How to Write a Software Proposal (And Win The Deal!)

Writing a software proposal can be a daunting task, but it’s a crucial step in securing new business. Many businesses, especially those scaling quickly and pitching to new clients, face significant challenges in the estimation process. 

Traditional methods, like using Excel, often lead to time-consuming processes and error-prone sheets. This can result in coming in late and over budget on projects, hindering your ability to win deals. 

Simple Estimate addresses these challenges by allowing you to create detailed, accurate, and visually appealing estimates quickly and efficiently.

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What is a Software Proposal?

A software proposal is a document that outlines the details of a software project or solution. It includes information about the project’s scope, objectives, timelines, deliverables, and pricing. A well-crafted proposal helps potential clients understand the value of your solution and why they should choose your services.

Types of Software Proposals

There are several types of software proposals, each tailored to different business needs:

  1. Enterprise software proposals: These are often complex and detailed, focusing on large-scale solutions for big businesses. They include comprehensive project plans, risk assessments, and ROI analyses.
  2. Recurring software work proposals: These proposals are designed for ongoing software work, such as maintenance, updates, and support. They emphasize the benefits of continuous collaboration and detail the scope of recurring tasks.

Software Proposal Examples

Let’s look at some examples of software proposals, and we’ll also share templates you can use to create your own winning proposals.

Example 1: Enterprise Software Proposal

An enterprise software proposal needs to be detailed and thorough. Here’s what they must include:

  • Project overview: This section provides a brief introduction to the project, including goals and expected outcomes. It sets the stage for the rest of the proposal by outlining the problem to be solved and the solution being proposed. With Simple Estimate, you can easily add notes to each project stage overview, providing extra context and clarity.
  • Scope of work: This involves a detailed description of the tasks and responsibilities involved in the project, including specifying what will be done, who will do it, and how it will be accomplished. You can use predefined templates and rate cards to define tasks clearly and accurately, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and ensuring that all parties are on the same page. 

For example, you can create a standardized list of project roles and assign both pre-margin and client prices to their hourly rates. This eliminates the need to manually adjust these figures in each estimate.

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  • Timeline: A clear timeline outlining key milestones and deliverables. Clients want to know when they can expect each phase of the project to be completed. 
  • Budget: Breaks down the costs associated with the project, helping clients understand where their money is going. Simple Estimate’s rate cards and automatic calculations ensure that your budget is precise and comprehensive, reducing the risk of errors and building client trust.
  • Risk management: Demonstrates your foresight and preparedness, reassuring clients that you have considered potential challenges and have plans in place to address them. 

Example 2: Recurring Software Work Proposal

For ongoing software work, the proposal can be structured as follows:

1. Introduction: Highlight the necessity of continuous software maintenance, updates, and support, emphasizing how these activities contribute to the project’s long-term success. Simple Estimate helps you create persuasive introductions that capture the client’s attention and underscore the value of recurring services.

2. Scope of work: Include a detailed list of recurring tasks, such as maintenance, updates, and support services. By clearly outlining what will be done on a regular basis, you set clear expectations and ensure that the client understands the scope of your ongoing work. With Simple Estimate, you can list all tasks clearly, and assign roles and rates with just a few clicks.

3. Frequency: Describe the regularity of tasks (e.g., weekly, monthly). Clients need to know how often each task will be performed. You can set and adjust frequencies easily, providing flexibility to meet the client’s specific needs and preferences.

4. Pricing: Detail the costs associated with the ongoing services, ensuring that clients understand what they are paying for and why. Simple Estimate’s rate cards and automatic calculations ensure that your pricing is clear, accurate, and easy to update as needed.

5. Reporting: Show progress and performance to the client. Regular reporting builds trust and keeps clients informed about the status of their projects. 

6. Support: Share information on customer support and how issues will be handled. Clients need to know that they can count on you for assistance when problems arise. 

How to Write a Proposal with a 30% Higher Close Rate 

Creating a proposal that stands out and has a higher close rate is essential for winning new business. Simple Estimate simplifies this process and increases your chances of success. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Simple Estimate to write a proposal with a 30% higher close rate.

1. Start with a Template

  • Log in to your Simple Estimate account and navigate to the template library.
  • Select a proposal template that suits your project type, whether it’s an enterprise software project or recurring software work.
  • Tailor the template to fit your client’s specific needs and project details. Simple Estimate makes it easy to add, remove, or modify sections.

2. Define the Scope of Work

  • Use Simple Estimate to create a detailed list of tasks and deliverables. Each task should be clearly defined to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Create a standardized list of roles involved in the project and assign hourly rates. Simple Estimate allows you to set pre-margin and client prices, eliminating the need to manually tweak these figures in each estimate.

3. Create a Clear Timeline

  • Easily add notes to each project stage overview to provide additional context and clarity. This helps clients see the full picture and sets clear expectations.

4. Prepare an Accurate Budget

  • Break down the costs associated with each task and deliverables. Simple Estimate’s rate cards and automatic calculations ensure precision and transparency.
  • Factor in potential risks and include contingency plans in your budget. This shows clients that you have considered all aspects of the project.

5. Provide a Strong Call to Action

  • End your proposal with a clear call to action, such as scheduling a follow-up meeting. Make it easy for the client to take the next step.
  • If applicable, offer a free trial or demo of your service. This allows clients to experience the value you provide firsthand.

6. Review and Send

  • Carefully review your proposal for any errors or omissions. Once finalized, use Simple Estimate to generate a professional, shareable proposal link. This makes it easy for clients to review and respond.

Create compelling, error-free proposals that increase your close rate by 30%. Are you ready to put theory into practice? Sign up for a 14-day free trial of Simple Estimate now and start winning more deals with confidence.

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Writing a Software Proposal That Sells

Here are seven steps to create a software proposal that converts prospects into clients:

1. Understand the client’s needs: Begin by thoroughly understanding the client’s requirements. Use Simple Estimate to gather all relevant data and customize your proposal accordingly.

2. Craft a compelling introduction: Your introduction should be attention-grabbing and clearly state the problem you’re solving. Highlight your unique value proposition early on.

3. Detail the scope of work: Be specific about what the project entails. Break down tasks, deliverables, and responsibilities to ensure clarity.

4. Provide a clear timeline: Use visual aids like Gantt charts to map out the project timeline. Clients appreciate knowing when they can expect milestones to be completed.

5. Accurate budgeting: Use Simple Estimate’s rate cards to create precise budgets. Transparency in pricing builds trust with potential clients.

6. Highlight your expertise: Showcase your past successes and relevant experience. Include testimonials, case studies, and examples of similar projects you’ve completed.

7. Include a strong call to action: End with a clear call to action, such as scheduling a meeting or booking a call.


Creating a software proposal that wins deals requires attention to detail, understanding of the client’s needs, and effective use of tools like Simple Estimate. By following the steps outlined above, you can craft proposals that are both professional and persuasive.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial with Simple Estimate today and automate your proposal-building process.


1. What should be included in a software proposal?

A software proposal should include an introduction, scope of work, timeline, budget, risk management plan, and ROI analysis.

2. How can I make my software proposal stand out?

Understand the client’s needs, use clear and concise language, and include visual aids. Showcasing your expertise and past successes also helps.

3. Why is accurate budgeting important in a software proposal?

Accurate budgeting builds trust with clients and helps avoid misunderstandings and disputes later on. Using tools like Simple Estimate ensures precision and transparency in your pricing.

For more tips on creating effective software proposals, visit our free Excel estimate template page.

4. How does Simple Estimate improve the proposal process?

Simple Estimate streamlines the proposal process by providing templates, automated rate cards, and easy-to-use features. This reduces the time spent on creating proposals and minimizes errors.

5. What are the benefits of using Simple Estimate over Excel for project estimates?  

Using Simple Estimate over Excel offers benefits such as reducing errors, saving time, and providing a more professional presentation. It also allows for easier updates and adjustments without the risk of compromising the integrity of the data.

6. How do I write a business proposal?

Writing a business proposal involves understanding the client’s needs, crafting a compelling introduction, detailing the scope of work, providing a clear timeline, and presenting an accurate budget. 

Research the client’s business and tailor your proposal to address their specific challenges. Use a clear and engaging introduction to present your solution. 

Break down the project into phases and outline a realistic timeline with key milestones. 

Ensure your budget is detailed and transparent, leveraging tools like Simple Estimate to avoid errors and present a professional, persuasive proposal.

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