Finding time to prospect new leads, follow up on tasks and hitting your sales budgets month on month can feel exhausting and you probably think a five-day week isn’t enough. To save time, a typical salesperson will spend their day opening recent proposals sent to customers and copying and pasting content into a new one. It will then be followed by searching aimlessly for content someone has created on a prior occasion, and often content, in the end, will still be created from scratch. The process continues: checking it and modifying it several times before saving the proposal as a new document – hopefully in the right spot so others can reuse the content.
Sounds familiar? Based on our research in 2017, a staggering 70% of the organisations we have spoken to have expressed their frustrations in their own document creation process and felt it was time-consuming and inefficient. It was further exacerbated by a disjointed sales process and a lack of alignment with the marketing team. You’d be surprised to know that a lot of time is wasted on this kind of sales proposal creation process.
Here is some of the feedback we received from the organisations we talked to where most salespeople waste their precious time and subsequently hindering them from reaching their full potential. You may be guilty of some of these too but don’t even realise there are better ways to work.
Too many content locations
Having too many content locations is the most common scenario we hear from organisations. People are saving their documents and templates to their personal computers, team drives, file shares, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, — it’s practically spread everywhere. As a salesperson, you are now left with confusion as to where to find the content that you need for your proposal. This scenario generally introduces risks to the business as the content is poorly governed.
Using and sending outdated content in proposals is the second most common of these sales productivity blunders. Utilising documents with old data and pricing or contracts with incorrect terms and conditions may have legal or financial implications. It also impacts a company’s reputation when you must retract what has been submitted in a proposal using out-of-date content.
Because various members of the team often write proposals, it then becomes challenging to ascertain brand consistency of documents. People tend to repurpose old but still usable content that may not follow the latest branding guidelines, so salespeople have no choice but to keep reformatting the documents repeatedly for new proposals.
Everything is manual
The manual process of repeatedly formatting documents and hunting for reusable, winning content in multiple locations impacts a salesperson’s productivity. Having to repeat the same manual process every single time results in wasted resources that could have been better spent building relationships with customers or doing business development activities. UItimately it becomes too frustrating for salespeople to grapple with information especially when pressed for time.
Looking for documents without knowing the search criteria in the first place can be frustrating. It takes time trying to identify which members of the team are in possession of the most up-to-date file. Often, the solution salespeople will opt for is to recreate the document altogether which causes duplication of content. This results in the inconsistency of messaging and poor quality of writing which can lead to the submission of sub-standard proposals to both prospects and customers.
Lack of insight
Identifying which content is most effective to use in a proposal or knowing which content won most deals is difficult to determine with a highly manual sales proposal creation process. Salespeople do not know whether they should keep reusing the same content or if they need to make adjustments to make the proposal more persuasive.
Stop wasting time and start increasing sales productivity
Combining all the above sales productivity blunders is a sure-fire way to waste time and effort. You can do so much more with your work week if you can streamline some of the most crucial parts of the sales process—including proposal creation.
If you are using Office 365 Business or an Enterprise subscription, then you are already one step ahead towards boosting your sales team’s productivity. You have the full suite of collaboration tools available at your fingertips—SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams—that you can take advantage of as a part of your subscription. Coupled with a simple, easy to use and powerful document automation solution called Qorus, you can solve these productivity deterrents in no time.
Qorus helps businesses create superb sales pitches, proposals and RFP responses by allowing your teams to collaborate and capture the latest information on documents. Embedded into Microsoft Office, Qorus allows users to efficiently work on all relevant contents from Word and PowerPoint files to quickly assemble templates to produce effective and precise sales proposals and presentations.
Watch the 15-minute video below to see how Qorus added to your Office 365 applications can:
- Help you organise all your important documents in one central space
- Automate the key steps of your document automation process to save time and effort
- Provide insights on what content is effective through reports and dashboards
- Ensure that the latest and the greatest content is used to create winning proposals
Like what you’ve read and seen here? Share this on social to help someone who needs to streamline their proposal and document creation process. You can also leave your comments below for questions or clarifications.