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Proposal management: Collaborate in real time and win

March 19, 2019

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Your top-performing sales rep worked with a prospect for hours, defining their requirements and defining the scope of your company's products and services which address them. The proposal was produced, edited, approved by you, and sent via email with a compelling transmittal letter. The prospect acknowledges receiving the proposal, and tells your salesperson she will get back to him “once her team has had a chance to review everything and make a decision." Weeks pass, and the prospect says they are still reviewing the proposal and will let your rep know when they are ready to move forward. Cue crickets. Does this scenario seem familiar? It should, because this scenario plays all the time. A static proposal goes out as an email attachment and any engagement with the proposal is a mystery. There has to be a better way, right?

Collaborative, Interactive Proposals

Put yourself in your prospects' shoes. If you received a proposal which was a link to an online proposal, instead of a zip file or PDF, wouldn't that stand out from the crowd? A proposal with embedded videos, supporting documents, and the ability to sign off on the proposal without printing the proposal signing it, scanning it, and emailing it back. As a sales manager, or from your days as a bag-carrying sales rep yourself, how many times did you send a proposal to a customer like a hail mary pass, and then cross your fingers they will sign it immediately? Consider a scenario where your sales representatives are notified:

  • When a client or prospect starts reviewing a proposal, and for how long
  • If it is being reviewed by their manager or colleague
  • What pages the prospect or customer has reviewed, and for how long
  • When a proposal has a comment or question, or has been electronically signed

The ability to understand proposal engagement patterns can help your team be prepared to reinforce the messaging of the proposal, such as whether a prospect or customer spent the most time on the pricing page, the executive summary, or reviewing product or service descriptions. With real-time text messages that alert sales reps to when the prospect is reviewing the proposal, reps can strike when the “iron is hot.” Reps are then teed up to reconnect with the prospect at the perfect time to build enthusiasm, address objections, and accelerate the sales cycle.

Proposal Interaction Insights Build Credibility

When your sales team can collaborate and follow up in real-time with prospects when your proposal is fresh in their mind, they have the highest propensity to address any objections the prospect may have, reinforce the value of your solutions, and address any potential misunderstandings a prospect may have had about the proposal based on which pages they spent the most time reviewing. A sales rep may also be alerted to an opportunity for a follow-up if the proposal is opened by someone other than the original contact, who may in fact be part of the decision-making process, such as a procurement department or influencer in the deal.

Ensure Trackable, Auditable Collaborative Negotiation Process

Each person who interacts with the proposal is captured in Conga Collaborate and a copy of the final proposal is saved as an attachment in your CRM application, such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, Netsuite, or Pipedrive. Often a proposal or Statement of Work (SOW) requires negotiation of terms. In-line commenting is an ideal way to propose and approve the revised proposal or SOW terms. Many sales professionals and customers are constantly on the go between their own customer meetings and commitments. Providing both with the ability to interact with your proposals on their smartphone or tablet mobile devices saves everyone time and increases productivity. Are your sales professionals missing their quotas due to antiquated proposal-to-sale practices? Do you have visibility into how your sales teams are following up on the proposals they send to prospects? Get a demo of Conga Collaborate today and start your company's digital document transformation journey.

Amanda Lester

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