Every good sales proposal is informative, clear, concise, engaging – and even fun to read. We know the excitement of presenting your company’s capabilities on paper can lead to a content dump of your entire capability register into the request for proposal (RFP) response. Yet, it is possible to create a high-quality sales proposal that is effective, compliant, responsive, and won’t put your reader to sleep. Here’s how to make a sales proposal fun to read:
Tell a Story.
Sales proposals that create a chronological narrative of solution and events tend to grab more attention than over-selling content or irrelevant answers. To tell a story with your sales proposal:
- Write your responses in a clear order narrative using the funnel approach
- Connect successor responses to predecessor content
- Write like you’re speaking to the decision-maker
- Maintain brand voice throughout the document
- Use conversational language
Answers can work together to make a clear narrative for an engaging story. When you endeavor to write your next sales proposal remember to set the stage for your reader with storytelling techniques that map to client requirements. Proposal management software or RFP software can help you map your story to RFP requirements.
Use “You” language.
What’s more fun than reading about yourself? We know you’re compelled to write about how wonderful you are and why you’re fit to win the contract. While you certainly are wonderful, try to talk about your company a little less and talk about the buyer more. Start your responses with “you” language and continue to use the same second-person POV throughout the sales proposal.
Simply pause when you feel compelled to mention your company and consider if that is a good opportunity to mention the buyer and use “you” language instead.
Use of “you” language helps the reader feel that your proposal is speaking to them and that your company is highly invested in solving their problem.
Use Affirmative Statements.
Your sales proposal is presenting a solution to the buyer’s problem. It should read as a positive document stuffed with affirmative statements that your company’s capabilities can support. Present your solution as a sure-fire answer to the current buyer’s pain points (remember not to overpromise). Use affirmative statements that reassure the reader of your proposed solution and avoid using negative wording like “not”, “unlike”, or “in the event”.
Show and Tell.
A visually appealing sales proposal is more effective as an attention-grabber than the most well-planned written document. Solutions and lengthy content can be uniquely explained with both text and graphics, especially when your proposal includes a complex solution.
Graphics help show a solution, while content can support the graphic with an explanation. Show and tell to support your story narrative and to minimize confusion, particularly if you do not have a relationship with the buyer.
The most effective way to make a sales proposal fun to read is to add value throughout the entire document. Your proposal is speaking to someone – a reader. It is not a manifesto of your company’s every accomplishment, nor is it meant to be without creativity or relevance.
Add value with titles, graphics captions, and answers (of course) that state a benefit or reference a solution outcome. The best proposal management software will add value along the business development lifecycle for you.
Generic Title: “Solutions Overview”
Value-Based Title: “Solutions That Lead to a 33% Increase in Efficiency”
Feel empowered to state the value of your solution in section titles instead of just stating the name of the section. Unless instructed differently in the RFP, it is okay to get creative in how you name and position content.
Build customized templates that autofill content and map to requirements.