Developing Sales Proposals

The sales proposal is often the result of extensive effort. Poor proposals waste the investment and effort involved.  Get it right to improve your sales efficiency.


Written communication is an essential skill for all salespeople. As organisations become more complex, the need and circulation of proposals increases. Common errors include lack of clarity, irrelevance and being difficult/boring to read. The spontaneity of e-mail aggravates the number of type of errors experienced. A short e-mail may contain a crucial proposal.

Documents are often read by people who have not met the author. The document must often achieve our objectives by itself. Proposals are often the result of extensive effort. If the document fails – the previous work invested is wasted.

At school we were taught the written communication styles of literature and ‘fine’ writing. In business, many of these rules do not apply. Your business correspondence will not usually be read for pleasure. The amount of documents has dramatically increased. Our documents must compete with others.

This course is intensive, practical and interactive. It provides the key skills and techniques required by successful salespeople

Who Should Attend
All salespeople. Even trained and experienced salespeople will find this helps them to improve.

2 Days

Selling Skills (Sales Proposal) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the considerations and constraints of a sales proposal
    • when to use a proposal and when not to
    • the key issues involved and how to handle them
    • the approach and considerations required in preparing a proposal
    • how to create a proposal that makes the prospect want to read it
    • the key elements to ensure the document is interesting
    • how to ensure their documents are understood
    • how to make their documents look appealing and easy to read
    • the key rules and pitfalls in presenting a document personally. They will also learn how to handle questions


Selling Skills (Sales Proposal) – Course Outline

The Role Of The Proposal In The Sales Process
As a visual aid
In ‘letters’
The proposal as a closing tool
When not to send a proposal
the difference between a proposal and a report

Setting the objective
Profiling primary/secondary readers
Preparation, information gathering

Proposal Structure
The different sections and their purposes
Creating a logical flow
Meeting different reader’s needs
Using the ‘need-feature-advantage-benefit-proof’ sequence

Ensuring Your Document Is Interesting
Key factors in creating an interesting document

Ensuring The Document Is Understood
‘rules’ guaranteed to reduce/remove potential misunderstandings
Common errors

Ensuring Readability Of The Proposal
A proposal is neither a novel nor an essay
The use of word processing readability indexes
The ‘fog index’
The structure of paragraphs
How to improve readability
Common errors that ‘turn off’ readers

Appearance Of The Proposal
Psychological factors
‘White space’

Presenting The Proposal Personally
Preparing for the personal presentation
The document as a visual aid
Consideration in the design of documents to be personally presented
Common pitfalls
Developing an effective personal style
Handling objections and reservations