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How to Write a Compelling SaaS Proposal

Marketing12 mins
Brendan Connaughton|Updated Dec 20, 2023
Man and woman in front of laptop

In a competitive environment like the SaaS industry, your proposal is the key to turning prospects into engaged customers. But, creating an offer that grabs attention and convinces is often a great challenge for sales and marketing professionals alike. What should it look like? What should it include? How can you make your offer stand out?

In this guide, we simplify the process of writing a SaaS proposal. We won't just cover the basics. We'll show you how to craft your offer to address your client's problems and make your solution stand out as the missing piece in their jigsaw.

What is a SaaS proposal?

The main goal of a SaaS proposal is to show potential clients how your software-as-a-service can improve their business. You want to show them that your service is more than a tool; it’s a solution that will help them work more efficiently, grow their business, and succeed.

Your proposal is not just about selling a product; it is about your customers' needs and how your service can help fulfill them. This is where you can show that you understand them, that you have the expertise to help them, and that they can trust you.

If you’d like more visual demonstration of what a good SaaS proposal looks like, Qwilr’s SaaS proposal template is a prime example.

The steps to write a SaaS proposal, and the key elements to include

Creating a SaaS proposal is about finding the perfect balance between informative and engaging, getting your point across while connecting with your prospective clients on a deeper level.

Here, we take you through the key components and process of writing a compelling SaaS proposal: demonstrating your understanding of their unique needs and showing your unique suitability to address them.

1. Understand your client's needs

Understanding your client’s needs is fundamental to a successful, personalized SaaS proposal.

Start by immersing yourself in their business. Research the industry, their daily challenges, and their future goals. This research should be a real deep dive. You're not just getting to know them to sell something; you're understanding their inner workings, motivations, the market, and what sets them apart.

Use this deep understanding to shape your proposal. It's about showing that you're not offering a generic solution but something specifically tailored to their challenges and needs. This level of personalization shows the commitment and attention to detail they can expect from you and your product.


2. Define your value proposition

This is where you can emphasize what makes your SaaS service unique and why it fits your client perfectly.

Start by clarifying what sets your SaaS offering apart from the rest. Is it your cutting-edge technology? Your outstanding customer support? Or the unique way your service works with existing systems? Whatever your unique selling points are and how your SaaS solution differs, now is the time to showcase it.

It's also important to show how your service can improve the company's current processes. Does it make things more efficient? Is it easier to scale? Connect these improvements to outcomes that matter to your client, such as saving money or working more efficiently.


3. Outline your solution

Here, you need to describe in detail what your service offers and focus on how each feature and benefit directly fulfills your client's needs. Go beyond listing what your service can do. You must show how it solves problems and adds value to your client's business.

Start by describing each feature of your service. Rather than a list, consider it a connection between what your service does and what your customer needs. For example, if your service includes cloud-based data storage, explain how it provides secure, accessible, and scalable solutions for your customers.

In this part of the proposal, it's essential to keep the language simple and direct. Avoid jargon that could be confusing. This part should feel like a friendly conversation and show your client how every aspect of your offering fits into their daily operations and long-term plans.


4. Present case studies or success stories

“Show, don’t tell,” the old story-telling maxim, holds true here, too.

Describing the benefits of your SaaS product is good, but practical examples always trump these descriptions. Show them how your service has helped other customers, especially those in the same industry as your client or who have faced similar challenges. Providing real examples of how your service has positively impacted another business adds much weight to your offer.

You want your clients to see themselves in these stories and think: "That could work for us, too." Talk about increases in efficiency or sales achieved through your service. Use specific numbers, explaining how your service has contributed to these results and their impact.


5. Detail the implementation process

Here, SaaS providers explain how their service can be integrated into customers' systems and routines.

Start by breaking down the implementation steps. Imagine you're walking your client through each stage of the journey. Break the process into clear phases or milestones so your customer can easily understand what will happen and when.

Timelines are important. Let your client know how long each part of the process will take. Be positive but also realistic when setting these timelines. It may take an investment of their time and time for members of their teams - outline these roles and the time each person will need to invest to ensure a smooth implementation and adoption of the solution.

Training is also an essential part of getting started with a new service. Explain what type of training you will be offering. Will it be online guides, live webinars, in-person sessions, or a support line they can call?

6. Discuss pricing and ROI

This is where you explain your pricing and show your customers what value they get from your service. It's not just about telling them how much it costs but also about emphasizing your solution's long-term benefits and cost-effectiveness.

You should be completely transparent when it comes to pricing. Clearly outline your fees, subscription pricing options, and additional costs. Having it all spelled out can help you build trust with a potential client.

Return on investment (ROI) shifts the conversation from cost to value. Explain to your customer that your service is an investment in the future of their business. It's about showing them the bigger picture - how your solution will save time, reduce costs, or increase revenue over time, and how it will pay for itself, and then some.


7. Provide testimonials

Testimonials and social proof are really important when it comes to proposals in a competitive environment. Humans are hard-wired to de-risk our decisions, and they give us the reassurance we need. An insight into what others have experienced and achieved with your service. Choose testimonials that are relevant to your potential customer's concerns and goals. For example, if they are concerned about how easy it is to get started with your service, you should include a testimonial that describes the smooth onboarding process.

Ensure these testimonials sound genuine and authentic and are written in your customer's words. You can also include a headshot and the person's name and title if appropriate.


8. Add a call to action

The end of your proposal should be a clear call to action, letting your prospect know what they should do next. It could be as easy as having them hit an accept button or schedule a follow-up call or meeting if they'd like to discuss the proposal further.

Being clear about the next step will help prevent prospects letting proposals languish and not taking any further action.

9. Review and customize

Before you hit send on a proposal, you want to make sure you've reviewed it and made it highly personal for your prospective client. This step is crucial because you ensure that your offer is clear, correct, and customized for your customer. Make sure that every part of the quote is easy to understand. Delete any jargon or complicated terms that could confuse your client and swap in some plain language.

Check that all the details of your offer are correct. Make sure the information about your customer is accurate, and double-check all the data.

The most crucial thing in this step is that your offer gives the impression that it was made just for this client. Avoid a generic, cut-and-pasted approach. Tailor your solutions to the customer's specific challenges and goals, using language that speaks directly to them. This shows you have taken the time to understand the customer's needs and are best positioned to cater to them.


Example of a SaaS proposal template

Since we've already told you, 'show, don't tell,' this is where we put all our ideas and tips into practice-- with a good example of a proposal template.

Of course, you can start from scratch, but as well as the obvious time-savings, a template ensures nothing is forgotten. You can tailor this template to your client, your offer, and even your brand -a guaranteed result in minutes, when your time is best served elsewhere.

Let's take a look at what's included in the Qwilr SaaS proposal template:

  • Executive Summary: Start with a strong summary highlighting your SaaS solution's key value and impact. This will set the tone for what the client can expect.
  • The Challenge: In this section, address the specific issues your client is facing. This shows you understand their situation and are ready to help.
  • Your Priorities: Here, align your proposal with what's most important to your client. This demonstrates that your solution is tailored to their specific needs.
  • 12-Month Goals: Outline what the client aims to achieve in the next year and how your service will help. It shows you're thinking about (and invested in) their long-term success.
  • How Can We Help: Detail how your SaaS solution will tackle their challenges and contribute to their goals, focusing on the tangible benefits they will experience.
  • What Success Looks Like: Describe the positive outcomes your client can expect. It helps them visualize the impact and success of choosing your service.
  • Our Team: Introduce the team members behind your service. This personal touch builds trust and shows the expertise backing your solution.
  • Your Investment: Explain clearly what investment is required for your service. Being upfront about the price and return on your service builds trust and clear expectations.
  • Next Steps: This is where you put your call to action and encourage the client to take the next step. Guide them on how to proceed, making it easy to get started. If you are providing free trials initially, let them know.
  • Conclusion: Conclude your proposal with a brief, optimistic summary that reinforces the value of your solution and your eagerness to work together.
  • Get in Touch: End with your contact details. Make it simple for the client to reach out and begin the conversation.

FAQs

What's the best format for a compelling SaaS project proposal?

The ideal format for a SaaS project proposal is clear, concise, and customized. It should be structured to clarify how your service solves the customer's particular challenges and helps them achieve their goals. Use a layout that is easy to navigate, with clear and engaging sections.

What are common mistakes to avoid when writing SaaS sales proposals?

Avoid using too much technical language or jargon when writing a SaaS proposal. This can confuse the customer. Ensure that each plan in your proposal document addresses the client's specific challenges and needs. Don't offer a one-size-fits-all solution.

It's also important to clearly explain your service's benefits and return on investment. Clients need to understand the value of your solution and how your solution solves their unique problems.

Final thoughts

When writing a great SaaS proposal, the key is to understand your client's challenges, offer a clear and customized solution, and communicate the value of your service. We hope this guide has given you the confidence to write yours. For an extra helping hand, use our SaaS proposal template. It saves you time and gains you clients. What’s not like about that?

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.