While COVID has changed the way we do business, it has not changed human behaviour. Customers still prefer to do business with people they know, and trust is as important as ever. Traditionally, trust was built through in-person relationship building, but the opportunity for that has been substantially diminished.
Businesses have begun to adopt new approaches to foster engagement and build trust remotely. Platforms such as Zoom have allowed us to bridge the gap by meeting face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) with clients and new prospects online.
Beyond a little face time with clients and prospects via online meeting platforms, there is another often overlooked opportunity to present yourself and your organization in a favourable light–your proposal. The proposal itself is another opportunity to showcase the professionalism and credibility of your brand or organization, and a great proposal can be the difference between won or lost business. Here we’ll explore how to good proposals for projects.
Don’t mail it in—present
Most Sales Professionals would agree that you should always present your proposal to a new prospect rather than just emailing it. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a Word doc presentation or PDF proposal can tell you it is far from a compelling pitch. With so many of us now working remotely, we are provided with an opportunity to get creative with our presentations—without sacrificing presence and persuasiveness.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat, and Covid-19 has leveled the playing field. This is your chance to stand out from competitors. While other businesses try to walk prospects through dull text documents online, take the opportunity to present yourself as the professional you are! Ask yourself: does the quality of your proposal presentation accurately reflect the quality of the work you provide? If not, you have a branding disconnect and that may erode the foundation of trust.
Keep prospects engaged
When crafting your proposal and presentation, it is important to ask yourself: Are you making it easy for your clients and prospects to stay engaged? Are you empowering prospects to view your proposal regardless of the device they’re on? Are they able to easily digest the information you’re providing? If you’ve lost their attention, you’ve lost their interest.
With 60% of all web traffic coming from a mobile device, the chances of your prospect or customer engaging with you on their phone is fairly high. Have you ever tried viewing a PDF on your phone? It can be completely unresponsive. Scrolling down, up, sideways and trying to zoom in on a particular section is an exercise in frustration. It is important to consider using a platform that is responsive and mobile-friendly to ensure your proposal will look great and be easy to view no matter what device your audience is using.
Invest the time necessary to stand out. If you do, your proposals will be more engaging, more impactful and will help build trust and credibility—winning you more business.
8 Reasons to Enhance your Online Proposals
There are plenty of great tools available to help businesses create more engaging and impactful proposals. In fact, proposal management software has exploded over the past couple of years, and there are now more options than ever. There are many tools to explore, but if proposal management software is something you are unfamiliar with and you are wondering what the big deal is, here are eight reasons why you should take a closer look.
1. Boost Sales Rep Confidence
Confidence sells. If Sales reps are expected to present and sell complex ideas or intangible concepts (i.e. consulting), they need a well-designed, simply organized proposal that is both visually appealing and easy to follow. Presenting material in this way makes the sales process easy and builds confidence.
Quick Fact: 91% of presenters feel more confident presenting with a well-designed presentation
2. Cut Through the Noise
We are absolutely bombarded with messages every day, workplace expectations have never been higher, and our attention spans are increasingly fleeting. So it should come as no surprise that fewer and fewer people are engaged by written content. Now is the time to fight for the attention of your prospects by injecting some visually appealing components to your proposals.
Quick Fact: Effective presentations are 55% non-verbal communication, 38% voice and only 7% content
3. Stories Resonate
Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving a story into a proposal may seem odd but when conveying your value proposition, anecdotes can go a long way. Potential customers are always interested in hearing about the experiences of others in similar circumstances. We in Sales sometimes refer to them as “war stories.” You know, something along the lines of….“I’ll never forget this one client I onboarded a few years ago. Like you, they were experiencing problems with ___________ but once they engaged with us, something very interesting happened…..”
Quick Fact: People are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it has been wrapped in a story
If you find yourself creating a variety of custom proposals, a template can save valuable time. Even custom proposals have commonalities between them. Stop writing proposals from scratch or cutting and pasting pieces together from past proposals. Instead, build up a library of templates in the cloud that your team can easily access and start building proposals with just a few clicks.
5. Timely Follow Ups
Timing is everything. Get notified each time your prospect views a proposal, and follow up accordingly.
6. Integration with Your CRM
Many proposal management platforms can pull information directly from your CRM to populate fields in the proposal, and the proposal itself can reside in your CRM attached to a given contact or account record. This allows for easy and convenient access for authorized parties.
7. Look Amazing on Any Device
Proposal Management Apps are web-based, so your proposals will be completely responsive and look great on any device.
8. Electronic Approval
e-Signatures are just as binding but much more convenient for your prospect. No need to have them print, sign, scan and email a copy back to you. Instead, allow your prospect to begin the business relationship from wherever they are.
If interested in proposal management platforms but you’re wondering where to start, the team at MoreSALES has saved you a Google search. Here are a few hand-picked proposal management platforms worth a closer look:
If you need help with how to write good proposals for projects or to explore other ideas for enhancing your Sales and Marketing processes, contact the team at MoreSALES by dialing (519) 620- 8127 x 203, or send a note to email@example.com.