Almost every business, be it small or enterprise, needs some or other way to reach out and respond to client inquiries and offer proposal. They may use different techniques, approaches and processes while creating and sending proposals but at the end of the day, every business sends proposals. The business proposal can be presented as simple as plain email or word document or pdf or PPT. The complexity of the proposal document can vary. Proposal can be a simple text file or spreadsheet or a complex draft of RFP response document.
As technology evolved, as the pace of doing business became speed-fast, older or conventional methods (like printed, mailed proposals) are becoming obsolete; and need to be replaced with sophisticated, collaborative and engaging processes & tools. In this post, we are talking about benefits of using online proposal software over conventional Microsoft Word or emails, etc.
Super busy? Skip to the list at the bottom.
Why You Should Use Online Proposal Software?
Ensure No Mistakes Are Made While Proposals Are Sent
While all of above benefits are important, sometimes, you just want to get rid of issues which are highly pressing ones such as
Sales, pre-sales & marketing teams keep writing proposal almost every day, again and again yet before they click Send button, they need to check, double-check and ensure
- Whether proposal included everything? Is there anything missed out?
- Did we get the client name right in the proposal?
- Does our proposal has it all to get client interested to keep reading till the end?
A proposal may need to mention client name at multiple places. Using placeholders in online proposal software for customer-company name, client-name will ensure there are no embarrassing typo mistakes left. Use of pre-defined proposal templates in online proposal software will ensure, every ingredient is in place and you are not missing out. Plus seamless collaboration & approval will help you figure out that everything is included and nothing is missed out.
Send Stunning, Professional Looking Proposals to Impress Your Clients
Typically proposal writing team has a hard time when writing proposals from scratch. There are so many questions knocking their head even before writing first few lines of the proposal. It is not specific to sales/pre-sales team but it is a general human tendency. We generally tend to push things-with-big-question-mark. What you need in this case, is amazing head-start. That is exactly what online proposal software offers — industry specific templates.
Online proposal software offers stunning and professional looking templates designed by two specialised group of professionals.
- Subject matter experts who knows know-how & best practices in the industry
- Professional designers who know how to create impressive proposals templates
The structure and the content of industry specific templates are provided by subject matter experts (SMEs) who have worked, excelled in their respective field, know specific things that matter to users, management and decision makers.
Professional designers understand nuances of creating aesthetics and impressive proposal design (who have carefully chosen images, colour combination, selection of font family, font sizing, spacing, etc).
As you know, the first impression is what matters. It is more crucial, especially when client gets hundreds of proposals to shortlist. With stunning, professional looking proposals, you can keep yourself in the top of the shortlist/league.
Save The Amount of Time it Takes to Draft Proposals
It is not surprising if sales and pre-sales team get frustrated while writing new proposals using Microsoft Word like tools. There are many things to frustrate sales team — as they have to to spend lot of time in formatting, reformatting, copying, pasting, and renaming things in the proposal document.
It takes so much longer to write the proposal than it looks in the MS Word or PDF file opened on your desktop. And only to get scared as you see many mistakes that can easily spoil the deal.
Using online proposal, you have
- Central content repository, no need to copy-paste content & and in turn there is no need to keep correcting errors due to copy pasting items (such as client name and other placeholder content)
- Automatic/pre-formatted templates make proposal incredibly professional and impressive
- You can easily include images, videos from online websites or from your local storages
Online proposal software can cut down your time to write professional looking content by half. That’s like giving extra power to sales team to focus more on their work.
Collaborate With Team, Managers & Get Approvals Online, Faster
Conventional way to collaborate around a proposal is to send files to sales team, sales manager and approving authority (owner or VP). Each individual needs to download the file and add their review comments to downloaded file. Reviewer/collaborator has to resend file back to proposal creator (and others). Thus the proposal creator gets multiple versions of the file with different comment in each one of them. Someone has to collate all these comments manually and review them from individual file to incorporate changes to main proposal. Again you will have versions of main proposal and you do not know which one has John’s comment added and whether Jenny’s inputs are added or not.
Traditional way to write proposal is becoming chaotic. It is not even a collaboration. It is more confusing to say the least.
With online proposal, everyone refers to one single copy of the proposal. Everyone invited can add their comments, update proposal directly. There is no confusing email trail or file exchanges.
Invite colleagues to collaborate online, precisely know their feedback/review comment, contribution to the proposal and incorporate changes to one-single-online-version of the proposal.
Know Whether/How Many Times Client Has Opened Your Proposal
Using conventional approach, sales team will attach proposal file (typically a PDF or PPT or MS Word) to email and send email to client. There is no easy way of knowing whether client has opened proposal or not (you may easily track whether email was opened or not but not the file). Your further actions whether to call client, when to call client are nothing but shot in the dark.
Your sales should not lack the intelligence of connecting with client at the most appropriate time. With online proposal software, you have technology on your side.
Online proposal tools provide precise intelligence to help you, track whether/how client is interacting with your proposal. You know exactly when your client has opened the proposal, how many times s/he has opened it, which section s/he has spent more time
These intelligent inputs put your sales team at an advantageous position. Sales team is in a lot better position to communicate with client, at most opportune time and knowing exactly which part of the proposal to focus on.
Bonus point: compared to conventional email based approach, clients can use really a new way to confirm and approve proposal. Digital signature.
Secure Your Proposal With Digital Signature or Digital Passwords
We will deliberate more on this point in subsequent post.
To summarise, here are the benefits of using online proposal software.
6 Benefits Of Using Online Proposal Software
- Ensure No Mistakes Are Made While Proposals Are Sent
- Send Stunning, Professional Looking Proposals to Impression Your Clients
- Save The Amount of Time It Takes to Draft Proposals
- Collaborate With Team, Managers & Get Approvals Online, Faster
- Know Whether/How Many Times Client Has Opened Your Proposal
- Secure Your Proposal With Digital Signature or Digital Passwords