Proposal Template Tips - Win 113% More Business Faster - Better Proposals (2023)

If you’ve been sending business proposals for a while, you’re probably wondering how to make the process faster and more efficient. Should you spend more time researching? Include videos, as the hottest thing in digital marketing? Go through a proposal writing course?

The truth is, all of these things may contribute to the success of the proposals you send. However, there is only one thing that truly saves time with business proposals – proposal templates.

A proposal template is your shortcut to more sales and an easy way to get more revenue with less time spent on proposal writing. Today, we’ll go over some of the basics around proposal templates, such as…

– What proposal templates are

– Why you should use proposal templates

– How proposal templates save time

– How to write a proposal template

– Examples of great proposal templates

So, let’s dive in.

What is a proposal template?

In short, a proposal template is a business proposal that is 80-90% complete. It’s the ideal shortcut – instead of writing a new proposal from scratch every time, you just grab a template and make some quick edits and you’re ready to go.

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A proposal template focuses on a specific industry and type of service. For example, we have over 60 proposal templates in our library. While some of them are broad in their scope, others are very specific. For example, we have four types of design proposal templates:

Website design proposal template

– WordPress web design proposal template

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– Ecommerce web design proposal template

– Website support and maintenance proposal template

As you can see, if you’re doing something like design, there is not one proposal template that you can use, but several. That brings us to our next point – how many proposal templates should you have as a business or freelancer?

As we’ll explain later on, a proposal template is a mix of your best proposals. The more products and services you sell and the more different clients you sell to, the more templates you need to have. In other words, you could have just one proposal template or you can have 20 – it all depends on your use case.

Why do you need a proposal template?

Long story short, you need a template to save time and maximize your conversions. Now let’s go into more detail.

One of the main reasons why people turn to using proposal software instead of writing proposals manually is because it takes so much time. If you sit down to write even the most basic proposal from scratch, it will take you at least an hour to do it the right way.

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If you have a ready-made template, that means that the bulk of the work is already done. When you work with the template, all you have to do is make a few edits that relate to the client and their specific offer and you can save lots of time – that you would have spent writing.

The second reason is just as important. You see, you only make templates from your best-converting proposals – those that got signed. Your templates should be a combination of the best proposals you’ve ever sent. That means choosing the best introduction from one proposal, the top-performing pricing section from another proposal, the guarantee section from a third proposal… You get the point.

The best businesses and freelancers out there have at least several proposal templates. The reason is, the more templates you have, the readier you are for different kinds of clients and offers. Imagine a marketing agency – it needs to have one proposal template for SEO services, one for PR, one for social media marketing, etc.

To sum up, think of proposal templates as a best-of compilation from your favorite artist. You put together the hits that you know your audience loves and has a reaction to while ignoring the songs that no one loves. Having a stack of great proposal templates is like having a winning deck of cards

How to write a business proposal template?

As mentioned, the best place to start with a proposal template is your existing proposals. Your templates should consist of the best elements of your most successful proposals.

In other words, you should find out which of your proposals convert the best, i.e. which ones get signed the most. If you send proposals manually, that may take some work, but if you use proposal software, it’s pretty straightforward to do.

Once you find the proposals that do work, it’s time to dissect them and find the sections that your clients loved and that made them sign. If you use proposal software, that will be fairly easy to spot because your analytics will show you where they spent the most time in your proposal.

Granted, this is not the most ideal measuring tool, but it’s a good way to tell that the proposal element got the client interested. If you send Word and PDF proposals, you pretty much have to rely on your hunch to find out what made the clients sign in such big numbers.

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Of course, you can go the old school way and simply ask your clients what they liked about a specific proposal and which section stood out the most to them. It may take some time for this method, but it does work.

Finally, our research and knowledge show us that all good proposal templates need to have eight key elements to convert and get great results. You can read more about all of these elements in detail in this article, but this is the list of sections that your proposal template must have if you want to maximize your conversions:

1. Introduction

This is where you explain what you do for the client or what you sell. The more you know the client’s situation, the better your introduction will be. Most people read this section and the pricing section only – so make it count.

2. Detailed specification

This is where you explain in detail what you will be doing, who will do it and what the client can expect. The more you cover here, the better you will be protected if things don’t go according to plan.

3. Timescales

How long it takes you to get the job done or deliver the goods. More specific is better, but you can give a broad estimate as well.

4. The proof

A section where you show off how good of a job you’ve done with a previous client. You can go wild here – testimonials, case studies, videos, portfolios – the choice is yours.

5. The pricing

Name your price and be clear about it. Most people hop straight from the introduction to this part, so make it impressive.

6. The guarantee

Offer a guarantee to the client that you’ll get the job done.

7. The next steps

Explain what the client needs to do to get the ball rolling and start your project.

8. Terms and conditions

Just in case things go in the wrong direction, this is the section to protect both parties.

Of course, your template could omit a section or two, but it’s best to have them all to ensure your conversion rate doesn’t suffer. Read about each of the sections in this article “How to write a business proposal”.

How to save time with a proposal template?

By far, the best aspect of using proposal templates is the ability to save time. However, it’s easier said than done. Here are some of the best ways to save time with your proposal template.

Add only the client details. Your templates are 90% done and all you have to add are the details about the client and their offer. That means that you don’t have to write much because the written content is already there.

Prepare a few case studies/testimonials for your proof section. You will pitch different clients and they all need a proof section that closely matches the needs of a specific customer and offer.

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Prepare a few unique guarantees. Money-back guarantees are okay but everyone else is doing it. Think of something unique.

Use the same terms and conditions section for all proposal templates. For the most part, you can re-use this section without much editing.

Use the same “next steps” section for all of your templates. Just like the aforementioned section, this one doesn’t need to change much in different proposals.

Prepare several different templates instead of relying on one template only. The more specific templates you have, the less you will have to edit them before they’re ready for sending.

In the end, the more proposals you send, the better idea you will have what works on your clients. Every successful proposal is a lesson learned and something new to add to your templates.

9 tips to increase the conversion rate of your proposal

All of the proposal templates that we store in our template library are based on the lessons we learned from hundreds of thousands of proposals sent through our platform. We put much of our learnings in our most recent Proposal Report, as well as various posts on our blog. However, if you’re creating a proposal from scratch, here are some of the basic tips to ensure that it converts well.

1. Don’t use upsells. Our research shows that proposals with a single offer convert the best. The logic is that you should get the client to say yes, rather than forcing them to choose between different offers.

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2. Don’t call your pricing section “pricing”. You’ll see that this section is usually called “Your investment” or “investment” in our templates because that way, clients see the cost as an investment rather than just spending money. A small trick with a big impact.

3. Keep your proposals short – 6 pages maximum. And yes, 8 sections fit in 6 pages.

4. Include different payment methods in your proposal template. If you just send PDFs or Word documents, you will have a lower chance of getting paid immediately. You can maximize your conversions by including different payment methods (credit cards, PayPal).

5. Include your personal branding by making your proposals unified with your website. For example, our customers can incorporate their proposals on their website URL, which causes a 7.2% increase in conversions.

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6. Connect your CRM with your proposals. Granted, this is not a surefire way to increase conversions but it does make the job much faster. In fact, if you plug in your CRM to your proposal template, you can write your proposals up to 86% faster.

7. Always use a cover. Proposals with a cover convert 44.7% better than those without one.

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8. Never send your proposals as PDF files. There are multiple reasons for this, but to keep it short: PDFs are not optimized for different devices and they are likely to get printed, which is a huge conversion killer.

9. Integrate live chat. If you connect a live chat integration in your proposals, you are 13.2% more likely to drive conversions with your proposals. You are there to answer their questions as they read the proposal.

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Business proposal examples you can use right now

  • If you’re looking for great proposal template examples, there are currently 79 of them in our template library. Have a look to find a template for your industry in our collections of:
  • Marketing proposal templates
  • Design proposal templates
  • Technical proposal templates
  • Event proposal templates
  • Service proposal templates
  • and many more

Keep your eyes peeled on that page because we will be adding more templates for different industries in the near future.

For starters, here is a great content marketing proposal template, which you can grab at this link. What sets this one apart is a great introduction that hooks the reader in with their pain point (followers vs. true fans). Moreover, there is a great proof section called “Meet Beth” which talks about a previous customer that you were able to help.

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Also, the guarantee section is creative and original – one free month of content marketing for each deadline that you miss. Who could say no to a deal like that?

If you’re up for something different, here is a great catering proposal template. You will notice that the detailed specification is called “catering your event”, which is a neat copywriting trick to get the reader interested.

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The “Pricing Structure” section is super simple and lets the reader add as many guests as they want by pressing a simple button. The last section is called “Any Questions?” and it’s a place for all of your clients’ most frequently asked questions.

Finally, let’s take a glance at this business coaching proposal template. Note the second section titled “A Winning Strategy” (the detailed specification) which gives a nice outline of the steps you will take.

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The proof section is also a nice touch, with some great copy to start it off. The template is professional and convincing.

We could talk about different proposal templates forever, but it’s better to actually visit the template library and see for yourself.


A great proposal template makes hard work easy. Instead of spending hours on individual proposals, you can cut down the time to 30 minutes to edit and send a finished proposal.

Moreover, if you combine all of the elements of your best-performing proposals in one or more proposal templates, you are sure to save time and improve your conversions and your bottom line.


How do you write a proposal for winning? ›

5 Guidelines for Writing Winning Proposals
  1. Focus on the client immediately: Engage from word 1.
  2. Focus on your discussions: Stay on the topic at hand.
  3. Focus on clarity: Keep your language easy to understand.
  4. Focus on the value of the solution: Give the buyer reasons to move forward.

What makes a good business proposal? ›

The most important parts of an effective business proposal are: An attention-grabbing title page. An introduction that presents you neatly to your client. Understanding of the problem in question which shows your ability to deliver the required service or solution.

How do you begin a proposal? ›

Writing the Proposal:
  1. Write your introduction. ...
  2. Write your need/problem statement. ...
  3. Confirm your goals & outcomes. ...
  4. Check your goals & outcomes. ...
  5. Write your methodology. ...
  6. Check your methodology. ...
  7. Establish expected results. ...
  8. Confirm the budget.
2 Jun 2020

How do you write a simple project proposal? ›

The 6 Steps To Writing a Project Proposal
  1. Step 1: Write the Executive Summary. ...
  2. Step 2: Explain the Project Background. ...
  3. Step 3: Present a Solution. ...
  4. Step 4: Define the Project Deliverables. ...
  5. Step 5: Request Your Needed Resources. ...
  6. Step 6: State Your Conclusion.
15 Jul 2022

What are the 4 parts of a proposal? ›

Basic Components of a Proposal
  • Cover or Title Page. The Title Page contains the following information: ...
  • Abstract or Project Summary. The abstract outlines the proposed research, including the objectives, methodology, and significance of the research.
  • Statement of Work. ...
  • Budget.

How do I start a business proposal presentation? ›

How to Present a Business Proposal
  1. Optimize your meeting time from the start.
  2. Have a clear agenda.
  3. Open up with the customer's problems and challenges.
  4. Pause and ask questions.
  5. Lead with stories, not data.
  6. Don't read off of your PowerPoint slides.
  7. Present your solution — and sell them a vision.
16 Feb 2022

How can I improve my business proposal? ›

6 free and easy ways to make your business proposals better
  1. Refresh your proposal with images.
  2. Add or update your case studies.
  3. Reorganize to follow the client journey.
  4. Make sure your executive summary isn't a book report.
  5. Do a plain language audit.
  6. Do a pricing choice review.
26 Mar 2019

What is a creative proposal? ›

A creative project proposal explains what you want to accomplish as it breaks down the things you need to achieve your main goal. This makes sure that both you and your client understand the objective and the outcome of the project with only clear expectations.

What is an idea proposal? ›

If you propose something such as a plan or an idea, you suggest it for people to think about and decide upon.

What are five things your proposal must be in order to win approval? ›

Specifically, winning proposals should be composed of the following elements: An idea that is clearly defined and focused, is well researched, is needed, has a broad impact, and can be accomplished within the lifetime of the grant should be the main focus of your proposal.

What are the 3 main purpose of a business plan? ›

The 3 most important purposes of a business plan are 1) to create an effective strategy for growth, 2) to determine your future financial needs, and 3) to attract investors (including angel investors and VC funding) and lenders.

What are the 3 main types of proposals? ›

Types of proposals
  • Formally solicited.
  • Informally solicited.
  • Unsolicited.

What is project proposal and example? ›

Project proposals are documents that define your project, including things such as start and end dates, objectives and goals. They tell stakeholders why your project ideas should be executed. Reading about your ideas in a well-written document should convince stakeholders to support them.

What is the format of a project proposal? ›

It should include the project's purpose, goals, specific objectives, method, and anticipated impact. Objectives need to be stated in measurable terms and be specific and consistent with the statement of need and the purpose of the proposed project.

How do I write a proposal letter? ›

How do you write a proposal letter?
  1. Introduction and background. Set the context for the letter by providing a little background information in the first paragraph. ...
  2. Statement of the problem. ...
  3. Goals and objectives. ...
  4. Evaluation. ...
  5. Budget. ...
  6. Contact information.

What is the main goal of project proposal? ›

The main objective of the project proposal is to get the client to buy into your services. Thus, project proposals are a great way to secure funding, win new clients, or convince executives to allocate resources to projects.

What should be included in a proposal? ›

  • Key Elements of a Complete Proposal. ...
  • Cover. ...
  • Table of Contents. ...
  • Abstract (also called Project Summary) ...
  • Project Description (also called Narrative or Research Plan) ...
  • Budget Explanation (also called Budget Justification) ...
  • Vita (also called Resume or Biographical Sketch) ...
  • Other Support (also called Current and Pending Support)

What are different types of proposals? ›

Types of Proposals
  • Pre-Proposal, Preliminary Proposal or White Paper. ...
  • New Applications. ...
  • Simultaneous Submissions of a New Application. ...
  • Revisions (AKA: Resubmissions) ...
  • Continuation, Non-competitive Renewals, or Progress Reports (RPPR) ...
  • Competitive Renewals. ...
  • Collaborative Proposals. ...
  • Subaward Proposals.

What is the most important part of a proposal? ›

Statement of Work, Scope of Work or Research Plan The Statement of Work is the most important part of any proposal. This section is sometimes referred to as the Scope of Work, the Research Plan, or the Protocol.

What is of greatest importance in a proposal? ›

Project Summary - The summary by far is the most important section of the proposal. The summary should concisely describe the project, particularly: how your work meets the requirements of the soliciting organization, your plan for doing the work, and.

What is formal proposal? ›

Simply put, a formal business proposal is strategic sales-based business document that you use to present your company and the solution you want to offer to a potential client to persuade them to buy from your company instead of buying from one of your competitors.

What is proposal with example? ›

A proposal is a suggestion, usually in written form, to get people to support an idea or plan. A well-written proposal can help to secure a deal.

What is the purpose of proposal? ›

A proposal, in the technical sense, is a document that tries to persuade the reader to implement a proposed plan or approve a proposed project. Most businesses rely on effective proposal writing to ensure successful continuation of their business and to get new contracts.

What is informal proposal? ›

An informal proposal is a short document, only a few pages long, normally in the format of a memo or letter and includes fewer sections than a formal proposal. Informal proposals generally include six sections: introduction, background, plan, staffing, budget and authorization (Guffey et al., 2019).


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