How to Write a Winning Proposal Cover Letter (Plus 5 Real Examples)

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Loopio

First impressions are important—especially in the world of proposals.

That’s why writing a good cover letter is an essential step towards winning a bid. In the request for proposal (RFP) process, this single-page letter marks your first opportunity to grab a prospect’s attention and make it clear that your company is uniquely positioned to solve their problem. So if you’re currently using boilerplate copy… Stop. Immediately .

In this blog, you’ll learn how to write custom proposal cover letters that grab a prospect’s attention and increase your chances of winning RFP responses . Plus, five examples of real proposal cover letters from industry pros.

In this article, you’ll learn: 

What is a Proposal Cover Letter?

Next Steps: Build Quality Proposals Faster

A proposal cover letter is a single-page document used to pitch your business offerings to a potential client. In it, the customer can tell whether you’re genuinely engaged and have done your research—or if you’ve simply copy and pasted generic language from past proposals.

It’s also your first opportunity to convince a client to why they should continue reading your proposal. Considering the average team spends 23 hours writing a single RFP response , it’s critical that your proposal cover letter makes a good impression.

What Should You Include in a Proposal Cover Letter?

Like any good cover letter, your proposal should open with a unique offer or positioning. It’s important to establish early on why your team is best suited to solve a client’s problem.

Strong proposal cover letters include:

From the offer you present, to the visuals you include, the details in your proposal cover letter should be all about the client. The goal is to show how your company shines before they even get into the details of your proposal. Demonstrate the qualities that you bring to this potential customer by starting out your relationship on the right foot.

Jon Williams, Managing Director of Strategic Proposals , shares the key points you should concisely hit to be successful.

How to Write a Winning Proposal Cover Letter

From reading the RFP thoroughly, to outlining a clear offer, there are six critical steps that seasoned proposal professionals recommend you take to craft a quality cover letter. ( Psst…you can fast-track these steps by using AI for proposal writing . )

Step 1: Read the RFP Cover to Cover

This step seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many teams skip it. You must read the RFP thoroughly, from cover to cover, before beginning your letter.

While reading, take note of any recurring themes from your prospect. Perhaps they focus on quality of design and ease of use. Or maybe they emphasize needing certain functionalities or features—whatever the case, Kori Warriner of KCI Technologies recommends you consider the following questions as you read through the request for proposal:

Questions to consider:

While questions may differ by industry, the idea remains the same. Reading the RFP thoroughly helps you better understand the problems your prospect is facing. Which in turn help you paint a clearer picture of how your company can support them.

“Instead of saying ‘we are pleased’ or other overused statements such as that, I introduce my company, and then switch back to talking about what we can do to help the client reach their goals,” Kori explains.

Step 2: Capture Your Prospect’s Attention Early

Chances are, your prospect is extremely busy. They’re likely to skim your proposal cover letter—which is why you should focus on making it memorable. Use it to create a connection to your prospect and capture their attention early in the proposal.

The first paragraph is the best place to earn your reader’s attention, shares Senior Proposal Consultant Kelly Allen.

“Try to capture the reader in the first paragraph by relating to them in some way. If they are a current client, leverage your relationship. If not, demonstrate a clear understanding of what they need.” Kelly Allen, Senior Proposal Consultant, UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group)

Step 3: Use Clear, Competitive Win Themes

Once you identify their distinct needs, you can formulate which key themes need to be identified in your cover letter. Then, narrow it down to the most persuasive reasons that your prospect should choose your proposal over a competitor. Eileen Kent, President of Custom Keynotes, explains that these are also known as “ win themes ”.

Win themes should be based on what the customer told you they wanted. Position yourself as the one company that can deliver exactly what your prospect is looking for. To do this well, it’s essential that you also understand what your competition is doing.

Here’s how to brush up on what your competitors are offering:

At this stage, you’ll want to focus on how you can stand out from the competition. Eileen also recommends acknowledging any elephants in the room. By that, she means anything that the client may consider your team’s weakness.

She recommends addressing weak points head on to leave a good impression, “The elephant in the room could be your business size. Address it by talking about how you formed a tight team who have exceeded performance expectations, and worked together for years, so they see that as a strength instead,” she explains.

Step 4: Provide a Personalized Offer

Now that you’ve grabbed your prospect’s attention, you need to maintain it. Do this by outlining clear benefits, which speak directly to their pain points in an enticing and clear way.

You should outline how your product will positively impact the buyer and identify what they will get out of your partnership.

Step 5: Use a Strong Closing Statement

Your closing statement should be concise, reiterate your capabilities, and highlight the value you deliver. But don’t forget that it’s also an opportunity to connect with your prospect.

“To build a connection, you have to ignore outdated writing advice and not be afraid to use real language” says Rebecca Baumgartner, Sr. Manager, Proposals, PFS .

“Whoever is reading your cover letter can immediately tell if you’re hiding behind jargon or parroting the language of the RFP because you don’t understand what they need,” she explains.

“But when you write authentically, you have the opportunity to show the client you’ve been listening.”

Step 6: Add the Finishing Touches

When crafting your proposal cover letter, there are a few final checkpoints to leave your prospect with a good impression.

Graphics aren’t necessary for a proposal cover letter, but they can be helpful. For example: highlighting a quote from a customer in a different font, or using callout boxes to emphasize your key value propositions. Use visuals that help to emphasize your main points, not distract from them.

Here’s what Izane Cloete-Hamilton, CPP APMP, of nFold recommends.

Proposal Cover Letters (5 Real Templates)

Now that you know what steps to follow, it’s time to look at some real examples of proposal cover letters. While you don’t want to copy a boilerplate letter, these templates may provide helpful guidance for your next proposal.

To make more time for writing winning proposal cover letters, you’ll need to make some efficiency gains in your overall RFP process. Start by setting your team up with a proposal software that can improve speed and collaboration amongst your team.

Take Aspen Medical for example. Their business development team started using Loopio’s proposal platform in October of 2019. Within a few short months, they were putting together proactive proposals in just 15-30 minutes and seeing a big return on investment (ROI).

In fact, a survey of 165 companies RFP ROI found that those who consistently use proposal software have achieved results of:

If you’re looking to improve the pace of your next proposal, try Loopio’s software.

Related posts

51 fascinating rfp statistics on the state of bidding in 2023, how to transform your rfp process: best practices used by alight, best proposal software in 2022: where automation meets community.

How to Write a Proposal Letter for Any Use Case [+ Templates]

Whether you’re writing a business proposal, project quote, or sales pitch, you’re going to need a top-notch proposal letter.

This letter provides context to the recipient, sets the tone and style for the proposal, and encourages the recipient to review your complete proposal.

But…writing is hard work!

To make things easier, we’ve got a simple 5-step process to help you craft your letter.

Below, you’ll also find 3 unique templates with an example proposal letter for each.

sales proposal cover letter

What is a proposal letter?

A proposal letter is designed to entice the recipient to read your proposal in its entirety. It can be formal or informal, and usually covers the problem statement, goals, proposed solution, and next steps. It might also include details about the project budget or timeline.

Cover letters are sent alongside all types of proposals, including:

Sales proposals

Business plans

Business partnership agreements

RFP responses

Project or service renewal proposals

Internal collaboration and project proposals

Grant proposals

Research proposals

Sponsorship proposals

Why you need a proposal letter

Here are important reasons why you shouldn’t skip the letter:

Set the tone - Your proposal letter will set the stage for the proposal. It can hint at the results the prospective client will receive or it could cover the RFP requirements that were met.

Provide context - A proposal letter provides context for why the proposal is being sent. This is useful whether the proposal was solicited or unsolicited because you give the reader a reason for being in their inbox.

Highlight key areas of the proposal - You can use the letter to surface any detail you want, be it a testimonial, average client result, low-price promotion, market opportunity, or whatever will excite your reader the most.

Encourage the recipient to read the proposal in full - At the end of the day, a great proposal letter should serve as a gateway. It gives enough information to convince the reader to give you their undivided attention and review the entire proposal.

5 steps for writing a proposal letter

Use these 5 simple steps to craft the perfect proposal cover letter.

For best results, you should write your proposal before you write the letter. This way, you’ll have already done your research on the potential project, client, or business idea.

1. Know your goals

Before you start writing, take a step back and really consider what you’re trying to achieve. Are you trying to get the attention of a prospective customer who you know will be a hard sell? Do you need to show the reader that you’ve adhered to strict guidelines that were outlined in a governmental RFP? Or, are you simply giving the person a heads-up that the proposal is ready for review?

Knowing your goals will ensure you make the right decisions in Steps 2, 3, and 4 below.

2. Determine the format and formality level

Next, it’s important to choose the right format and style for your letter.

In this digital world, written or printed proposal letters are very old-fashioned. You’re better off using proposal software , which allows you to store email templates, proposal templates, customize things as needed, automatically notify and remind recipients to sign your proposal, track views, and more.

As for style, make sure to write in your brand voice . The formality of your writing style should also match your industry and the recipient’s expectations.

In most business scenarios, the longer and more complex and more formal your proposal, the longer and more complex and more formal your proposal letter will be too.

3. Start with a template or example

The next step is to find a template or letter example that will help guide your writing process. This is especially helpful if you’re sending a proposal letter for the first time and aren’t sure of exactly what to include.

Below these steps, you’ll find 3 proposal letter templates for different use cases and an example letter for each.

Of course, you can also head over to Google images and search for the exact type of proposal letter you’re writing in order to find tons of examples.

4. Craft the letter

Now it’s time to write!

Most proposal letters should hit on all of these points (in order):

Greeting for the recipient

Statement of gratitude or excitement for sharing the proposal

The client or project problem and goals

Your proposed solution and key details

Why your company is a fit to help

Your signature

As you’re writing, do your best to match the style and tone you’ve chosen, but you can always tweak it to perfection as you edit.

5. Proofread before you send

The proposal letter is your first impression. Get it right, and there’s a good chance the recipient will read your proposal. Get it wrong, and they might never even open your proposal. This is why you shouldn’t rush. Proofread your proposal letter 2 - 3 times, and on different days if your deadline allows.

Now it’s onto the templates and proposal letter examples!

Proposal letter template #1 (Sales pitch)

While there are many different types of proposals, sales pitches are probably the most common type. Account managers or executives send proposals to prospective clients and customers in order to pitch services, software, and other solutions. Use this template to help you craft the perfect letter to go along with your proposal.

Template #1

[Your first and last name]

[Company or organization name]

[Recipient's name]

[Recipient's company]

[Hi or Dear (recipient’s first name),]

[Use the first sentence to share your gratitude and or excitement for the opportunity to submit a proposal.]

[Define the potential client’s core problem and goals in one to three sentences.]

[Describe your proposed solution and why you’ve chosen this approach in one to three sentences.]

[Use one sentence to clarify the price of the proposed solution, or if you prefer to keep the price out of the letter, list specific deliverables or timelines instead.]

[In one to two sentences, describe why your company is the best fit for implementing the solution or how you’ve completed similar projects.]

[Tell the prospective client the next steps to take, such as reading and signing the proposal.]

[Your sign-off and signature]

Jane Doe Ace Software Hi Alex, Thank you for the opportunity to share this proposal with you. Your small but mighty marketing team is struggling to release content quickly, given their limited capacity. Things are getting stuck in the review column for too long, and classic project management software means that your team is constantly searching for assets, copying and pasting content, and failing to meet campaign deadlines. Ace Software can help you achieve your goal of hitting your campaign targets and drastically improving your team’s productivity. I recommend our Premium subscription and our Platinum implementation add-on. With a one-time setup fee of $5,000 and an annual fee of $4,000, your team will be able to produce and release content more quickly—as if you had hired two marketing assistants. Ace Software has supercharged 320 content teams, delivering an average ROI of 600%. Please read through the proposal and sign off when you’re ready. Or, let me know if you have any questions on what’s included. We look forward to working with you! Jane Doe Account Executive Ace Software

Proposal letter template #2 (Project quote)

When submitting a proposal or quote for a large project , you’ll likely need to take a more formal approach with your proposal letter. This template and example are perfect if you’re responding to an RFP for a government agency or other organization.

Template #2

[Hi or Dear (recipient’s first and last name,)]

[In the first paragraph, clarify why you are submitting a proposal and to whom. Typically you will mention the entity that sent out an RFP and the title, topic, or number of the RFP.]

[Describe the core contents and requirements of the RFP in three to five sentences.]

[Describe the scope of services outlined in your proposal in three to five sentences.]

[Offer the proposed project price and timeline in one to two sentences.]

[Clarify who the recipient should contact for questions or requests for proposal revisions.]

Jane Doe Ace Construction July 13, 2023 Alex Ross, Senior Civil Engineer Anywhere, California Dear Mr. Alex Ross, Thank you for the opportunity to submit this proposal. Ace Construction is responding to the RFP for playground and park construction for Sunny Park requested by the City of Anywhere, California. The Sunny Park RFP requests submissions from contractors experienced in park construction, playground design and construction, hardscaping, and landscaping. The RFP requires an active CSLB license and compliance with the allotted budget. Our proposal is fully compliant with all aspects of the Sunny Park RFP. We are proposing the construction of three shaded picnic areas, two playgrounds for children of different ages (12 months to 4 years and 5 to 12 years), a playing field for a variety of informal family sports, hardscaping with locally-sourced materials, and landscaping featuring drought-tolerant plants. The estimated project price for all of the design and construction outlined in our proposal is $900,000, and we expect to deliver the completed project in three phases so that new park features are available for public use as soon as possible. Should you have any questions about the contents of this proposal, please contact me directly. Thank you for your consideration, Jane Doe Business Operations Manager, Ace Construction (555) 555-1234

Proposal letter template #3 (Business partnership)

When you’re writing a letter to present a proposal for a business partnership , the level of formality will depend a lot on the person or entity you’re pitching to, and how well you know them. Whether formal or informal, the following template will help you cover your bases.

Keep in mind that this template can be easily modified to fit internal project proposals and business plans.

Template #3

[Your first and last full name]

[Kickstart your proposal letter with a one-sentence description of why you’re excited about the potential of working with the other person or why you think they’ll be interested in the opportunity.]

[Describe the market opportunity, target audience, and competitive gap analysis in two to four sentences.]

[Describe how your company will compete to win in two to four sentences.]

[Describe the type of partnership you’re proposing in one sentence (general partnership, limited partnership, etc.)]

[Clarify the next steps you’d like the recipient to take, such as reading and signing the proposal or scheduling a call with you to go over any questions.]

Jane Doe Ace Startup Hi Alex, I’m so excited to send you this business partnership proposal, because I know this industry is right up your alley. With your experience and my audience, I believe we’ll be able to do great things together. The direct-to-consumer vegan frozen foods market is full of expensive products that cost $8 to $11 per serving and are consistently described as “not filling” in reviews. It’s no wonder: 400 calories isn’t enough for dinner. Based on my research, I believe that we can satisfy the needs (and stomachs) of busy vegans by providing quick-cook products with recipe options that can be easily combined with fresh ingredients on hand. This will reduce our packaging sizes, costs, and shipping costs, while making it easy for consumers to adjust the recipes to their own tastes and typical portion sizes. I propose a general partnership, where we invest equal amounts of time and money, and share the potential gains or losses equally as well. Please review this proposal in full, and let’s schedule a time next week to go over all of the details. Best, Jane Doe

Write with your unique brand voice and the appropriate formality. Encourage the recipient to read the proposal and clarify the next steps you want them to take. Get these things right, and you’ll close that proposal in no time.

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How to Write a Winning Sales Proposal [Templates + Examples]

How to Write a Winning Sales Proposal [Templates + Examples]

Casey O'Connor

What Is a Sales Proposal?

How to create a sales proposal, best practices for writing a winning proposal, sales proposal templates and examples, what to do after you send your proposal.

Although each stage of the sales cycle is important, the sales proposal is perhaps the most consequential component of the process for most prospective buyers.

A sales proposal is essentially a sales pitch structured into a formalized document. Sales reps write sales proposals to communicate the value they can provide to prospects, as well as outline offer specifics.

The sales proposal is a make-or-break moment for most sales opportunities, and it’s important that sales reps master the art of writing them effectively. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about sales proposals, including best practices, templates, a process for writing your own, and several examples. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

A sales proposal is a structured, formalized document that sales reps use during the sales cycle that demonstrates to the buyer: 

Sales proposals — also sometimes known as business proposals, project proposals, or executive summaries — outline for prospects the timeline, deliverables, intended outcomes, and costs involved with buying your product. 

A great sales proposal is about much more than just the logistics of the product or offer. It also needs to include bigger-picture content that gives the buyer confidence in your solution.

Effective sales proposals are incredibly important to the sales process. In fact, more than half ( 54% ) of managers report sales proposals as being one of the important sales proposals to track. They help shorten the sales cycle, increase win rates, and boost customer loyalty and referrals.

The best sales proposals are highly individualized. A generic sales proposal is almost surely going to be rejected — buyers today are increasingly frustrated by sales efforts that neglect their unique needs and expect personalization in the process.

sales proposal personalization

That being said, there is a basic four-step framework that most sales reps can follow in order to create a basic sales proposal. It should, of course, be filled in with details about the prospect and their product needs.  

The process is pretty straightforward, but adhering to it faithfully will help ensure that your proposals are more consistently likely to win over prospects.

1. Conduct Market Research

The most important step in creating any winning sales proposal is your research. Sales reps should leave no stone unturned when it comes to market and prospect research.

Sales reps should learn the ins and outs of their ideal customer profile, their competitors, and the overall state of the market. They need to be very familiar with the prospect’s deepest pain points and most dire needs.

Some prospects will provide these kinds of details in a request for proposal (RFP), but others will rely on the sales rep to figure them out for themselves through sales conversations . 

You’ll also want to use what you know about the prospect from other stages of the sales process. Some sales software can help sales reps track which kind of content resonates most with individual buyers.

Look for relevant information about your prospect’s company in places that aren’t readily advertised during the sales process.

A prospect’s business social media profiles ( LinkedIn , Facebook, Twitter, etc.), for example, can shed a lot of light on subtle-but-meaningful pieces of information that can come in handy when creating a personalized sales proposal.

sales proposal: use LinkedIn for prospect research

You can also do a quick search to see if their organization’s name has come up in the news lately. Watch or listen to interviews they’ve participated in, and take note of any recent trade shows they’ve attended.

All of these supplemental facts will help build a stronger customer profile that will, in turn, shape the sales proposal.

2. Outline the Specifics of Your Sales Proposal

Following is a non-exhaustive list of sections you might consider including in your sales proposal. 

Many of them, like Proposed Solutions and Cost/Fees, should be non-negotiable parts of your document. Others, like Client Testimonials and Case Studies, may or may not be included as part of the actual proposal (but may be used in other places in the sale process ). The different components you ultimately include will depend on your unique buyer.

Opinions vary regarding the appropriate length of a sales proposal. Some say that eight to twenty pages is generally acceptable, while others argue that anything over two to three is ineffective. 

Again, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sales proposals. Some industries, organizations, or proposed solutions are quite complex, and sellers should be careful to avoid eliminating important — or adding irrelevant — information for the sake of a somewhat arbitrary length requirement.

3. Draft the Sales Proposal 

Once you’ve solidified the specific components you need to include to demonstrate your value to the prospect, it’s time to fill in the details. Build out each component of the proposal using what you learned through your research. 

If you can, put the draft away for a day or two before moving on to the next step. This can help bring a bit more clarity to the editing process.

4. Edit and Proofread

The last step before presenting your sales proposal is to make final revisions and proofread. Remember, this is a professional document. It should be engaging, polished, and error-free. 

Sales proposals take a good amount of planning and consideration. It may seem tedious, but try to stick to the process. Many sales reps inadvertently treat sales proposals as an afterthought, and unfortunately, that deprioritization shows in the data: only 47% of sales proposals result in a deal.

Put the work into the proposal ahead of time, and you’ll see results.

Keep in mind the following best practices while writing your sales proposals.

Know Your Prospect

While this is a best practice for sales in general, it’s especially relevant for sales proposals: know your prospects inside and out. 

Before you create sales proposals, sales and marketing should align to create a detailed ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas .

sales proposal: ideal customer profile and buyer persona

Your intel should include, at a minimum, the prospect’s: budget, goals, decision-makers , and timeline. Without those, your sales proposal will be incomplete. 

Refine Your USP 

Part of what will make your sales proposal so impactful is how well you’re able to set yourself apart from the competition. Sales and marketing should align to clearly define how your teams will position the product and highlight your USP .

It’s important to emphasize that the word “unique” is really crucial to this aspect of your sales proposal — it will end up in that risky yellow zone shown below without a strong USP.

sales proposal: unique selling proposition

Find a way to stand out that resonates with your prospect’s needs and use that to guide your sales proposal.

Tip: 10 unique selling proposition examples here .

Use Writing Best Practices

A sales proposal is a written document. While most salespeople aren’t necessarily trained writers, that’s not an excuse to neglect the writing best practices that will help the proposal shine. 

Everything from structure — headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs are key — to the actual writing itself needs to be carefully crafted in a sales proposal. 

If you find yourself with writer’s block, try keeping storytelling in mind. Storytelling is a very effective copywriting tactic because it makes it easy for the reader to connect. 

sales proposal: storytelling

Remember, though, that sales proposals should be succinct. Don’t stray off-topic for the sake of telling a story. But some storytelling principles woven throughout — especially in areas like your company background or proposed solutions — can make the proposal more engaging.

You can also use images in your sales proposal to help paint a more complete picture. Just make sure that they’re high-quality images, and that they add to the proposal rather than distract from it or create unnecessary length.

Tip: Grab psychology-backed tips for writing copy that resonates with prospects.

Psychology Principles + 13 Power Words for Winning Sales

Build a Template

Just because all sales proposals are unique doesn’t mean you don’t have to start completely from scratch each time.

It’s okay to create a template (or a few) to help expedite the process of creating new proposals for each prospect. Just remember to adapt as much as needed depending on the prospects’ needs. 

There’s a sales proposal template included in the next section of this article that can be used as-is or tweaked to fit the needs of your organization.

Provide Social Proof 

sales proposal: types of social proof

Make It Easy to Say Yes

Wherever you can, remove friction from the prospect’s experience of going through your sales proposal.

For example: if there’s a document to sign, deliver it via an e-sign platform instead of asking them to print, sign, scan, and return.

Another way to remove friction is to maintain structure throughout your document, include:

These may seem like insignificant details, but they all amount to a more enjoyable process for the prospect. These can add up, and make it more likely that they’ll easily say yes to your offer.

Be Detailed and Transparent With Pricing

The sales proposal is not the place to be coy about what kind of investment a prospect will make if they agree to your offer. 

In fact, choosing to omit details about cost can backfire; prospects are likely to feel manipulated without a clear outline of price, fee, and payment scenarios this far along in the sales process. 

That being said, it’s okay to also offer information about the potential ROI your prospect stands to achieve by signing on with you. Don’t omit any information about price, but it’s okay to frame it in a positive light if you’re able to offer figures on average ROI and/or competitive pricing.

Give Options if Possible

If your product or service has multiple tiers that could be a good fit for your prospect, include them all in your sales proposal.

Giving prospects a choice helps them feel like they have control over the process. Even if your product or service has only one offer or tier, try to incorporate choices where you can.

Such as: can the prospect choose a color or a size? Can they control when the product is delivered? Can they choose their own customer service plan?

Anywhere that you can offer choice will help prospects feel a sense of control that will, in turn, make them more likely to say yes.

If your prospect doesn’t agree to your sales proposal on the spot — and chances are, they won’t, because they’ll probably need to further evaluate your offer behind closed doors — the next most imperative thing a sales rep can do is to get a follow-up on the calendar. 

Up to 80% of sales require five follow-ups, yet only 8% of sales reps follow up that far.

sales proposal: follow-up

An ambiguous response is not a rejection. Be persistent in the follow-up to increase your chances of securing the deal.

There are two general types of sales proposals: solicited and unsolicited. 

Solicited sales proposals are ones that were requested by the prospect. They either sent an RFP to you, or requested a proposal during another sales conversation. 

Solicited proposals are usually easier to put together than unsolicited ones, because specifics about needs and budget are more readily available.

Unsolicited sales proposals are those that were not requested by the prospect. These are basically “cold” proposals. 

Unsolicited proposals can be a bit challenging because you may not have all of the information you need to give a complete picture of your offer. For example, you may not know specifics about their budget constraints. 

Regardless of the type of proposal you’re creating, there are templates you can follow to get the process started. 

Following is a basic outline that sales teams can use as they create customized sales proposals for prospects. Note: included here are both a content template to be added to or edited as needed, as well as a few visual options to help you generate ideas.

Most sales proposals include at least some of the following components:

Remember to optimize each section for length and conciseness. Depending on your industry and target market, a thorough sales proposal may be anywhere from two to twenty pages. Instead of focusing on length, work to ensure the proposal is not a word too long or a word too short.

Just like the content inside, a sales proposal’s design is also entirely unique. Some have graphically-designed cover pages, and some cut right to the chase with an introduction directly on the first page. 

How you design your sales proposal is entirely up to your team, the content you need to include, and the buyer’s preference. 

The sales proposal template below launches into the company background and history right on the cover page.

sales proposal template

This next one goes as far as putting price on the cover page .

sales proposal template

This one utilizes the cover page to display branding, making the sales proposal look like a legitimate book. 

sales proposal example

Below is a one-page proposal for sellers that need to be ultra-succinct.

sales proposal example

Finally, here’s one that offers a balance between visual impact and important information on the front page.

sales proposal template

There is no right or wrong way to create your sales proposal template. The important part is that your sales and marketing team align to design a document that is most likely to resonate with your target market.

There are three potential outcomes after you send your sales proposal:

If your proposal is accepted — fantastic! No need for any further action on your part, other than getting the prospect (now customer!) set up with your customer success team so that they can start the onboarding process. Don’t forget to occasionally check in with them for an added personal touch.

If your proposal is rejected — bummer. It’s frustrating to put a lot of effort into something like a sales proposal only to hear it missed the mark. It’s okay to feel disappointed, but try to channel that feeling into something productive . 

First, use your intuition and try to determine whether there’s room for negotiation . Skilled salespeople can usually tell if there’s still some opportunity, or if the door is closed for good.

If it’s the latter, it’s okay for sales reps to inquire what went awry. Many prospects will be happy to tell you (hopefully politely) why they opted out of the deal. Don’t use this information to be pushy, though. Instead, use it to further refine your lead generation /qualification strategies and your sales proposal.

If you receive no response from the prospect after sending your sales proposal, you need to follow up. As discussed earlier in this article, follow-ups are sometimes the only thing missing between a lost deal and one that’s easily won. Persistently follow up until you receive a definitive answer.

Do you have a process for writing sales proposals? What do you think makes yours successful? What components can you improve upon?

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sales proposal cover letter

  • Jan 30, 2023

Your proposal cover letter is the most important part of your entire business proposal. This is how to blow your prospects away by writing one that captures all their hopes and dreams.

Not only will we explain the role of a cover letter and give you tips on how to write one, but we’ll also show you a great example of a proposal letter your customers will enjoy. 

In the article, you’ll learn how to present your value, and introduce your solution and your company.

The importance of proposal letters

In general, the three pieces of your proposal that will be read and examined properly are:

  • Cover letter / Introduction / Executive Summary

This isn’t a guess. Hundreds of thousands of proposals have been sent using our software Better Proposals and we’re able to pull together statistics from that. We’ve learned that most of the time people spend on a proposal is in those three areas.

sales proposal cover letter

This is the meat of your proposals and the content your customer is most interested in. Make their agreement process easy by spending some extra time on these sections. 

Of course, when using Better Proposals, the extra time  isn’t a lot since we speed up your proposal process and give you more time to spend on the creative process. 

Digging Deep

That said, the most important thing to include in your proposal letter is that you understand the reader’s needs and long-term goals.

This extends beyond simply telling them that they want a quote on a [fill in the blank]. 

In your meeting with the prospect, you should be digging deep into why they really want it. What are the underlying reasons behind it?

I’ve spoken about this in this video detailing why most people write their introduction or cover letter wrong.

Try to understand the benefits they expect you to bring them, their budget and whether they have some examples for the solution they want you to provide.

You should know all of this before you even start writing your proposed solution.

Let’s look at an example

Your client might say “we need a new website because ours is outdated”. Okay, but what will an up-to-date one do? “Bring us more leads”. Okay, so what you really want is more leads.

You see? And you can go far deeper.

“What’s wrong with the number of leads you’re getting at the moment?” “Why is that even a problem?”

What you might find is that they’re scared their new competition across the road is going to put them out of business in a year if they don’t act fast. Now you have the information you need.

At this point, your proposal letter is about addressing the REAL fears, situations and options rather than at just a surface level.

Clients love to hear their own words in your proposal letter. It gives them confidence in their choice and shows them that you listened.

Now, the rest of your proposal is going to contain details about your plan, your pricing, why you’re different and your case studies. That’s what all the best proposal examples include.

If your proposal letter addresses their real issues then you can guarantee that it’s going to be read cover to cover.

What is a cover letter?

In the world of business proposals, a cover letter is the initial part of your proposal where you explain that you know the client’s situation and you know exactly how to solve their problem.

The best proposal letters I’ve seen weren’t written with amazing language. What made them stand out is that the person writing them listened carefully to the client before sitting down and writing the proposal letter. 

They highlight how their process will help the client achieve their long-term goals. 

sales proposal cover letter

My advice is to use simple language all through your document. Avoid technical jargon and make sure that the client understands everything that is being said.

After all, they will have less technical knowledge than you and also, people tend to mistrust things they can’t understand. 

Why do you need a cover letter?

Simply put, the client reading the business proposal needs to get engaged to read the whole thing before signing.

You could just give them a detailed specification right from the bat, but that will make the client too focused on numbers and specific results.

The proposal letter shows them that you’re listening and it gets them “hooked” to start reading.

After they’re done with the cover letter, they can move on to the more technical bits in the detailed specification.

Make sure to keep your proposal letter short, not longer than one page. You should keep your client in mind when you write a proposal letter. Don’t expect them to give you too much of their time. 

The connection between a cover letter and a business proposal?

In general, the cover letter is the part that comes before the actual business proposal. Sometimes, this is called a cover letter but we prefer calling it the introduction.

In other words, the cover letter is the first and perhaps the most important element of a business proposal.

Every good business proposal needs to have an introduction. We talk about introductions quite often in our articles, but don’t get confused – it’s the same thing as a cover letter.

The elements of a business cover letter

There are several things that every great cover letter needs. Here are a few to get you started:

  • You need to talk about the client – not yourself. Don’t brag about your projects, awards, portfolio, etc.
  • Talk “back” at the client – use their own words and expressions from your meetings and discovery calls
  • Don’t get too technical – leave that for the next section
  • Keep it short and to the point – the aim is to get clients to read through to the end and sign.

When addressing the problem at hand, don’t place the blame on your potential client. They know that there is an issue that needs fixing and that’s why they asked you for a business proposal. 

You’re here to fix the issue, not dwell on it. Keep your introduction positive and set your client up for a good reading experience. 

The cover letter structure

sales proposal cover letter

While the content of your proposal will depend on the offer and your industry, the proposal letter should always follow this guide.

Opening sentence

This is the most important part of your proposal. I personally prefer to hit them on the head with a sledgehammer and get right to the point.

Shock them into reading on and learning more. Here’s an example using a website design quote:

“You’re busy so I’ll get to the point. The purpose of your new website is to generate enough leads to give your sales team such an easy job they crush your competition without even trying. I’m aware that sounds obnoxious but the rest of this document will explain where that confidence comes from. The website is a means to an end. Anyone can make you a new website but what you’re after isn’t just a pretty picture. You need results and that’s what we do. We’re a results based company and ultimately so are you.”

You’re saying something strange. You’re suggesting that the website isn’t important – that’s supposed to be your core skill (in this example), but what happens when you do this is you come across like you’re telling them something they shouldn’t know.

Like it’s a secret.

What happens when someone tells you a secret? You trust them.

Vibe of the letter

The vibe should be direct and void of any indecision. Nothing breaks trust faster than indecision.

This is why it’s so vital that you get the information you need beforehand so you’re not writing with ‘maybes’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘ifs’ in your voice.

Be sure about what you’re saying.

You are the expert. Write like one.

Another mistake that people often make is focusing too much on themselves in the proposal letter. Your client doesn’t care about your accolades and what inspired you to go into your line of work. 

Think about it like this. If you reach out to a cleaning agency, you would want to receive a proposal that outlines their services and prices. 

You’re not looking forward to reading a proposal letter that explains how the owner got their passion for cleaning. 

The clients want to read about how you’ll help them reach their goals and what your next steps are.

When you’re closing your proposal’s cover letter , always invite them to read the rest of the proposal.

Without fear of it sounding generic, I always like to see people pointing their readers in the way of the case study they’ve included. It proves that you are the perfect company for the job .

It’s a nice lead-on.

Proposal letter template

Now that you know exactly what to write in your executive summary, let’s see it in action in this proposal letter example. 

When you use Better Proposals to create and send business proposals, you severely speed up the whole process. 

Since all of our documents are web-based, they get sent as secure links to your clients. Once they open the business proposal, they get treated to a beautifully designed cover page. 

It helps you give a good first impression. 

After the cover page, your client will open the introduction page. If you received a formal request for proposal (RFP) , you’ll know exactly who to address. 

sales proposal cover letter

Once you do that, highlight your reason for sending the proposal – i.e. the problem at hand and your solution for it. 

As you can see in our proposal letter template, you should keep it brief and get straight to your points. 

sales proposal cover letter

Since you won them over with a great first paragraph, you can continue your proposal introduction by addressing the process you plan on using. 

After you write a proposal letter once, you’ll see how easy it can be when utilizing our software and educational materials. You can find the right proposal letter template and customize it to your needs. 

Cover letters set the tone for the rest of your business proposal, so make sure you do a good job and don’t ruin your chances of gaining a new opportunity to work. 

Common proposal introduction mistakes

The elements that affect your executive summary are:

The industry

Your industry will dictate the tone of the proposal, as well as specific details in your executive summary. If you’re selling software, you need to explain how you’ll research the market and find ut the targeted audience. 

Don’t expect the prospect to know every intricate thing about your industry. You need to find the right balance for the amount of information you’ll share. 

If the person you’re sending the proposal to didn’t request it, you need to address the reason for contacting them straight from the beginning. It would be a good idea to address the value, cost and timescales. 

You could also sign your proposal letter in order to make it more personal. 

Proposal software

When you’re using proposal software, you don’t want the client to print out your document. Because you want them to read the proposal online and utilize the digital signature option in order to speed up the sales process. 

If you want to make sure your recipient is reading your proposal on a screen, keep it in mind when creating the proposal letter. It should be easy to get through, meaning you should break up your text with visuals. 

sales proposal cover letter

Furthermore, printing can affect the conversion rate of your proposal. Our research shows that printing decreases your conversion chances by 88%.

What to include in the rest of the proposal?

Once you write a great introduction, you need to focus on the rest of your business proposal.

If you want to win clients’ hearts and create a winning proposal, we suggest focusing on benefits, showing the value of your products and services and knowing the clients’ budget.

We suggest you start by reading our guide on proposal writing. It will give you great insight into how to win new business. 

sales proposal cover letter

Utilize our ideas in order to create professional-looking proposals that will help you win the job and achieve success.

Our guide includes proposal details that will help you set yourself apart from the competition and give you ideas on bettering your business proposals. The more professional your sales documents are, the easier you’ll sell your solution. 

Make sure to use proposal AI, which will give you actionable tips on how to improve your business proposal. It works by comparing your documents to other successfully sent proposals from our platform.

Writing a great proposal letter is one of the most important skills that you can have as a salesperson or business owner.

If you can do this effectively then you simply increase your sales and win better jobs, more often and at a higher price point. The more professional your business proposal is, the better your chances of winning over a client’s heart are.

There are some great examples in the Example Proposal Templates section of our site. I encourage you to take a look and crib from them what you like.

sales proposal cover letter

If you like what you see, sign up for a free trial and streamline your sales process.

Start sending better proposals today

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An Essential Checklist For Writing Sales Proposals That Actually Win Deals

how to write a sales proposal that wins deals

In this article, you’ll learn how to write a sales proposal, along with a pre-meeting checklist to follow in order to maximize your chances of closing the deal.

Simple Sales Proposal Evaluation Checklist

Is it organized, is it readable.

Does it address pricing and timeline?

Often, when we spend weeks working on a proposal, we know our way around the document just as well as our own home. But, is it organized well enough so that an important decision maker can easily search through it and find what is needed? Are all your sections organized logically?

Your proposal should be professionally written, but easy to absorb. Too much jargon and too many technicalities will turn the reader away. Your ability to break down the complexities and make the problem and solution easy to understand will win you brownie points. If your proposal seems hard to read, then your prospects will assume you may be hard to work with.

Does it address the prospect’s pain?

Your proposal should address the prospect’s pain directly . The solution you have in mind and the execution are part of this, not the core. Your proposal should articulate what the problem is and why it is detrimental to the prospect’s business. Your proposed solution is the means to getting rid of this problem

We don’t condone using outdated frameworks like BANT , but no prospects like ambiguity, especially when it comes to how much they need to pay and how long things will take. Be upfront and let them know your estimates.

If you work in sales, you’re probably already aware that your customers expect a quick and easy buying experience. But today’s salespeople are over-burdened, expected to provide a highly-personalized, attentive buying experience.

What does a winning sales proposal look like?

To create an ideal buying experience for your prospect that leads to a close, you need to be extremely responsive while providing the most practical, relevant content.

Defining a sales proposal can be tricky, as the actual format of the proposal varies depending on who is sending it. Ultimately, though, the sales proposal is a tool you can use to convince a prospect to purchase your solution to their problem.

Your goal is to create a winning proposal that is ready to share the moment your prospect enters the decision-making phase of the deal.

5 steps for writing a winning sales proposal:

1. It has a personalized cover letter.

Too many salespeople underestimate the value of a good cover letter. Your proposal’s cover letter is the page that will receive the most views, so it needs to capture your prospect’s attention and create an emotional connection .

Place relevant, differentiating information about your company and solution in the most valuable real estate on the page–”above the fold,” or the space before your prospect will need to scroll.

2. It focuses on the “why.”

Don’t just talk about  what  your solution is in the sales proposal, but rather  why  it will solve your prospect’s problem. Use the sales proposal as an opportunity to emphasize your unique selling propositions, and demonstrate its proven ROI.

3. It includes customer testimonials.

Buyers love to read reviews, so why not include them in your sales proposal? Demonstrate what you can accomplish for your prospect by showing exactly how you have done so for others with similar use cases.

Choose customer testimonials from similar/relevant industries, that align with the value props important to your current prospect. This is your chance to showcase your past work to establish credibility in a way that says, “We’ve done  this  in your industry, and we can do it for you, too.”

4. Your proposal makes it easy for prospects to do business with you.

Remember that part about prospects wanting an  easy  buying experience?

Make sure your sales proposal contains all of the relevant information needed to make a buying decision, including accurate pricing details. The recipient of your proposal might not be the final signer, but even the signer will most likely need to receive buy-ins from other stakeholders or influencers, so you want to arm them with all of the necessary information.

Terms and conditions are often an important piece of content at this stage, as lawyers or other legal individuals may be reviewing and evaluating the risk involved in the deal.

Package all of this information with an appropriate call-to-action. If your prospect is ready to move forward, they will most likely want to do so as quickly as possible. Including an electronic signature call-to-action to close the deal, or to accept a letter of intent will help to move the process along straight from the proposal.

5. It’s accessible via mobile.

Finally, ensure your sales proposal can be viewed and interacted with on a mobile device. With the shifting sales landscape, more people are doing business on-the-go, and you want to be sure your documents are compatible with mobile prospects.

Need help with your sales proposals? Learn how Octiv can help .

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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Unsolicited Sales Proposal

You should always include a cover letter when you send a proposal. It’s good business etiquette, it’s polite, and there’s no reason not to.

With this said, though, don’t go overboard. One of the mistakes that many proposal writers have made, me included, is to try and summarize the proposal in the letter. The problem with this is that I’ve already summarized the proposal in the executive summary. Why do it again?

Purpose of a cover letter

The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce the proposal. It accompanies the proposal when you deliver it to the customer, but it isn’t part of the proposal. In fact, the proposal and the cover letter have two different audiences. A proposal is from you to all the people in the customer’s organization who are involved in making the purchase decision. The cover letter, in contrast, is between you and the person who has been your main contact. The only exception to this rule is if you are writing a proposal in response to an RFP, and the RFP specifically instructs you with something like this: “you should include a letter that says this…” In these cases, follow their instructions instead of my advice.

In general, though, the cover letter should be a personal note between you and the other person with whom you’ve been working. Certainly, there is a lot more you could put into it if you want to, but resist the temptation. You’ll gain nothing by it. In fact, you probably do little more than increase the length, and that will do little more than increase the likelihood that it won’t be read.

In general, there are two types of cover letters that you could write; one that is complimentary and personal, and the other that is more formal but still personal.

Cover letter type 1: complementary and personal

Wherever possible, write your cover letter so it is complimentary and personal.   In this type of letter, I thank the person I’ve been working with for the time he or she has taken with me. If she’s been very helpful, I make a special point to tell her how helpful she’s been. If he has helped to improve the solution I’m proposing, I go out of my way to tell him how he’s benefited his organization.

Dear Debbie: Enclosed is the proposal I promised you, titled: Improving Office Productivity by Using Fast, Dependable Copiers . I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help. Designing a suitable solution for ACME Coffee Cups required that I become familiar with your products and your industry. Since I didn’t have much background in your industry, this represented a challenge. As a result, your help and guidance proved to be invaluable. Indeed, because of your tutelage, I was able to build a solution from a position of knowledge. Ultimately, this resulted in a better, more cost effective solution for your organization. I will call you next week to discuss this proposal. As always, please don’t hesitate to call me if you have questions or if I can be of further assistance. I hope we can continue working together into the future. Sincerely, Sam Seller

I send a cover letter like this for two reasons. First, I send it because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t spend enough time in this world thanking people—sincerely—for what they do. Second, I send a personal note like this because it is more persuasive than the typical, boring cover letter that says, “here’s my proposal, please read it.”

Research shows that if you compliment someone, then they feel compelled to return the compliment. If you do a favor for them, then they feel compelled to return the favor. The research is clear, unambiguous, and irrefutable; do something nice, and people feel compelled to do something nice in return.

Sometimes, the favor you get in return is comparable to the favor you gave, but sometimes, it is much more. Say, for example, I send you a jam, jelly, and cheese basket at the holidays. You immediately think about what a nice thing that it was for me to do, and admit it or not, you want to do something nice in return. You may not send me a gift basket, and you probably won’t award me the contract if I’m not qualified or if my price is too high. However, if I’m qualified, and my bid is among the leading contenders, who are you going to argue should win the business? Your old buddy that keeps you stocked in jam, jelly, and cheese, that’s who.

Right now, there are two groups of people reading this who are having strikingly different reactions; those who are offended at the idea of giving a compliment to receive a favor, and those who see an opportunity. The first group is thinking that this sounds like a really seedy way to persuade people. The opportunistic group is thinking, “if this is so effective, why don’t I just stop advertising and send out gift baskets to everyone, instead?” Both groups are missing the point.

In regards to this being a seedy approach, nothing could be further from the truth. We teach our kids that they can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, don’t we? Basically, we’re just teaching them to be nice to other people. We’re teaching them that if someone does something nice for them, that they should say thank you. This is no different. I am not advocating that you make up a fake compliment or thank someone for something that he or she really didn’t do, only that you acknowledge someone else’s efforts.

In regards to the opportunistic group—don’t fire your advertising agency just yet. This principle—formally referred to as reciprocation—has already been beaten to death by advertisers and non-profits. One of the greatest examples is when you get address labels, typically around the holidays, from a non-profit organization. There’s no obligation to pay for the address labels, of course, it’s just a gift. In reality though, an obligation is created, if only in the mind of the recipient.   The recipient of such a gift feels obligated to return the favor, and more often than not, will send a check.

Understand this: within business to business selling, reciprocation generally only works within the context of an established relationship in which the recipient is open to the gesture. So before you try to use this approach to your advantage, you have to take two tests; the morality test and the reality test.

  Morality test

On my first professional sales job, I was given a couple sales brochures and a telephone, and was told to sit down and start dialing. Amazingly, it didn’t take long until I got hold of a guy who was interested in what I was selling. Almost predictably, given my minimal level of training, he asked a question to which I didn’t know the answer, so I put him on hold and ran to the next office to ask a more senior associate.

“I’ve got this guy on the phone and he’s interested in this product, but he wants to know this…”, and I spelled out the guy’s question. My associate never faltered: “Tell him yes, it does that.” “It does?” I replied, kind of surprised. “I don’t know”, came the quick response, “but we’ll find out later.”

My first business to business sales job, almost my first day, and here was a senior sales rep advocating that I lie. It was a dilemma. I wanted to fit in, to be a team player, but I didn’t want to lie. Ultimately, the course of action was clear to me. I told the customer I didn’t have an answer but I would find out. I ended up calling him back later after I knew the facts.

I’ve always remembered this one incident because it’s become a moral compass for me. It wasn’t a huge issue with big implications. I could have lied and kept the conversation going. Then if I found out later that I was wrong, I could have called him back and admitted I was wrong. No great damage done, right? Not to that customer, perhaps, but certainly to my integrity.

The point is this; when it comes to issues of right and wrong, the big issues are easy to handle because they’re so clear. It’s the small ones where we’re tested.

So getting back to the cover letter discussion, it is a good thing to say something nice to someone who deserves it—and get the benefit of reciprocation. However, only you can decide whether to compliment someone for something they didn’t do, or didn’t do well, just so you can send a complimentary letter that earns you extra favor. Personally, I think it amounts to lying.

Reality test

Have you ever gotten a greeting card or birthday card or something else from someone you don’t particularly like or care to be around? Don’t you hate it? You hate it because now you feel compelled to at least acknowledge the gesture. You might even feel compelled to return the favor. If it’s someone you like, that’s one thing. But if it’s someone you don’t particularly care for, it’s a bummer.

Speaking of jam, jelly, and cheese baskets, I was once getting ready to fire a firm that was doing work for us. It was around the holidays. The very day I was going to call the president of the firm to tell him of the change, I received a jam, jelly, and cheese basket—via courier—from the president, himself. What incredible timing! Now if I call him to fire them, I feel like a jerk. The basket worked, sure enough; it kept me from firing them for a month. But it inspired ill will, too. Indeed, it made me angry because now I felt like I had to wait a little while before I could fire them. I know, I know—I shouldn’t have let that influence what I was going to do.   But hey, I’m human, too, and like most humans, stuff like this does affect me. It didn’t change my decision, it just slowed it down.

Now turn it around. If you send a complimentary cover letter to someone who you’ve worked with, built a relationship with, and who deserves it, the sentiment you express will probably be well received. However, if you send a complimentary cover letter to someone who hasn’t been particularly helpful or who doesn’t deserve it, what’s going to happen? They’ll raise their eyebrows and then scowl with skepticism as they read then reread your letter. Ultimately, they’ll dismiss it offhandedly saying, “I wonder what he wants?” It won’t have the desired effect.

That’s the reality test. If you’re working with a customer, and you can’t pass both the morality and reality test, then forget letter type one and move on to letter type two.

Cover letter type 2: Formal but still personal

In general, I believe strongly that a complimentary letter is better than a canned, boring cover letter. But for all the reasons discussed in the previous section, sometimes you shouldn’t send a complimentary note. Sometimes, it makes much more sense to send a letter that is more formal. It’s still a personal note between two people, it’s just more formal than the previously described complimentary letter.

Dear Ms. Buyer: I enjoyed speaking with you about your proposal project.   Attached is a sales proposal that describes our writing service called the Sales Proposal Quick Start Package. The Sales Proposal Quick Start Package is well suited to organizations, like ACME Coffee Cups, who want a well-written and persuasive sales proposal at a reasonable price. It is also ideal for organizations who want to develop their own sales proposal, but need a well-written, well-structured sales proposal as a place to start. I look forward to working with you on this worthwhile project. I will contact you in a couple days to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call me if I can be of further assistance. I can be reached at 123-456-7890. Sincerely, Sam Seller

This letter serves the purpose well.   It’s long enough to accomplish your goal; introducing your proposal. But it’s short enough that it will be read. Sure, it isn’t as fancy or influential as the previous letter, but it is entirely appropriate for the circumstances.

The bottom line is this; you should include a cover letter whenever you send a proposal, but don’t over think it. Keep it personal–between you and the person you’re sending it to–and appropriate for your relationship. This increases the effectiveness of your letter. It also saves you a lot of time that you can spend writing your proposal.

David Seibert is a professional salesperson and consultant for businesses that respond to formal procurements in non-federal markets. Dave publishes a comprehensive curriculum of online, self-paced proposal training classes, delivers onsite and online proposal training programs for dedicated proposal teams , and provides proposal and business development consulting services for businesses that want to improve their win rates. 

Dave is founder and president of The Seibert Group , a proposal consulting and training organization serving businesses that sell to other businesses, A/E/C firms, schools, and to state and local governments. Dave authored the popular proposal book, Proposal Best Practices , is active with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), and is a member of the APMP Speakers Bureau. You can contact Dave at [email protected] .



How to Write an Attention Grabbing Business Proposal Cover Letter

While most people put a lot of effort into crafting their business proposal, often only a few minutes are spent on the cover letter, which is often relegated as a pesky formality. Unfortunately, people who dismiss the importance a business proposal cover letter are essentially missing out on a great opportunity to create an immediate connection with the potential client they are communicating with.

The cover letter is the hook of your business proposal

Since a business proposal (whether it is solicited or unsolicited) is essentially meant to sell a service/product, or at least lead up to a sale, your cover letter should be crafted for the express purpose of getting the buyer excited about the solution you are offering them (your product and/or service).

This is what your cover letter should accomplish:

1. At the very minimum, you want it to create enough curiosity to make the reader want to read your executive summary and your full business proposal. This way, your business gets enough facetime to convey and convince your prospective client why you have the best solution for their job/issue and that they should do business with your company.

It should be noted that creating your cover letter (and your business proposal) as a text document is quickly becoming out of date. If you really want to impress a prospective client and make your company stand out, create a digital multi-media business proposal using ClientPoint Software and have your cover letter be a personalized video from a top executive at your company, preferably your CEO or President.

2. You simply cannot discount the fact that many times it's only your cover letter that gets read before the proposal is tossed aside. So, apart from the hook, your cover letter should also offer a summary of the information stated in your main business proposal.

However, remember that you have to be frugal with your words when drafting your cover letter. It should be short, to the point, and highly persuasive. You don't want to bore the reader.

To ensure that you impress your reader instead of bore them, we recommend that you create a digital multi-media business proposal and use a short 1-2 minute personalized video instead of a cover letter. With ClientPoint Software , adding a personalized video to your digital business proposal is fast and easy.

The Business Cover Letter Mindset

Before you start writing the cover letter for your business proposal (or creating a cover letter introduction video), put yourself in the right mindset. Ask yourself what would you say to the reader/recipient of your business proposal if you only had 1-2 minutes of time to talk to him or her and win their business?

In this brief amount of time you have to get across the most important points about their requirements, the solution you can offer, and the end-result benefits your solution will provide to them. Write these down and you are ready to begin drafting your cover letter.

The nuts and bolts of a business proposal cover letter

So, at this point, your cover letter should look something like this:

Your Company Name 1234, Bentree Complex, Addison Pkwy Addison, TX 97692

(123) 555-1234  |  |  [email protected]

Mr. Peter Coleman,  CEO Receiver Industry, Carmichael Street. Dallas, Texas 75248

March 1, 2018

Dear Mr. Coleman,

Susan Davis

With the formatting out of the way (which was our step 1), you can now start working on the body of your cover letter. This is the information that you need to include in it (note that if you create a personalized video instead of a cover letter, these are still the items you should discuss):

Step 2: The Requirement/Problem

Why have they sought your help/service, or what is the problem that they have which you can help them solve? If the buyer has asked you to send them a business proposal, you can start the first paragraph by simply stating this. So, start with, "As per our discussion on so and so date..."   or, "As we discussed in our last meeting..." and then go on to state the issue/requirement in a single sentence.

If you share a good rapport with the recipient, you could also start with something like this, "We at Our Company are thrilled to have the chance to submit a proposal that will help your company solve XYZ problem."

If you are sending an unsolicited business proposal, forego the formalities and use a hook right away. You need a truly explosive statement that will make your reader sit up and take notice. Nothing works better than a question or the monetary implications of a problem they have to evoke strong emotions. For example:

  • How would you like to lower the energy expenses of your manufacturing unit by 60% in 90 days?
  • An average company loses $1,000 every day on power wastage! Our solution eliminates that power waste.
  • How would you like to increase your sales by 40% in the next 6-months while lowering your marketing expenses?
  • Your costs your business 3 times more to acquire a new client than to keeping an existing customer. Our solution helps you increase your client retention by over 80%.

This should be the first paragraph of your cover letter. You can also introduce your product/service here in one sentence and quickly add a few words about how you have helped other companies in their industry achieve outstanding results. Here is an example of what we are going for:

Solicited proposal first paragraph: As per our discussion on February 12, we know that you are interested in moving to a more energy efficient manufacturing environment. Our company has over 15 years of experience in installing energy efficient manufacturing systems across a range of industrial sectors, and we have helped many of our clients reduce their energy costs by as much as 35%.

We at Our Company are pleased to have the chance to submit a proposal to help your company lower its marketing costs while greatly increasing your marketing ROI by at least 30%.

In the accompanying proposal, we have outlined how we can help you progress from simply trying to acquire new clients to a powerful new dual approach that would help you increase the retention of your existing customers by over 80% and keep them loyal, while at the same time helping you to target and acquire new clients at a cost that is 30% less than your current new client acquisition costs.

Unsolicited proposal: How would you like to reduce your manufacturing energy costs by up to 35% within 60 days? For the last 15 years our company has been helping manufacturing companies in your industry significantly lower their use of electricity, saving them millions of dollars.

Step 3: Solution

Tell the reader what you can bring to the table here. Talk about the analysis that you conduct to gauge the problem and the solutions that you provide. The best formatting is to use a bullet list after a sentence or two of explanation on the analysis of their problem. This list should explain the goals that you intend to achieve through your product/service. This is what step 3 looks like:

We will analyze/have analyzed (as may be applicable) the complete marketing and sales process of your company and we have found that through the use of our service, your company will:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase marketing ROI by over 40%
  • Streamline your pre-sales and post-sales process
  • Target new client segments, including the untapped local client base, and lower your new client acquisition costs by over 20%

Step 4: The Benefits

Answer the all important question of why the recipient should be spending his/her precious time reading your proposal. Remember, this is not about highlighting the features of your product/service. In this section, you very clearly state what the recipient business will receive if they purchase your solution. Use something like:

By using this novel approach to marketing and sales, we can help your company increase revenue by over 40% while at the same time creating an optimal environment for the direct marketing of your future products.

So far, you should have no more than 2-3 paragraphs and a bullet list.

Your Qualifications (optional)

In the fourth paragraph, briefly state why and how your company is the most qualified to handle the issue that the receiver's company has. For example, you could tell the reader that together your team has over 50 years of cumulative marketing experience, or that you have world-renowned industry experts on your team who have worked with leading marketing companies or Fortune 500 companies. However, don't make lofty claims here. State the facts of what you can do, and don't lie.

Step 5: A Call to Action

Finally, end your proposal cover letter (or video) by telling the reader what you want him/her to do next. This may be verbal encouragement to continue reading your full proposal or to get in touch with you to answer any questions they have or to request additional information. You could say something like this:

  • After you have reviewed the enclosed proposal, contact us at (123) 555-1234 so we may answer any questions that you have.
  • Our business proposal has in-depth information on what we have done to help several of our other clients in your industry, and the results we have achieved for them.
  • I will call you on Monday to discuss any questions you may have and the possibility of us working together. We are confident that we develop a personalized plan that perfectly suits the requirements of your company.

A few more thoughts about how to write a winning business proposal cover letter

1. Typically, you should not mention the cost of the service/product in your cover letter. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  • If your lower cost gives you a distinct advantage over the competition.
  • If your favorable pricing can sway the buying decision in your favor.

However, remember if you are using cost in your marketing strategy, it has to either be the lowest cost or offer the absolute best value (highest ROI). The last thing you want to do is tell the reader that you are the company with the most expensive solution/product as that may immediately get your company eliminated from the selection process.

2. Edit, and then edit again. There is simply no shortcut to this step. Read and reread your cover letter. Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors in your cover letter will project a bad image of unprofessionalism, which you don't want, and is the kiss of death.

3. Keep your cover letter to one page.

4. Your cover letter should not be about your company. It should be about the client's company and how you can solve a major problem they have or fulfill a major need they have. So, write from the perspective of the biggest benefit you will provide to them.

5. Do not make any claims that you cannot back up with proof in your business proposal.

The End Result

This is what your business proposal cover letter will look like after going following the above 5 step approach

Your Company Name 1234, Bentree Complex, Addison Pkwy Addison, TX, 97692

Mr. Peter Coleman,  CEO Receiver Company, Carmichael Street. Dallas, Texas 75248

We at XYZ Company are thrilled to have the opportunity to submit a proposal to help your company significantly lower its marketing costs. In the accompanying business proposal, we have outlined how we can help your company transform from simply trying to acquire new clients to a powerful new dual approach that will help you increase the retention of your existing customers by over 80% while at the same time targeting and acquiring new clients at a client acquisition cost that is 30% lower than you are spending now.

After a thorough analysis of your end-to-end marketing and sales process, we found that by incorporating our proprietary Dual Approach marketing System, we can help your company:

  • Enhance and leverage word of mouth marketing
  • Increase your marketing ROI by at least 40%
  • Target new client segments, including an untapped local client base, and lower your new client acquisition costs by over 30%

By using this novel marketing and sales system, your company can increase revenues by almost 40% and create an optimal environment for the marketing of your future products.

The enclosed proposal includes in-depth information detailing how we have helped other companies in your space achieve their branding and marketing goals. You will also find examples of work we have done within your sector.

Call us at (123) 555-1234 if you have any questions or require further information. We are confident that we can create a personalized plan that suits the requirements of your company.

How to support your cover letter with an amazing business proposal

Now that you have a great cover letter or introduction video, you need to back it up with an impressive digital multi-media business proposal that helps you beat your competitors and win the client. With ClientPoint Software , you can easily add the following elements to your business proposal to help you win more clients:

1. Use a personalized video introduction instead of using a written cover letter. A personalized video introduction is much more impressive and effective at winning a client than using a written cover letter. When you use a personalized video introduction at the beginning of your business proposal instead of using a written cover letter, you will see that you will win far more clients.

2. Use client testimonial videos and client case study videos instead of using written testimonials and case studies. Again, video is a much more powerful and effective medium for grabbing the attention of your perspective clients and persuading them to hire you.

3. ClientPoint Software provides you with advanced business proposal analytics and tracking tools so you always know when and how many times your client opens your proposal, what pages they read, what videos they watch, how long they spend reading each page or watching each video, and who and how many times they share your business proposal with other people in their organization. Compare that to just sending your pdf proposal via email and not knowing if your client received it or even read it.

4. ClientPoint Software provides you with real-time notifications and alerts for immediate follow-up with your prospects so you know exactly when to contact them instead of guessing and not knowing when you should contact them.

5. ClientPoint Software provides you with Esignature, making it fast and easy for your prospect to sign and approve your proposal instead of them having to print, sign, scan, and email or fax your accepted proposal.

Click here to schedule a FREE Demo of ClientPoint Software

Check out these sample business proposal cover letters from all over the Internet. Some of these follow the 5 step plan perfectly while others have skipped a step or two in keeping with their specific requirements/situation.


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Sales Proposal Letter

Last Updated On May 15, 2020 By Letter Writing Leave a Comment

A sales proposal letter is written by the marketing and sales professional of a business firm to a potential new client or to a current client who has not made any new orders for products or services. A sales proposal letter should discuss the needs of a potential client.

Often, the clients are aware of only a portion of the entire problem. But the firm must capitalize on the opportunity and explain in detail to the client, their potential benefits in using the products or services. The sales proposal letter must mention the competence of the firm and its capability in delivering the products or services to the clients.

The advantage of one firm over another may add to its purchase ability. The sales proposal letter is a formal letter, communicating between two corporate bodies. The letter, however, must be short and concise. The letter must mention the terms and conditions of the sale and the liabilities of the producers or service providers.

The letter must be persuasive, to entice the new customer to the brand, product, or service. The firm may add a binding clause that requires the signature of the purchaser. But, this may be added only in situations where there is a guarantee that the buyer is willing to buy the product or service.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Sales Proposal Letter Writing Tips
  • 2 Sales Proposal Letter Template
  • 3 Sales Proposal Letter Sample
  • 4 Sales Proposal Letter Email Format

Sales Proposal Letter Writing Tips

  • The sales proposal is a preliminary offer to a product that is not officially binding.
  • The sales proposal letter should be formal for business purpose.
  • The sales proposal letter should be crisp and impressive.
  • The sales proposal letter should be accurate in its content to create a good impression on the customer.
  • The sales proposal letter should always be brief but should be to the point, highlighting the profit of functioning together for the involved parties.

Sales Proposal Letter Template

Use our free Sales Proposal Letter to help you get started. If you need additional help or more examples check out some of the sample letters below.

From: ______________(Name of the writer and company with address) _______________ ________________

To: ___________ (Name, designation and company of recipient) ____________ ____________

Date ____________

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to introduce our ___________________ (introduces your company). We are in the business ___________________________________ (mention your business field and year of experience). We are glad to inform you about the good quality and reputation of our products. It will be our pleasure to provide you  products that meet your needs at reasonable prices.

Our new launch is ____________________(introduce new product and quote the price). It carries_________________( mention the features). You will get the best deal in the market with us.

We are expecting a positive response. For further details and demonstrations, please feel free to contact our customer relationship manager at _________ (email address or phone number).

Thanking You.

Sincerely, __________(name of the sender and his company)

From, __________ __________ __________ __________

Date: _____ (Date on Which Letter is Written)

To, __________ __________ __________ __________

Subject: Sales Proposal

Dear ______(Sir or Madam),

I am writing this letter on behalf of ______( your organization’s name). As you might know, we have been in ______( your business) for the last ______(years of experience). Our ______(your product/services) are known for their ______(what makes the product unique). We believe this would be a good time to associate with you as ______( the reason why you would like to associate with them).

We offer ______(your product) at very reasonable rates. This will help you a lot in your venture. All our products are well-tested before they are sent out. We make sure all our products reach our customers on-time. Both of us would be able to benefit from this association. More details regarding our product will be available on request. You can contact us at ______(your contact no) or drop a ______(your email id).

Hope we would receive a positive response from your side.

Thanking You, Yours truly,

_____________ Name and Signature)

Sales Proposal Letter Sample

The following is a sample of a Sales Proposal Letter.

From, SYT Appliances Kanpur Uttar Pradesh.

22 July 1776.

To, Manas Bhatnagar General Manager RMTP Ltd Kerala.

Subject: sales proposal letter.

I am proud to introduce to you our company SYT Appliances and Applications. We have been in the business of the sale of electronic equipment and software for the last ten years. We are glad to inform you about the good quality and national reputation of our products and services. It will be our pleasure to provide you with our products at reasonable prices and cater to your technical needs.

Our new launch is an accounting system management system. This system has been designed by our competent engineers who have taken into consideration the needs of business firms operating today, including legal compatibility.

If you would like to purchase the applications, we are happy to provide you with a free demonstration. We are expecting a positive response.

___________ Varun Kumar SYT Appliances and Applications.

From, Arun Gopi, RK Stationaries, M.G Road, Bengaluru, India. 20 March 2017

To, JSK Builders, HSR Layout, Bengaluru, India.

Subject: Stationery Sales

I am writing this letter on behalf of RK Stationeries. We are one of the established stationery suppliers of Bengaluru. We have been in this field for the last 25 years. We offer high-quality stationery products both retail and wholesale. We would like to offer our products to you.

We are ready to provide you all stationery products required for your office at a discounted wholesale rate. The price can be negotiated. You can expect timely services from our side. We can also make arrangements for any construction-related stationery if required. We firmly believe that the deal will extremely beneficial for both of us. More details will be available upon request. You can contact us at 0091-1234567896 or drop us a mail at [email protected].

Yours sincerely, Arun Gopi, RK Stationeries.

Sales Proposal Letter Email Format

The following is the Email Format that should be followed while writing a Sales Proposal Letter.

Dear Mr./Ms/Mrs.______(Name of the recipient)

I write this letter on behalf of  RK stationery. As you might know, we have been in stationery supplying business for the last 15 years. We have established ourselves in this sector. Our products are known for their high-quality and durability. We would like to offer our services/products to you.

We offer all the stationery items at very reasonable rates. This will help you a lot in your venture. All our products are well-tested before they are sent out. We make sure all our products reach our customers on-time. Both of us would be able to benefit from this association. More details regarding our product will be available on request. You can contact us at ______(your contact no) .

_____________ (Name of the sender) (Name of the company)

Related Letters:

  • Sales Promotion Letter Writing Tips
  • Sales Letter Example
  • Introductory Sales Letter
  • Sales Letter – Sales Letter That Sell
  • Sales Letter – Marketing Sales Letter
  • Sales Letter – Sales Appointment Letter
  • Sales Letter – Sales Letter Form
  • Effective Sales Letter
  • Sales Introduction Letter
  • Sales Promotion Letter
  • Selling Incentives Sales Letter
  • Sales Pitch Letter
  • Sample E-Sales Letter
  • Product Update Sales Letter
  • Sales Recommendation Letter
  • Travel Sales Letter
  • B2B Sales Letter
  • Sales Appointment Letter
  • General Sales Letter
  • Business Sales Letter
  • Free Sales Letter
  • Sales Letter Template
  • Sales Letter Software
  • Sample Follow-Up after Sales Letter
  • Best Sales Letter

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