How to make an outsourcing software development proposal?
Working in outsourcing? You have an excellent team and provide high quality development. You have invested a lot to reach your customers via different means of marketing. However, still the process of onboarding new clients is hard, and you feel like you need to improve something in your sales procedure.
This article will be useful for those who only start their sales career, as well as for company owners who are engaged in sales activities. For experienced sales it might remind some techniques they have forgotten about or just bring a “fresh air” to the process which might seem daily routine.
A professional commercial proposal is one of the most important parts of every sales processes. No matter whether your client reaches you via phone, email, LinkedIn in or simply refers by recommendation. After an intro call and collection of request details you are expected to send a proposal. As for the content each commercial proposal would be unique, there are still lots of general points to pay attention to.
Following this guide will help you create a beautiful, professional commercial proposal for your business. What is more – using this template and structure, it will take you few hours to fill in all the information for all new proposals. Created professionally once – it will be used by sales managers of your company, will bring your services to the next level and simplify communication with your clients.
Software development proposal recommended structure
- First page. So-called “from- to” page. Contains company name of the client and name of the representative you performed your intro call with. Also, on a separate line – your company name together with your name, surname and position.
- Second page. Introduction page, which contains information about your company, your achievements, relevant points which show your company’s experience in similar niche to your customer’s request.
- Third page. Context page, where you list requirements you’ve studied from documents provided or collected during intro call. Here you can add suggestions, options and of course questions which are important at this stage of your negotiations process.
- Forth page. Content page. Provide all the details with timeline, expected team composition, rates or total budget. Do not hesitate to do it even if numbers are rough. Just state that due to some details missing at this stage the budget might be changed after getting clarification.
- Fifth page. Summary page. Mark here important summery points and finish your proposal with steps to proceed. For example, it might be a scheduled day to proceed with a conversation.
- Sixth page. The last page should always contain your contact details: your email, links to the portfolio, link to book a call directly with you and obviously a link to your website.
Other aspects of the software development proposal
Now, when you know the structure of the commercial proposal, please, pay attention to the following important points:
DO NOT MAKE YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPOSAL TOO LONG
From my experience, the part which the client is mostly interested in is page number 4, the one which contains budget and timeline. As soon as he feels comfortable with these 2 points he will read the proposal from the beginning till the end and maybe not once.
MAKE YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPOSAL LOOK PROFESSIONAL
The worst scenario is when a sales manager drops a well-structured text of the proposal in a messenger or via email. In order to make your commercial proposal look nice and comfortable to read, use PDF format or better a custom template.
If you lack design skills, use online design tools, like Canva or DesYgner. With these tools you can select among dozens of premade business proposal templates, customize it and make your unique and professional one.
Make sure your company logo is on every page in the left top corner. Check the contact details you provide on the last page. In most cases customers review not only your proposal, they collect information and proposals from different companies, and if your proposal will leave a good reminding after reading it – the higher chances your company would be selected as their future contractor.
ENTERPRISE OR SPECIFIC CASES
Please, be aware that the basic structure with 6 pages’ format is relevant for ongoing small and medium sales deals. But when it comes to specific cases or enterprise requests, the commercial proposal should contain much more details and have its custom structure relevant for the given request.
DO NOT AFRAID OF NUMBERS
Usually after the call there are not enough details and sometimes sales managers decide not to take the risk to provide irrelevant estimation, which might be changed further. Note, if you move on with a commercial proposal for the client, it means you have enough details to provide at least rough estimation for customer’s request. If your BA is stuck with points which need clarification, send an email to get proper answers and only further complete the proposal on behalf of your company.
A well-structured document, with relevant feedback, which will show expertise of the company you are representing will definitely help you to bring the business services to the new level. Usually in medium and big companies, this document is required for the board of directors to take a decision. As not only one person decides, most likely it will be reviewed by a number of people. Also, you should be prepared that this document will be compared with other commercial offers from other companies which provide similar services. And it only depends on you whether the commercial proposal of your company will stand out from others and will help your company to close the deal.