Learn how to make a sales proposal

A sales proposal is an opportunity to introduce your company to a new business. The first impression is important as your proposal will determine how other businesses view your company. 

A good proposal should be clear, well-written, and well-formatted. Even if your product is technical, you want to make your proposal as clear and easy to understand as possible. Here are some tips on creating effective sales proposals.

Understand the requirements

Many companies state which factors are important in their requirements for sales proposals. Use this knowledge to your advantage and address their needs when creating a proposal. If in doubt, contact the customer. Don’t hesitate to call, email, or even pay them a visit. Clarify any doubts or misunderstandings, as the simplest mistake can lead to an ineffective sales proposal.

Include the necessary information

When creating a proposal, make sure you include information such as your business’s name, address, primary contact (i.e. the name, title, and number of the person whom the contact will communicate with the most), and any other necessary information. 

Also, include information about how long your company has been established and what market it operates in. This shows credibility and market confidence.

Provide customer references

All the information you provide customers sets the foundation for a good partnership. Beyond giving customers your contact information, provide them with the names and contact information of current customers who are happy with your product. You can also provide customer testimonials that highlight factors which differentiate you from competitors, such as quality, competitive pricing, and exemplary customer service. Customer references are an excellent way to address doubts and generate excitement. 

Highlight your company’s expertise

Demonstrable expertise is essential when competing to win a sales contract. Give prospective customers a summary of what your company can offer in terms of qualified personnel. Be sure to cite the educational and professional qualifications of your team in the proposal. 

Many companies are competitive when pricing, but lose in terms of qualification. It’s essential that your company instill confidence in customers, who might worry about the quality of your service or product, by demonstrating competence and providing reliable data.

Customers also might expect you to demonstrate expertise in the form of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certificates. ISO certificates are mandatory in some cases and show a company’s products or services are of high-quality and conform to international standards.

If your company doesn’t have an ISO certificate yet, consider applying for it in order to make your company more competitive when bidding for contracts..

Present solutions, not problems

Does your company has its own fleet for deliveries? The ability to deliver and circulate goods and services is always a plus for any company. If you don’t have a your own fleet, provide a viable solution for moving products in your proposal. 

It doesn’t matter whether your company sells physical products that need to be transported or not, one thing is certainly true: offer solutions, not problems. When a customer buys from you, you enter a mutual partnership. Be a partner they can rely on and both sides will enjoy a long, productive partnership.  

Make your communication clear and specific

In your proposal, provide details on how customers can communicate with you and what type of services they can expect. A telephone number, email address, and website where customers can communicate with your business are indispensable and provide more flexibility in terms of communicating.  

While a customer is still with your company, you must always keep the channels of communication open. This means providing them with timely and accurate data on quantities requested, delivery addresses, preferences, deadlines, and prices. How you communicate this information influences customers’ perceptions of the quality of your product and business. 

Show how your company solves the unforeseen

Your company should be ready to offer complete technical and professional assistance to customers. If there’s a malfunction, breakdown, or accident, will you be able to help customers in a timely manner? This is why preparing for emergencies beforehand is critical.

In the event that your company is unable to provide technical assistance for any reason, it is important to provide customers with a list of companies who can help them. Choose partners you already know.

Understand the importance of pricing

Price is a fundamental and decisive factor when a company is reviewing a proposal. On some occasions, price is vying with another factor such as quality or ease of implementation in the decision makers’ mind. Other times, only price will decide the matter.

The price of your product should lie between your profit margin and healthy market competition.Your company must cover the costs of operations and generate a profit margin in order to grow. However, your competitors will be thinking the same thing, leaving a small margin of negotiation.

A fair price is the best deal. It will be well-received by your potential customer, increasing the chances of your company winning the sale.

Make the start of work and deadline clear

The sales proposal must state when work will start and end. This information is critical to the decision makers, who will rely on your product or service to help their business. 

Knowing how to create a sales proposal makes a difference if you want to get ahead of the competition. You don’t have to create something dazzling, or even offer absurdly low prices; instead, demonstrate the potential of your company and its competitive advantages.

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