Proposals don't sell - People do

Creating proposals is a necessary evil for every sales team trying to sell advanced services and products. A lot of people might agree with this statement.

Maybe evil is a strong word for it, but it’s surely not in your top of favorite things to do. The average proposal creation process for a consultancy company takes about 14 hours and often uses up multiple resources in the company to get it all done. It's hard to find the right balance between what you want to convey, how you want the prospect to perceive you, and how much they need from you to make an informed decision. Why not bring intelligent automation into the ‘boring’ part of proposal writing and spend more time on human connection and understanding.

The real benefit of proposals is helping prospects understand what your company does, what problems it solves, why it’s the best fit for the job and how it helps them

Proposals are not written in a vacuum - they're written to be read by someone else. So it might pay off to spend more time on considering the audience and less on the formatting when writing your proposal.  

When working on your next proposal, think about the conversations you had with the prospect that led up to it. What did you discuss? Did you find out what problems they are dealing with and how badly they want to solve them? Did they tell you about their goals and challenges, or did they just ask for a quote without any context or explanation of why they need this work done?

If prospects don’t feel from the start how your company can help them, then they will mostly fail. No matter how well-written and nicely designed our offers are, if there is no initial interest then nothing else matters!

By focusing on the creation of the proposals, we lose sight of the ‘why’ for the proposal and the clients’ real pain

The problem with proposals is that they're not the end goal, they're merely a means to an end. It's easy to lose sight of what you're trying to accomplish when putting together your proposal: winning projects and clients.

So let’s stop focusing on writing good proposals, as they are just one part of an overall sales process. Instead, let’s focus on selling your product or services to people with whom you actually have conversations with. Never present in writing what you could present better in person. The writing is an extra afterwards.

The average time spent on a proposal is 14 hours. What if you could bring that down and at the same time focus more on human interaction by using an AI assistant?

Let's face it, creating proposals can be a pain in the ass. They take hours to write, they must be perfect, and they're often not even read by the right people.

But what if you could save time on this tedious job and instead use that time to talk with customers? What if you had an AI assistant that could help you automate your sales process?

Automating the proposal building process is important for two reasons:

  • It saves you time. Instead of spending hours on looking for the right information, talking to your colleagues for their input and building a proposal from scratch, you could automate a large part of this task and keep control.
  • It makes your proposals more effective. Because a large part is automated and set to re-use existing information, you can be confident the information is correct and tested. Also, you’re less prone to making stupid mistakes in writing and design.


I think it's clear that creating good proposals can be a pain but is still necessary if we want to make prospects into customers. However, we are not writing proposals in isolation. Proposals don’t do the selling, it’s the people that do. Let your contacts meet the people behind the product or service. Be available and communicate as a human being. Contrary to what you might think, that is where an AI assistant is likely to come in. It can help you build the right proposal with the right message for every prospect. The time saved can then be spent on even more human interaction with our prospects, making sure that we understand their needs and how we can best help them achieve their goals.


January 2023
Bart Roofthooft