Anatomy of an extraordinary proposal for marketing agencies

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Many agencies do not attach importance to the stage of proposals in their trade relations. While you might think that the relationship with the client is moving toward the next stage of the sales process, this just think you’re being kind to accept see your suggestions.

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Every time your team spends time creating proposals for customers who are not qualified, invest their efforts in vain. On the other hand, it is also inefficient ask your team to reinvent the same process every time you need to submit a formal proposal. Although we all like to eliminate completely the proposal stage, in most cases it is impossible. This practice is a fundamental part of the initial stages between an agency and its clients. 

However, if you use a repeatable process, this process will be much simpler. First, you must find a way to describe and discover customer needs. Then you need to have a predesigned template so that the customer receives the proposal as soon as possible. If your company representative did his job well, the client should already show enthusiasm for working with your agency and be ready to sign the agreement. 

Use this article as a guide if you want to create a template or update the proposal document that you currently use. Like any aspect related to the sales process, each client is different and maybe not all sections meet the needs of your prospect. 

9 essential elements to develop a proposal for exceptional marketing

Cover Page

Page presentation should simply be the visual starting point to call attention to your proposal and is the perfect brand to include your potential customer place. From the beginning, the client should know that the proposal deals with him and his problems, not about your company. If your specialty is designing or any creative field, make sure the cover page show all your experience.  

Executive Summary

This section should briefly describe the information obtained during the initial discovery session, as the objectives, budget and client deadlines. In addition, you should submit any research that you’ve done and highlight some key points; for example, you could include a brief description of the plan you have to solve the most urgent problem of the customer. Then openly expose your desire to work with the customer and explain why your agency is the best choice for this project or to start a business relationship.

Objectives and problems

The client hires you for you to solve your business problems, so that during the initial meetings or reviewing a request for proposal (RFP), your goal should be to discover the main obstacles to business or marketing that faces . If you fail to understand their difficulties, it will be impossible to prove a direct relationship between your services and results with ROI. 

In this section you should describe the objectives, plans, problems and deadlines already discussed to reaffirm their current situation and prepare the groundwork for solutions that will provide your agency.

To get this information, ask questions such as:

  • What you have revenue goals for the next quarter or year?
  • What metrics do you use to evaluate your activities?
  • What goals had the year / last quarter and what did you achieve?
  • What resources do you count to achieve your current goals?
  • What obstacles prevented accomplish your previous goals?
  • Do you have other priorities that could prevail over these goals?
  • ¿Revisarías targets or deadlines if you notice that you do not achieve the desired goals?

At this point, you should have talked with customers about their reasons for making the switch now and you could lose your business if you do not make any decisions. Does the customer would lose an incentive or promotion? Does the company would have to lay off employees? What are the risks if the customer fails? This reminds the prospect the high price to be paid if he stays idly by and help you think about the value of your services as a reasonable investment.

Remember that nothing in the proposal should take unsuspecting customer as this one should be a written record of the conversations previously held.

end products and strategy

In this section you can describe the plan put in place to solve customer problems (an overview should be enough) and the services you offer them. More detailed strategies must be developed end when your team better know the client company. 

If the work will be for projects, you must define the stages of each customer responsibilities and deadlines to carry them out.

You can use this structure:

Redesign and website development

Phase 1

  • Final products
  • Deadlines 

Phase 2

  • Final products
  • Deadlines

Relations with restraint agreements should define the initial projects broadly and then include services provided each month. If you follow the same process with all new customers, it might be useful to establish a timetable for the first six months, in which you should include selling additional services or products and all you do not have included under the retainer agreement.

Customize the following description when you elaborate your proposal template:

Projects during the adaptation period (1 month or 1 to 3 months)

  • Session initial discovery and evaluation
  • Plan and marketing strategy inbound
  • Editorial calendar plan
  • Plan strategy in social networks
  • Keyword Research
  • Study Competition
  • SEO audit plan on page and off page
  • Creating buyer persons

end products per month / quarter

[No.] campaigns quarter

  • [No.] blog posts
  • Landing page and thank you page
  • Drafting and design ebook or information document
  • Calls to Action
  • Sending email marketing and nutrition sequences
  • Promoting content via social networks

end products per month retainer agreement

  • [No.] blog posts
  • Optimization projects or A / B testing
  • [No.] ebooks per quarter
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Link generation
  • Email Marketing: segmentation and list management
  • news bulletin
  • Sales opportunity management: scoring, nutrition and qualifying sales opportunities
  • Social Media Marketing: creating original content, influencers and monitoring campaigns
  • List workflows and segmentation
  • Training
  • monthly reports

Supplements final products that are not included in the price of retainer agreement

  • Pay per click (PPC)
  • retargeting
  • sponsorships
  • Opportunities to publish in blogs as guest / PR
  • Services alignment between sales and marketing teams
  • Sales training content
  • Content promotion
  • Creation and promotion of presentations at SlideShare
  • Video production and promotion
  • Ecommerce integration
  • Call monitoring and nutrition
  • Predictive qualifying sales opportunities

You must explain each final product in depth and specifically describe the desired benefit.

Summary or scope of work

Finally, you must define the final products and additional sales, and create a list of activities related to each. This summary should not be longer than one page so that the prospect can easily consult.

Success Metrics

Depending on the level of detail that have reached their conversations during the qualification phase, you may already know the client’s current situation and its priority objectives of marketing well.

In addition, you could add some data as reference points, especially if it is the relaunch of a website or campaign to generate sales opportunities. Then out the established objectives and deadlines for each. You could include the following:

  • Increase the number of visits the [No.]%
  • Increase the number of opportunities the [No.]%
  • Increase the number of subscribers mail a [number]%
  • Increase the conversion rate one [No.]%
  • Improve sources of sales opportunities
  • Reduce customer acquisition spending the [No.]%
  • Improve the performance of emails
  • Increasing the number of qualified sales opportunities for marketing
  • Increasing the number of qualified sales opportunities for sales

Our company

When you have understood the needs of current customer marketing and defined a plan, you can set a level of trust and improve relationship compatibility. Do not fill this section with awards and recognition; Instead, it describes the great experience they gain customers by working with your team. What are the values ​​of your agency? How is your corporate culture? What are the aspects that you value your relationships with your customers? It gives your prospects a clear picture about working with your team. 

Success stories

You could also include some relevant case studies and testimonials to show good results you have obtained with other customers. This will help convince the customer that can generate excellent results with final products you suggested.

Terms and conditions / contract

Finally, you may need to include a section with legal language to set the terms of your business relationship.

This section should include rules that govern the relationship with the customer, such as payment terms, cancellation notice, transfer of intellectual property, confidentiality, data, among others. We recommend you consult with an attorney to create this document.

You could even add the final contract in your proposal to accelerate the start of the relationship. This way, you will avoid the client to have to ask you to send the contract when you are ready to sign it and you will have everything you need to close the deal.

Remember that the proposal is only a document that states what we already spoke in person. Never send a proposal without making some kind of presentation, either in person or by Skype; after all, you are responsible for selling, not a single document. However, a confusing proposal containing little or too much information could play against you. Make your own version of this template that enables your team create the next proposal without effort and the potential customer advance the relationship and sign the contract easily.

What do you think of this article? Tell us in the comments.