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Dhan

September 07, 2020

5 Ways to Use Proposal Software to Grow Your Sales

Using Proposal Software for Business Growth

Why one should use a proposal software?

Short answer: To grow your business

proposal software to grow your sales

Sales is tricky but if you have a right process you can grow it. Business growth can only be achieved if it is measured.

Of course your revenue is the main figure that you will be looking at every month or a quarter and per year. A lot of time hours are invested/wasted in doing activities.  You don’t realize the how crucial it is to address bottleneck such activities create and let those hours be invested in doing actual sales or improving-meeting customer experience.

Before a deal gets closed and deal-size is added to your revenue number there are lot of things have to fall in right place: such as identifying prospect, assessing requirements, sales meeting, proposal writing, following up, signing the contract, etc.

In your customer lifecycle/ journey, sales proposal is critical and takes away lot of time, energy yet doesn’t give much clarity about chances of you-winning-the-deal. This is where right sales proposal software can make your life so much better.

Let’s understand how to use proposal software to grow your sales.

Quick Response: Create Sales Proposals Faster

proposal software can help you get your proposal quickly ready

Your ability to grow your sales is directly proportional to your ability turn around quickly to sales inquiries.

Why?

According to the findings mentioned in Hubspot article, more than 70% of the consumers favoured companies positively for quicker response since it drastically improved their user experience.

You can create and well organize your sales content using proposal software, you will be able to keep ready to use proposal templates. Not only one but if you are catering to different kinds of prospects, you can have sector/industry specific templates.

Using proposal templates, you can get your next proposal out in a matter of minutes.

 

Thus using the right proposal software, you will not only get fast (may be first) mover advantage but also your can design-present proposals superior than rest of your competition, Who wouldn’t want to be the fast and the best.

 

Timely & Clear: Easy Collaboration with Stakeholders

proposal software enable collaboration

To quickly get the right proposal out, you will need to work with your team faster. It can not be done using traditional editing tools like Microsoft Word or Google Doc.

Explore: Freshproposals Vs Google Docs, which one makes the better proposal software for your business?

ADVANTAGE: to be in the advantageous position, your team will need the ability to add section to your proposal without having too many copies of the sales proposal document. We are talking about they working simultaneously on the proposal document:

  1. Imagine your project manager estimating project deliverable and adding timeline,
  2. Subject matter experts who will have to include their expert views to this pitch
  3. Your account manager calculating pricing for winning the deal, at the same time ensuring profit
  4. Get you sales proposal reviewed, approved by senior manager of the company
  5. Adding comments, ensuring all those comments are taken care of

With a proposal software you can get everyone on the same platform (no, we are not talking about just emails) and get timely and clear information about proposal document, comments, etc.

This way, your team is best placed to respond not only quickly but also leaving no space for confusion or delay in communication.

Ensure Your Proposals Are Accurate and Consistent

Sales proposals which are inaccurate and inconsistent are quiet likely to get rejected or leave a negative impression about your ability to deliver project (and also leave a negative impression about your company).

So what are the typical errors that are seen in sales proposal

  1. Missed to remove customer information from previous proposal (incorrect info)
  2. Typo mistakes while copy-pasting
  3. Incorrect pricing, tax/discount calculations
  4. Lack of review/collaboration that result in poor review
  5. Too many files floating around, sharing incorrect files for internal approval

 

On the other side, proposal that are accurate, dealt transparently and appear consistent with company branding will subconsciously create a positive impression.

How does a proposal software help you create accurate and consistent proposal?

  1. Once you use application integration, you don’t need to copy-paste data from your other doc or email, customer details are automatically populated in the proposal software, as they appear in the CRM software
  2. Use of placeholder variables such as {clientCompanyName}, {ClientFirstName} {ClientLastName}, etc will ensure all the places wherever these placeholder variables are used, they will be replaced with exact client information accurately and consistently. There is no need to copy-paste (Control +F and Replace All); you will not have typo errors of these kind
  3. Proposal software like Fresh Proposals, allows you to include interactive pricing table along with discounts an pricing. The individual fees, sub-totals, totals are calculated automatically, leaving no scope for manual errors. You can also include various kinds of fees –
    • Fixed Fees
    • Unit-Quantity
    • Hourly
    • Monthly
    • Yearly
  4. In many research areas specially medical field, there is a heavy emphasis on peer reviewed articles/findings, The reason is – collective wisdom is much better. But in case of business, peer review is not alien thing, it is just that, we miss out on the proper collaboration/ review platform. Using proposal software. you can invite your colleagues to collaborate, you can get proposals peer reviewed and reduce any error, before proposals are sent out
  5. There is always a single copy of proposal for a given customer, that everyone is going to refer too, there is no ‘clientX-projectY-Proposal-DDMMYY-Final-draft.docx’ or  ‘clientX-projectY-Proposal-DDMMYY-Final.docx’ or ‘clientX-projectY-Proposal-DDMMYY-Finally-final.docx’ files attached/emailed. Proposal software saves everyone from all such confusion created by emails, filenames, versions created. They are better off, focusing on making a effective sales proposal/ pitch and/or follow up.

 

Gain Insights & Automate The Follow Up at The Most Appropriate Time

proposal software to boost sales- use insights
Sales is mostly about listening patiently and responding at appropriate time.

“Responding at appropriate time” – noticed something special?

No, let me make it obvious: APPROPRIATE is the word.

When you send proposal as PDF file, there are quite a few problem with pdf file approach.

  • PDF files are heavy, may take time to download
  • Provided, your email lands in the inbox. Why? Heavy attachment may turn your email as SPAM
  • It is not easy to modify pdf file. Any change based on customer’s review/feedback will require you to modify the original MS Word, Google Docs file and generate PDF file again and send as attachment.
  • You can’t get any insights whether customer has even received it, whether he has even opened it? How far has s/he seen it?
  • and the list goes on

Lack of insights or sales signal, is most likely result in blind follow up. There is nothing more annoying than blind follow up: for both – you as a service provider and for your prospective customers.

Proposal software can help you seize the most opportune moment: Use proposal insights

You will be notified whenever your prospect opens your proposal and you’ll also be able to understand how far s/he has engaged with your proposal.  You can write email or pic up phone to ask ‘right’ question or be ready to provide most needed response.

Move Fast During Negotiations, Easily Handle Objections

In my last point I mentioned about first mover advantage and the statistics about better customer service. This is really the key when your prospective customer has shown interest in your service. Don’t waste time, act FAST.

You can achieve this in couple of ways using proposal software.

  1. Interactive pricing
  2. Built-in proposal collaboration feature
  3. Nearly real-time Notifications

The first part involves making it easier for your customer to explore your proposal much better. With the help of interactive pricing in the proposal, you customer can explore fees proposed by you, by himself/herself. Though you can control what/how far s/he can change these pricing elements (select/un-select optional items, change quantities), your customer is likely to get impressed with the transparency you offer with such tool. Also, the taxes, discounts will get calculated based on the changes s/he would make before accepting the proposal.

Totally transparent, accurate.

S/he can also ask questions, ask for clarification using in-the-app comments. These comments are contextual, pointing to specific element in your proposal, specific section as well as page in your proposal

The second part is about how you can learn quickly about his interest level/ questions/ comments and how easily you can respond. Not only you will receive real time notification whenever customer adds comment but you will also be able to understand where s/he has added the comment.

In other cases, you will struggle to know which section/page/place s/he is referring to. But in case of tools like Fresh Proposals, you will navigate straight to the point in your proposal and you will be able to respond to his/her question/doubt.

Bonus Points

You will have added benefits with a proposal software are :

  1. Enable your customers to e-sign the proposal and present yourself as a modern / forward looking business
  2. You can keep Tab on Right Metrics using Proposal Dashboard

Conclusion

Once all of these small hurdles are taken care of, which would save lot of your time to draft/update/send/track proposals, you can focus more on your job – righting convincing copy of your proposal and getting-analysing proposal insights, following up at the most opportune time to close the deal.

 

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