Writing a Sales Proposal for IT Services: Essential Steps
A killer sales proposal is a key factor in helping you to secure that dream contract, especially in the field of IT services. However, the sad fact is that most sales proposals are either too vague or too specific, too long or too short, etc., and there are very few that fall into the sweet spot in between. As a result, only 47% of sales proposals end up in successes.
To push your win rate in sales for IT services, you will need to write a killer sales proposal. Here are some essential steps to follow.
Understanding the purpose of a sales proposal
To write a great sales proposal for IT services, you must first understand the purpose of a sales proposal. Contrary to popular beliefs, a sales proposal is not simply just for the purpose of selling your IT services to the customers. It serves three primary purposes:
- Help the customers understand their own needs: Some customers might not even realize the scale of their issues or their needs until it is too late. An effective sales proposal should highlight the problems the customer is facing as well as expand on the potential consequences.
- The sales proposal should convince the customer of your competence: Even if you are the expert in providing IT services, if you cannot convince the customers that you have the right skills for their project, the sales proposal will fail.
- The sales proposal should convince your customer that you will bring a better return on investments.
Understanding these purposes of a sales proposal will help you to identify the key points of the sales proposal, helping to keep it on point and brief.
Analyze the customer’s needs
It is always important to do problem research into the customers’ issue before you start writing the proposal, and a good analysis will give you a significant head start. Here are a few questions you should start asking:
- What is their main problem?
- What is their budget? Is there any room for negotiation?
- Who will you have to talk to?
- Is the project urgent?
Doing problem research is the best way to devise the perfect tactic that will help you win contracts. If you are not an expert, you can always order problem research to help you with these analytical steps.
Start with a strong introduction
Your customers’ first impression will be determined right in the first few introductory lines of the proposal, so make them count! The introduction should be brief and concise, and it should highlight your company’s IT services and your past experience. This step will make sure that the customers will not have to spend a lot of time trying to understand what the proposal is for.
Include your unique selling points
Every IT company should be in possession of a unique selling point, which is the one thing that sets you apart from other competitors in the field. For example, a unique selling point for an IT company could be its ability to develop a quick solution for problems in the industry that no other company can come up with. A unique selling point plays a critical role in the customers’ decision-making process, as it will help you to stand out from the crowd. Thus, always highlight your unique selling points as well as how they will help your customers deal with their problems.
For companies that offer IT services, unique selling points are even more important than usual, as IT problems often require specialists. Thus, if you are writing a sales proposal for IT services, the focus should be on these selling points instead of your company’s reputation.
Include a detailed description of the project
The next step is to provide an outline of how you will deal with their issues. The key here is to only list out the main steps and the expected outcomes. Try not to set the bar too high to get the customers’ attention. It might backfire in the future. You should strive to be realistic and offer alternatives if necessary so that the customers will be assured of the project’s success.
Keeping it simple and approachable
You are writing a sales proposal, not an academic dissertation! There is no need to use fancy words or a lot of jargon in your sales proposal, as they can easily confuse the customers. Here are some great writing rules to keep in mind:
- Use headings and bullet points
- Keep the paragraphs short and simple
- Use the active voice if possible
- Use graphics to illustrate your points
Writing an effective sales proposal for IT services is a crucial key to your success in winning over the customers. Try your best to stay focused on the unique selling points as well as how they will solve problems, and the sales proposal will be much more convincing than talking about your firm alone. Do remember to do away with jargon or confusing terms!