The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Killer B2B Proposal

September 04, 2019

The ultimate guide to writing a killer B2B proposal

You may wonder why you need to write a B2B proposal when you have a top-notch website (which you paid significant money for) with all of your products/services listed there. While this is all valuable and essential in the age of the Internet, you’ll be losing a lot of clients if you just wait for them to see your page.

In other words, you have to take an initiative and establish the relationship by sending them a tailored business proposal which will talk directly to them, and not everyone online. Many of your potential clients don’t know that you even exist. With this in mind, you have to be proactive and present yourself to them.

But what on earth is a B2B business proposal? Or better yet, how do you write one?

Worry not, we’re here to save the day and walk you through the entire process

What is B2B proposal?

A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective [buyer]. – source Wikipedia

In other words, it’s a document you send to your prospective clients to present them your offer. Be it a product or service, it should definitely be something of interest to them. You can’t really sell drilling machines to a marketing agency, right?

Another thing you should be aware of is that B2B proposals can be solicited as well as unsolicited. Either way, each business partnership proposal should be customised to suit the potential buyer’s needs.

What should the B2B business proposal contain?

First things first, before starting to write a proposal you should have the buyer’s requirements in mind. If in your previous conversations they have asked you about something specific, you are supposed to address the matter thoroughly.

Moreover, as with other business documents, there are certain templates to follow. However, remember to not follow them blindly, including this article. In fact, you should create a B2B proposal template that speaks in the same tone as your offer and brand. You don’t want to use Tesla’s template and end up sounding foolish.

Additionally, bear in mind that this B2B proposal is about them, not you.

Here are the three pillars of business partnership proposals:

1. Details about your company – tell them who you are and what you do. Show them why you’re the best choice for them.

2. Show expertise – Let them know that you’ve done your research and identified all their needs and pain points.

3. Present the solution and the cost of it – Explain to them how you’re going to solve their issue and how much you would charge them.

How to write a B2B proposal successfully: Step by step

1. Title page – Here goes your company’s name, logo, and contact details as well as date and the name of the company the proposal is addressed to. It looks neat and properly organised.|
2. Cover letter – This is optional. Generally, it applies if you haven’t met the prospect before. The writing style should be friendly and the content should include brief information about your background and what sets you apart from the rest.
3. Table of contents – Make it easy for the client to find their way around your proposal. If it’s in digital format, make the table of contents clickable so they can navigate more easily.
4. Summary – This part should outline why you’re sending the business proposal to them and why would they want to read it. Don’t give out too many details here, you don’t want to bore them at the beginning.
5. Statement of the issue – This is the client’s issue interpreted by you. After all, you want to show them you understand their goals and objectives, and the issues they’re facing along the way.
6. The approach – This is a crucial section since you have to explain the client how you’re going to tackle and solve the problem. In other words, present them your strategy.
7. Methodology – Here you can go into specifics about the strategy. The means you will use; the deliverables they should expect from you; timeline – in essence, a step by step plan on how you intend to solve the problem. The more visual the presentation is, the better.
8. Your qualifications – You’ve already presented yourself in brief, but here you get the chance to put the spotlight on your achievements, awards, testimonials, case studies, etc. Namely, show them your past wins so they feel like they’re in good hands with you.
9. The cost – If there’s a place in the proposal where you should be 100% detailed and accurate, this is it. Don’t even think about only giving them the total amount. What you should do is separate the products or services you offer in a table and price them accordingly. Everyone wants to know what they are paying for.
10. Terms and conditions – Any legal matters, payment schedule and methods, and other important specifics concerning both sides go in this section.
11. Signature – By adding a signature box you’re making it easier for them to accept the proposal. However, don’t forget to encourage them to reach back to you with questions or concerns.

B2B Sales Proposal Example

There are many websites offering free as well as paid templates or examples. They come in very handy if you’re not good with creating visuals or organising documents.

Final verdict

Like we said before, it’s best if you don’t copy-paste B2B proposal templates to the dot. Make it unique to your company, your offer and your client.

Another thing that matters is that you should identify the perfect way and time to deliver the proposal. Yes, you can drop it in someone’s email inbox on Saturday midnight but doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes print proposals delivered in person are the better choice. Conduct a market research to understand your clients and speak in the language they speak.

More must-read stories from Enterprise League:

  • Anyone can do it: Increase your online sales by following these 9 tips.

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