How To Choose The Best Proposal Software
by Mathias Thulin, on October 08, 2018
Are you considering to take your sales process to the next level with a proposal software? How do you decide which one is the best for your business?
Sales technology is evolving rapidly, and according to a recent study, “improving sales technology” is the third most important priority for sales executives. Today, with an average of 5.8 tools, companies spend $325/mo per each sales rep.
Proposal software, along with other trending categories like social selling, is becoming more and more popular everyday. Nobody wants to manually manage their business proposals anymore. There are many providers in the marketplace and probably you got confused with how to choose the best one for your individual needs.
Creation Or Management?
Where do you have the biggest pain in your proposal process? Maybe you have to create very complex proposals, you waste a lot of time there, and that creation process definitely has to be improved. Or just the other way around, rather than the creation, you want to improve how you manage your proposals to engage your prospects more to close your deals faster. Proposal software typically helps you with two things:
1. Proposal Creation
With which tool do you create your proposals today? Word, Google Docs, In-Design? You can replace these tools with a proposal software to create your proposals online: collecting assets, outlining the scope, creating timelines, etc. This typically covers two aspects of the creation process:
- Design & Content: Choosing and customizing a template, reusing pieces of previous proposals from a content library, with a drag-and-drop interface adding different sections, embedding interactive content such as video, maps, dashboards to your document... This helps you shorten your creation time, ensure consistency across all of your documents, and stand-out from the competition with beautiful proposals.
- Collaboration & Teamwork: Setting up roles and assigning permissions, including what access team members have to each section of the proposal, tracking changes with version history, and ability to post comments… Communication is an essential part of the proposal creation process when working alongside a team.
2. Proposal Management
Once the hard work of creation is over, it’s time to send your proposal to your prospect, and hopefully close the deal. Proposal software helps you with several aspects of this part of your sales process too:
- Document Tracking & Analytics: Discover what happens after you send your proposal with real-time notifications and comprehensive document analytics on document opens, views, and how much time your recipients spend on every page within the document. This accelerates your sales cycle, enables you to hit perfect timing with follow-ups, and helps you to improve your collateral.
- Engagement: Getting your recipients engaged more with your proposals is probably one of the most important aspects. With the ability to attach personalized videos, have a live chat directly on the document, provide click-to-call opportunity, remind the recipients with SMS, and use remarketing ads, proposal software significantly increases sales engagement.
- Workflows & E-Signing: Include approval workflows both within yours and your customer’s organization to review and approve your document. Get your sales proposals signed much faster, typically within 1-2 days, with legally binding electronic signatures, by capturing client signatures online, anywhere from any device. This lets your customers e-sign at the moment they decide to buy, and avoid the hassle of printing, signing, scanning, and sending your documents.
- Performance & Reporting: Having a centralized dashboard and advanced reporting, gives you an overview of your sales document pipeline and helps you focus on the important deals to get them e-signed. And reporting enables you to manage team performance by closely monitoring metrics like the number of closed deals, revenue generated, and time to close.
Today, most of the solutions in the marketplace, focus heavily on the creation part. They provide extensive editors providing all the functionality mentioned above. If your main problem is around creating your proposals, you should definitely go for those solutions.
However, you might be totally happy with the way you create your proposals today. Maybe you don’t have that complex documents. Or whether it is Google Docs or In-Design, you like the tool you have today very much and don’t have any issues there.
Some proposal software including GetAccept, lets you keep designing and creating your proposal with an external tool, and completely focus on the management aspect, ensuring you get the highest sales engagement and close rate. So if you are happy with your creation process but want to improve proposal management, these solutions will be the best for your organization.
Integration With Your Existing Sales Stack
To find the right proposal software for your business, the second major thing you have to consider is that how well this software integrates with your existing sales technology stack.
- CRM: Probably the most important integration is the one to your CRM solution. Can you send your proposals directly from your CRM? Can you populate your proposal with customer data? Can you track the progress of your proposal inside your CRM? Make sure this integration works seamlessly.
- Payment Solution: Once your customers e-sign your proposals, the next thing you want is to receive your payment. Can you collect payments directly inside your proposal? Does it integrate to your existing payment gateway (like Stripe, Recurly, etc.)?
- File Storage: Every sales organization uses a storage solution (like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) to maintain their sales collateral. Your proposal software should naturally integrate to your storage, both to retrieve and save your documents.
In conclusion, there are so many proposal software providers in the marketplace, and to choose the best one for your organization, first of all decide whether you need more help with the creation or management side of your proposal process. And secondly, before committing to one solution, make sure it integrates with your existing sales stack seamlessly.
After researching alternatives, the best thing you can do is to schedule a demo and discuss how the solution fits to your sales process.