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How Proposal Software Can Help Save Time and Increase Efficiency

Almost every sales team has inefficiencies that clog up their sales pipeline. Some teams are slow at writing proposals, while others spend too much time chasing down info from their product teams or searching for the right version of the proposal document. Sound familiar?

We get it. The sales cycle is complicated and there’s plenty of room for error, so there’s no judgment if your process isn’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean that you should learn to live with your inefficiencies, especially when there’s a solution that can help you avoid them: proposal software.

6 min. read

What is proposal software?

Proposal (management) software is an application that allows users to create, manage, send, and track business proposals. It combines all of the proposal writing, designing, sending, and tracking tools into a single platform for a streamlined proposal creation process that closes.

How proposal software can help

Proposal software -- also called proposal automation software -- helps sales teams speed up their proposal process and improve their close rate. In fact, proposals created and sent with Proposify have a 111% higher close rate compared to industry average. The old sales adage, "Time kills all deals" falls apart with proposal software, as over 64% of all Proposify proposals are created and sent in under an hour, and 25% in under 5 minutes.

We surveyed thousands of sales professionals to find out how proposal software affects their closing process, and the results were illuminating:

  • Predictability. Sales teams who use proposal software are 36.4% more likely to agree or strongly agree that their closing process is predictable compared to teams who don’t.
  • Consistency. Sales teams who use proposal software are 50% more likely to agree or strongly agree that their closing process is consistent compared to teams who don’t.
  • Scalability. Sales teams who use proposal software are 46.9% more likely to agree or strongly agree that their closing process is scalable compared to teams who don’t.

These responses make it abundantly clear that proposal software improves the closing process and makes it easier for sales professionals to seal the deal.

Here’s how this is all possible:

Proposal templates

Creating a winning proposal can be time-consuming, especially if you’re constantly starting from scratch. Using proposal templates -- a feature found in most proposal software -- you can take the leg work out of your process by kicking off from an established starting point. There are two ways you can use proposal templates to your advantage:

Create your own template

Every team has a different approach to proposal creation, so customization is key. Using proposal software, you can create your own master template or individual templates for various products or services. Each new proposal can be started from the relevant template you created, then the information can be customized for each prospect. This helps sales teams maintain control over their process by ensuring that all necessary sections and components are included in each proposal.

Choose a premade template

If you don’t need as much flexibility in your proposal process, premade proposal templates are the way to go. There are all sorts of proposal templates that are designed specifically for different industries, so you’ll be able to send proposals faster no matter what business you’re in. You can simply select a template from the library of options, then fill in information as you go. You’ll still be able to customize your proposal by adding or removing sections, elements, information, and so on, but you’ll start with a more general template as opposed to your own custom design.

In either case, templates are fully customizable, so sales teams can tailor proposals to each opportunity. Proposal templates can be reused and repurposed in future proposals, so you’ll never need to waste time starting from a blank proposal document. Plus, once you’ve decided on a proposal template, you can add your company information, logo, and other details to personalize it, allowing you to showcase your brand and ensure consistency from document to document.

Content library

Any good proposal software has a content library that allows you to save and store approved, up-to-date information for later use. Instead of painstakingly pulling and verifying info from spreadsheets, emails, old proposals, and sticky notes, you can grab content from the library and plop it right into your business proposal within seconds. But beyond saving time, a library of approved content makes it easy for reps to find the information they need, and provides peace of mind that they’re always using the right information.

And this goes for the big stuff, too. A content library helps you stop wasting time hunting down team bios, pricing tables, social proof, and other major chunks of information that you use frequently. Once you've built up a collection of sections and saved them to your library, you can drag and drop them into your proposals and tweak them as you see fit.

Improved collaboration

Without proposal software, there’s a good chance your sales team has six versions of the same proposal document floating around, with no clear direction on which one to use, or who needs to do what. This lack of transparency and inefficient document management leads to bottlenecks that prevent sales team members from moving the proposal forward while they wait for input or feedback.

With proposal software, your proposal lives online and is updated in real time, so there are no more delays or roadblocks as it glides through the sales pipeline. It boosts proposal collaboration by allowing you to set roles and permissions that determine who can view, edit, comment on, and approve proposals. This ensures that only pre-approved people can make adjustments, while providing peace of mind that unfinished proposals won't get sent off before they're ready, or with incorrect information such as pricing.

Integrations

One of the biggest issues with creating proposals manually is the lack of connectivity. Without an efficient way to move data and information between the apps you rely on and your proposals, there’s a good chance you’re wasting time (and creating more room for error). This goes for your CRM, project management software, invoicing system, and beyond, so there is plenty of time you could be saving.

With proposal software integrations, all of your business tools talk to each other. Once you’ve connected them, they communicate seamlessly to ensure the information you need is always right in front of you. The possibilities are endless; you’ll be able to pull pricing details from your source of truth into your proposals, monitor proposal activity in your CRM, create tickets in project management software, and even request payment from clients right in your proposals. From Asana to Zapier and beyond, Proposify has over 30 integrations that can help you streamline your proposal process by leveraging tools you already use.

Did you know? In industries like SaaS, a payment processing integration within the proposal makes it up to 90% more likely to close. For more data-driven insights to help you close, download our 2021 State of Proposals.

Conclusion

Online proposal software is the single biggest change you can make to drastically increase efficiency in your proposal process. It streamlines the entire workflow and makes collaboration seamless so that your team can focus on sealing the deal. Try our free proposal software and see for yourself.

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