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Saving Your Sales Proposals from the Void

LawrenceAbramsToday's post is by Laurence Abrams, CEO and President of Paperless Proposal.



Have you ever spent hours customizing a perfect proposal to meet a requested deadline from a prospect … only to hear nothing back for weeks or months?

Losing your proposal in the void is frustrating. It’s disappointing. It adds stress to an already stressful profession. It’s also an all-too-familiar experience for most sales professionals. Why does it happen?

Because there hasn’t been any true innovation in the proposal space for many years.

True, most of us have moved away from printed proposals that are hand delivered or need to be shipped in the mail. Today most of us email our proposals as PDFs or Power Points with links to our website and perhaps links to videos. But going electronic hasn’t stopped our proposals from getting lost in the void. Think about it. Typically salespeople still have no way of knowing:

  • When and if your prospect received your proposal,
  • When and if your prospect opened your proposal,
  • Who your prospect might have forwarded the proposal to,
  • What order was your proposal read in,
  • Which pages of the proposal your prospect spent the most time on.

All of these are important questions and salespeople still struggle with answers. This lack of knowledge creates speed bumps in the sales cycle. Sometimes not knowing what happened to your proposal can derail a deal altogether.

We founded Paperless Proposal with the intention of empowering sales teams and saving proposals from the void. Here are just a few of the things our solution allows you to do:

1) Salespeople (and sales managers) can see exactly which proposals they’ve sent to prospects in a single dashboard. Our dashboard makes it easy to see when you’ve accidentally dropped the ball on sending something to a prospect. Our system also shows you which proposals have been sent and not yet viewed, as well as proposals that were actually viewed, signed, and downloaded. In essence, it helps you keep track of all the deals in your pipeline in one easily accessible location.

2) You get an alert in real time when the prospect opens your proposal. How cool would it be to get a text message or email alert the very moment your prospect opens your proposal and starts to read it? No more wondering if the proposal arrived or when or if the prospect looked at it. And hey, since they’re reading right now, maybe pick up the phone and offer to have a quick chat? Looks like your follow up call is now a helpful assist rather than a pesky annoyance. (Perhaps that’s why our statistics show that the client is 90% more likely to take your call when they’re looking at your proposal.)

3) You can see who your proposal gets forwarded to. Our system prompts a viewer to enter his or her email address in order to view the proposal. This gives you great visibility into everyone that is involved in the decision making process in the organization. Often salespeople send proposal to the person they believe to be the decision maker only to find that person is a gatekeeper. This feature allows you to start a dialogue with the gatekeeper and get to the actual decision makers).

4) You can see which pages of the proposal got the most attention. Our system automatically tracks how long the prospect spends viewing each page of your proposal, which means you can see which areas seemed to interest them most. You can also see what order they read the proposal. With this knowledge you can now have pinpoint discussion on the pain points most important to your prospect versus the “spaghetti principle” (throwing as much up against the wall hoping something sticks).

I say it’s time to say goodbye to the days of spending weeks or months chasing your prospect to get feedback on your proposal. With the technology available to us today, it’s entirely possible to make proposals an efficient, effective, and stress-free experience for you and your prospects.

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