So many opportunities but so few wins. Sound familiar?
Most sales teams use multiple tools in their organization to support their sales activities, with the ultimate goal of winning more business. From CRM and sales enablement to lead gen and sales forecasting, tech tools are available across all sales disciplines to help people do their jobs better, more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and with fewer headaches. Yet many business leaders remain frustrated with the return they get on their tech investments. Where are they going wrong?
The Tech Stack
Let’s talk sales tech stacks and the foundational role they play in winning business. Did you know the current sales technology landscape has an astounding array of 1,078 solutions rolled into 45 different categories? The options for building your company’s sales tech stack are practically limitless.
The vast selection of software applications aimed specifically at sales reps, account execs, sales engineers, and SDRs is grouped into five levels, corresponding to different sales activity levels across the buyer journey—from identifying prospects and engaging buyers at the top of the funnel to servicing and up/cross-selling customers at the end of the process.
- Prioritize – identifying and spending time on the right prospects (e.g., mobile lead capture, list building)
- Engage – getting buyers to engage with your sellers (e.g., content management, sales engagement)
- Earn – why buyers should buy from you involves mapping value to multiple decision makers (e.g., presales enablement, opportunity management)
- Close – winning the business by creating compelling proposals and shortening the time to signing the deal (e.g, proposal management, e-signature)
- Expand – servicing customers, ensuring satisfaction, and up/cross-selling (e.g., customer experience, unified customer view)
Always Be Closing
While Alec Baldwin may have delivered his ABC message in a pointedly offensive and politically incorrect manner in Glengarry Glen Ross, he was right about the value of the closing phase of the selling process.
Yet companies often tend to build their tech stack with a focus on top- and middle-funnel sales solutions that help grow the pipeline, neglecting the powerful secret weapon in the “close” group: proposal management software.
While choosing which sales technology to implement from the sea of available solutions can be a complex process, the goal is to simplify the work of the sales team so they can win more business—and the addition of proposal management to the sales tech stack is the secret sauce for winning deals and hitting targets. In fact, according to a recent proposal management survey conducted by QorusDocs, 63% of respondents reported increases in their win rates from 2020-2021.
Interested in increasing deal velocity for your sales team? Of course you are! By making proposal management software a priority when building your sales tech stack, you can streamline and simplify proposal generation to accelerates sales. Whether by monitoring the process to make sure team members stay on task, reducing errors, accessing up-to-date information, or having fully-branded templates readily available, proposal management software expedites the sales response process.
Add artificial intelligence into the mix and you’ve got a solution that suggests content with higher win rates, while slashing the time it takes to produce a response in half, if not more. Indeed, a recent survey of proposal management software users found that 76% of respondents believed the software helped them decrease time spent on completing a response, with an average 50% improvement in deal velocity.
Inefficiency kills deals
From boilerplates to product descriptions, slide decks to system architectures, sales teams have to juggle a mountain of documentation to engage with prospects and, ultimately, close deals. According to McKinsey & Company, people spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information. And when it comes time to put it all together into a single customer-centric proposal, the content hunt and creation process can slow things down to a crawl when deadlines are looming.
Given the complex task of creating a proposal or RFP response—from searching for the most recent, accurate content and chasing down SMEs for input to fumbling around with document layout and formatting—the sales response process can monopolize a sales rep’s time, taking up to 7 days to complete a proposal and a whopping 33% of a salesperson’s time.
Proposal management software in the sales tech stack streamlines the process from start to finish, serving as a repository of information and providing an effective way to categorize and organize content. Having deal-winning information at your fingertips not only saves time for everyone involved, but it provides easy access to current, branded, pre-approved materials proven to win deals.
Case in point: recent proposal management survey respondents decreased the time spent on proposal production by a shocking 53%, which means that teams could double their output capacity just by adding proposal management software to their tech stack. You’re welcome.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you to build your proposal management software into your sales tech stack, how about the fact that 68% of users highlighted the core benefit of faster access to the right content with proposal management software? Plus, 92% of recent survey respondents believe that they deliver higher quality responses overall, thanks to proposal management software.
Be in the know
If the name of the game is to close more deals, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t in order to improve. How can you craft winning proposals if you don’t know what wins in the first place? By adding proposal management software to your sales tech stack, you’ll have access to built-in measurement tools that track how long a reader stays on each page, what they click on, and what they share. These detailed insights are automatically stored, giving you easy access to engaging content for future proposals.
Plus, if you’re using QorusDocs, our automated system gets smarter with each use, suggesting content with a higher win rate, so you can feel confident you’re creating an optimized response each and every time. Boom!
One chance to make a first impression
Are the tools in your tech stack helping you make a good impression on buyers? According to Gartner, “The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers, each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must de-conflict with the group.”
Proposal management software gives you a distinct advantage in this situation, helping you expediently deliver a well-designed, customized proposal that makes a strong first impression. Don’t waste the hours your team has put into developing and nurturing relationships by delivering unprofessional, low-impact proposals compromised by errors, out-of-date content, and badly articulated value props.
Accurate, on-brand, personalized, and content-rich proposals are what win deals in today’s market and proposal management software is your secret weapon.
What software you decide to build into your sales tech stack can set you apart from your competitors if you choose strategically. In today’s marketplace, using proposal management software is still a competitive advantage, with only two out of three organizations using it to drive efficiencies and create standout responses that win business.
While CRM, sales automation, prospecting, lead generation, and demo tools may be obvious additions to the stack because they support pipeline production, “closing” solutions are arguably more important, giving you a leg up on your competitors.
With proposal management software in your sales tech stack, you’ll be able to accelerate the sales cycle by producing more responses—engaging, personalized, accurate responses that stand out from the crowd—and closing more deals.
To learn more about how building proposal management software into your sales tech stack can help your team win more business, download our handy guide: 5 Ways Proposal Management Software Fuels Sales.