If you are a salesperson looking to make an upgrade, the first question you might ask while considering software like proposal management is ‘How much is this complicated application?’
In fact, this is the first question for most of us for buying anything. But would you be able to judge the software cost of a proposal management application?
If you are someone who creates proposals, and understands the importance of one, then you might prefer an application with your desired features. Also, you would learn more about the wonders you could do with the proposal software while doing business with your prospect.
And there follows many such considerations. Post which you might be able to state if the proposal management software is ‘costly’ or ‘cheap’. And in this blog, I bring to you the cost considerations that are involved in buying and implementing a proposal management software.
Keep in mind that the blog will not be as per a sales pro, but we will try to explain most of the concepts to give you more clarity regarding the prices of proposal management software, how to identify one, and the ROI you can expect.
Here we’ll cover,
Most of the time there are multiple variables at work that determine the cost of proposal tools. Packages and pricing depend on user requirements and needs. Also, the packages and pricing tiers, too, determines the cost of software tools.
For example, many proposal tools first start with plans based on the number of active proposals in each account. This becomes disadvantageous after sometime because it limits the customer’s ability to send proposals, thus not helping them win more business.
In some cases, the pricing is charged depending on per seat providing unlimited proposals. Just like you buy seats in your CRM, you do the same in proposal management tools. This gives rights to the correct user to start the flow information from two sales tools.
Because there are many proposal management tools, the cost of the tools will vary. Be sure to check their packages, the factors affecting the cost, and your feasibility with business standards.
The most important factor that you must consider before purchasing a proposal management software are the features and integrations. How do the features and integrations influence the price?
For example, would you need a third-party integration for electronic signature or presentation mode? What is the accessibility of the sales documents? Do you have the ability to edit each one or have to edit the entire library? Can you set permissions to the users? How and what about approval workflows? How deep are the reporting and analytics? Do you have to mandatorily integrate a CRM?
How do you plan to roll the new tool out to your team? Train everyone? Or train a specific batch? Or not train at all?
Keep in mind, that training is also an important factor in determination of price. The service provider will charge this benefit as a one time payment, thus getting overlooked from your eyes and memory.
This includes template transfers, images, and other requirements. Can you bring in your template? Or do you have to create something new from scratch? Will you be hiring someone in-house or outsource?
How many support round-ups do you and your team need? Are you willing to pay for the number of times you avail support?
The most searched term on Google regarding tools is: free software.
It’s not hard to understand why customers look for tools that are free. Because you can get your work done without even spending a dollar. But let’s see what a free proposal management tool can do,
I’m sure if you have ever tried your hands on a free software, you might have thought to yourself, ‘Oh! Where’s this feature?’
The moment you know that there’s an important feature missing, avoid going in for the free tools. Free tools are lucrative, but bring in a lot of disintegration, efforts, and jumble. And this automatically reduces the expectations of the outcomes and decreases the team’s productivity.
With free tools, you don't have to worry about the budget requests or purchase history. Since it's free, you are devoid of extra efforts and payment related tasks.
However, on the downside, the free tools are not suited to your needs. And to fix this, you need to do a lot of manual procedures. Sometimes, you might even end up creating proposals from scratch. And this will lead to additional administrative tasks, decreasing your productivity.
Let's take a closer look at the free and the most renowned proposal software tools that we all might have used or still use to create sales documents.
The tools mentioned above also lack in providing features like electronic signatures, metrics and tracking, and client input forms. These features are important when sending a proposal to the prospects to take required action.
Apart from these tools, there are not many free proposal tools available as such. Therefore, the above mentioned tools are widely used when there is no proposal management software in place.
Let’s analyze the features that make a software best for you.
The higher the volume, the more robust is your proposal tool. You can save a lot of time with proposal tools that can let you send unlimited documents. You can save time and effort.
Even if you can send unlimited proposals, are you ready to spend your day to create a single proposal? No, right? Look for easy creation options and how you can save your time by creating proposals the quickest way possible.
This is an important decision to make. Not always it will be a single user to create proposals. All your sales team needs access to the platform to create deals when needed. So, you must decide on this number, too. At the same time, look for options where you can define roles and permissions to other users.
If your process requires somebody to flag the document as okay, then look for the approval workflow feature, too.
Most proposal tools will have electronic signatures available for the prospect to sign. So, always gauge this feature when looking for a proposal tool.
Make sure the proposal tool you choose satisfies these domains. Where will the proposal data be stored? Does the electronic signature comply with the worldwide legislation? Will the designers be happy with the level of customization?
A proposal management tool will not streamline your sales process. The tool is an addition to smoothen your sales process. If your sales process is not quite right yet, then work to streamline it first. Then add a proposal tool for simplification.
Once you have your research ready and a list of proposal management tools selected, here are three ways to evaluate and compare them.
Success stories are the best when you’re looking for a proposal tool. This helps you to analyze the functionality of the software from people working in the similar industry. Consider reading or watching about the pain points and how the tool has helped to overcome their problems. If that’s what you think can help you get over the problems, select it.
There are many such review pages which give you authentic and genuine tool reviews. Get a full insight from these websites and create a comparison chart for your selected tools. Try to filter the reviews depending on your requirements, industry, company, etc.
Nothing beats this extremely powerful way of marketing, word-of-mouth. In fact, most of the people from the B2B industry rely on referrals for marketing and gaining customer base. Check around with your fellow mates from the same industry or people who are using the tool. Get their genuine feedback and then decide.
Our discussion about choosing a proposal management tool is incomplete without analyzing the return on investment. Proposal tool means less administrative work, allowing more time for your team to focus on important tasks at hand like prospecting. Automation along with approved content and approval workflows can provide you a lot of peace.
Teams or organizations that have implemented proposal management tools have seen their time save and increase efficiency to get more proposals and stay ahead of competition.
If you wish to lessen the administrative tasks and focus more on the actual sales responsibilities, get a proposal management tool.