For years, proposals have been one of the most painstaking parts of the sales process. You sit and stare at your screen for hours, attempting to write an attractive offer for a potential client that may not even sign the proposal.
It’s hard work and in many cases, the final outcome is simply not worth it. That’s until proposal management software came into play. As more aspects of the sales process became automated, proposals got their share of the spotlight as well.
Let’s discuss why proposal software is a necessary part of your sales process, as well as some options to consider when choosing the right one for your business.
Why use proposal management software in the first place?Even as someone who loves writing, I have to say that writing proposals is tedious. The software takes care of this, as you get templates which you can simply edit instead of spending hours on each proposal. Essentially, you change a few fields in the template instead of writing each proposal from scratch.
The second part is the design. Nailing the look of a proposal is tough work if you’re using Word, InDesign or some other text processor. The software, on the other hand, makes sure all your cover images, headings and sections look neat and in order.
Then there’s the part that takes place after you write the proposal. Back in the day, once you sent out a proposal, all you could do is sit and twiddle your thumbs, hoping to get a signed copy returned to you at some point.
With proposal management software, you can see who opened your proposal, how much of it they read, how long they spent reading and much more. Finally, and most importantly, good proposal management software
lets clients sign and pay directly from the proposal.
Not only does this save time spent on invoicing, but it also makes sure your proposals are signed and paid more quickly. If we have your attention now, let’s take a look at some of the options you can consider.
Better proposalsThere are two things to know about Better Proposals.
One, it’s extremely easy to use even for the complete laymen. Two, it has everything you could possibly need from proposal management software, plus extra.
Right off the bat, this piece of software comes with a large number of templates for different industries, based on what has worked for users of Better Proposals in those industries. Proposals are optimized for mobile devices and come with detailed analytics to track and measure the performance.
There’s also a live chat integration for your clients to begin a conversation while going through your proposal, as well as many other useful integrations with CRMs, project management tools, and payment gateways.
As an added bonus, Better Proposals has annual reports, outlining the year’s biggest trends — which proposals work well, what clients loved in the previous year and what doesn’t convert.
There is also a Proposal University to quickly get up to speed with the art of proposal writing. Pricing: $13 to $90 per month when billed annually.
The moment you land on their website, they make one thing very clear — proposals made with this tool are beautiful. While that is rather subjective, Proposify does come with a variety of visually appealing templates for all industries.
Some other cool features include tracking your proposals (when they’re opened, read, etc.), the ability to create and save templates, insert videos and much more.
As an added bonus, there is multilingual support for 15 languages at the moment, so you can use Proposify across linguistic borders. Pricing: $19 or $49 per user per month, with the option of custom enterprise plans.
Taking a more serious approach than the two aforementioned tools, PandaDoc primarily presents itself as software for sales documents that close
The basics are all there; from easy-to-create document templates to a drag and drop builder, the ability to track your proposals and have clients sign directly within the app. PandaDoc also comes with workflows that let you include proposals in your document system and collaborate on proposals with your team.
There’s a wide range of integrations with different CRMs and payment gateways to make the experience effortless for both you and your clients. Pricing: $15 to $375 per month, based on the number of users and features.
This oddly titled proposal software came to life as two of its founders struggled to create proposals that work without the help of clunky software like Word, InDesign or Pages. All the usual proposal features are there — templates, follow-up notifications, custom branding, design and more.
Just like some of its competitors, Nusii comes with a variety of industry-specific templates that let you edit the “variables” and quickly wrap up stunning proposals. Pricing: $49 to $129 per month.
Tired of seeing sales professionals spending hours on proposals without knowing if they did the right thing, the Bidsketch team made a tool to easily create and track business proposals. It has all the bells and whistles to make it comparable with the rest of the bunch.
What makes Bidsketch stand out is that you can create landing pages for individual clients to go along with your proposals. Moreover, there’s an upsell feature that lets you add options and different pricing to get interested clients to spend even more.
You can also create client-specific domains to make your proposals look even more professional. Pricing: from $29 per month for one user to $149 per month for up to eight users.
The manual way of writing proposals belongs in the past. Just as hand-written emails are now a thing of the past thanks to auto-complete and various other tools, you shouldn’t spend hours drafting up a document that may not even get a 10-second glance from your potential clients.
No matter which option you choose from this list, using proposal management software is one of the best ways to modernize your sales process and improve your efficiency and bottom line.