We talk to a lot of clients who are looking to get more sales for their business, and while most of our conversations center around the website and its role in the marketing & sales process, there’s another important piece to the puzzle – the sales proposal.
Your proposal is one of the most critical parts of the sales process. A few years ago, we upgraded the design & quality of our own proposal and we quickly saw our closing rates increase.
5 Ways to Create More Effective Sales Proposals
1. Focus on the Client
When we design & build a website, we’re always talking to clients about their visitors and making sure the visitors’ needs are met on the website.
This same focus applies to the sales process. Your sales proposal should address the needs of your prospective client and state clearly how your service or product meets each of their needs.
This information should be front and center, and you don’t want the prospect to hunt for it. Be careful to not get caught up in talking too much about your own team. This is a common mistake that businesses make on their websites and proposals.
2. Upgrade the Design
Unfortunately, most companies don’t spend a lot of time on their proposal design, or they don’t have the internal resources to create a high-quality design and use basic templates.
However, the design & quality of your proposal will make one of the biggest impressions at a critical time in the sales process. Even if you have a high-quality website that attracted the prospect, they will spend a lot more time reviewing and critiquing your proposal than your website during the proposal stage.
Consider upgrading your proposal from a basic PDF or PowerPoint template. An online proposal system can offer a great way to set your proposal apart and to customize the design to fit your branding better.
3. Keep it Simple
When it comes to your website content, less is always more. The same is true for proposals. Keep your proposal as streamlined as possible because no prospect wants to read through tons of pages of dense text.
In fact, a recent study showed that shorter proposals were 31% more likely to win deals than longer proposals.
In addition to reducing the amount of content, organize your content into sections with consistent headlines and consider adding a table of contents. Similar to a website, you can make the proposal easier to read and absorb by organizing the content in a logical way.
4. Use Visuals to Tell a Story
When upgrading the design of your proposal, use more than just text to convey your company’s branding and solutions.
Select high-quality images and graphics that support your messaging. The placement of images is also key and can guide a reader’s or prospect’s eyes to important components of the proposal.
With an online proposal, you can also add more interactive components such as videos, interactive FAQs and micro-animations. Similar to your website, the more elements that you can use to engage a prospect, the better results you can expect.
5. Include a Call to Action
A call to action on a website tells the visitor the next step to take on your site. We often say that if you skip the call to action, then your visitor’s journey on the site will hit a dead end.
You could be facing that dilemma with your proposals. Is it clear to your prospect how to approve the proposal or what they should do next?
You’ll most likely see faster approvals if you make the approval process and next steps very clear to prospects. If you are using an online proposal format, you can add an approval option or connect the proposal to an electronic signing platform such as DocuSign or AdobeSign.