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Don’t let proposals fall flat—close deals with engagement insights

April 16, 2019

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Finalizing and submitting a sales proposal often feels like crossing the finish line of a marathon. Waiting for the customer or prospect to respond with their go-or-no-go decision, or even to acknowledge they are reviewing your proposal is often more stressful than writing it.

Sending proposals via email as attachments is like sending them into a black hole—you won’t have any insight into whether or not the customer received or opened the agreement. It’s a strategy that usually falls flat. A collaborative online proposal platform provides more understanding of how a prospect interacts with your proposal, such as:

  • How many days it has been since the proposal was created, and until the forecasted close date
  • What pages they reviewed, how many times they viewed them, and for how long
  • When a customer accepts and approves your proposal via eSignature
  • Who, besides your primary contact(s) received and reviewed the proposal, enabling sales reps and managers to understand if a decision maker has interacted with the proposal.
  • Notifications in real-time when the customer interacts with the document via email, Salesforce chatter, or text messages from the platform

If pricing, contract terms, project timeline, or the executive summary page are being reviewed repeatedly by a customer, it’s a safe bet a salesperson should follow up by phone, email, or offer assistance when the proposal is being read.

Better Proposal Intelligence Enhances Sales Meetings

Talking about where proposals stand in the sales funnel can be a real guessing game during sales meetings. Public sector organizations are often restricted by procurement policies, and aren’t as transparent about their proposal evaluation and awards processes as sales pros want them to be. Tracking engagement metrics and workflows can be especially helpful when customers are otherwise unresponsive.

Customer silence after submitting a significant proposal is usually stressful. Seeing proposal engagement is to a sales rep the way chum in the water is to sharks. Their senses should instinctively drive them to pick up the phone or strike up an online conversation and go for the close.

Customers and salespeople can access and interact with/through proposals on their preferred desktop or mobile device, making engagement easier on the go. You can even pinpoint where in the world your customer is located when they review your proposal, keeping time zones top of mind when deciding when to follow up or interact.

The ability to track interaction with a single proposal is helpful during a sales meeting. Evaluating further metrics about overall proposal win rates can suggest whether proposal content is working, or needs to be refreshed. If sales reps or business development managers are assigned by company size, industry, or territory, sales leaders can evaluate whether their industry specific templates or content need work.

Engagement Tracking and Top Performers

User activity dashboards and charts which identify which team members have the top close rate are very valuable. Top performers should be encouraged to share the secrets to their success, such as how they articulate the unique selling proposition of your products and services.

Some business development reps create a lot of proposals, but land fewer deals, because they are pursuing the wrong opportunities. If a certain sales person’s prospects are only giving your proposals a quick scan and never signing a deal, it’s probably an ideal time to evaluate the content in the proposals, or talk to their team about how they qualify opportunities before dedicating resources to a proposal.

Interested in further information about how Conga Collaborate document and proposal management solutions can benefit your business? You can find several success stories on our website here.

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