4 Proposal Best Practices to Prevent Millions of Dollars in Lost Revenue |

4 Proposal Best Practices to Prevent Millions of Dollars in Lost Revenue

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Depending on how you wield it, a sales proposal is your most dangerous weapon as a rep. It holds the power to positively or negatively impact your bottom line in just a couple of pages. Not everyone attributes their closing ratio to their proposal, but a sales proposal that proactively predicts the objectives of its prospects, succinctly displays information, offers customizable pricing options, and provides an easy way for customers to pay is sure to improve any rep’s quota. 

When you incorporate these four best practices into future sales proposals, you’ll not only maintain an above-average closing ratio for yourself, but you’ll also enhance revenue generation for your business as a whole. Let’s dive deeper into the structure of proposals that close more deals and prevent millions of dollars in lost revenue.

types of proposals

1. Predict Your Prospect’s Objectives 

If the sole focus of your proposal is to list the deliverables your business offers, your client will have a difficult time connecting their pain points to your solutions listed. The ability to predict the objective of your client’s request for a proposal is key. In order to prevent millions of dollars lost in revenue, you must create a narrative in your proposal that goes beyond the essential features and benefits of your product or service

Do your homework and tell a story where your prospect is the hero who needs your help. It’s much easier to proactively predict your potential customer’s pain points when you’re well-informed, versus having little to no preparation. Even if your predictions miss the mark, the initiative you’ve taken to demonstrate that you are the solution to their problems will shine through, and establish a connection of mutual interest between you and your customer.   

The difference between a proposal that simply lists the features of your product/service and a proposal that connects the dots between problems and solutions for potential customers is exponential. By taking the time to create the latter, you’re bound to increase your closing ratio and prevent any revenue dollars from being lost.

2. Get to the Point 

If your proposal is a zillion pages long, filled with technical jargon and legalese don’t expect your prospect to be impressed. They want to know the WHY behind why they should hire you. If you state your case in a way clients aren’t able to easily understand, they’ll reject your proposal and opt for another business that clearly outlines their value add.  

To create a proposal that is equal parts succinct and engaging: 

  • Identify your prospect’s pain points and provide a clear solution
  • Avoid writing a laundry list of your company’s impressive achievements
  • Include your client’s name and logo to subliminally connect their brand to yours
  • Incorporate images and embed other forms of media

scope of work proposal example

3. Be Flexible and Transparent with Pricing 

Most sales proposals offer static pricing options that limit their customer’s options, and as a result, lose out on potential revenue. While negotiations over price are to be expected with any deal if your proposal provides flexible and transparent pricing tables upfront your customers will feel empowered by their ability to choose the best price for them. By allowing them to calculate any taxes or discounts tied to the total ahead of time, you’ll limit the back-and-forth negotiations when it comes time for them to pony up. 


pricing example from proposal

Even if you think you know the perfect price or package for your prospect, only offering them one option will make them feel forced to select the one you’ve presented to them. By including a range of pricing options in your proposal, your prospect will take more time to explore their options and the benefits of packages that come at a higher cost.

4. Light a Path to Payment 

The best way to prevent revenue from being lost is to make it easier than ever for your potential customers to securely checkout within your proposal. 

payment section from a proposal example

When you embed payments into your sales proposals, you’ll not only provide a high-quality buying experience for your customers, you’ll also speed up the sales process and save a ton of time building and sharing your successful sales proposal. 

Give your customers the ability to pay in seconds without ever having to leave your proposal. With a simple checkout experience they can trust, you’re sure to increase your close rate. Customers can sign, seal, and deliver your proposal through PayPal or their preferred payment gateway, like Stripe ACH, PayPal, Square, and more. 

To Sum It Up 

It’s important to know the strength of your own sales proposal. If you edit your sales proposals to include the four points above, you’ll prevent millions of dollars in lost revenue, close more deals, and grow your loyal customer base. 

Simply listing the deliverables your company offers is not going to make your sales proposal successful. Your prospects will only pay if they can feel that this deal will mitigate the pain points they need to be solved. A well-researched, succinct, and intuitive sales proposal will increase your chances of a successful close. 


About The Author

Emily Roberts is a Content Associate at PandaDoc. If she’s not busy creating content in the office, she’s getting creative in the kitchen to the sound of her favorite true crime podcasts. 

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