I’m sure you’ll agree, there are three things sales professionals detest most: admin, writing sales proposals and responding to tenders. Proposals are an integral part of the sales process and while a fantastic one rarely wins a deal by itself, a bad one could kill it. Knowing this only adds to the pressure when faced with the task of writing and generally procrastination sets in.

When the deadline looms, the default sales proposal usually surfaces. Here we go… the long company history, lists of products and services, features and benefits, spelling and grammatical errors, messy formatting and the worst… a previous client’s name is left in because of cutting and pasting from another proposal!
Finally, you deliver the proposal to your prospective client whom you hope loves it. Instead, they find it more like a treasure hunt, trying to uncover the reasons why they should buy from you.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Knowing how to structure your document and deliver a tailored and customer-focused proposal is a vital business skill. Your proposal represents you and your organisation so it must be professional.

Here are five Cs to help you transform your proposal from a treasure hunt into a treasure trove:

1. Compelling – articulate your solution persuasively and make it interesting to read. Describe how your products/services will meet their specific needs.

2. Concise – get to the point and make your proposal as short as possible.

3. Credible – include evidence of your track record that is relevant to your prospect.

4. Correct – always have someone proofread your proposal for grammar and spelling. Ensure your proposal speaks with one voice and the language used is consistent throughout.

5. Competitive – your proposal should stand out from your competitors’. Describe your differentiators and why you are the better choice.