How to streamline your proposal management & win more deals

Feb 21, 2024

Read. 10 min.

How to streamline your proposal management & win more deals

Proposal management is the process of creating, submitting and following up on proposals sent out to prospective clients. Streamlining your proposal management process will help you improve collaboration, deal velocity, and win rates.

Here, we’ll share what proposal management is and how you can elevate the way you handle yours. We’ll also share best practice tips to help you create a more seamless, streamlined proposal management process designed to increase win rates.

Proposal management in context

Poor proposal management costs tech companies more than $800,000 per year.

Whether it’s tight deadlines, a lack of resources or a lack of collaboration and input from colleagues, the proposal management process is critical to revenue growth.

Get it wrong, and you will fail to reach your sales targets.

But get it right and research shows that your business could:

  • Spend 53% less time sending proposals
  • Send 54% more proposals out to prospects
  • Win 59% more deals

If a poor proposal management process is preventing your sales team from reaching your sales goals, then this article is for you. 

What is proposal management?

Proposal management is the process of creating, submitting and following up on proposals sent out to prospects. Proposals offer solutions, products and services based on your client’s’ needs, with the goal to persuade them to choose your business over the competition.

The proposal management process consists of 5 steps: understanding the client’s needs, collaboration, creating the proposal, reviewing and editing, and sending the proposal.

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

1. Understanding client needs

To understand your client’s needs, you need to research them. Find out what it is they’re looking for, their business challenges and their goals, so that you can tailor the proposal accordingly.

2. Collaboration

Creating an effective proposal is a team effort. To make sure you tailor the proposal based on each client’s needs, you’ll need to collaborate and get internal input from sales, marketing, IT and subject matter experts.

3. Creating the proposal

The goal of the proposal is to convince the client that they should do business with you, so the proposal needs to be clear and compelling. A proposal should outline the solution to their needs, the benefits and how you are different to your competitors.

Tip: If you use proposal software, you can quickly choose from one of the free templates in a library without having to create a new proposal or design yourself.

Get started with our free proposal templates

4. Review and edit your proposal

Before a proposal can be sent, it should be reviewed by all key stakeholders to ensure accuracy, compliance, and effectiveness. It should go through a round of edits so everyone involved is aligned and has given their approval before it is sent out.

Tip: This process can be perfected once by making use of the template functionality available with proposal software. It allows sales operations and marketing to work together to create perfect proposal templates that can then be quickly tweaked for individual deals.

5. Send out and follow up

First and foremost, make sure the proposal is sent out before the deadline. Then, once a proposal has been sent, be sure to follow up and ask for feedback, so you can share more information and move closer to a decision.

Tip: If you use proposal software, you use the data analytics available to see if a prospect has read and engaged with your proposal. With GetAccept, for example, you can even see where in the proposal a prospect has spent the most time. This could be useful for understanding where they might be having concerns, or what could be slowing down the decision-making process.

GetAccept proposal management software

5 steps: Understand > Collaborate > Create > Review > Send.

Sounds easy enough, right? 

Not so fast. 

There’s a reason it costs tech companies $800,000 per year and it’s to do with the way they manage proposals.

3 ways to manage proposals

Now that you know how the proposal management process works, here are 3 ways to to do it: email, fax (don’t laugh) and proposal software.

1. Email

Email is quick, easy and can be used by everyone. You can add proposals as an attachment, there is no learning curve and you can send an email to multiple recipients at the same time. 

For many companies, email is the only way they know how to send out a proposal.

However, keeping track of proposals sent by email can be challenging. It’s difficult to see who’s received (and read) the proposal, and email is less secure compared to other methods. 

There can also be issues with formatting, meaning the way it looks to you (crisp and clear) might differ to the person who has received it.

2. Fax

Yes, fax is still a thing!

In fact, some industries (like medical and legal) view faxed documents as more official and legally binding than email. Plus, faxed documents are sent to a specific machine, meaning they’re less likely to get lost in a sea of unread emails.

That being said, most tech companies won’t have a fax machine in their office. 

So, unless you only send proposals to medical and legal professionals, you probably won’t need to spend any time discussing whether you have the budget for a new fax machine.

(Good news, because they’re not cheap!).

3. Proposal software

If you’re new to proposal software, it’s designed to make the proposal management process easy. You have one platform to create, track and send proposals and you can invite team members to collaborate, review, and edit the proposal before it’s sent. 

For modern tech companies, no other solution exists. 

 <strong>Campbell Tourgis</strong> - Executive VP of Sales

"More companies will find SMEs, customers, or experts, get them to create content, and use it as a new go-to-market channel."

Campbell Tourgis Executive VP of Sales, Wainbee

Compared to email, proposal software can seem expensive, but the benefits outweigh the cost (i.e. the fact that you can track all engagement in proposal software makes it worth every penny).

(Sign up here and see how quickly you can send out your first proposal).

How to streamline your process with proposal software

If you’re not sold on the benefits of proposal software, here’s 3 ways you can streamline your proposal management process using templates, workflows and analytics.

1. Templates and content libraries

Create templates that reflect your brand and can be easily adapted for different clients, industries, and projects. 

Use the content library to store frequently used information such as company overview, product descriptions, case studies and legal disclaimers. This will allow you to speed up the proposal process and ensuring consistency with each proposal you send.

2. Collaboration and workflows

Improve communication during the proposal management process by inviting team members to contribute and assign tasks, set deadlines and track progress. This helps to ensure that everyone is aligned, responsibilities are clear, and that the proposal management process is streamlined.

With workflows and real-time collaboration, you can reduce bottlenecks and improve the quality of your proposals. When SMEs and key stakeholders across an organization can easily review and comment on submitted proposals, it can significantly reduce your sales cycles. 

3. Reporting and analytics

Use the predefined reports in proposal software to track metrics such as win rate, proposal turnaround time, and client engagement.

Analyzing this data can help you improve the proposal management process by identifying trends, understand what works well (and what doesn’t) and help you make informed decisions to improve your overall proposal management strategy. 

For example, with GetAccept, you can use rich media and video in your proposals to create a more personalized experience. If the data shows that proposals using video convert better, then you can add video to all of your proposals.

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Good proposal management saves time and increases revenue.

Using proposal software, like GetAccept, makes the entire process easier by keeping everything in one place. This helps you send out more proposals, spend less time on each one and win more business.

With the right platform, you can quickly create proposals that not only look great, but speak directly to your clients needs. Plus, you get to see how they interact with your proposals– something that you cannot do when you use email (or fax!).

In short:

A better proposal management process isn't just about avoiding revenue loss.

It's about setting your business up for more wins. 

Try GetAccept’s proposal software for free for 14 days

As a GetAccept customer, you get access to:

  • Proposal templates
  • Rich media content editor
  • 500+ integrations
  • Tracking and reporting
  • And more…

Send your first proposal today with GetAccept

Start wowing buyers and hitting quotas now