What is the structure of a proposal?

For many businesses, crafting custom-made proposals is a key element of their sales strategy. 

And, when the offer is complex, sending a clear and well-structured proposal facilitates the sales process.

In the proposal, the potential customer can see a recap of all the important information, such as:

  • The price
  • The details of the offering
  • The terms and conditions
  • The expected timeframe
  • The next steps

This helps them reach a decision faster, especially if multiple decision-makers need to evaluate the proposal.

For this reason, structuring your proposal well and outlining all the important information correctly is instrumental to reaching a deal.

Why are well-structured proposals important for businesses?

The benefits of well-structured proposals are many.

1. Boost your credibility and trustworthiness

Professionally-looking, on-brand documents give you extra credibility and project an image of trustworthiness.  

2. Outline the scope of the project clearly and concisely

Proposals give you the unique opportunity to outline the project’s scope in a clear and concise way and make sure that you and your prospect are on the same page and expect the same things.

3. Help the customer understand and imagine your solution coming to life

By outlining the solution, you help the potential customer better understand and visualize it.

This strengthens the sales message. 

4. Make the next steps clear

Proposals give you an opportunity to give customers specific guidance about the next steps.

Here, you can (and should) clearly say what they need to do to work with you. 

5. Improve conversion rates

Because of all the benefits above, well-structured sales collateral (and proposals in particular) help you sign more deals, faster. 

6. Streamline project planning (once a deal is signed)

What happens after you get a “yes”?

The proposal helps set your customer’s expectations and assists getting your team started on delivering the final product or service. 

What is the ideal structure of a proposal?

Now, let’s see what’s the ideal structure of a successful proposal. 

When writing a proposal, we advise you to work with a template and not start from scratch each time.

This makes the proposal writing process much faster and easier, as you already have a preset structure and don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each proposal. 

And, let’s face it, the company that sends a proposal quickly is usually the one to get the contract, rather than the one that needs three or four days to send an estimate. 

PandaDoc has more than 160 free business proposal templates that you can use straight away to write your proposals faster.

They provide structure and guide you through the proposal creation process, making it much simpler and faster. 


In the first section of the proposal, you need to introduce your business and its unique approach to solving the customer’s problem. 

You can also include social proof in this section, such as testimonials or quotes from past customers, especially for similar projects, by emphasizing the results you helped your clients achieve. (Yes, you can even add numbers and relevant data). 


Here, provide a brief description of the challenge to be solved, or the reason why your prospective customer approached you.

Explain what they’re struggling with and what they need. 


Outline the goals and the specific ways you’ll help your prospect achieve each goal.

You can use the SMART framework for this section, i.e. describe objectives in a way that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

For example, if you’re a Facebook ads management agency, you may want to provide an estimate of an achievable and relevant ROI your client will receive within a specific budget and timeframe. 

Cost and timeframe

Here, provide a detailed cost estimate for the products or services you offer, along with the time it will take to complete work on the project.

Remember to include information about costs that are not covered by your fee and that your client might need to pay separately (such as taxes or fees for third parties’ services). 

Terms and conditions

Here, give information about the terms and conditions of the proposal, such as: 

  • The scope of the project
  • How long the proposal is valid
  • The delivery date
  • The payment schedule
  • Your refund policy
  • Warranty (if any) 

How can proposal templates help you save time and sign more deals?

And, lastly, let’s cover exactly how you can create proposal templates in PandaDoc to save time and sell more.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to creating a proposal in PandaDoc with the help of templates.

1. Upload your template

Upload your template or use one of our free templates, such as the digital marketing proposal template, the sales proposal template, or the training course proposal template.

Alternatively, you can create your own templates from scratch. 

2. Populate the template

Populate the template with the relevant customer and project information

3. Customize your template

Customize your template to make it look even more professional and personalized.

You can add text, images, videos, tables, checkboxes, and many other elements. 

4. Fill in signatory fields

Fill in signatory fields. With PandaDoc, you can collect eSignatures from prospective customers quickly and efficiently to shorten the sales cycle; for this, you need to prepare the signatory fields.

Send your document and collect signatures. Next, you need to send your document to all parties involved in the negotiation process, discuss your proposal with them, amend it if necessary, and collect signatures. 

And that’s it! Your expertly executed and well-structured proposal is now signed.