Getting Your Numbers Back Up Using Sales Proposals

BY Rachel Cagle
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Your prospects are on edge right now. With the coronavirus causing so much confusion, especially in the business world, they’re likely uncertain about the future of their company and may, therefore, be even more careful about what they’re spending money on than usual. That has been making the salesperson’s job difficult, and it was already challenging to begin with. You need the best sales proposals to make any headway.

As a result, many salespeople are becoming more desperate, pitching their products and services to anyone who will pick up the phone, with little to no preliminary research. Sales proposals are piling up in your prospects’ inboxes. Now, more than ever, it’s important for you to stand out from your ever-​growing competition.

The Keys to the Best Sales Proposals

Business Needs

Jeff Weil, writing for SellingPower, recommends starting off your best sales proposals by showing that you understand the prospect’s business need. Show the prospect that you’re not one of the salespeople who is so desperate to make a sale that they’re emailing generic proposals to anyone and everyone. Personalize your proposal. “One way to reduce this anxiety is to demonstrate that you deeply understand their problems, issues, needs, opportunities, objectives and values, stating clearly how your solution will address each one of them,” says Weil. 


Giving prospects a recommendation is also an effective way to craft the best sales proposals, says Weil. Instead of listing what you’re offering and leaving the prospect to decide whether or not they want to piece together what would be best for them, tell them. “A recommendation explicitly links the features of the product or service to the client’s needs and shows how it can receive positive results,” says Weil. “It also uses language that shows that you believe in the solution, with words such as we urge you to implement…, or we strongly believe…  Providing more specific solutions to business problems can go a long way to helping you stand out.” Your prospects have enough on their plate when it comes to spending right now. Do as much of the work for them as you can.


The best sales proposals follow up your recommendation with the value you’re providing. What makes your product the prospect’s best choice? Are you offering the lowest price? How about the highest return on investment? Will your product or service get your prospect results faster than the industry average? At the end of the day, your product or service’s value is what seals the deal for a sale. State your value plainly.


Has the product or service you’re recommending to this prospect worked well for another similar company that has provided a testimonial? Include that testimonial in your sales proposal, especially if this sale has occurred during the current pandemic! You can make all the promises you want to prospects, but what ultimately matters is that your product or service will work for them, and nothing proves that better than personal testimonials. In a recent HubSpot article, Jay Fuchs says that not only are personal testimonials a great way to showcase your success with similar companies, they’re also an easy way to “add a human element to sales content.” “They make your product or service seem less rigid or imposing and show that your offering helps people on an individual level — on top of what it can do for their businesses if you sell B2B,” says Fuch.

To make the most of personal testimonials, Fuch recommends adding a small picture of the reference person to your sales proposal. Putting a face to the words seems more personal and real. And don’t forget to add the person’s name, company name and their title. If the title of the person giving the testimony is at least at the same level as your prospect’s, the similarity will give them increased comfort when comparing their situation.


Don’t be afraid to throw in facts and figure graphics. A well laid out graphic can break up your paragraphs and make the amount of content seem less imposing. But don’t add a graphic just for graphic’s sake; choose your content wisely. “You want to be sure to project impressive figures that convey the trustworthiness of your company and the benefits of your customer experience,” says Fuch. “You want prospects to know that people trust your product or service. Highlighting specific, well-​defined, attention-​grabbing figures about the scope, nature, and legitimacy of your customer base is one of the better ways to do that.”

Also, make sure your graphic is visually appealing and varies from the rest of the sales proposal’s content. If the graphic you choose is a bulleted list of general information, the only difference between the it and the rest of the sales proposal may be bold or color text. Those enhancements may not be enough to draw the reader’s eye. Make the graphic stand out. Add a chart or format the information in a fun way that differs from the standard sales proposal setup. The graphic is meant to give your prospect’s eyes a fun break from pages of words. Make sure it’s a good one. Additionally, a good graphic shows that your company keeps up with the times and knows how to effectively utilize digital tools. If your graphic is boring or too simple, you’re basically telling your prospect that you have no idea how to make a good graphic. That could cost you the sale.