What is a business proposal?

A business proposal is a professional document that describes the value proposition and convinces a prospective client to work with you (or your company). The proposal typically includes a specific offer to complete a job or offers services for the recipient and outlines your approach.

Business proposals are a very valuable tool if used convincingly. Therefore, by sharpening your sales and marketing team’s proposal-writing skills can have a massive effect on your company’s success in winning new business.

In this article, we’ll look at the fundamentals of good business proposals, explain how your company could benefit from them, and provide some advice on how to go about creating a successful proposal.

Any company, whether it’s a business working for the SMB market, a start-up, or a huge enterprise, can benefit from writing and sending targeted business proposals or in some cases RFPs (request for proposals) to potential clients.

Building your proposal

Structuring and writing your proposal is a process that will be different for every project and every business you approach. However, there are some tips that apply in most situations:

Stick to a sensible format

Always try to keep your proposal structured in a clear, easy-to-follow way. This will help the recipient actually understand what you’re writing about, stick with it, and get something useful from it. Little things like adding a table of contents can go a long way in making the document easy to read.

Understand the client’s problem

Before writing a single word, you need to have a clear idea of what the company you’re approaching is really looking for. This means identifying the problem they’re trying to overcome/what they want to achieve. Once you have this crucial piece of intel, you can structure your entire proposal around it.

Provide an executive summary

Having a short summary section to give an overview of your ideas is an excellent way of getting the reader’s attention and conveying your message right away. This is best communicated at the start of your proposal. If the reader is just flipping through multiple proposals, they still can understand the gist of your approach.

Use an intro

Instead of delving straight into the details, begin your proposal with some sort of introductory section. This can include things like a title page, your company’s background and relevant experience, your contact details, etc.

The body of the proposal

Here you need to give the reader a good understanding of the way you plan to approach the project. It can be helpful to add expected timeframes for different sections of the project, some justification for each step, and anything else that will help show how you are going to tackle the task appropriately and efficiently.

Legal stuff

As business proposals can become legally-binding contracts, you may want to include a terms and conditions section.

Creating a business proposal with PandaDoc

  1. Log in to your PandaDoc account, click on the “New Document” button.
  2. Select a business proposal template or start from scratch.
  3. Construct your proposal however you like. Start by dragging and dropping elements from the menu on the right like images, videos, signature boxes that support eSignatures, and more.
  4. If you want, you can populate the proposal with existing CRM data in seconds with an integration.

These easy steps will provide you with a professional, high-quality business proposal ready for closing. With PandaDoc, you can also send, eSign, and track each metric of every business document from inside a single proposal software tool.

Business proposals made easy

Creating an amazing, effective business proposal for a prospective client is an important but challenging for many companies. If you’re looking to improve the way your business approaches proposals, why not give PandaDoc a try to build high-impact sales documents in a matter of minutes.