Often times as a service provider, we tend to overlook the benefits of automation and clearly stick to our existing plans of manual workflow. We burden ourselves with content that’s not just repetitive, but also technical. And one day, the burden leads to tremendous frustration and disinterest to work or create content. To lessen the burden, we explain to you in our blog
how automation can save your time, money, and efforts, and how you can easily send proposals to your prospects in the simplest way possible.
While we all understand the positive sides of automating our processes, there can also be down sides of automation if the inputs or insights are incorrectly fed. And a situation like this, not only gets frustrating but also doubles your team’s work in resolving the issue.
In this blog, we help you understand the core areas of your proposal document where you must use automation, so that you don’t overuse the benefits of automation, and end up increasing your work adversely.
We all know that automation is great to have when creating repetitive sales proposals. Why? Because it saves you and your team time and efforts. While your team focuses less on admin tasks, they can concentrate on making more sales.
Automation is great for sales tasks like,
Now, let’s look at 4 proposal process areas where you must watch out when using automation
Don’t just feed a monotonous piece of content to the software and relax. Your content for every prospect must be different. And while you are focusing to personalize the proposal content, also look for areas that need an upgrade or modification. How can you do that? Look for content upgrades on Google, or communicate with your peers to know more about the industry updates.
So, what are the content types that are pre-defined and need your attention always for an upgrade?
Most of the time, your proposal content is evergreen. However, there are few content areas that need your attention.
For example, a marketing lead must always look at updating data and analytics used in their proposal templates. Insights like audience data can be quickly outdated and it’s important that the marketing lead keeps a close watch of the trends.
When you use a content library, even with automation, you must update your content regularly, so that you show anything outdated to your prospects. While you can easily make changes using the proposal software, keeping an eye on the trends requires human intervention.
Content is the king, but context is everything. Most of the time, a content that has been pre-defined by your organization into the software works well. Normally your content is all fun, interesting, and would give readers the right impression of your brand.
However, in uncertain situations like the pandemic now, if you send across content that still has the essence of fun, your brand can be misunderstood.
For example, you sent out emails regarding a sales playbook with the subject line ‘If you’re reading this, it’s too late.’ Normally, it would be considered a humorous subject line, but amid the pandemic when people are already stressed, sending such subject lines would stress and frustrate the readers more. While pandemic is just an example, you must think about the situation of the reader before you send your universal proposal content.
It’s always the best approach to keep enhancing your content. The more you work on your content, the better you would open doors to various ideas and plans.
Having a one-template strategy works most of the time, especially if you have a large and spread out sales team. To keep the content flow universal and the tone professional, one-template strategy works well.
When you want your proposal to be slightly vague or too generic, it's advised to have multiple templates maintained. This process is called ‘template per’ strategy, where you have multiple templates as per the project and can be used by your entire sales team.
The most common template strategies used by providers in the market are with respect to,
This way you can use your boilerplate content but segregate them down as per your content needs. This way it’s easy to personalize and make your prospect feel understood.
Monitoring your proposal metrics is a boon that you only get when using proposal software. The proposal metrics can sometimes tell you if you have over automated your proposal.
One of the most important metrics that you can analyze is the number of times your prospects have opened the proposal. If the proposal is opened less number of times, like 2-3 times, it means that your proposal is too generic and over automated resulting to turn off your readers.
If the proposal is read more than 3-4 times by your readers, it can also mean that your proposal is difficult to understand or it might not be well-structured.
Winning proposals are opened by the readers around 2-3 times before they are signed and closed. So, if your proposal metrics display a number that’s way too less or more, you need to change the way you draft your sales proposals.
Setting the follow-up feature in your sales proposal software can be complicated. You might have universally set a time duration within which a follow-up email is shot, but what if the prospect has already asked for more time? \
For example, your sales team sends a proposal to a prospect who after reading the proposal has asked for two weeks of time to make a decision. But your proposal software sends them a follow-up email after 7 days of sending the proposal. Wouldn’t the reader feel lost and unheard?
So, automating follow-ups is really an advantage you and your sales team gets with proposal software, however, you must be very careful with the feature when it comes to actual follow-ups.
So, should you automate your proposals?
Yes! Everything that can be automated should be automated without fail. Why? Because you can save time, money, and efforts, and focus on tasks that are important.
It’s obviously faster if you use a similar template for most of your prospects because their pain points look the same or are the same. But if the proposals are vaguely personalized with prominent gaps, you are just messing your entire system and workflow.
Automation is only good when you know that you can feed the system with insights that can genuinely work good for you. If the process of automation is making the prospects alienate the deals, you must shun or modify your automation workflow to get the system work for you.