31 replies
Just curious what everyone is using to write up proposals for web design and other online marketing services? I'm currently using just a word doc template but I'm looking for something more professional now that we're starting to grow. I'd prefer something that didn't have a monthly fee and would help speed up the proposal process.

Thanks
Patrick
#proposal #software
  • Profile picture of the author PhilaPM
    No one has a proposal software package they could recommend?
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    I too use the word and then convert to pdf and send it to my clients. That is the cheapest option ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author EdKirby
    Same here. Word then I either send the Word version or convert it to pdf. Depends on what they have.
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    Ed

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  • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
    Check out Proposable , https://www.proposable.com/

    It's web based and offers a lot of features to incorporate rich media into the proposals. They are sent via email right from the site and you are notified when they open it and are viewing it etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    I just wanna say "Keep it simple".
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    • Profile picture of the author bsbear
      Originally Posted by keyuria View Post

      I just wanna say "Keep it simple".
      Yup, just make it word > PDF. No reason to do more work than you have to.
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      • Profile picture of the author reubenswartz
        Full disclosure: I created an app for this (check out mimiran.com).

        I wrote it because I was frustrated with a few aspects of the Word -> PDF -> Email -> Collaboration workflow.

        First, creating proposals is usually 25-75% custom, with the rest copied and pasted from other proposals. I wanted to make it easier to automate the repetitive part, while also automating insertion of customer names, product descriptions, etc. For some people, this isn't a big deal, but it's really nice if you have detailed product descriptions with pictures, links, etc, and you want to insert the appropriate descriptions for a given proposal.

        Second, rather than creating a PDF then emailing a large attachment, I can just send a link. I then get a notification when the prospect is looking at the proposal, and I can see what sections they view. This takes away the biggest problem with the "old school" way of handling proposals-- just knowing if/when someone has read the darn thing. Now you can follow up at the right time, and address questions or concerns, sometimes in real time. You can decide whether the prospect can simply sign online, or if they need to create a PDF (with the click of a button) and sign and return that.

        I want to spend as little time as possible dealing with proposals, and the Mimiran app helps me create and close proposals faster. Can you do just fine with Word + PDF? Sure-- I did for years. But once you go online, you won't want to go back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    A beautiful proposal is not going to make any difference if your prospect views what you offer as a commodity.

    I have sold things worth $100,000s with simple Word doc/pdf proposals; it's not how pretty it is, but how good a job you do uncovering why this person wants to do business with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    I send the quote in pdf, I ask them to fill up the website questionnaire in word format... I think that is all we need. It is really simple. There is no need of involving complexity.
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  • Profile picture of the author harveyronn
    Go with simple and readable proposal with word on doc or pdf documentation. Write best offers and great deal as per your business profile requirements which can easily attract your business client easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilaPM
    Thanks everyone. I like the KISS method. I guess I'd like to find a good template then I could use. I feel the one I have isn't that great. Does anyone have one they could send me or know where I could buy just an outline/template?

    Thanks
    Patrick
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    • Profile picture of the author JaynKeth
      Yes, I am also sending the client quote in pdf, then questionnaires in words document. And that's it. Nothing too fancy.

      But for client that I really wanted the business from, I will create a sample site to convinced them too. That will be on wordpress or sometimes just photoshop.
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      • Profile picture of the author rhj12345
        Please quit looking for pretty shiny stuff.

        If you really want to land a client get to know his or her business. Do some great keyword research, find some good suggestions for web design and have some good ideas for them on how to drive traffic.

        I go to my client meetings with a laptop and a manila folder with the above information. I tell them how search really works and what's required to get real customers from Google.

        I make sure I have a 1 page estimate for services I do from Quickbooks, and a 3 page SIMPLE contract ready to sign.

        I landed 3 new clients this month already at 3k per site and $500 per month for ongoing services. Once the site is done I call or go back and work them into an AdWords or Ezanga local CPC campaign. Sometimes I help them work up a plan for LinkedIn or Solo ads. Don't forget to tell them you will optimize their places listing and why it is a must. I also make sure call tracking and direct marketing is considered.

        Look, these business don't want your pretty paper work. They want you to show them you understand there pain and can help them. Show them solutions for increasing their business, and you can bring in a coloring book and a crayon, they won't really care.

        As long as you can drive new business that's all they want.

        Hope this helps.

        Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author sammib01
    I think the content and the way it is presented is most important and not the format (although they do have to open it if it is digital so PDF is best).

    I have made proposals for over 1 million Euro with a video and a PDF and it worked. It is more important to find out what your prospect wants and needs, what they respond to emotionally as well as logically and what impulses you should use to get you piont accross and push the right buttons. Establishing value and what it will do for them is very important. You need to look at you and your offer through thier eyes and ask yourself what would make me say YES if I were them.

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dmagnet
      I am also looking for a better solution. Let me be clear though. I am not as concerned about being pretty. I just feel that in this day and age there should be a simpler way then having to manually create a proposal in word and then making it a PDF.

      With all of the tablets and smartphones out here I'd love to see a portable solution that can also be accessed from computer as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author rising_sun
    Banned
    I don't use any proposal software.I use word document and then convert it to pdf.When I write proposal I am careful about my word,politeness,and clear feature of proposal.Not too much of talking not less , I am always professional.
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  • Profile picture of the author cameronf
    if you are looking for automation your proposal or tender development and want to produce and manage high quality documents which will allow you to reduce the time taken. i would suggest rfp proposal software from globalkap Sales Force Automation, Sales Proposals Software for Tenders who's solution has been used for over 18 years. help your sales or proposal and tender writers win the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Illini Marketer
    I use Chris Rivers proposal template which is a word document template and it works great. It also allows you to present 3 bundled options that gives your client some choices. I do not know the name of the product offhand right now but just find his website online and it is there.
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  • Profile picture of the author seorembo
    I use QuoteRoller.com. For me it is the best app to write proposals!
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    I have been using Freshbook.com for years. Great software and billing components.
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    • Profile picture of the author sodomojo
      Originally Posted by sdentrepreneur View Post

      I have been using Freshbook.com for years. Great software and billing components.
      Freshbooks for proposals? Hmm. Been using it a couple years and I Didn't know they had that component. Good to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author GraceAnns
    For creating professional proposals give a visit to SWproposal.com.

    A great tool to create software development proposals . Added to which it also provides
    features like CRM functionality and scheduler for time management purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author hayfj2
    Sroll down & Ask yourself the questions on page 2 of this PDF checklist

    Struggling To Get Your Business Proposals Accepted? - Grow Your Business Club

    Hope it helps



    whatever you do....Stick the word DRAFT on the cover of your proposal to encourage feedback from the recipient, and send it recorded delivery post to them
    not by email (as all your competitors send by email - stand out)

    regards


    Fraser
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    A nice professional looking proposal is mutually exclusive from uncovering and delivering value. A pretty proposal won't help if you don't deliver value, NOR does a sloppy unprofessional proposal even if you do provide/uncover value.

    Do BOTH.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marty S
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author nkrasinski52
        I use pancakeapp
        It's $149 but it is a one-time payment and I find it easy to use and intuitive.

        I like that I can save specific pieces of a proposal for re-use. It also works well as a CRM and Billing tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    I hear ya on wanting to automate this process, but honestly there's not much out there. I keep my proposals pretty simple. A couple guys here have already hit the nail on the head. You can tell them whatever... but if they don't view YOU as a commodity it won't matter what you propose, unless they VALUE what you have to say.
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  • some software names are:
    Sofon Guided Selling,
    ClientSky,
    SalesEdge,
    Starta Enterprise System,
    RFPMonkey
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
    Proposals don't sell.

    The best proposal system is to send personalized emails with a pricing document using your autoresponder.

    You should be building a list as you collect leads.

    And create automatic follow ups that prompts the prospect to call you throughout the sales cycle. AW Pro tools is a great way of segmenting suspects from prospects, sending CTA emails to ONLY the interested leads and drip feeding content to the rest.

    Matthew.
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    • Profile picture of the author reubenswartz
      I'm biased, since of course I use my own proposal software (Mimiran Online Proposals). You can set up as many templates as you like, send out nice looking proposals with proper pricing, offer your customers different choices, and get notified when someone is reading them (my favorite part).

      Also, if you want pointers on how to write proposals, how to price them, and more, check out the blog.
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