals to the trusted advisors the modern buyer prefers. Use success stories to cement the credibility of this approach and our SPIN selling template to help you do it all in a fraction of the time.

16 & 17. “MeddPicc” and “Meddicc” Proposals

For these, position yourself as a sales transformation guru. Each proposal should dissect the current sales process, revealing gaps and missed opportunities. Present MEDDPICC/MEDDIC as comprehensive frameworks that ensure thorough qualification and a deeper understanding of customer needs, leading to more predictable and successful sales outcomes. Bolster your case with testimonials and metrics from businesses that have seen significant improvements after adopting these methodologies. Our MeddPicc and Meddicc proposal templates can prove invaluable allies here.

18. “Challenger Sales” Proposal

Here, you're advocating for a bold, assertive approach to sales that challenges prospects’ preconceptions. Begin by illustrating the limitations of their current sales strategy with real-world examples. Introduce the Challenger Sales model as the game-changer, emphasizing its focus on teaching, tailoring, and taking control of the sales conversation. Highlight the success stories of companies that have embraced this model, showcasing impressive results. Qwilr’s Challenger Sales Methodology template embraces this solution-focussed sales approach.

19. “Mutual Action Plan” Proposal

Imagine guiding your client toward a collaborative sales strategy that maps out the path to a closed deal. Start with the pitfalls of traditional, one-sided sales plans. Present the Mutual Action Plan as a partnership between seller and buyer, creating a shared roadmap towards decision-making. Highlight its benefits—increased transparency, alignment, and a higher rate of successful closures—backed by case studies of successful implementations. Look how this Mutual Action Plan template fosters collaboration with its shared goals, milestones, and commitments.

Start Using Qwilr to Create Your Business Proposal Template

With Qwilr, gone are the days of one-size-fits-all PDF templates that blend into the background noise of your prospect's inbox. Here’s how Qwilr’s proposal software turbo-charges your efficiency and creativity:

  • Tailor-Made Templates: Jumpstart your sales proposal process with business communications templates that are as flexible as they are beautiful. Customize to your heart's content, ensuring every proposal (and proposal template) reflects your unique brand and message. Our proposal samples showcase how you can create a robust and winning proposal efficiently each and every time.
  • Interactive Quotes: Transform bland, static quotes into interactive, engaging elements that allow your prospects to customize their options.
  • Seamless Integrations: Connect Qwilr with your CRM, accounting software, and more of your best sales tools to streamline your workflow. It’s like having a team of assistants at your beck and call, ensuring every part of the proposal process is in sync.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Receive alerts the moment your proposal is viewed. It's like having ESP, giving you a decent gauge on buyer intent, plus the perfect timing to follow up, answer questions, or just give a gentle nudge.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Learn what works and what doesn’t. Qwilr’s analytics give you a behind-the-scenes look at how your proposals perform, turning data into actionable insights.

The best proposal software should not just be a tool but a member of your team- one that works tirelessly to ensure your proposals stand out and deliver results. Qwilr isn't just a step toward more effective proposals; it's a leap into a future where your proposals do more than speak for you—they impress, they engage, and (most importantly) they close deals.

Final Thoughts

The path to creating proposals that not only capture attention but also win hearts (and deals) is intricate yet immensely rewarding. Explore Qwilr’s Proposal Software to create proposals that stand out and deliver real results. Let's make every proposal your stepping stone to success.

About the author

Marissa Taffer, Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer|Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer is the Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting. She brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries to a broad range of clients.

Frequently asked questions

A proposal should be as long as necessary to convey your value proposition clearly and compellingly. That said, aim for brevity and relevance. If you can say it powerfully in five pages, don't stretch it to ten.

In a world of black and white, be a burst of color. Use visuals, infographics, and even videos if your platform allows it. Tailor your proposal to speak directly to your prospect's needs and pain points. And don’t forget the power of a compelling story—people remember stories far longer than specs and numbers.

Overlooking the 'why.' It's easy to get caught up in the what and the how (what you're offering and how you'll do it), but if you forget to explain why it matters to them, you've lost before you've begun. Always link your services or products back to their benefits.

Yes, but with a twist. Pricing should be transparent but also flexible. Use interactive pricing tables that allow your prospects to adjust scope based on their budget.

Imagine planting a seed and not watering it… Follow-ups with your prospective client are crucial. They show you're genuinely interested in their business and open the door for feedback or questions. Timing is key, though—wait a day or two, not an hour (and definitely not a week!)