Proposal Software TrustMap
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.
What is Proposal Software?
Proposal software is a sales enablement or productivity tool that helps salespeople automate the process of creating accurate, personalized proposal documents. Users can then deliver a produced version of the proposal to clients, whether in hard copy, in an electronic file, or through a link to a custom URL (online proposals). Some proposal automation software also automatically scans proposal documents to check for legal & brand compliance. This type of software also handles proposal formatting, via templates or branding rule logic.
Proposal Software Features
Proposal branding: Allows users to create branding rules and/or scan proposals for brand compliance.
Proposal templates: Allows users to utilize proposal templates for standard proposal layouts, with variable fields.
Proposal content library updates: Users can update saved proposal language and standard proposal content.
Searchable proposal database: Proposals are organized in a central repository; users can easily locate past proposals within the database.
Guided proposal creation: A proposal authoring wizard, question flow, recommendations, or other elements guide salespeople in authoring proposals based on the particulars of the deal.
RFP management & response: Proposals can be created based on RFPs received.
Proposal collaboration and approval: Users can review and revise proposals in a collaborative fashion; this may include versioning and/or automated approval workflows.
User permissions and proposal editing controls: Users can set appropriate, granular controls over who can view vs. edit elements of proposals.
Proposal content tracking: Reporting & analytics around proposal content engagement and performance, e.g. what content clients spend time reading, and what content makes for a successful deal
Proposal distribution/delivery: Options for providing proposals to clients are robust and convenient. May include hard copies, electronic files (PDF, Word, RTF, HTML), or online proposals via links to custom URLs.
Sales proposal workflow: Proposals fit conveniently into the sales workflow on both ends (coordinating content to create proposals, and moving from proposals to contracts/revenue); proposal automation improves sales efficiency.
Requests for Proposals (RFPs) & Automation
Proposals are often sent as a response to RFPs (requests for proposals, or requests for pricing), which are sent to alert suppliers and providers to make a competitive bid on a sales opportunity. In cases where the price is the main decision-making factor (and the specific terms/requirements are already configured), this may come in the form of a request for quote (RFQ) rather than an RFP.
Sales Proposal Automation Software Integrations
Sales proposal automation software typically integrates with CPQ software and a company’s CRM system. It may also integrate with an enterprise content management system, electronic signature and/or payment software, product catalogs, and other sales software applications.
Integrations with CPQ software, product catalogs, and CMS systems feed personalized and contextual content into proposals, whereas integrations with CRM systems help track account engagement and sales performance, and integration with eSignature and payment software helps to streamline deals and generate revenue.
Key Benefits of Using Sales Proposal Automation
Sales proposal automation software automates the creation and/or delivery of sales proposals. According to vendors, this allows sales reps to be more productive and attend to more of the pipeline. These are some of the key benefits reported by vendors and users:
Streamlines workflow so proposals can be created faster.
Proposals are better quality—more consistent brand-wise, and more personalized in terms of contact details and CPQ or RFP specifications.
Improved sales effectiveness through client-focused (customized) proposals and speedy proposal turnaround, both of which may help improve win rate.
Opportunities for “self” upsell with interactive proposals can lead to higher revenue/bigger deal size without any additional effort required from Sales.
Proposal Software Comparison
Before deciding to invest in a proposal software, consider the following key factors:
Ease of use: How user-friendly is the software? Will it be relatively easy to implement and get up and running with? Things like ease of use and adoption are important to consider when introducing a new tool to your sales team. If it’s difficult to use or doesn’t integrate with the other software your sales reps are using, adoption will likely suffer.
Range of features: Are you looking for a basic but relatively cheap proposal automation tool? Or do you need a more comprehensive proposal management software? The latter will likely include a wide range of features like proposal templates, RFP uploads, real-time collaboration on proposal documents, and analytics. Determining what level of features you’re looking for will help you narrow down the list of options you are considering.
Customer support: What type of customer support does the vendor provide? Do they offer both email, chat, and phone support? Looking through customer support ratings of proposal software on TrustRadius provides a good indication of how satisfied current customers are with customer support from the vendor.
Most vendors offer tiered pricing for individuals up to large teams. The user price per month can vary between $20 and $150, depending on the range of features included in the plan and volume of proposals being created and sent.
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