8 Reasons Your Enterprise Sales Tech Stack Needs Proposal Management Software

While investing in customer engagement sales solutions can help build and grow the pipeline, many sales organizations neglect bottom-funnel tech—and pay the price of stagnant deal velocity and stalled revenue generation. 

This guide illustrates why adding proposal management software to your enterprise sales tech stack can make all the difference to your win rate. 

Are you interested in: 

  • simplifying and automating the sales response process? 
  • streamlining collaboration across geographically-dispersed workforce? 
  • creating head-turning, on-brand, and personalized proposals? 
  • boosting the efficiency and productivity of the sales team? 
  • accelerating the sales cycle to close more deals? 

Download 8 Reasons Why Proposal Management Software Should be Added to Your Enterprise Sales Tech Stack now and start winning more business.  

8 Reasons Why Proposal Management Software should be added to your enterprise sales tech stack

So much technology, and so little time. According to HubSpot, 28% of Sales Directors and VPs are working on average, more than 60 hours per week and research suggests that only 23-37% of sales rep time is spent actually selling.

And yet, most sales reps spend a whopping 63% of their time in sales technology that promised to create efficiencies and improve sales performance.

Technology overwhelm

The latest version of the sales technology landscape has a mind boggling 1078 solutions rolling into 45 different categories. Solutions are now bucketed into 5 different sales activity levels:

  1. Prioritize – how to identify and spend time on the right prospects

  2. Engage – how to get buyers to engage with your sellers

  3. Earn – why buyers should buy from you involves mapping value to multiple decision makers

  4. Close – how to win the business by creating compelling proposals and shortening the time to signature

  5. Expand – how to service customers, ensure satisfaction, and up/cross-sell

Enterprise salestech landscape

Most enterprise sales teams use 9 different tools in their organization, yet business leaders remain frustrated with the low levels of adoption, utilization and return they get from their technology investments.

Despite their frustration, almost seven in 10 sales professionals (68%) expected to invest more in sales technology, and that shows no signs of slowing down in 2022 and years to come.

Choices, choices, choices

The one question on every sales executive’s mind?

“What sales technology do I need to win deals and hit targets, and what should I purchase next?”

With an ocean of sales technology solutions to choose from, it’s easy for sales leaders to get shiny object syndrome and want to try new tools—especially those promising to deliver a river of qualified leads.

But in the end, more is not better and the name of the game is to simplify the work of the sales team so that they can win more business. While many sales leaders focus on customer engagement tools, they’re missing the critical “sales closing” tech tools, such as proposal management software, essential to bringing the deals home.

8 reasons why Proposal Management Software should be part of your sales tech stack

  1. Winning deals is the ultimate destination

    “I don’t care about winning deals as long as my sales team is happy and has a steady flow of leads to work,” said no good sales executive, ever. All roads lead to winning deals—which translates into income, commissions, and job security for sales people.

    There’s no question that investing in top and middle funnel sales solutions can help build and grow the pipeline, but when there isn’t a balance of investment in bottom-funnel tech, bottlenecks emerge, efficiencies fly out of the window, and deal velocity hits the brakes.

    Would you run a marathon and stop short of the finish line? That’s the equivalent of building out a robust tech stack, but leaving proposal management software out of the mix.

    According to a recent proposal management survey conducted by QorusDocs, 63% of respondents reported increases in their win rates from 2020-2021.

  2. Sales capacity is not a bottomless pit

    In a study cited by Forbes, sales reps are spending on average, only 36% of their time on revenue-generating activities. The most common time killers are chasing unqualified leads, going back-and-forth with prospects and internal staff for information, meetings, travel and a daunting amount of administrative tasks.

    According to a recent sales productivity survey, sales reps are spending as little as 30% of their time selling:

    • 32% spend 6-10% of their time in meetings to close business
    • 37% spend 6-10% of their time in internal meetings
    • 32% spend 11-20% of their time doing paperwork
    • 31% spend 11-20% of their time servicing current customers
    • 31% spend 20-25% of their time in discovery meetings
    • 41% spend 6-10% of their time in sales training

    Anyone who’s ever been involved in a proposal or RFP response knows that they can be a massive time suck for sales reps and their supporting team, taking almost 7 days to complete and up to 33% of a sales person’s time.

    This sizeable time commitment is no surprise since proposal production involves a number of the biggest productivity killers including time searching for information, time attending meetings, and time spent on peer-to-peer interruptions and necessary collaboration.

    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.

  3. Sales and proposal teams are drowning in documentation

    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.

    68% of proposal management software users stated a core benefit was having faster access to the right content, and 92% of recent survey respondents believe that they deliver higher quality responses overall.

    Proposal management software solutions serve as a repository of information and provide a 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.

  4. That which gets measured, improves

    Do you know how many people it takes to complete a proposal? How long it takes to turn a response around? How many revisions are involved? What percentage of RFPs your team is winning? How many RFPs you respond to in any given timeframe? How much capacity your team has? What content customers really read and interact with?

    If it isn’t getting measured, odds are it isn’t getting better.

    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. Modern proposal management software comes with a host of insights from efficiency metrics to customer engagement activities, and everything in between.

  5. Time is money

    It’s pretty straight forward: streamlining proposal generation 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 leads to faster delivery.

    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.

    In a recent survey of proposal management software users, 76% of respondents believed that the software helped them decrease time spent on completing a response with an average improvement to deal velocity of 50%.

  6. Integration is power

    One of the most common complaints from salespeople is the lack of integration and connectivity between the different sales tools they use every day. At the best of times, this just creates tedious inefficiencies throughout the work day, but when it’s time to merge all your sales efforts into a single, high-value proposal intended to land “the big deal”, connectivity is mission critical.

    In a recent survey, some of the biggest problems proposal teams cited were:

    • locating content
    • collaborating on and sharing with others
    • redeveloping content they were unable to find
    • getting the right inputs, approvals and signatures

    Creating winning proposals is all about connections. From CRM to CMS systems, to analytics software and communication tools, proposal management software seamlessly integrates with your everyday applications, helping teams be more productive.

  7. Cue the killer proposal

    As cliche as it is, you only get one chance to make a first impression. If your team has done their job well, odds are they’ve developed a good relationship with prospects, and have methodically moved their deals through the sales process before you put a proposal in front of a would-be client. But all of a sudden, there are four new people on the receiving end and no one has nurtured those relationships before now. Cue the killer proposal.

    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.” The last thing you want to do is give someone a reason to eliminate you from the running.

    A well designed and presented proposal makes a better first impression, period. Even if every reader is “on your side”, badly articulated value props wrapped in a boring, low-impact shell of a proposal will surely add friction to your late stage opportunities.

    Accurate, on-brand, content-rich and engaging proposals are what win deals in today’s market and proposal management software is your secret weapon.

  8. Tear down those walls!

    How many people does it take to write a winning proposal? Like most things, the answer is it depends. Typically, the larger your organization, the more people who get involved in proposal production.

    Some organizations have bid teams, while others manage the process within the sales organization. Either way, there are usually a minimum of 5 people involved, with an average of 28 people for enterprise organizations.

    From sales to marketing to product teams, there are different contributors with competing priorities. SMEs, designers, copywriters, and approvers all have a hand in getting a proposal out the door and without a well-organized process that is closely monitored, it’s easy for the proposal production train to quickly go off the rails. Many liken the process to “herding cats”.

    Not only does proposal management software hold people accountable and enable cross-functional teams to work in harmony, but the collaboration leads to a more customer-centered and solution-oriented output.

And don’t forget about...

If 8 reasons aren’t enough to add proposal management to your tech stack, here are a few more things to consider:

Competition: Using proposal management software is still a competitive advantage. Only 2 in 3 organizations are using it to capture efficiencies and set themselves apart from competitors. Produce more responses with greater impact for the win!

Accuracy: There’s nothing worse than having to claw back a recently submitted proposal because of bad information. With a repository of up-to-date, fully-vetted content at your fingertips, mistakes become a thing of the past.

RFPs are on the rise: 2021 saw an increase in RFPs across the board and the next few years show no signs of slowing down. Without the capacity to respond to the growing number of opportunities, organizations will leave money on the table every day.

Playing to win

As the sales tech stack continues to grow and evolve, sales leaders have the dubious task of finding and deploying the solutions that will create efficiencies and enhance selling capabilities.

While CRM, prospecting, lead generation, sales automation, and demo tools may be obvious additions to the stack because they support pipeline production, “closing” solutions are equally important, if not more so.

The hours, effort, and commitment required to bring an enterprise deal from lead to close is massive. Ask any sales rep. Adding proposal management software to your tech stack is the best way to keep from fumbling the ball on the one yard line. Play to win!

Are you ready to rock your win rate?

QorusDocs is transforming the way Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and Proposal & Bid teams win business.

Schedule a one-on-one demo to see firsthand how we help you turn responses into revenue!