At some point, you’re going to write a business proposal– either because your boss asked for it or because you’re shooting for the stars to make a sale.
Not only are you working hard to drum up business, but this is your chance to create a strong and lasting impression on your prospect.
You’ve finally finished your business proposal. Since you’ve included all of the sections required for an incredible business proposal, you’re confident that this will win the prospect over.
You begin checking over your proposal before sending it off. And as you do, panic and self-doubt creep in. You question everything — are you missing anything in your proposals? Are your sections up to scratch? Suddenly, it’s days later and you find yourself waiting for feedback from your team.
All of this wasted time and energy because you were not sure exactly what you should be checking for on your proposal.
This final review has begun to become burdensome. Not only is it time consuming and anxiety inducing; but the delayed time between finishing and sending the proposal may result in losing your client. However, it shouldn’t be this way.
Thanks to this checklist we’ve created , it doesn’t have to be. Based on good design principles and B2B trends, here are seven questions you should ask yourself before sending out that winning business proposal.
1. Have I effectively used visual aids?
It’s no secret that utilizing visual aids in any type of document increases engagement. It’s imperative for any type of proposal. The reality is that no one is going to take the time to work their way through a document that’s just a wall of text.
In today’s modern business world, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be adding images to your proposal. Incorporating visual aids effectively increases screen engagement and enhances brand sentiments.
Unlike the tedious process of adding images to Word documents and PDF files, online proposal creation allows you the agility to add images with ease.
Qwilr’s partnership with Unsplash gives you access to beautiful images with a single click. Help your proposal stand out from the competition by adding beautiful, striking images.
If you’re more of an infographic type of person, don’t worry! We have an integration with Infogram that allows you to easily embed infographics and it’s all just a click away, giving you more time to focus on the important parts of creating your winning business proposal!
2. Does My Proposal Send A Good First Impression?
There are two absolutes that we know about first impressions:
a) They’re incredibly important in B2B selling AND;
b) You will never get a second chance at making a good first impression.
Strong first impressions in a proposal directly appeals to your client. Make it personable and tailored to your client — include the prospect’s name, logo, and services you’ll be providing to solve their problem.
Our designer, Annie, gives us her tips on creating impact with Hero Blocks in Qwilr
When using a background image, look for ambient images like buildings or landscapes. Avoid images with a single subject as this may take away the potential impact of your copy.
Keep your hero text and headline text snappy and short. This means one line each.
Contrast text color with your background image. Dark images should have light text and vice-versa.
Center text alignment may be a popular mainstay, but left alignment offers a formal and sleek aesthetic.
3. How Strong Is My “About Us” Section?
Sending your proposal off without including an introduction about your company is a massive missed opportunity. Any proposal without this relationship-building information should be considered incomplete.
Sure, your client may know who you are, but can you (with confidence) say that they know why they’re choosing your organization?
Your “About US” section needs to be more than just your mission statement and a list of values.
The Salesforce State of Connected Customer Report 2018 states that 72% of business buyers have the expectation that vendors should personalize engagement to fit their needs. That being said, taking the extra effort to personalize this section is incredibly powerful and gives you an opportunity to demonstrate why your organization is the perfect fit for their needs.
Pro tip: take this section to the next level by having a section solely dedicated to addressing this with a problem statement.
4. Does My Proposal Include Social Proof?
Social proof and B2B sales go hand-in-hand. All too often, this is a missed opportunity for teams as they tend to think that only consumers care about reviews and business buyers won’t waste their time.
Business buyers care just as much as B2C customers when it comes to establishing trust and credibility with their vendors. Social proofing provides what they need to know they made the right decision.
Make this an easy decision-making process for them — include some social proof in your proposal.
If you’re unsure about what effective social proof looks like, we’ve got that covered here.
5. Is There Adequate Spacing Between Sections?
Part of creating winning business proposals is ensuring that the document is built for readability.
Your text and images should be uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing.
Splash blocks can help you achieve this, which makes them an almost required part to include in your online proposal.
Most businesses utilize the splash block feature at the start and end of their proposal- mostly for their Hero block and their contact block.
However, you can do so much more with this feature.
You can creatively utilize splash blocks to break up your text. The feature allows you to just drop in an image without any text. If you really want to make your brand colors pop out in the proposal, try adding a tint to the image with a color that is part of your brand.
This is the perfect feature to include the aforementioned, all-important social proof — a game changer for your business proposal.
6. Have I Broken Down The Costs?
Qwilr allows you to easily add in interactive pricing and quotes to your online proposal. This incredible feature allows you to add both fixed and variable costs, which can help your prospect understand why services are priced at certain price points.
Taking that extra effort to break down the costs will go a long way in reducing the time spent by the prospect figuring out the important information they need to know.
7. How Compelling Is My CTA?
More often than not, businesses will opt for the generic “Let’s work together” as their call-to-action. While this does the job, should you really settle for mediocre? Finish your proposal with a bang!
To really give your CTA block a sense of urgency, use a CTA that ties in what you’re trying to offer.
For example: a construction proposal can utilize a CTA like “Ready to Build Something Great?”
Alternatively, for marketing proposals, you can try something like “Let’s increase your market share”.
For a compelling CTA button, Annie recommends using a color that hasn’t been used in the proposal so your CTA button stands out even more!
Get A Head Start In 2020
If you’re keen to start the new year off strong, make sure that you check out some of the amazing business proposal templates we have for you!