Business proposals are considered an integral part of the sales process. However, impressing potential clients with a new proposal can be tough, especially considering that the average client spends little time reading a business proposal.

“55% of people spend less than 15 seconds actively reading a page. Proposal writers need to get the client’s attention, which is why each new proposal should be an interactive proposal.”

According to Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat

Writing proposals is one part of the proposal process. A typical humdrum business proposal doesn’t motivate the client to read through it. When potential clients receive a proposal that only contains paragraphs of text, they can’t easily identify important content and objectives.

Creating interactive proposals is a different, more effective approach. Check out our recommendations for creating interactive proposals and the modern tools that make them great proposals.

How to create interactive proposals

An interactive proposal can boost conversions and drive leads with higher quality content that is interactive, dynamic, and creative. You may ask, how can we create an interactive proposal?

The answer is simple: your business proposal should include compelling visuals that represent your product or service.

Ensure sales and marketing teams collaborate

Ideally, an interactive proposal bridges the gap between sales and marketing when it comes to influencing a potential client’s decision. An interactive proposal is a great proposal when it includes a content library that is a confluence of sales and marketing.

Personalize data

Some proposal software offers templates that enable data personalization through tokens and fields. This can be useful during late-stage discussions with your clients because it visually recaps both project goals and timelines.

Why are tokens useful?

  • Token fields can be filled with data from your CRM or you can create these on the fly.
  • Tokens can also be configured to autofill personalized data and project details.
  • Business proposal writers can build templates with highlighted token fields (like the ones pictured) and customize them for each new project bid to minimize rework and duplication of effort.

Why are fields useful?

  • Fields can be assigned to clients to easily guide them through the components of your document that need input, initials, or a final eSignature.
  • Fields such as a drop-down list or checkbox can quickly capture client’s preferences.

Modern tools for interactive proposals

Cutting-edge proposal software makes all the difference in creating interactive proposals. Keep an eye out for these specific features that will enhance the quality of your business proposals.

Cover page customization

Attract attention with a creative cover page design. Proposal software that offers proposal templates should include customizable cover pages. You can uniquely capture your client’s attention with a stunning image or an exciting video.

Configurable pricing tables

Integrating quotes into your proposal has never been easier. Seek out proposal software that merges product and pricing data directly from your CRM and auto-fills it into a polished pricing table.

If you are writing proposals for clients who want to get straight to the numbers, these pricing tables are ideal. They allow potential clients to add up costs quickly and see how adjustments such as quantity and discounts change the quote in real time.

With real-time quoting at their fingertips, clients don’t have to wait to receive the information they need. It reduces decision-making time and allows you to close deals faster.


Capturing an eSignature on a proposal document is a surefire way to impress your client. Not only will it speed up the proposal process, but it also shows them that you care about their time.

Use templates and custom layouts

When creating an interactive proposal, you can speed up the proposal process by using templates and customizable layouts. These modern tools allow sales reps to easily change the look and feel of documents.

In addition, they can capture data forms and display various HTML content blocks, such as:

  • 360-degree view images
  • Interactive mock-ups
  • Rotating graphs
  • Slideshows
  • Visual banners

These visually-engaging, two-sided features help ensure your sales content is always polished and professional.

An interactive proposal is a way to show your clients that a business proposal doesn’t have to be boring. More importantly, your business will maximize brand image consistency by using a template builder.

What is your favorite feature of an interactive proposal? Share your comments below.

Are you ready to implement these modern tools and more? It might be time to use a template builder with engaging visuals that keep your brand image looking sharp. Try PandaDoc now.

Originally published April 1, 2015, updated August 21, 2019