The seven questions to ask yourself before sending out that sales proposal

5 MIN READ

You’ve finally finished your sales proposal and you can’t wait. You’ve included all the sections required for a proposal that wins business and you feel confident that your prospective client will not only close the deal, they’ll give you two thumbs up.

Despite this, you still give pause before you send it to the prospective client. You start questioning yourself- whether you’re missing anything in your proposals, or if you should start leaving certain sections out because they just aren’t strong enough.

Days pass and you’re now waiting for feedback from your team; all because you second guess yourself and aren’t sure what you should be checking for in your proposal.

Conducting this final review suddenly feels like a black hole ⁠— it’s time consuming and feels like a burden. It shouldn’t be this way.

We’ve developed a checklist that takes the pressure off ⁠— it never will be this way again! On the back of some design tips and B2B trends, here are seven questions you should be asking yourself before clicking send on that winning sales proposal.

1. Have I Included Visuals?

Visuals are incredibly important for any type of proposal. It’s how you paint a picture and a tone for the proposal and just as important – no one likes reading a boring document that’s just a block of text.

Visual aids provide benefits that range from increasing screen engagement and enhancing brand sentiments. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be adding images to your proposal.

Unlike working on Word documents or PDF files, you can easily add images when you’re using an online proposal service like Qwilr. Thanks to our partnership with Unsplash, accessing these beautiful images is as easy as pie ⁠— it’s just a click away. Do your proposal (and your prospect a favor) and add beautiful imagery that helps you tell your story.

2. Does My Proposal Send A Good First Impression?

There are two things that we know about first impressions:

A: They’re critical in B2B sales AND;
B: You only get one chance to make a first impression

A strong first impression in a proposal helps develop a relationship with your prospective client and directly appeals to your prospect. It should be personable, meaning that it should include your client’s name, logo, and the solution to the problem you’ll be solving for them.

With Qwilr, you are empowered to do all of this with our Hero Block feature.

Our designer, Annie, offers her tips on creating an impactful hero block:

1. When using a background image, look for ambient images like buildings or landscapes. Avoid selecting images that have one subject as this salience can take away from the potential impact of your text.

2. Keep your hero text and headline text snappy. It should be one line each and it should command attention.

3. Add contrast between your text color and your background image. If the image is dark, use a lighter colored text, for example.

4. Center text alignment may be a natural go-to, but left alignment can offer a more formal and sleek aesthetic.

3. How Strong Is The About Us Section?

A proposal without an introduction to your organization is incomplete and if this is your sales proposal, you’re missing an opportunity. Your client may know who you are, but can you confidently say that they know why they are choosing you?

Enter: the ‘About Us’ section. This should be more than just your company’s mission statement with a list of values.

According to The Salesforce State of Connected Customer Report 2018, 72% of B2B buyers expect their vendors to personalize engagement to their specific needs. This means that it’s incredibly important to the sales process that you take the extra effort and personalize this section.

Tell them why you’re the perfect fit for their needs. Even better? Devote a section dedicated to doing this and combine it with a problem statement.

4. Does My Proposal Include Social Proof?

It might seem unnatural, but social proof and B2B go hand in hand. Customers will always seek to establish trust and credibility with their vendors ⁠— social proof provides just that.

Make the decision-making process easy for your prospects. Include social proof in your proposal. If you’re unsure what effective social proof looks like, we’ve got that covered here.

5. Have You Provided Adequate Spacing Between Sections

A large part of creating stunning proposals that close deals is ensuring that your proposal has fantastic readability. That means your text and images should remain clean and uncluttered.

Splash blocks can help you achieve this, so they’re an absolute must in your online proposal.

Most businesses are able to implement this feature at the start and end of their proposal ⁠— namely for their Hero image block and their contact block, but they’re missing out on an opportunity. There is so much more you can do with this feature!

Get creative with it ⁠— you can use a splash block to break up your text or even just drop in an image without any text. Want to make your brand colors really pop in your sales proposal? Just add a tint to the image of a color that is part of your brand’s style guide.

This is also a creative way to include the aforementioned social proof and creating a game changing winning proposal that clients can’t wait to sign.

6. Have I Broken Down The Costs?

With Qwilr, you are empowered to easily add interactive pricing and quotes to your sales proposals. This incredible feature allows you to add in fixed as well as variable costs- helping your prospect clearly understand why your offer is priced at specific price points.

Taking that extra effort to break down the cost of your services will go a long way in reducing the time spent by your customer trying to figure it all out.

7. How Compelling Is My CTA?

Most businesses, no doubt, will opt for the cliche (and generic) “Let’s Work Together!” as their call-to-action. This does the job, but why settle for the mediocre? Close out the proposal with a bang.

To really give your CTA block the ability to spur action, use a CTA that ties into your offer.

For example, a construction proposal can utilize a CTA like “Ready to Build Something Great?”

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 utilized elsewhere in the proposal ⁠— make the button stand out even more!

 

Ready To Get A Head Start In 2020?

If you’re keen to start the new year off strong, be sure to check out some amazing sales proposal templates we have for you!

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