In a 2021 study of over 570,000 proposals, PandaDoc found that proposals with images and videos were 34% more likely to close than proposals without them. Of those 570,000 proposals, 80% had images, and 20% had videos. Also, 65% of e-sign documents closed within 24 hours.
Quincy Berg, an Enterprise Account Executive at PandaDoc, came together with Roberto Carrero, an Enterprise Account Executive at Sapper Consulting, to discuss the results of the study mentioned above and talk about three secrets to speed up your buying cycle.
Their entire webinar is roughly an hour, with the first thirty minutes dedicated to their discussion and the remaining for Q&A. If you’re pressed for time, I recommend focusing on the first thirty minutes.
Quincy and Roberto discuss three areas of focus regarding proposals—content, analytics, and proposal management—and strategies in these areas that are essential for speeding up the sales cycle.
As a result of last year's study, PandaDoc has a few suggestions for what works and does not work when building and sending out a proposal. Let’s review some of the critical points.
But, be warned, implementing these tactics may cause money to rain down on your business!
Content & Proposal Management
First, the sales representative must be the one to drive the proposal forward. Quincy and Roberto both emphasized that there should be no surprises for the prospect in the process. The sales representative must acquire all necessary information about the prospect during the discovery process before getting to the proposal to know precisely what needs to be included.
Second, the proposal should be reviewed with the prospect live before signing. If the proposal is just sent out via email with little communication, you can’t be there if/when the client has objections.
Finally, ask about the prospects' legal review process as soon as possible. For example, Roberto inquires about the legal review process if he gets any inclination the client is interested in moving forward. Roberto suggests asking about the legal review process before the live review session of the proposal so the prospect is ready to answer. Don’t wait for the signature process and then delay the sales cycle.
My biggest takeaway from the part of the webinar about analytics is that you want to watch the document status. The goal is to go from sent to viewed status and, of course, to completed status. Of course, you would need to use proposal software with analytics capabilities—like PandaDoc.
If the document is not moving into the viewed status in a day or two, start making calls and asking if there are any questions. Also, if you keep getting notifications that recipients of the proposal are opening the document, then reach out. Quincy mentioned a time when he kept getting notifications about recipients opening a proposal, and he decided to call his contact. Quincy discovered the prospect was in a meeting, actively discussing the proposal, allowing Quincy the opportunity to answer questions in real-time. All this goes to say, don’t be afraid to connect with the prospect; take the risk!
It’s critical as a sales representative to make sure you have a follow-up plan. Referencing the study discussed in the webinar, there is a 30% higher chance of closing a deal if you send personalized reminders every 3 to 4 days after sending the proposal.
Recap & What’s Next
Driving the proposal forward requires conducting excellent discovery and working with prospects throughout the sales cycle. Once the sales cycle starts, it’s essential to continually monitor analytics, which allows you to stay ahead of any questions or concerns the prospect may have and send personalized reminders.
PandaDoc allows you the opportunity to maintain a focus on content, analytics, and overall proposal management all in one platform – allowing you to speed up your sales cycle and accelerate revenue generation.
After reading this post, you may ask yourself how to create a visually appealing proposal for potential clients, or maybe you are new to creating proposals and would like some advice to get started. We have you covered!
I’d like to invite you to review our blog post on how to write a business proposal. Yes, the article is quite lengthy. However, we’ve created an eight-minute video for you to summarize the blog. The video is towards the top of the article. You will get advice on how to start and finish a proposal.
Next week, we will discuss eight mistakes that stop your team from closing the sale. In the meantime, we want to hear from you!
Quincy and Roberto provided some great ways to speed up the sales cycle, but there typically isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What are your best practices to drive the sales process? Do you use document analytics to assist in closing the sale?
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