Why Online Proposal Software is Better than Sending PDFs

Posted by Saphia Lanier | June 2, 2019 | proposals,
online proposal vs pdf

You find a potential client who’s interested in your services. But now they want you to write up a proposal.If you’re like many, you open up a word processor and begin hashing out all the details about your background, services, and promise.You want to nail this new client, and so you convert the finished document into a PDF and send it off.Now, it’s the waiting game.This can be nervewracking, especially if you’re success rate in the past is slim to none. But what if there was a way to help boost your chances of getting your proposals read and accepted by clients?That’s what we’re going to discuss today — the many benefits of using proposal software (over PDFs).Let’s take a look.

1. Impress Clients with Professional Level Proposals

You can easily tell the difference between a proposal written by a seasoned pro and someone who’s just opening up shop. The document itself is likely a PDF with a basic cover and mediocre design. When you’re using proposal software, you’re developing more than just a typical PDF. You’re creating a document using professional templates.This means you’re getting a proposal that looks like it was written by a subject matter expert and designed by a pro.With proposal software, you won’t have to worry about missing sections that are essential in your line of work. Just look for a template in the software designed specifically for your industry. This sure beats having to design and format it all on your own using Adobe.

2. Save Time Writing Draft Proposals

 If you’re in an organization with strict deadlines and multiple levels of approval per the proposal, then kicking out draft proposals quickly is vital. But you don’t want to end up with a draft that won’t make it past your C-suite. That’s the beauty of using proposal software. You’re able to quickly write up proposals using the professional templates available to you. And with tools like Prospero, you can use pre-written sections to speed things along. All you have to do is tweak and personalize the areas to make it your own. Imagine never writing a proposal from scratch again. Plus, proposal software can save the content, so you don’t have to keep copying and pasting it into each draft. Not to mention, adding images and beautifully edited videos from the web are a breeze. Can’t say the same for PDFs.Whether you’re a freelancer or work in a company, you’ll find this hack worthwhile.

3. Improve Collaboration Between Teams and Managers

Again, if you’re working in a team, then you need ways to make the proposal drafting process simpler and faster. It’s challenging to do this when you’re using PDFs.Passing a PDF around for edits and approval is a recipe for disaster. Version control alone will make the process a complete nightmare. You don’t have to worry about this issue when you’re using proposal software. This is because everything’s done online. You can give access to a shared document so everyone who has permission can view and edit the proposal, as well as leave comments. Tracking changes is easier, and getting approval from your managers is faster.

4. Prevent Making Mistakes On Your Proposals

Ever sent off a document only to see later that there’s a noticeable flaw? There’s no way to click “unsend” or ask a client not to read the document and instead read your latest version. Not only would this look unprofessional, but the chances of them working with you again would be slim to none. So it’s crucial to get your proposal right the first time around. The key to making this happen is to streamline the drafting process. And it also helps to have software that can check your work to ensure it’s complete. You can share your draft with sales and marketing to ensure the client name is accurate and key details are inserted. The role of the software is to make teamwork easier with online collaboration. And it comes with templates you can use to guarantee no areas are left out.

5. Get Key Insights (Like How Many Times a Client Opened Your Proposal)

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn that a particular client read your proposal 4 times? That’s a great indicator that he or she is interested in your offer.You can use data like this to create a followup email that could help nudge them to hire you. Once you send a PDF to a client, there’s no telling what happens next.Sure, you can use tools to determine whether your email was opened. But you won’t know if your attached proposal was opened or not. This is because the PDF is downloaded to their system.With proposal software, the document is online, which allows the platform to monitor client behavior.The intelligence you can gather from this can give your team a strong advantage. Just imagine what you guys could do with intel like open rates. You can learn which types of clients you should target more and see which strategies work the best.Duplicating success is a lot easier when you have quality data to work with.

6. Seal the Deal Quickly with Digital Signatures

In sales, you learn that the best way to get customers to convert is to make the buying process as easy as possible. The fewer hurdles and hoops they must to jump, the better.When it comes to your proposals, the only thing keeping you away from a deal is a signature. So rather than having them print out a PDF, sign it, scan it, and email or fax it back, you can do something entirely different.With proposal software, you can allow your customers to sign the proposal digitally. All they need is a finger or pen and a touch screen to sign their name.If not, they can use a mouse or simply type in their name and have a signature auto-generated.What’s great about this idea is that you’re capturing clients in the heat of the moment. They just read through your proposal and are ecstatic about obtaining your service.If at the end of your proposal there’s a section where they can sign and close the deal right away, then the chances of you winning more proposals increases.

7. Reduce the Cost of Creating Proposals

If you’re hiring freelancers to write your proposals or even work on them yourself, then you can save money by using proposal software. This is possible thanks to the templates and auto-fill features it comes with.No more wasting 30 hours to write up a thorough proposal. And no more paying designers.With proposal software, you cut down the time of crafting a proposal tremendously. Some say it can reduce hours spent writing a proposal from 30 hours to just 10 hours.If this is the case, then you’re saving 2/3 of the costs you’d spend monetarily or with your own time.Again, not something PDFs can promise to do.

So Which Proposal Tool to Use?

Choosing a proposal software for your business needs can be daunting. This is why we recommend using Prospero.With this tool, you can get your proposals done 3x faster using the built-in content generation and reuse tools. This alone will cut your process and cost down tremendously.The content and sections are designed specifically for creatives. So if you’re a designer, developer, writer, or video artist, then this is an excellent tool to implement. Here are some examples of the templates created by freelance professionals.This will make freelancing or running your own business a piece of cake. In fact, with this, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too.Because you’re creating beautiful proposals to wow clients (boost your reputation) and win them over (increase your revenue). You win all around, and your client also wins because they’re now working together with one of the best freelancers in the industry.All of your proposals are kept in the cloud to ensure you never lose them. Wasting hours or even days looking for a document can be inefficient.When your proposals are in the cloud, this means you can access them from anywhere you have a mobile device or computer.Then once your proposal is accepted and you complete your project, you can integrate FreshBooks to create an invoice in just one click. Your client will be able to pay you online using a debit/credit card or via an online portal.

Create Winning Proposals Today

Excited about transforming your propsal creation process with a winning strategy? Of course you are.The next step now is to get started with Prospero. You can sign up for just $1 for a 21-day trial. After that, you pay only a couple of dollars per month.Give it a whirl and let us know how it helps improve your proposal writing process!


Saphia Lanier is a professional B2B copywriter with 12+ years of experience under her belt. She has a deep interest in everything to do with digital marketing, business, and SaaS. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard and nailing projects, she’s enjoying time with family and learning new vegan recipes.