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Write Sales Proposals That Stand Out: 13 Steps + Examples

Learn how to write a sales proposal that destroys your competition. Get effective customizable sales proposal examples usable as sales proposal templates.

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Short answer

What is a sales proposal?

A sales proposal is a document designed to persuade potential clients to choose your product or service. It outlines benefits, pricing, and solutions, tailored to the client's needs, helping to secure business deals.

A weak proposal can undo all the effort you’ve put into winning clients

By the time you send your proposal, you've worked hard on your sales strategy, you've engaged with the clients, and uncovered their critical needs. Now you’re at the finish line.

If you’re not new to this, then you know that your sales proposal is more than just a formality. It's the most critical moment of your entire sales process. It’s literally your “money time”.

But you know you’re not the only option on the table. And if you don’t shine the brightest, you’re in trouble. To drop the ball here would hurt bad…

This post will teach you how not to drop the ball, how to sidestep the client’s objections, get a clear shot, and score (even snatching victory from incumbents).

Let’s dive in!

What is the purpose of a sales proposal?

The purpose of a sales proposal, sent at the end of the sales cycle, is to demonstrate to prospects that you are the right solution provider. It effectively summarizes the benefits and solutions offered. It aims to convert interest into a solid business agreement.

Main types of sales proposals

Navigating the world of sales proposals is key to unlocking successful deals. Let's explore the different types you might encounter.

6 main types of sales proposals:

Product sales proposal

Tailored for specific products, this proposal highlights features, benefits, and how they meet the client's needs, often with pricing and customization options.

Business proposal for selling B2B services

Focused on business-to-business services, this proposal outlines service offerings, value propositions, and how they solve specific business challenges.

Sales consulting proposal

This proposal offers expert advice and strategies to improve a client's sales processes, emphasizing the consultant's expertise and the expected outcomes.

Real estate sales proposal

Designed for property sales, it showcases properties, market analysis, and tailored strategies to attract buyers or sellers in the real estate market.

Sales training proposal

(Internal proposal or Sales as a Service proposal)

Whether for an internal team or as a service, this proposal outlines training programs to enhance sales skills and strategies, tailored to specific team needs.

Sales plan proposal

(Internal proposal or Sales as a Service proposal)

This proposal presents a comprehensive sales strategy, including targets, tactics, and resources, tailored to either improve an internal team's performance or as a service offering.

What documents should I use for my sales proposal?

You may be great at refining the proposal message, but you'll still fail if you're not using the best format. The right type of presentation can make all the difference. Let's explore the options.


Best types of sales proposal documents:


1) Sales proposal email letter

The classic sales proposal letter is used mostly in cold prospecting to persuade prospects to book a sales meeting. A sales proposal email is either used on its own or in tandem with your sales proposal presentation or PDF.

Since email is limited to plain text and images, it limits your ability to show rather than tell your value. This forces you to make generic uninteresting proposals which makes it hard to stand out.

The best way to transcend the email format and demonstrate value is to use it as a setup for viewing your sales proposal presentation.

But what format should you use for your proposal presentation?


2) One-page sales proposal

A traditional one-pager sales proposal is normally a PDF document dense with text and includes a few tables or graphs with the most important information for the buyer.

This type of proposal tends to be very textual and unattractive. And since there is only so much you can fit into a one-page PDF the information tends to be insufficient.

To make things worse, PDFs are static, dull, and mobile-unfriendly. This led to the rise of modern interactive PDF alternatives.


3) Interactive sales proposal

Interactive proposals are a leap forward from legacy static PDFs. They get clients’ attention and earn their engagement through interactivity and storytelling.

Interactive sales proposals enable clients to make their buying decisions with rich forms of content like videos, live data visualization, ROI calculators, narration and annotation, and more.


Here’s what a static vs. interactive sales proposal looks like:

Static PPT example
Static PPT
Interactive Storydoc example
Interactive Storydoc

What is the best sales proposal outline?

  1. Introduction and client insight: Start with a brief overview highlighting the proposal's benefits, then demonstrate your understanding of the client's needs and objectives.

  2. Solution and value: Detail your product or service and its fit for the client's requirements. Emphasize the unique benefits and value your solution offers.

  3. Implementation and pricing: Outline the steps for deploying your solution, including timelines, followed by a clear, transparent pricing structure and terms.

  4. Credibility and wrap-up: Conclude with success stories or testimonials to establish trust, a snapshot of your company's expertise, and a summary that reinforces the proposal's key benefits, nudging the client towards a decision.

You can read more about proposal highlighting here.

How to write a winning sales proposal

Creating a sales proposal is about building a connection with your client and showing them how your solution can transform their business.

With these tips, you're writing more than a simple proposal; you're starting a conversation that could lead to a long-lasting business relationship.


1) Dive deep into your client’s world

Begin by stepping into your client's shoes. Grasp their industry dynamics, internal challenges, and what keeps them up at night. This deep understanding forms the backbone of a proposal that resonates on a personal level.

For instance, if your client is in the healthcare sector, talk about how your solution can streamline patient care or reduce administrative burdens.


2) Echo their communication style

The tone of your proposal should mirror your client's corporate culture. Whether it's formal, relaxed, or somewhere in between, it should feel like a conversation they would have internally.

This alignment in communication style makes your proposal feel more familiar and trustworthy.

For example, if they're a startup, a conversational and energetic tone might work best. For a corporate client, a more formal and structured tone could be more appropriate.


3) Create a compelling title

Your proposal's title is the first handshake with your client. Make it count by crafting a title that's not just a label but a promise of value. It should encapsulate the essence of your solution and its impact on their business.

For example, "Revolutionizing Your Workflow: A Tailored IT Solution" immediately tells the client what to expect and piques interest.


4) Use clear language

Avoid industry jargon and complex terminology. Your proposal should be easy to understand, making your client feel at ease. Use clear, concise language that speaks directly to their needs and how you can fulfill them.

For instance, rather than stating, 'Our solution enhances communication capabilities,' you could say, 'Our tool simplifies and improves team communication.'"


5) Write a strong executive summary

The executive summary is where you make your pitch. It should be a clear, concise overview of what you're offering, why it matters, and how it addresses the client's specific challenges.

Think of it as a mini-version of your entire proposal, offering a snapshot of the value you're bringing to the table.

For example, "Our custom software solution is designed to cut your document processing time in half, boosting productivity."

For more information, check out our guide on how to write an executive summary.


6) Use solution-focused writing

Use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate how your solution works. For instance, if you're proposing a new HR software, include a case study showing how it improved HR processes at a similar company.


7) Highlight benefits over features

Focus on the benefits of your offering, not just its features. Explain how these benefits will directly improve the client's business operations or contribute to their bottom line.


A renowned online sales trainer and private equity fund manager, Grant Cardone, says:

“People do not believe what they hear; they believe what they see. (...) Anything offered or points of value that are included should be written down to show buyers what they get when they make a decision with you.”

—Grant Cardone, Sales trainer and private equity fund manager

Grant Cardone, Sales trainer and private equity fund manager

8) Craft a persuasive narrative

Effective storytelling in a sales proposal involves more than just presenting facts; it's about creating a narrative that the client can see themselves in.

Start by setting the scene with the client's current challenges or pain points. Then, introduce your solution as the turning point in this story.

For instance, if your client is struggling with inefficient accounting processes, narrate how your software has transformed a similar company's financial operations, leading to increased efficiency and reduced errors.

Use specific examples and paint a vivid picture of the journey from problem to solution, making it easy for the client to envision a similar successful journey for themselves.


9) Personalize your proposal

In a world where 77% of B2B buyers demand personalized content, the traditional approach of manually customizing proposals for each client becomes a time-consuming and inefficient task.

Using an interactive proposal creator, you can personalize at scale in just a few clicks.

By integrating with your CRM, tools like Storydoc can automatically extract key customer data, enabling you to create highly personalized proposals with ease.

This saves you valuable time and ensures each proposal is precisely tailored to the client's specific context and needs.

Here's how you can easily personalize with Storydoc:

CRM integration and personalization using Storydoc proposal creator

10) Outline the deliverables

Clearly articulate the deliverables of your proposal. For example, if you're offering a software solution, detail the specific features, the support you'll provide, and the timeline for implementation.

This clarity helps the client understand exactly what they can expect and builds a foundation of trust.


11) Include a clear pricing strategy

Present your pricing in a clear, straightforward manner. Offer options if possible, as this gives the client a sense of control and helps them choose the solution that best fits their budget.

Here's an example of a clear pricing slide:

Clear pricing slide example

12) End with a strong Call to Action

At the end of your sales proposal, invite the client to take the next step. Make your CTA clear, direct, and easy to follow.

For instance, instead of a vague "Contact us for more information," use a more direct and engaging approach like, "Ready to boost your accounting efficiency? Schedule a free consultation with our expert team today."

This approach not only specifies the action you want the client to take but also ties it directly to the benefits they can expect, making the CTA more compelling and likely to elicit a response.

Additionally, ensure that the process for taking this next step is straightforward – for example by embedding your calendar directly into the deck.

Here's how easy it is to book a meeting from the deck:

Calendar integration example

You can also add an accept button to your proposal. This reduces friction for your clients and increases your close rates. It also reduces your deal closing time, as there's no need for another deck approval phase.

There's also an option to add smart control measures, such as an expiry date or password. This way, you make sure your proposal stays safe and gets attention when it needs to.

An expiry date is like a gentle nudge for your clients to decide quickly, while a password ensures that sensitive information remains confidential and accessible only to the intended recipients.

Here's an example of a deck with an accept button:

Accept button example

13) Follow up with your client

After sending the proposal, don’t just wait for a response. Follow up with your client, offer to clarify any doubts, and reiterate your eagerness to work with them. This shows your commitment and keeps the momentum going.

How to make an effective sales proposal presentation

Crafting an effective sales proposal presentation is like telling a compelling story that captivates your audience and leads them to a clear decision. It's about blending information, persuasion, and engagement in a way that resonates with your client.

What to include in a sales proposal presentation?

Creating a sales proposal is more than just listing your offerings; it's about weaving a narrative that positions your client as the protagonist and your service or product as their key to success.

Here's a breakdown of essential elements a sales proposal structure should include.


11 essential slides of a sales proposal presentation:

  1. Introduction: A catchy opening that identifies the client and sets the tone for your proposal.

  2. Company overview: Provide a snapshot of your company, highlighting your history, values, and expertise.

  3. Executive summary: Summarize the main points of your proposal, focusing on solutions tailored to the client's challenges.

  4. Unique Value Proposition: Clearly articulate what sets your offering apart from competitors and how it benefits the client.

  5. Your solution: Detail the product or service you're offering, emphasizing its role in solving the client's specific problem.

  6. Benefits: Outline the direct advantages the client will experience by choosing your solution, linking them to their objectives.

  7. Pricing and terms: Present transparent pricing details and service terms, ensuring clarity and fairness.

  8. Timeline for deliverables: If applicable, include a realistic timeline showing when each aspect of your service or product will be delivered.

  9. Testimonials and case studies: Add real-life success stories or endorsements to build credibility and trust.

  10. Team: Introduce your team or company, emphasizing your commitment and expertise in the field.

  11. Next steps: Conclude with clear, actionable steps for moving forward, guiding the client towards a decision.

Create interactive sales proposals from a template

A sales proposal is potentially the deciding factor in landing a crucial deal. Every word, every design element carries weight. The challenge of starting from scratch, especially when so much hinges on this one proposal, can be overwhelming.

Sales proposal templates act like a blueprint, providing a structured, professionally designed framework that you can build upon. They’ve been designed with all the best practices in mind and optimized to engage, impress, and convert.

Grab one!

No templates found

How to write a sales proposal email

One may say writing an email is not complicated at all, but writing an email that will actually get opened and create an impact is… well, a challenge just to say this slightly.

Here are some invaluable tips from our International Sales Specialist, Maciek Rojek:


Point zero: What is the sales proposal email?

A proposal email is like a formal letter sent during the middle of selling something. It's a big step in convincing someone to become a customer.


There are 4 steps in the selling process:

  1. First, people become aware of the product;

  2. Then, they get interested;

  3. Next, they decide if they want it;

  4. And finally, they take action to buy.

Proposal emails usually come in at the second step, giving customers the info they need to decide if they want to move to the next step.



There are 2 types of sales proposals:

  1. A business proposal might be sent after a potential client has agreed to review the terms in a sales transaction. This is called a solicited business proposal. Solicited business proposal emails can be stand-alone sales documents or used to fulfill requests for bids, research or grant proposals.

  2. A business proposal email could also be the first point of contact with the buyer. In these cases, it’s an unsolicited business proposal.


First things first: what do you need to achieve?

Sit down and think about what you want to achieve with your email. You need to remember that this message opens a new phase in your contact with the lead: you are about to send him your proposal.

In order to successfully land the deal, you need to make sure your message reflects all of your prospect’s pain points and highlights most important solutions.

If you plan to send him an external link to a proposal, e.g. using Storydoc’s template with e-signature, you should think about creating an appealing call to action for your prospect to actually click on the link.

A thumbnail from Storydoc would surely help to do that:

Storydoc thumbnail example

You should either embed or hyperlink your proposal. Short links are lately seen as phishing or spam methods, so we suggest avoiding them.

Once your link is included in the email, make sure to write a summary of what the offer includes and what your prospect should do with it.

Okay, now let’s focus on the email creation step-by-step!


1) Subject line creation

The sales subject line has to grab the attention and remind your prospect of the next steps.

Creation of the subject line has to focus on 3 main factors:

  1. Compelling event or compelling question.

  2. Personalization - either their company or their own name (this detail alone can get you 26% more opens and increase your email revenue by a whopping 760%!).

  3. Action-oriented simple language.


2) Conduct or summarize your needs analysis

Before making a proposal to a specific client, find out everything you can about them. This is called a "needs analysis."

Ideally, you get to sit down with the client and ask them questions. In addition, talk to people you know who might have information about the client. You can also look up the company online to understand their issues and come up with a solution.


3) Set your goals and timeline in focus

When writing a business proposal email, begin by stating your goals clearly. In a more formal setting, this is called an executive summary.

Although a proposal email doesn't necessarily need an executive summary, it's important to highlight your objective at the start of the email.

A well-crafted objective statement grabs attention, especially in unsolicited proposals where you may not have an established relationship with the client.


4) Define your proposal

You have to know what the next steps on your prospects' side look like. It will allow you not only to avoid unexpected turns, but also use their own timelines, reasons and deadlines to effectively follow-up without unwanted pushbacks.


Focus on:

  • Identifying the project team, stakeholders, account managers, and workers. Clarifying the main contact for the client and who will handle product or service delivery.

  • Defining the deliverables, project costs, payment terms, client responsibilities, and your obligations.

  • Specifying the project location.

  • Stating delivery timelines, whether it's recurring or one-time, and customer service availability.

  • Explaining the reasons for choosing your product or service as a solution to the client's problems and why the customer should choose to work with you.


5) Include your offer’s cost and preferred deadline

For the proposal to work well, it's crucial for the client to recognize and agree with the cost.

Utilize the information you've collected to present a price in your proposal. If you've conducted a needs analysis and had a conversation with the client, you may already have an idea of the cost they're aiming for.

Here's an example of an email proposal used by Maciek:

Email proposa example

Sales proposal examples you can customize

The best sales proposals do more than just list services and prices; they connect with clients on a deeper level, addressing their needs and aspirations with precision and insight.

In this section, we’ll explore some standout sales proposal examples that have mastered this art, and break down what makes each of them successful.

Healthy.io healthcare sales proposal deck

The Healthy.io sales proposal is a brilliantly crafted presentation, focusing on improving Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) management through easy-to-use home ACR tests.

It's especially helpful for people with diabetes and hypertension, blending a strong story with practical, data-backed solutions.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Engaging story: It kicks off with a relatable story about the importance of ACR testing in CKD, making the healthcare challenge and its impact on patients really hit home.

  • Solid facts: The proposal is packed with easy-to-understand stats that make a strong case for why home testing is essential.

  • Clear visuals: It breaks down the testing process with simple visuals, making it super easy for anyone to get how the service works.

Kratom sales proposal presentation for food supplements

This sales proposal by Legends Kratom Co is an insightful and well-structured presentation that showcases kratom products for natural relief from pain, anxiety, depression, and opioid dependency.

It's thoughtfully designed for healthcare providers and patients, blending educational content with solid data and clear product differentiation.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Informative content: The presentation does a great job of educating the audience about kratom, its uses, and benefits, which is super helpful for a product that many might not be familiar with.

  • Strong data support: It uses convincing statistics from reputable sources like Johns Hopkins Medicine, giving their claims about kratom's benefits a lot of credibility.

  • Unique product highlights: The proposal shines a light on what makes Legends Kratom Co stand out, like their commitment to quality and unique sourcing stories, which is really persuasive for business customers.

WiseStamp sales proposal with automatic personalization

This sales proposal is a shining example of how to present a product in a way that's both engaging and convincing, using personalization and real-world success stories to make a strong case to potential clients.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Personalization: It uses placeholders like {{prospect}} to personalize each proposal, significantly increasing engagement and making each recipient feel uniquely addressed.

  • Clear benefits: The proposal clearly lists key benefits such as time-saving, brand promotion, and professional appearance, effectively communicating the product’s value to prospects.

  • Evidence of success: It incorporates testimonials and a high rating from Capterra, providing credible social proof that reinforces the effectiveness and reliability of WiseStamp's solutions.

Tailored sales solution

This sales proposal presentation offers a comprehensive marketing solution designed to revolutionize business growth. It focuses on enhancing brand visibility, customer engagement, and overall marketing performance through personalized campaigns and data analytics.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Comprehensive strategy: The proposal outlines a full-scale approach, including market research, strategic campaign development, and performance tracking, ensuring a thorough and effective marketing plan.

  • Customized solutions: It emphasizes the creation of customized marketing campaigns, tailored specifically to meet the unique objectives and challenges of each business.

  • Data-driven optimization: The proposal highlights the importance of data analysis in optimizing campaign performance for maximum return on investment, showcasing a results-oriented approach.

Tech sales proposal

This sales proposal is specifically designed for the tech industry, combining a unique design with functionality that speaks to tech-savvy clients. It's a powerful tool for presenting complex tech solutions in an accessible and engaging way.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Industry-specific design: It reflects the cutting-edge nature of the tech industry, with a layout and style that resonates with tech audiences.

  • Narrated slide feature: The proposal includes a narrator slide option, walking readers through project details in a clear and engaging manner.

  • Smart CTAs Integration: The deck allows embedding multiple smart Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons, guiding prospects smoothly through the decision-making process.

General sales proposal

This sales proposal is a versatile and impactful tool for any business looking to make a strong impression. It's designed to be instantly impactful and easily customizable, ensuring your proposals resonate with your unique business needs and objectives.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Interactive elements: It incorporates a variety of interactive elements that bring your content to life, making the proposal more engaging.

  • Strategic structure: The deck is thoughtfully organized to guide the reader through your content in a logical, persuasive manner.

  • Clear storytelling: It utilizes a clear narrative structure, making complex information easily understandable and compelling.

Business sales proposal

This business sales proposal is a sleek, professional tool designed to elevate your sales presentations. It combines a clean aesthetic with practical functionality, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to impress and engage potential clients effectively.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Average reading time indicator: The cover includes information about the average reading time, setting clear expectations for the reader.

  • Customizable slides: Easily adaptable slides allow for quick customization to suit your specific business needs.

  • Cost estimate table: Each service in the table comes with an expandable text section. This allows for more detailed information about each service to be easily accessible without cluttering the initial view.

Construction proposal

This construction proposal is a comprehensive document, designed to provide a clear and detailed roadmap for an apartment complex project.

The proposal is structured to guide you through every aspect of the project, from initial planning to final execution, ensuring transparency and clarity at every step.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Content segmented in tabs: The proposal smartly segments detailed aspects of the project execution into interactive tabs. This approach makes the information easily navigable and allows for a more organized presentation of complex details.

  • Terms and conditions slide: It outlines responsibilities, service usage policies, privacy policy, and governing law. This transparency builds trust and ensures both parties are on the same page regarding the agreement's specifics.

  • Accept button: The proposal features an 'Accept' button, designed like a signature field. This simplifies the acceptance process, improves close rates, and reduces deal closing time.

Brand strategy proposal

This brand strategy proposal deck is tailored for branding agencies to effectively present their strategic and creative services.

It's structured to guide potential clients through every facet of the branding process, from initial brand analysis to the strategic rollout of brand initiatives. It ensures clarity at every step, showcasing how agencies can transform a brand's presence in the market.

What makes this sales proposal great:

  • Roadmap slide: The deck provides a step-by-step outline of the branding process. It covers the journey from initial brand assessment to the final rollout, showcasing how your agency can add value at each stage.

  • Scroll-based design: The proposal features a modern, scroll-based design, enhancing the user experience and engagement.

  • Accept button feature: The option to accept your proposal directly from the deck removes friction between you and your client and removes the need for another document acceptance phase.

Sales proposal management

Effective sales proposal management is pivotal in streamlining your sales process.

To accelerate proposal content delivery, leverage technology like CRM systems and content management tools. These platforms can automate repetitive tasks and ensure quick access to the most up-to-date content.

You can also reduce content creation costs by utilizing templates and shared resources, allowing for the reuse of proven content while maintaining customization for specific clients.

Finally, collaboration is key; tools that support real-time editing and feedback loops enable seamless integration between marketing, design, and sales teams.

This synergy ensures that each proposal is a cohesive product of collective expertise, tailored to resonate with your target audience.

Advanced: Automated sales proposals

Automating sales proposals with Storydoc's CRM integrations revolutionizes how sales teams operate.


Here's how different integrations work to your advantage:

  1. Dynamic content integration: By linking with your CRM, Storydoc can pull in real-time data, text, and images, making each proposal uniquely tailored to the client. This means your proposals are always up-to-date and relevant, without the extra effort.

  2. CRM integration: Another benefit of linking with your CRM is that you can then track when your prospect opened your proposal, when they finished reading, or whether they took the next step.

  3. Calendar integration: Embed your calendar directly into your proposals. Clients can book meetings or demos with a single click, streamlining the follow-up process.

  4. Multimedia integration: Enhance your proposals with videos, live chat, or even interactive diagrams. These features make your proposals more informative and engaging, setting you apart from the competition.

  5. Social media integration: Incorporate social proof by embedding testimonials or social media posts directly into your proposals. This builds credibility and trust with potential clients.


To learn more, check out our integrations page.

CRM integration example
Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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