Easy Steps to an Effective Business Proposal

Job analysis. Young smart man with glasses and a light blue shirt looking at the laptop screen while holding his hand above the keyboard, sitting at the table.

If you want to encourage other businesses to buy from you, you need to create a winning business proposal. This magic document will help you get new clients and close deals within the shortest time possible.

Here’s what’s crazy. More than 60% of sales managers tend to spend almost 30 hours a week putting together compelling business proposals. When you think about it, you might be wondering if they actually have time left to do their sales. Of course, there’s got to be a better, more efficient, way to go about this. To avoid the sad lot of those 60%, you should be aware of the key differences between a business proposal and business plan. 

Business Plan Versus Business Proposal 

Professionals define a business plan as a documented strategy for a business that highlights its major goals and plans for achieving them. It’s primarily used when seeking an investor to put money into your new business. As for a business proposal, this formal document is normally provided to your prospect with the purpose of securing their business. In other words, you create a business plan to win over more clients and thus boost your revenue. And since every business has their own needs and problems, you need to tailor your proposal to address your customers’ specific paint points.

It should be noted that out-of-the-box business proposal templates can save you a lot of bother and precious time. There are plenty of cool tools out there that can help you craft an effective business proposal, thus freeing up your sales team and providing them with more opportunities to attend to more creative and important business tasks. For more information about how to create business proposals from scratch, go to https://create.vista.com/blog/how-to-put-together-a-business-proposal/.   

Executive Summary

Executive summary is the first page in your business proposal that aims to give your potential clients a brief overview of your products or services and states how it might benefit the parties. In essence, it’s a wrap-up of your proposal that your prospect can look through to get a gist of what you’re offering and what benefits they might derive from that offer. Note that you don’t have to fill out this part of your proposition right from the start. It might be quite challenging to put together a strong summary of your proposal before you’re actually done with it. You would be well-advised to get back to this section at the end of your writing journey.

Identifying the Problem

Your job as a business owner is to help your potential customers identify the scope of their problems and offer a workable solution to them. Sometimes, this process goes smooth and unhindered, especially if you’ve already met with your client and discussed all the pain points. So, make sure your proposal is always customer-focused. Make your customers feel like you understand their pain points better than other companies out there that offer similar solutions.

Propose a Solution

Once you’re done identifying your prospective customer’s problems, you can offer some cool solutions to them. It means that you can get down to actually stating details of how your product or services can benefit your client. Make sure that your proposal doesn’t look standardized and impersonal. Even if you’re using dedicated templates, you need to make some tweaks to the ‘Solution’ section to make it look well-suited to addressing your customer’s individual needs.

There are three cool tips that will help you write a killer solution.

#1 Focus on the process, not products. A lot of companies fall into the trap of pitching ideas to their potential customers prior to finalizing their dead. You want to describe your action plan generically, focusing on the process rather than defining specific solutions. You might want to give your prospect an explanation of how you’re going to solve their problem without explicitly stating what tools and strategies you’re going to employ to make their life easier.

#2 Focus on results. It’s critical for your proposal’s success that you spell out the result your clients might expect to obtain after you seal a deal. Pay your prospect’s attention to how implementing your solution might boost their overall performance. If possible, try to be specific and refer to certain key performance indicators, both high- and low-level, that might improve after they start cooperating with your company. That said, it’s also very important that you don’t go overboard with your promises, especially when it comes to giving hard numbers.

#3 Don’t say it… show it. Words can provide a lot of valuable information, but people understand things easier if they visualize them. So, instead of going about the benefits of your products and services, you might illustrate their efficacy using charts, graphs, diagrams, infographics, or any other visual to illustrate the efficacy of your solution.

Tell About Your Company

Undoubtedly, you’ve already told your prospects a lot about your products. But to ensure they will choose you over thousands of other similar companies, you need to give them more information about yourself and your business. Don’t limit your background section only to describing your specialization areas and assortment of services provided. Such info as your company’s legal status, creditworthiness, and financial standing might also be relevant. Also, it would be a good idea to share your brand philosophy and company purpose in a couple simple meaningful phrases.