Like many sales and marketing leaders, I’m always trying to find ways to realize greater productivity from my team. When team members are happy and engaged and have the tools to do their jobs, they are typically more productive, and that can translate to more growth and revenue for the company.
One particular challenge my company addressed is our approach to proposals. The range of security services we provide, even to a single client, can be complex, so we needed to customize our proposals to address our prospects’ and customers’ unique needs with information that is relevant, endemic to each, and resonates a solution. When you consider that our company averages thousands of proposals annually, you can see that customization consumes a lot of time and productivity.
After an in-depth review of the features Paperless Proposal offers, I was convinced that it could make our sales process much easier and more time efficient and thus free our team to spend more time actively selling. Here are the results we’ve seen so far based on our partnership with Paperless Proposal:
- The Paperless Proposal library makes organizing, finding, and customizing content much easier. Our sales team has created separate folders to organize content by products, for example, and industry vertical. This saves a lot of time because team members don’t have to hunt for the materials they need.
- Customizing proposals is now a simple matter of dragging and dropping items (such as logos) into a particular document. We are now creating the proposals we need 500 % faster than before, thereby enabling the team to spend less time on paperwork.
- Creating proposals with this product has eliminated paper waste, as well as the cost and time associated with shipping paper-based proposals. We have already seen a significant reduction in inefficient use of labor and administrative costs.
- Instead of wondering if and when prospects will open their proposals, our team now receives a text message the minute the client receives the proposal. The salesperson can also see who is reading the proposal, to whom (if anyone) the proposal was forwarded, and which section(s) of the proposal the recipient spent the most time reading. This has been key in shortening our sales cycles and helping us prepare for anticipated follow-up inquiries.
- We now record short videos to include in proposals. Sometimes we use these videos as introductions in place of a traditional cover letter or to summarize the proposal at its conclusion. We feel that these videos create a richer and more engaging experience for the recipient and help differentiate us as standing out in the market and embracing innovation.
One of the most beneficial parts of this experience was the rollout, which took only a matter of weeks to implement. The timeliness helped our salespeople get away from their laptops and in front of more customers.
Using Paperless Proposal has enabled our team to create many more proposals in less time and with more engaging results. Because we can provide information to clients and prospects much faster and home in with precision to address the client’s key concerns, we’ve also been able to shorten sales cycles. This has placed time – a valuable commodity – back in the sales team’s hands and enhanced productivity. Because going paperless has been efficient for the team, our group is able to spend more time cultivating opportunities, which ultimately lead to a 150 % increase in proposal opportunities.
Hear more about Paperless Proposal and other sales-enablement solutions in San Francisco on May 5-6, 2014, at the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference.