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5 Reasons You Need to be Automating your Sales Proposals

Ahh, the good old “Copy, paste, modify” cycle—it’s the typical way of creating proposals. 

Many sales and proposal teams go through this cycle when trying to close deals with prospects. While this cycle is faster than creating new proposals from scratch, it still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of time, money, and stress. 

What if you could build tailored proposals for each new deal in the pipeline by simply answering some predetermined questions?

Proposal automation is the key. The use of automation technology is steadily growing across industries and functional areas, and its capabilities in sales—particularly for creating proposals, statements  of work, contracts, and similar sales collateral—have contributed to higher win rates (and less stress!).

At this point you might be wondering:

  • What is proposal automation and how does it work?
  • What are the benefits of adopting it?
  • Is it really worth the investment of time and resources?

Keep reading to get clear answers.

How can your team spend less time drafting proposals and more time winning deals? Automate proposal creation with Talewind. Book a demo today.

What is proposal automation?

Proposal automation is the use of technology to reduce the manual efforts required to create proposals, scopes of work, quotes, and similar documents focused on winning new business. These documents include content that tends to be very similar from prospect to prospect, and proposal automation solutions—to varying degrees—limit the sales team’s burden of repeatedly creating this content.

How Proposal Automation Works

To understand how proposal automation impacts the sale process, first consider a typical proposal creation workflow:

  • The sales or proposal team reviews past proposals for content most relevant to the current prospect.
  • They piece together a new proposal based on that content and modify it to suit the needs of the current prospect.
  • If there are any information gaps based on the prospect’s questions, they write new content.

Even for mid-sized deals, this process can take a couple of days. In an effort to reduce this time, some teams try to cobble together an automated solution using features available in Microsoft Word and Excel.

In this scenario, for instance, the team might use Excel to create a simple form with agreed upon questions, and then use the Mail Merge feature to insert the responses into a Word document. Such a makeshift solution may reduce the proposal creation time from two days to six or eight hours—still a full workday.

But larger proposals for, say, eight-figure deals can take a solid week to construct. There would be many more questions to answer, some of which would require more effort than others. For instance, you may have to create a three-page pricing table, a detailed scope of work that considers the prospect’s operations, and so on.

A makeshift solution in this scenario would not be as helpful because of the proposal’s complexity. Instead, the proposal team would need a more advanced proposal automation solution that integrates with their CRM and other content management systems. 

Doing it this way could help teams to build and tailor a complex proposal in a single day instead of a week.

Using a proposal automation platform, your sales team can now: 

  • Easily and quickly build attractive, tailored sales proposals that include written content and imagery. Talewind specifically uses easy-to-complete web forms that automatically pull content from the relevant content sources, such as your CRM.
  • Streamline the approval process by automatically routing completed proposals to the designated parties for signoff. 
  • Publish proposals—along with any other sales resources you want to add—in a digital showroom. 
  • Close deals faster with e-signatures.

5 Benefits Of Proposal Automation

5 Benefits Of Proposal Automation - Talewind

What does the new and improved proposal process do for you and your team? The benefits include:

1. It saves time.

As noted above, proposal document automation saves time for your sales and proposal teams. This is the primary benefit of the technology, and why so many business leaders are looking to implement it in their organizations.

Instead of taking a full business week or several days to create proposals, proposal teams can reduce their time commitment to a single day or even less than an hour in the case of straightforward proposals.

2. It increases deal velocity.

Every salesperson knows that the longer it takes to move to the next step in the sales process—especially when that next step is your team’s responsibility—the greater the chances that a prospect will change their mind or find another provider, and the deal falls through.

Proposal automation dramatically reduces the time it takes to get from “I’ll follow up with answers to your questions” to “Here’s the proposal I promised,” increasing your chances of a sale.

3. It enhances the buyer experience.

Let’s face it, proposals often don’t look pretty. Most proposal teams are stressed out and struggling to keep up—very often using the same template from 10 years ago. As a result, proposals rarely have an appealing look and feel. Chances are they also have typos and other visible oversights throughout, whether due to it being rushed or simply due to human error.

In a sea of unattractive proposals, yours can stand out with the help of a proposal automation solution.

Talewind enables you to automatically build a personalized, branded website that has a “wow” effect on buyers and leaves a positive impression. Not only do they get access to the proposal you’ve built through automation, but also all supporting sales resources—sales presentations, case studies, work samples, etc. This comprehensive presentation enhances the prospect’s experience, showcases how much you value their business, and increases the likelihood of closing the sale.

4. It saves money.

As is typically the case when you save time with technology, you also save money. Cutting off days in the proposal creation process represents numerous billable hours. In some cases, you may even reduce your need for full-time employees. For example, one Talewind client found they could reduce their proposal headcount by two—they could then be put to work bringing in more sales prospects.

5. It improves proposal consistency.

In tailoring proposals for different buyers, your team may introduce more significant issues than grammatical errors. Consider that you promise a buyer five days of onsite work, but you only budgeted for four. Who eats that cost? You, unless you’re willing to compromise the deal or showcase inattention to detail with your buyer early on in your working relationship.

Proposal automation with Talewind ensures that you’re avoiding such costly inconsistencies and that proposal content aligns with what you’re promising to a specific buyer.

Interested in trying out proposal automation?

With these benefits, what sales team could say no to trying out a proposal automation solution? Talewind customers usually find that ROI can be realized in less than a year. Take advantage of the time savings and wow factor of automated digital showrooms. Book your free demo of Talewind today.

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