Modern businesses rely on proposals to drive revenue. When a request for proposal (RFP) comes in, it’s an opportunity to influence decision-makers. That’s why sales teams need an RFP process that empowers them to quickly switch gears. Proposal content management is a central part of that process, and unless it’s done right, sales teams can’t effectively persuade each new prospect.

With that in mind, this post is a guide for sales teams to optimize proposal content with the latest and best sales enablement technology practices.

Proposal content tips

Before you get into proposal content management tools, you need to lay the groundwork for an effective proposal content strategy. Here are a few key tips.

Use proposals to:

  • Drive business growth;
  • Position specific products and services;
  • Personalize the customer journey;
  • Increase sales;
  • Complement sales consultations and contracts.

Don’t forget to:

Why are these tips important? They’re centered around these two key components of a solid proposal content management strategy: sales enablement and conveying brand value.

Why you need sales enablement

The 2016 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization study revealed that sales enablement is a major area of opportunity for many businesses. According to the research,

“64% of the 375 surveyed enterprise firms didn’t have a sales enablement content management solution in place. Sales enablement technology like CRM Apps, CRM integrations, and proposal software can help sales teams create personalized proposals and increase their productivity.”

Management software helps increase win rates.

Need to know more about CRMs?

Conveying brand value

A convincing proposal can tip the scales when you’re nudging prospective clients to close a sale. Sales reps can leverage a well-framed proposal to convey the value of their brand by giving prospects:

  • Details beyond what is listed in the legal contract;
  • Personalized products and services to fit their specific solution and the pains of the perspective client;
  • Unique details that can help build a relationship with the prospect early.

Proposal content management best practices

Now that you have a good grasp on proposal content, here are some game-changing proposal content management best practices:

1. Know your client’s needs

Your proposal should be a follow-up after you’ve understood your client’s needs. Use the proposal as a means to position solutions that solve your client’s pain points. Proposal content should paint a picture of how your products and services will help overcome problems.

2. Offer multiple solutions

To get the proposal response that you seek, offer multiple options to your client. These could be custom-tailored solutions or a few different ways that your business could meet or exceed their expectations. Try offering different price ranges and packages that show clients that you’re flexible enough to appeal to various purchasing models.

3. Make your proposal binding

Encourage prospective clients to sign the proposal as a contractual agreement. By establishing a binding commitment, you will have a solid foundation for your business relationship and a jumping-off point for generating brand loyalty.

4. Increase productivity with proposal automation

Proposal teams are often in a crunch for time when multiple RFPs are in queue. However, in order to obtain a favorable RFP response, they need to create personalized content that covers prospecting, presenting, and closing. Proposal automation features within business proposal software can increase productivity and offer the best of both worlds in proposal processes.

5. Use a sales enablement content management solution

A strong sales enablement content management solution makes it easy for sales teams to negotiate terms and pricing with prospective clients. Streamline your proposal content by seeking out a solution that offers:

  • A centralized product and services catalog;
  • Proposal branding;
  • Professional template designs;
  • Content compliance with legal and pricing guidelines;
  • In-proposal activity logging and commenting.

PandaDoc offers you high-quality business proposal software that integrates with your CRM and can potentially increases sales.

Originally published February 10, 2017, updated August 14, 2019