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The ultimate guide to creating better proposals

Actionable insights on the language, content, design, and technology to use to create better proposals and improve your buyer experience.

Table of contents


    On average, it takes eight touchpoints to engage a sales prospect. And if the average sales prospect is talking to 4-5 different solution providers, that's a lot of communications your potential buyer is receiving!

    In order to break through the noise, stand out amongst your competitors, and make an impression that prompts buyer action, your proposal must be better than all the others. A better proposal is memorable, engaging, and action-oriented. But what specifically should you include in your sales proposal?

    In this guide, we'll cover what to include in your proposal, from design basics and how to apply them to language best practices, ideas for easy distribution, plus tips for automating the process. A good sales proposal can help you close a deal-- a better proposal not only improves your closed/won ratio but accelerates the sales cycle, too.

    Let's dig in.

    Components of a better proposal

    Every sales proposal has core elements. In this section, we provide a basic outline of what content to include to engage your buyer and create a better proposal that wins the deal.

    5 min read

    Introducing yourself

    Sales is much like dating-- it's about getting to know one another and building a (hopefully long term!) relationship.

    As you're getting acquainted, start with a soft opening-- video greetings work great here, as they immediately connect your face to your brand and are hard for the buyer to ignore. In fact, 87% of sales and marketing professionals use video on a regular basis, because it works. Your video needn't be long and don't stress over production-- Loom offers an easy-to-use solution.

    Next, your proposal should include a little background on your company. You don’t have to give the entire story but share a few relevant points, such as the services you offer, and any areas of specialty you may have, and any other interesting information. Be sure to tailor your content to align with what your buyer is looking for, as this adds relevancy and begins to build confidence.

    For example, you might mention your company makes helpdesk software and you focus primarily on small to medium-sized companies. Also, if you have customer concentration within a certain industry, share that too, if it's relevant to your buyer. Your goal is to help your buyer know that you "get" them and understand their business challenges. But also a word of caution: make sure the "about you" section isn’t too long. Research shows during a sales call it’s best to keep the explanation of your business to two minutes or less. In written form, that’s about 500 words (or less).

    Remember, using our dating comparison, it's never good to dominate the conversation by only talking about you, as your date will likely end with just a single meeting.

    Identifying the problem

    There’s only one reason anyone gets hired for a job: to solve a problem.

    A good sales proposal mentions the problem. A better proposal builds buyer trust by outlining the problem or using bullets to restate what the prospect has relayed to you. According to the 2021 Buyer Experience Study, buyers don't want to be sold. Rather, they want sellers to partner with them to help them make the best decision possible.

    When you’re able to clearly articulate their problem, it shows you understand their needs, which is important. In fact, only 13% of buyers believe a salesperson understands their needs. By including a section on the buyer's self-identified pain points, it can also serve as an early differentiator from your competition.


    Why you do what you do

    According to the author and speaker Simon Sinek, people don't buy what we do, they buy why we do what we do. In other words, if you're able to share the motivation behind your product, you’re more apt to create an emotional connection with the prospect, plus provide meaningful insight into your organization.

    If you'd like to dive deeper into this concept, take a listen to Simon Sinek's Ted talk:

    Note too, we're not talking about listing a mission statement either. Simply share a few sentences that help the buyer connect with your product, why you’re so passionate about it, and the impact your product has had.

    Research shows 71% of consumers prefer to buy from companies aligned with their values. The number is even higher, 83%, for millennials. By showing your “why” you make the decision to buy that much easier, as you're creating an emotional connection to your brand.

    How you help

    We’re all familiar with big claims or slogans companies use, such as “changing the world,” “making life better,” or our favorite, "experience the difference." Though these statements sound nice at the moment, they are so big and broad, they fall short in actually saying anything. Don’t make the same mistake.

    A better proposal avoids the marketing "fluff." Be real, authentic, and state how your product fits the buyer's specific use case. That's what they care about! By personalizing those details you show you’re listening, you're invested in them, and you really want to make an impact.

    Being relevant also respects your prospect's time and is another subtle way to building credibility.



    Did you know that almost half of all deals are lost because of budget? Further, nearly 6 out of 10 prospects actually want to talk about pricing on the first sales call. Both those stats confirm something we all already know: price matters.

    There’s a really simple explanation for that. If they can’t afford you, then there’s really no point in discussing things further. Depending on your business, it’s not always possible to give an exact price. That said, you should be able to provide some sort of pricing information.

    Though pricing is very important for deals, you don’t want to talk about it too early. Research shows you shouldn’t talk about pricing in the first third of a sales call, so leave it for a little later in your proposal, too. That way, you can focus on establishing value first.

    But there's also another interesting aspect about pricing, and that is that buyers want to control it. Again, from our 2021 Buyer Experience Study, 2 out of 3 buyers want to select features and see the impact on pricing. Are there optional add ons? Or what about changing the number of users-- does this impact the price?

    A better proposal gives control to the buyer and eliminates the back-and-forth calls with the sales rep, streamlines the deal, and gives the buyer satisfaction and confidence that this solution is right-sized for their needs.

    Including configurable pricing in your sales proposals is a definite competitive differentiator and adds momentum to the deal, as you've presented your compelling sales message and are now providing an interactive means to gauge the seriousness of your buyer.

    Want to see configurable pricing in action? Request a Qwilr demo to see how it works.


    Trust Indicators

    Buyers are looking for the most value for a specific need and can't afford to make a mistake. It comes as no surprise that 42% of buyers are influenced by customer reviews.

    Testimonials, awards, and review site rankings all increase the prospect's level of trust. In fact, a business with a 4 to 4.5-star rating earns roughly 28% more revenue than one with a 3 to 3.5-star rating.

    A better proposal includes trust builders throughout your proposal. Sprinkle in testimonials or an award you won in the “why do you what you do” section. We also recommend placing a relevant customer quote right before your price section, and also right after your accept button, to reduce buyer anxiety and confirm they are making the right choice.

    Remember, your goal should be to make the buyer experience positive and as simple as possible. By including trust indicators, you relieve some of your buyer's natural, human fears, and help make a stronger case for your product. Social proof is a very powerful tool.

    Accept Button

    Your whole proposal is essentially leading to this one point: getting the prospect to accept and sign the deal. Here, the stats are overwhelming: simplicity wins. EVERY time.

    In fact:

    64% of buyers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences

    Brands that don't provide a simple experience are leaving an estimated $86 billion on the table-- ouch!

    Obviously, this one is significant-- an accept button is the ultimate culmination of your sales proposal. Let's delve a little deeper into your options for getting buyer acceptance.

    PDF proposals

    If you’re using a PDF, the customer probably has to print the document, sign it, scan it back in, or e-fax or email it back to you. There are many "speed bumps" in the process for the buyer, not to mention inconveniences. Additionally, if your buyer only returns the signature page, most companies require the entire document returned, which puts the burden on the salesperson to track down the missing pages, delays the deal further, and honestly, annoys the buyer.

    Web-based proposals

    A better proposal considers the buyer's ease of use and streamlines closing the deal. Web-based proposals are ideal because as a web page, offer much greater flexibility and functionality. As an example, e-signature options can be incorporated into your sales proposal (a single document), can be configured in advance for the deal signer(s), and are legally binding.  Simply add an "accept" button, click, sign, and done.


    The secondary CTA

    As much as we would like all buyers to accept our offering, the unfortunate reality is some people aren’t going to click “accept” or just aren't ready to close. In those cases, the next best thing is to keep the communication open and continue the conversation. As long as you’re talking, the deal’s still alive.

    With that in mind, always end with a secondary call to action (CTA) and your contact details. Something like, “have any questions about our proposal? Feel free to contact me at x.” Be sure, too, to include multiple contact options. Some people prefer a phone call over email; give your buyer that choice. If their preferred contact method isn’t offered, it could stop them from reaching out.

    Proposal distribution

    It's common practice to send a proposal via email. But is this your best option? Considering a complex B2B sale involves 6-10 decision-makers, it's important that your sales proposal is easy to share.

    3 min read

    PDF vs. web-based proposals

    Your proposal format is another huge consideration. Once upon a time, PDFs were more or less the gold standard. Revolutionary for its time, the PDF was the first file type that would look the same between machines and systems. And for 1993, in the early years of the internet and when the world was a little more patient with slow download times, it worked.

    However, as time moved forward, PDFs have struggled to keep up with the demands of modern-day business. Large file sizes, mobile viewing, and interactive communications are a few of the stumbling blocks with PDFs. With new buyer preferences emerging, the demand for a better proposal approach began to grow and the trend towards web-based proposals has skyrocketed.

    Web-based proposals are essentially webpages, which means they’re more customizable and adaptable to a variety of content types and viewing devices. Think of web-based proposals as an interface between you and your buyer.

    Unlike PDFs, web-based proposals help you meet modern-day buyer expectations and make for a better overall buyer experience. In this era of rapid innovation, a better proposal leverages technology to sell smarter and more effectively. In this section, we highlight a few of those benefits.

    Easy to update

    Change is inevitable.

    It never send off a proposal and something changes. What do you do? Recall the email? Resend your PDF, PowerPoint, or Word document? And then the buyer has to filter through the different versions....which one is the most current again?

    Selling smarter allows for flexibility, new requests, and adjustments made by the buyer. Here again, your proposal format has a big impact on your options.

    With a PDF, you have to make the change, save a new copy of the document, then send that new copy over to your prospect. It’s a number of added steps that make the process longer (and more cumbersome) for everyone involved. Though that may have worked in the past, the experience doesn’t match up with modern-buyer expectations.

    Web-based proposals are easy to amend. Since your proposal is a web page, it's easy to make changes on the fly and have them reflected by simply refreshing the page. The bottom line: a better proposal experience plans for change, handles them seamlessly, and doesn't confuse the buyer or ask them to sort through their email to find an updated version.

    Advanced analytics


    The buzzword in sales and marketing circles is "data-driven decisions."

    No matter what business sector you work in, it’s almost guaranteed that analytics are an integral part of what you do and when you do it. Proposals should be no different.

    With a web-based proposal solution like Qwilr, you’re able to get deeper insights through advanced analytics, shaping your future sales conversations.

    For example, you can be notified when your proposal is viewed. You can also see where the viewer has spent the most time, or any links they’ve clicked. That information can give you further insight into where your prospect is at mentally, what interests them most, and also gives you a good place to start for follow-up communications.

    To see how proposal analytics work and how to leverage them effectively, request a Qwilr demo.

    Simplified approval and payment options

    Think about almost any modern buying experience there is. Almost all of them are optimized around making it easy to say "yes."

    Consider Amazon and their “one-click ordering,”-- the buyer doesn't have to jump through hoops or type in recipient information, they just click and done. It's smart selling, as they know 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned if the buyer needs to create an account to complete the purchase.

    The same is true in B2B selling. 35% of buyers want a less complicated process. One of the biggest advantages of a web-based proposal is it's easy for customers to approve, sign, and even pay, all within the same document. You don’t have to worry about sending an additional contract or invoice and waiting for the buyer to scan it and send it back.

    As you weigh your proposal format options, think about creating a frictionless buyer experience and making it easy for motivated buyers to do business with you. As cited earlier, buyers will pay more for a simpler process!

    Rich media support

    We covered earlier what content you should include in your sales proposal, but content format matters, too. Every one of us has a different learning style-- some respond to written content, others to images, and some prefer videos.

    As evidence:

    36% of buyers want a variety of informational content included in proposals

    Audience engagement increases 37% when visual elements are used

    Incorporating different content types, such as videos or lots of images, can be problematic if using a Word, PowerPoint, or PDF proposal. The main challenge is file sizes become very large, making them difficult to send let alone share. Even with hosting in the cloud, say Dropbox, Box, or Google docs, access can still be challenging, often requiring the user to download the document to view.

    challenges with PDFs

    With a web-based proposal, file size limitations disappear. As such you’re also able to include rich media that aren’t easy, or sometimes even possible, to include in a PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document.

    A better proposal uses videos and strategically-placed images to make your proposal stand out.

    Responsive design


    As sellers, we have no control over when or how the buyer will access a sales proposal. It could be on their desktop computer during business hours, or it could be after hours on their mobile device. A better proposal is prepared for any and all situations.

    Based on our own data, at least 15% of all proposals are viewed on a mobile device.

    Though it is possible to view a PDF or Word document on a tablet or phone, it’s not what they were designed for. As a result, the viewer needs to zoom in and scroll around in order to read the text. It's less than an ideal experience, for sure. And the last thing you want is for the buyer to associate their frustration with your brand.

    PowerPoint documents can be equally if not more frustrating to view on mobile devices. A web-based proposal, on the other hand, can be viewed anywhere, at any time, and automatically adjusts in size. That convenience alone communicates more to your buyer than you may realize.

    Sales proposals can have a meaningful impact on your buyer. Make sure you are considering your proposal format and how it will be used and read in your planning and preparations.

    Designing your proposal

    To some, design may seem nice to have, but not totally needed. Though standard intuition may point you to that conclusion, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many buyers form preconceived opinions about your product or service based on how your sales materials look.

    36% of buyers are positively influenced by the quality of your sales materials, or in other words, a better proposal is also a visually appealing one.

    8 min read

    Introduction to design

    According to a study by McKinsey, design-driven companies outperform the competition consistently. In some cases, they outperformed non-design-focused companies 2:1. All that’s to say, investing in design is well-worth your time.

    In this section, we cover why design is important to your buyer experience, as well as give an overview of design principles and ways you could include them in your sales proposals.

    Color theory

    Did you know people generally decide whether or not they like a product within 90 seconds?

    Even more shocking, 90% of that decision is based solely on color. It’s one of the many reasons being deliberate in your color choices matter.

    To be candid, entire books are written on color theory, so we’ll only be able to scratch the surface here. Our objective is to provide some basics as a starting point; the first of which is something you’ve probably seen before: the color wheel.


    The color wheel shows the three main groups of colors.

    • Primary
    • Secondary
    • Tertiary

    Primary colors, as you may remember, are red, yellow, and blue. Secondary colors are colors made by mixing primary colors, like orange, green, and purple. Last, there are tertiary colors, which are colors made by mixing primary and secondary colors.

    Outside of being aesthetically pleasing, different colors help you better communicate certain feelings or moods. For example, warm colors (red, yellow, orange) are more commonly associated with passion, vibrancy, and enthusiasm. These vibrant colors also demand the viewer's attention and can be great to use when you want a certain item to really stand out.

    Cool colors (blue, green, purple) tend to be more calming and evoke ideas of nature, relaxation, or luxury. Cool colors tend to be more reserved as compared to warm colors and can be a good option to ease the viewer into your sales proposal.

    Last, there are neutrals. These are beiges, browns, blacks, and whites. Neutral colors are often associated with a more modern, or professional aesthetic. Black, whites, and grays, tend to go with most colors and work well for backgrounds and text. Browns and beiges aren’t quite as versatile but can work well as background colors.

    Choosing a font

    If you have brand standards or brand guidelines, be sure to reference them for guidance on fonts to use.

    Similar to color, your font serves both a visual and practical function. Choose something that fits your overall design aesthetic, but is also easily readable for the viewer.

    There are two broad categories: serif and sans serif. Times New Roman is a serif font, whereas Helvetica is a sans serif font. Essentially, serif fonts (pictured on the left below) are a bit more ornate, and sans serif (pictured on the right) are more minimal.

    Best practice for choosing fonts is to consider:

    • Branding
    • Legibility
    • Usage


    With branding, consistency is key.

    Being consistent means making sure every element of your design language supports a common theme. For example, if you have a minimal, modern aesthetic, you probably want to go with a sans serif font, as that’s what fits best.

    However, if you’re going for a more classic look, you might consider a serif font. No matter the case, you need to be sure the font you choose is in line with other branding elements and the overall aesthetic.


    While some design elements are purely visual, your font is not one of them. If your buyer isn’t able to read the text, then your sales proposal is a failure.

    Consider the weight (how thick the lines are) and color of your font choice to ensure good readability. Be sure too, to check how readable your choice is at different sizes, as it’s very possible people will view your proposal on a variety of screen sizes.


    Though there aren’t any hard and fast rules, some fonts are naturally better suited for specific scenarios. For example, studies have shown serif fonts are easier to read for longer-form content. Ever wonder why books and newspapers are often printed with serif fonts? Now you know!

    However, other applications, like headlines, can benefit from a sans serif font. For design purposes, it’s completely acceptable to use multiple fonts. However, you do need to make sure they’re not too similar, and shouldn’t use more than two in one sales proposal.

    You can also utilize things like bolding and italicizing text to create visual contrast. If you want more guidance on pairing fonts, FontPair is a useful resource.

    Visual hierarchy


    We’re all familiar with the idea of “the fine print.” Generally, it’s where any adverse detail of a product is listed, typically in much smaller text than the rest. What they’re utilizing is visual hierarchy.

    Visual hierarchy is the practice of placing different visual elements to signal their importance. There are a few different ways designers may signal hierarchy. First, as the above example points out, is size. Designers also utilize things like color, texture, alignment, contrast, and repetition, to create visual hierarchy.

    As we talk about how to make your sales proposal better, use these different elements to emphasize the core parts of your messaging. For example, you might decide to bold your key differentiators or put those items in a different color than the rest. Popping out key points is especially helpful for buyers who scan the text vs. reading every word.

    An appropriate visual hierarchy can also draw attention to your call to action. The text doesn't need to be giant, but allowing plenty of white space and making it stand out will make "accept" buttons easy to find and execute.

    Multimedia and visual elements

    Most of us are familiar with the concept of the “visual aid.”

    A visual aid is a supplemental item meant to further enhance the information that's being shared. Sometimes visual aids come in the form of graphs and charts, and more recently things like explainer videos.

    There’s a reason people use them: they’re effective. In fact, 65% of people are visual learners. Though you probably won’t do an entire proposal as a video, (though that would certainly be novel) you should integrate different multimedia elements to further engage your viewer.

    Note: if you’re using a more conventional PDF proposal, you will most likely be limited in the multimedia elements you’re able to include. To get the full benefit, a web-based solution is your best option.



    Adding pictures is probably one of the easiest ways to improve the visual appeal of a sales proposal. Many companies have some team pictures, or something similar, which can be a great place to start. If that’s not an option, royalty-free image libraries like Pexels and Unsplash can be great resources.

    Two other things to keep in mind when selecting images are their quality and composition. Any image you use should be at least 1200px wide, anything less may degrade on larger screens. Also, try to use pictures that feature people’s faces. Research consistently shows social media posts using images containing faces routinely have higher engagement, as much as 38% more.


    According to Google, 70% of all YouTube viewers watch videos for help with a problem. And for good reason: we retain far more information from watching a video when compared to reading text, and it’s a lower-effort option compared to reading.

    In fact, 62% of consumers watch a product video prior to making a purchase. Further, one study found 84% of consumers were convinced to buy a product after watching a video about it. B2B sales are very similar: 40% of buyers prefer self demos.  A better proposal includes video, be it a personal greeting, product demo, or another message. Video is a great way to give the reader a break from text, engage your buyer, and stand out from your competition.


    Did you know that two people can search the same term in Google and get completely different results?

    If you’re curious, test it out with you and a friend. Most of the time the results are similar, but in some cases, vary drastically.

    The reason for the difference is based on the information Google knows about you and your friend, and the algorithm settings for what’s most relevant to you when you perform a search. What Google is trying to do is provide you with the most relevant and personalized search results-- the better your experience, the more you consume.

    These same principles apply in B2B selling. And in fact, personalization has become table stakes. 64% of buyers look for personalized sales materials and if you're sending generic materials, your materials are likely getting politely discarded.

    Personalization also communicates that you're listening to your buyer and their business is important to you. Anyone can send off stock materials. But send a sales proposal that's tailored specifically to that one buyer-- now you're making a meaningful brand impression. Personalization is foundational to creating a better proposal!

    How to personalize

    Likely no one disputes the importance of personalization. But where the challenges come into play is the time factor. Creating customized sales proposals is more time-consuming than using generic or even semi-custom materials. As a result, many organizations "settle" for less-than-ideal proposals, rationalizing the seller time isn't worth the potential gain. Or is it?

    Let's look at a few time-saving hacks for creating personalized sales proposals.

    Proposal templates

    Most companies have a few verticals they primarily serve. Creating industry-specific templates is a great way to create content once, then reuse it for similar organizations. For example, say you mainly focus on marketing agencies, software companies, and construction companies. Your first step would be to make proposal templates for each of those segments.

    Industry-specific testimonials

    As you gather testimonials from brand advocates and product enthusiasts, categorize them by industry. When pitching to a buyer in (as an example) financial services, include a testimonial from a happy financial services customer. Buyers don't want to be your product guinea pig or the first one in their industry to choose you. There's comfort in knowing that you've worked with others in that industry--even competitors. Using testimonials from customers in the same industry vertical provides buyers reassurance that you understand their unique challenges and your solution applies to their specific use case.

    Integrating CRM data

    Most buyer information lives in your CRM. One of the most efficient means of creating a personalized sales proposal is to integrate your proposal software with your CRM. If you're curious as to how this is done, you can see it live on a personalized Qwilr demo.

    With CRM integration, personalized proposals can be created easily by using tokens to pull in customer information, from basics like name, title, and company, to images, to even pricing information. Within minutes, you have a better proposal!

    Sending personalized sales materials boils down to being thoughtful. You want to show the prospect you’re invested in them as a client and don’t see them as just another deal. When you take the time to personalize your sales proposals, you do just that.

    Language best practices

    Did you know over 40% of salespeople said their phone is the most effective sales tool they have?

    What the stat tells us is how powerful direct communication with a prospect really is. As you communicate, the words you use matter.

    In this section, we cover a few of the basics for how to best articulate your message, finding the balance between being direct vs. pushy, and appropriate follow-up communications.

    4 min read


    We’re all familiar with the “glass half empty / half full” saying. It’s used to, in theory, determine how naturally positive or negative someone is. Really, it’s a test of someone’s mindset.

    Though the glass test realistically only tells so much, it does show the power of choice. We have the option to choose a positive, or a negative view. They both have their place, but it is a choice we make.

    Framing is based on the same idea. It comes down to being cognizant of the language you’re using and being intentional about the words you choose. A common example regularly used is replacing “I have to” with “I get to.” One communicates a burden and the other as a privilege.

    Positive vs. negative isn’t the only application of framing. The language you choose can also create urgency or a feeling of excitement. Framing is being deliberate about the words you’re using in order to support the overall tone and emotional content of your message.

    Linguistic relativity

    Have you ever considered how much the words we use or the words available to us affect our worldview? There’s an academic field of study dedicated to this concept, called linguistic relativity (sometimes referred to as the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis).

    The basic idea of linguistic relativity is that the language we use directly affects how we perceive the world around us. Generally, academics are more concerned about languages as a whole. For example, speaking Latin vs. Swahili could change your perception of the world. However, recently others expanded the field of study and started questioning how the specific words we use can have an impact.

    Though it may sound a little far-fetched, there is some weight to the idea. For example, research by Andrew Newberg, M.D., and communications professor Mark Robert Waldman found the words we use have an impact on our brains.

    “There’s a lot of evidence to show that negative words and negative emotions are detrimental to the brain, while positive words and positive emotions are beneficial,” said Dr. Newberg. The takeaway for B2B sellers: be positive in your word choices and consider the buyer emotion you are creating.

    Out of the textbook, into the real world

    Theories are great, but being able to put ideas into practice is where the rubber really meets the road. With that in mind, here are three language tips you can implement for your proposals.

    1. Be selective

    Be selective about your word choices, as the words you choose, communicate more than you may realize.

    As an example, if you want to communicate your product or service is low price, avoid the word “cheap” as it's commonly associated with poorly built or low-quality goods. Better alternatives include “economical” or “inexpensive.” On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to communicate superior quality or service, consider words people commonly associate with top-of-the-line offerings, like “premium,” "platinum" or even "concierge."

    If you're a software provider, avoid terms like "seamless integration" as this may raise red flags for many marketing operations and IT professionals. Though your software may integrate very nicely with other technologies, claiming it's "seamless" can sometimes raise doubts as to your expertise. A better approach is to simply leave out the word "seamless," call attention to the technologies you integrate with and call it good.

    Lastly, beware of common replacement words that are easy to be misread or misinterpreted. Words like “inexpensive” or “foolproof” seem harmless, but our brains end up focusing on the negative part of each word (expensive/ fool). So, do your best to find terms that don’t contain negatives when replacing.

    2. Be Direct

    Avoid flowery words (AKA "marketing fluff" or "smoke and mirrors") to make something sound more exciting, or interesting than it is. Though that can work sometimes, more often than not, all you’re doing is adding noise around your core message.

    When you’re direct, you’re better able to express your thoughts, opinions, and points of view. Being clear in your message helps build trust with prospects, which is crucial for closing deals.

    As the ultimate test, ask someone else to proofread each section of the proposal you’re sending and ask what their main takeaway was. If it doesn’t match your intention, ask what confused them or directed their understanding. Knowing how your words may be interpreted is a useful insight to have!

    3. Be Brief

    Simply put: use fewer words.

    As humans, we (sadly) have attention spans equivalent to a goldfish-- you have about 8 seconds to capture interest in your message. Additionally, we can only hold on to about 30 seconds of information at a time.

    When writing your sales proposal, avoid long blocks of text. Ideally, split sections into chunks of about 75-100 words, and use images to give the brain a break every now and then, too.

    Following up on your proposal

    Seldom do sales proposals get signed without any sort of follow-up. In fact, 80% of deals need five follow-ups to close. So, having a plan in place of how you’ll continue the conversation is paramount to your success.

    How soon should you follow up?

    Though there aren’t any hard and fast rules; it’s most common to wait at least three days to follow up. But, if you had insights into when and how your buyer was viewing your proposal, you can be much more focused on when to call and what to review with them. Unfortunately, traditional proposal options (PDF, Word, PowerPoint) don't include analytics, and requesting an email receipt is annoying and not guaranteed the buyer will reply back.

    For more on advanced insight and usage analytics, request a demo of Qwilr. In today's competitive market, the timing and relevancy of your follow-up can be a deal maker-- or breaker.

    Continued success

    In order to nail your sales proposal, you need to consider all the parts that make up the whole. What content you include, the design choices you make, how you personalize, the language you utilize, and the ease of distribution all play a part in transforming your document into a better proposal.

    With increased competition and limited buyer attention, you need to be sure you’re making the most of every interaction you have. Though you may not always think of it this way, the proposal stage is really a transition point for you and your prospect, and is an early indicator of what it might be like working with your brand, should they choose you.

    Sales proposals are the beginning of a great customer relationship. When you start to see the stakes for what they truly are, it becomes even clearer why you need to review your sales proposals and evaluate the buyer experience you're creating. Invest the time, mind the details, and stay focused. We promise you’ll be glad you did.

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