Are you really presenting proposals or in reality are you sending your prospects and customers a glorified quote that is titled a proposal?
A quote tells the buyer the price. A proposal sells the benefits, explains you know the prospect's business and details why they should go with your solution, product or service. A proposal explains the cost as an investment, it details why your prospect can't afford not to do business with you.
So why don't sales people write proposals? They think they have to be long, fully detailed works of art and they often do not get enough information on the sales call about the prospect's needs, They probably don't have the facts and figures for a valid ROI argument either. So a quote gets delivered, but on the front cover it says "A proposal for.........."
A proposal does not have to be a long diatribe, it does not have to be a glossy, four color, spiral bound masterpiece. In some circumstances even one page will do!
A proposal is about substance not volume and should include:
1. An introduction
2. The prospect's needs
3. Your solution
4. The investment and ROI
5. Why your solution
6. Appendices (terms, specs, warranty etc.)
Frequently a proposal will go on one or two pages and can be a simple Word template (ask for an example). Don't forget if it is a long proposal then you do need an executive summary and a really usable contents page.
With prospects and sellers alike being so busy these days, we are even using PowerPoint slides with short sharp bullet points to present proposals. We then export the slides into a .pdf and give it to the customer they love it!
Last point don't forget, if a proposal is worth writing, its worth taking in person.