Building a proposal from the ground up can be time consuming. Fortunately, with all the proposal management software options now available, it doesn’t have to take hours to build and send a proposal.
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Proposal software gives sales teams the ability to work from a template rather than starting from scratch. It helps busy business owners and sales professionals streamline and automate the proposal-building process to save time, and increase accuracy and efficiency. Imagine sending every client a professional-looking proposal with consistent branding and messaging, and quickly generating and sharing documents, in just a few clicks.
Why use proposal management software?
Not only do proposal templates save insurmountable minutes and hours because your sales team is no longer writing proposals one by one, but that saved time can also now be used elsewhere. More energy can be put into prospecting for new clients and building client relationships to ensure higher retention rates.
Proposal management software can help you establish a repeatable, scalable sales process. It enables any rep to choose from pre-built templates or build their own for quick use, over and over again. It also enables reps to quickly share proposals for internal review or client signatures with the click of a button.
Stay on brand
Proposal software makes it easier to stay on-brand with consistent and valuable content that is customized for clients’ needs. The building process is simplified and methodical compared to the old way of piecing everything together. Some software options even automatically pull in products and pricing to ensure accuracy and consistency.
Get to the close
Most importantly, proposal management software is proven to accelerate closes by 2x the industry average. Sales teams find more success when using proposal software. Professional documents impress clients and keep sales professionals organized. What’s more, many software options offer the ease of digital signatures and real-time notifications, so reps know exactly when a proposal has been viewed and approved. They can react promptly to close deals faster.
How to choose the right proposal management software
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which proposal software to purchase. Although there are many available options, always keep in mind there is no one right solution for every company. As in choosing any type of business software, always factor in cost, usability, and your non-negotiables throughout the decision-making process.
Ensure to budget appropriately for the solution that best suits the needs of the sales team. The goal of proposal software is to save a company time and money, so do the research and don’t just choose the most affordable or most expensive solution; they might not be exactly what your company needs.
Find the option that is the most user friendly for your purposes. If the software design is intuitive, this will mean less training time required and more time will be spent sending proposals. The software is worth adopting if your team can onboard and implement the solution quickly and without hassle. The ideal option will integrate seamlessly with your existing tech stack, so that you can easily pull in prospect contact information, product details, and pricing into proposals.
Make a list of expectations and must-haves. Consult all key stakeholders who will be making use of the proposal software to ensure expectations and desires line up. These non-negotiables will have a big impact on choosing the solution best suited to your business and team.
Become familiar with the features available in the different software options. These can include digital signatures, custom fields, repeatable workflow processes, templates, and API to white label solutions and embed them into your own dashboard.
Auto-reminders for following up, a centralized content library, and the ability to see which stage of the pipeline a proposal is at are also a few key features to look out for.
Top 6 proposal management software solutions
Which solutions should you consider? We did the research for you! After consulting multiple software lists and websites, these top six solutions stand out from the crowd for being exceptional options in their field.
1. Proposal Builder
This new and exciting proposal software solution is built by Vendasta to help partners grow their business by creating professional proposals in just minutes. Sell more with less time, seal deals quickly, and automate tedious tasks that take up too much time.
This white-labeled solution exists in the Vendasta partner dashboard connected to your CRM, billing, task management, and marketing.
One Vendasta partner has had great success with Proposal Builder, Vendasta’s answer to the age-old proposal-building problem. This white-label partner commented, “Everyone who I’ve used a proposal for has accepted it. I’ve done it three times now and it’s a great tool.”
There are no more transactional processes or administrative tasks with Proposal Builder automations. Branding pre-populates for partners in this software with a single click to simplify creating, sending, and managing proposals.
BetterProposals offers a 14-day free trial that 10,000 users have taken advantage of before becoming paying customers. This solution is on the more affordable side with the starter tier at only $19 per user. Automations, payments, e-signing, and notifications are all included with BetterProposals software.
No design skills? No problem. This solution includes over 200 templates to work with, including contracts, proposals, quotes, and online brochures to name a few.
With a free 14-day trial, PandaDoc promises to “take the work out of your document workflow.” Over 40,000 companies are currently using this solution for their proposal needs. PandaDoc can also be used for contract renewals and has an HR solution to help simplify recruiting and onboarding processes. This tool is robust with great features that can be unlocked once users upgrade to the paid version.
One potential drawback of PandaDoc is the lackluster appearance of the final documents. The design is simple, professional, and might fall short of really wowing potential customers.
Also boasting a freemium version that can be upgraded to include unlimited documents or a top-tier paid version called “Business Plan,” Proposify has options for everyone. This solution is meant for creative firms, with editing capabilities comparable to InDesign.
Unlike PandaDoc, Propsify is more eye-catching.
There is a large number of templates available to work from within this solution. This proposal software has been around for quite some time and is only improving.
Prospero works great for project managers and freelancers and has industry-specific templates. The designs are minimalistic, and the software aims to be simple for the purpose of sending out proposals more quickly. Built-in analytics features track open rates, conversion rates, and customer engagement. Something that stands out about this solution is the integrations with companies like FreshBooks and Zapier.
If you have a large number of proposals to send out, this software is one to look into.
Qwilr analytics include the ability to track where prospects are clicking. This allows reps to measure engagement with every proposal. This solution promises that users will impress prospects, accelerate the closing process, save time with automation, and help to scale business while staying on brand.
Although the pricing is higher for this solution starting at $35 per user each month, the design makes for compelling output that will grab the attention of prospective customers.
Automate your proposals today
When making the final decision about which proposal solution to choose, always understand why that solution exists—whether it’s been built to send out a large number of proposals in bult, to be extremely designer friendly and eye-catching, or to simply be the most cost-effective solution. Then, compare the options with your team’s expectations and non-negotiable features, while keeping your budget in mind.
Above all, choosing a solution that simplifies the proposal building and sending process should be the goal. All of the mentioned options will create excellent proposals, but it’s up to you to determine which one will serve you best.