10 Best Proposal Examples
Earning more business starts most often with an effective proposal. Preparing a winning proposal means writing for the client and providing a clear, valuable solution to their problem.
Earning more business starts most often with an effective proposal. Writing a winning proposal means writing for the client and providing a clear, valuable solution to their problem. Each proposal must be planned out before a word is written. This planning assures a deep consideration of the audience, the most effective structure, and persuasive content. The proposal must be a tailored document that positions your company’s strengths with client needs. While the proposal development process can be intimidating, there are many proven examples to inspire you.
For every call for proposals by a potential client, there are good and bad submissions. To understand how to improve your bid, we have analyzed ten excellent proposal examples. In this article, we will review these examples highlighting both the best practices used and common mistakes to avoid.
These examples are prepared by proposal software companies. Most are free to view without registration. These templates are useful references but must be used with caution. Structure, headings, or formatting that appear sleek in one context can be confusing or impractical for your client. Take the most valuable elements of these examples and integrate them into your customized proposal.
1. Digital Marketing Proposal
This proposal is effective because it provides a clear, specific solution to the client’s problems. It opens with a value-oriented executive summary. The scope of services provides brief but informative summaries of the offered services.
The very first paragraph states the specific benefits to the client. “... we are confident we can significantly increase your site traffic, customer engagement, and on-site conversions.” The timeline and the budget, persuasively phrased as ‘Your Investment’ are straightforward and easy for the client to understand and decide upon.
Critique: The case study placement is a bit distracting, as it could be included near the end with the About Us section.
2. Financial Services Proposal
The flow and content of this proposal are strong, with one significant exception: the About Us section.
While the About Us and Team sections do add value, the client is most interested in the solution. If the solution is appropriate, then the people behind it are the next consideration. The first-page executive summary should be a convincing and specific overview for the reader. This section along with proposed service details, timelines, and budget is read in-depth. The About Us sections are simply skimmed.
Whether using software or your company’s template, present the client with the most important information first. Make it easy for the client to understand and see the value in your company's proposal.
3. Web Design Proposal
This proposal clearly outlines the process and timeline for implementing the proposed services. The project is fully broken down so the client can understand all that they are getting for the price.
Critique: There are no clear financials or pricing details, which is often what clients are looking for in a proposal.
4. Engineering Services Proposal
Here, the Project Background sections clearly outline the work process for the client. Each task is clarified and seems to respond to the specifications of an RFP. Using client specifications to prepare a proposal makes it easier for the reader to understand how your solution directly solves their problem. This section is strong and should come just after the executive summary.
Critique: The introductory summary should include more persuasive and specific language. As noted previously, the Introduction and Team sections should fall towards the end of the proposal. Always lead with the benefit to the client. It’s not about your business. The focus should be on how your business can help the client.
5. CRM Implementation Proposal
The introduction or executive summary uses convincing language and bullet points to highlight the value. Highlighting your value well and early is an important part of a successful proposal, and this is a great example.
Critique: It could be improved by shifting the language from general CRM best practices to how the company can specifically offer them based on this proposal. Again, the About Us section should come after the benefit-to-client details.
6. Freelance Writing Proposal
A sleek web-based proposal that includes specific offerings and clarification of the value. This proposal could be used not only by freelancers but any company that would benefit from a very visual proposal highlighting different services.
Critique: The Introductory letter and Executive Summary have strong, persuasive elements that refer to specific client needs. These two elements could be combined to strengthen the first section. Again, the About Me should be presented after the solution in every proposal.
7. Sales Proposal
A brief proposal that covers a range of offerings. The nice overall use of white space allows the reader to skim and find the important information. It leaves a lot of room for additional information or sections if you need it.
Critique: Remember what we said about About Us? (It's amazing how often companies talk about themselves first in a proposal. Break the habit!)
8. Interior Design Proposal
A visually compelling document suited for the industry. This is a great proposal for someone in interior design, organization, or a similar home-based service.
Critique: Bumping up the Project Showcase section would improve proposal flow.
9. Graphic Design Proposal
A simple but effective proposal. The introduction focuses on client needs (and would be more specific in a real-world document). It has a great design and is simple and modern, which is very appealing to the reader.
Critique: Credentials, Testimonials, and Selected Works should come after the Project Summary in this proposal.
10. Project Management Proposal
A thorough, understandable proposal that breaks down the process and pricing. The content highlights the company’s knowledge of client needs and its value proposition. This is another graphic proposal that could work well for other industries as well.
Critique: The executive summary leaves much to be desired. Every sentence should be persuasive and specific, whereas this text is uninspiring and unclear.
Your proposal is your direct chance to win new business. Keep the client in mind in each step of proposal preparation. This strategy may mean revamping existing templates or starting fresh. Take the best parts of these examples, avoid the mistakes, and put your best foot forward to help your client.