Factors To Consider Before Investing In A Proposal Management Software
For the past few months, the world has been going through intense uncertainty. Day-to-day lives have dramatically changed, and a lot of us are concerned about what getting back to normal will be like. The secret is to stay optimistic.
Businesses across the world have been critically impacted and economies have taken a hit because of COVID-19. It has become challenging for most businesses to keep their engines running due to less revenue churn.
During these times, many SMBs are looking to adapt to new rules and are mindful of investing in new software.
Having said that, competition is tough, and creating better proposals is key to winning new businesses. It has become all the more important to optimize the process of creating high-quality proposals that will impress prospects.
Historically, during recession or other global emergencies, businesses that chose a progressive strategy of refocused spending have outperformed businesses that made extensive cuts. If companies want to win more contracts, investing in a system that can help you optimize processes and speed up sales makes a lot of sense.
In this post we will try to help you with the factors you should consider before investing in such a system, in this case a proposal management software.
Key factors to consider while choosing proposal management software
With several options available in the market today, choosing the software that suits your business is much more than just signing up for a free trial.
It has become important to discuss the needs and pain points of the entire team, and invest in proposal management software that will address them.
Nevertheless, listed below are some of the key features to look for.
Proposal management software must allow customization to suit yours and your team’s diverse needs. It should be flexible enough to accommodate existing work patterns and processes as well as possible future alterations.
Customized and colorful themes, page layouts, in-bult and external templates, text styles and fonts are just some of the things that make a business proposal unique, allowing companies to effectively demonstrate the value of the product or service offered. As such one of the major aspects you must consider before choosing a proposal management software is its ability to allow customization as far as document creation is concerned.
Often, proposals are created by several contributors and then shared among multiple stakeholders within the customer's team. The usual PDF/Word format proposals are dependent on your team sending the file to each other over email, which is not only cumbersome to collaborate, but also prone to errors.
You need proposal management software that allows collaboration, enabling various teams to work together. That is, look for a proposal builder that allows you to share and collaborate instantly online, while tracking all the changes that have been made.
Ease of Use
A good proposal management software goes beyond just having a pleasant user interface; it needs to be simple, easy to learn and easy to use.
One of the key objectives of using proposal management software is to save time and boost productivity across sales teams and a complex proposal builder beats that purpose altogether.
While choosing proposal management software, make sure to note the time it took to create your proposal in the system and how easy/hard it was for you.
Notifications in proposal management software enable businesses to better monitor the proposals that they send. Sales teams don’t have to keep wondering what happened to all of the delivered sales content.
A good proposal management software offers both email and text notifications when a prospect receives, opens or signs a proposal, allowing sales teams to be on top of deals that are hot and ready for closure.
Integrating proposal management software with other sales and accounting tools such as CRM is another important aspect to be considered.
Integrations enable sales teams to create better proposals through personalization by simple drag-and-drop of customer-specific content.
If your company already has a CRM tool in place, you should look for proposal management software that seamlessly integrates with that CRM specifically or even better, choose a sales platform that has both a proposal builder and a CRM. (read Zomentum)
Licensed Vs. open-source
Free proposal management software hardly ever costs your company any money upfront. However, the potential security risks associated with using open source proposal management software could cost your company more money than what you would save.
Licensed proposal management software offers extensive features that help generate great proposals. These features include several resourceful functionalities like the ability to automatically track the progress of the proposal, to create free online proposal templates that you can store in a sales library, and more.
Licensed proposal management software eliminates the mundane tasks involved in the proposal management process and ensures consistency and accuracy, while free proposal software may not quite cater to varying needs in the long run.
Proposal management software with e-signature features helps automate complete digital workflows using powerful business capabilities, and at the same time, conform to local and industry standards for eSignature. When bid teams adopt electronic signatures, there is noticeable and improved efficiency in a company’s proposal management process and the overall workflow.
When paperwork becomes digital, it can be easily shared without the risk of losing information in transit. Companies do not have to hinge on physical paperwork, enabling contracts or proposals to immediately reach the concerned person at the click of a button.
It also eliminates the need for fax machines, printers and photocopy machines, and ensures legal and secure documentation. Sales executives can get the required paperwork signed on the go, on laptops and via smartphones.
With IP addresses, geographic locations, date and time, and verified emails, there is a complete trail of data, as opposed to the process of physical documentation. This is ideal when companies need accountability and verified confirmation.
Making a decision
By investing in proposal management software, a company is actually investing in their team to put themselves a step ahead of competition. Yes, these are challenging times for one and all, but there is hope on the horizon.
Businesses can still flourish in these times of adversity if they are prepared to try a new line of approach to connect with prospects and patrons like never before.
Zomentum is one such tool that can help you close a deal by working with the buyer, and not against one.
Zomentum offers personalization, tracking, external and in-built templates, and e-signature capabilities that any company should consider in their search criteria of proposal software. However, we encourage you to take time and test various software options before making the final decision. In the event that you would like to include us as an option, you can schedule a demo here.