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How to Never Make a Mistake in Your Proposal Again

Have you ever hit send on a proposal only to spot a glaring typo seconds later? Copied the wrong product description into your pricing table? Accidentally left a previous client's name in a proposal for a new client? Simply forgot to fill in an address on a template?

While everyone makes an embarrassing mistake at some point, a business proposal is one of the worst places it can happen. Besides making you look unprofessional, it also makes clients question your attention to detail. As a result, your business is taken less seriously and deals start to fall through.

Luckily, the solution is simple. Here's how to never make a mistake in your proposal again.

Set up foolproof processes

The documents you send out are representative of your business. If they look all over the place, clients start perceiving your business as all over the place. If they look professional and polished, your clients perceive your business that way as well.

The first step towards flawless proposals is having a consistent process for your entire team. No matter how many different people are sending out proposals, you want them all to send equally good ones.

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The easiest way to make this happen is establishing universal rules and standardizing your proposals. Besides minimizing discrepancies in formatting, this will also make your content more consistent.

Most business proposal mistakes happen because there's a lack of a solid foundation a team can rely on. If the first thing that came to mind is a template, you're spot on.

You need a proposal template

Giving your team a framework to work with also speeds up the entire sales process. They no longer have to create documents from scratch or piece them together from previously sent proposals.

proposal design university cta banner

What's more, a standardized template ensures your entire team is on the same page when it comes to formatting, structure, and branding. Besides creating a professional image for your business, this consistency also makes pre-send checks easier.

You need a quality assurance process

Speaking of pre-send checks, not all team members are going to know what a proposal should look like right off the bat. Whether it's a new employee or one that's just better at calls than writing proposals, you want only quality proposals to hit your clients' inboxes.

How do you make that happen? Assign different roles within your team for different aspects of the proposal process. For example, one of your team members can be assigned to editing and reviewing, with the final step being a manager approval.

Automate the proposal creation process

Ever heard the phrase "work smarter, not harder"? That's what proposal automation is all about. Now, we're not talking about the type of automation that implies using AI to write your proposals.

Your proposal process should always include a human touch, but that doesn't mean you can't automate repetitive tasks. By using proposal automation tools, you're both saving time and improving the overall quality of your proposals.

Any decent proposal software comes with built-in automation tools you can use. Naturally, we'll put our own horse in the race and give examples of things you can automate with Better Proposals.

Use automatic input fields

Whether it's one of our 260+ free templates or one you've created on your own, you'll have to customize it for each client. This is the point when most mistakes happen.

The more clients you have, the higher the chance of minor details slipping through the cracks. That's why Better Proposals comes with merge tags.

These automatic input fields let you pull client data from your setup page or directly from your CRM. All you need to do is put them inside of your template once and you'll never have to worry about filling out the correct information again.

architecture proposal template by better proposals

Create a library of approved content

Instead of sifting through docs to copy, paste, and modify sections from your best documents, save them into the Content Library. This not only saves time, but makes sure your team is consistent across proposals.

For example, you might be selling different services and have different sets of terms and conditions for some. With the Content Library, you don't have to worry if the correct terms have been pasted in. Simply save them, name them, and your team can add the right set in two clicks.

better proposals content library

Lock sections you don't want changed

Speaking of terms and conditions, there are proposal sections that are more sensitive than others. For this reason, you might not want to run the risk of accidental changes that could significantly impact the deal.
Better Proposals has you covered with the content locking feature. Whether it's inside a template or a section saved to the Content Library, you have the option to lock it and disable editing. That way, both you and your team have the peace of mind that no crucial details have been changed.
lockable content better proposals

Set up a list of products and services

Besides being embarrassing to sort out, pricing section mistakes can cost you money. If there's been a pricing change and one of your team members didn't get the memo, your client ends up seeing the old price.
From here, you have two options. Either admit you made a mistake, send a corrected proposal, and appear unprofessional or take the hit. More often than not, people opt for number two for obvious reasons.
But what if we told you all of this could have been prevented? Inside Better Proposals, you can add all your products and services, complete with pricing. That way, your team members need to pull them into the pricing tables from a database. The only thing you need to do is make sure the database is up to date.
set up database of products and services inside better proposals

Integrate with your other tools

It's impossible to talk about automation without mentioning integrations. Better Proposals has more than 40.
You can integrate with your CRM to pull in client data and update your deal stages or add projects into your project management platform. In addition to that, Better Proposals integrates with Stripe, GoCardless, and PayPal so you can get paid directly from your documents.
Want to be known for your stellar customer service? We've got that, too. Integrate live chat into your documents and talk to clients in real time, as they're reading your proposals. And as far as everything else is concerned, Better Proposals also integrates with Zapier.

Optimize with tracking and analytics

Last, but not least, there's the matter of optimizing your proposals for better conversion rates. From time to time, you'll want to know how your team and your documents are performing.
Better Proposals makes it easy with activity tracking and document analytics. For day-to-day tasks and follow-ups, our activity tracking lets you know exactly which stage your deals are in at all times. You get detailed notifications on all actions your clients take inside documents in real time.
better proposals document activity tracking
And when the time comes to take a more detailed look, simply run a report. Besides telling you how team members are performing, the report also helps you see which templates need work.
better proposals reports

Every detail counts

Creating a business proposal is like putting together a puzzle. If only one piece doesn't fit, the bigger picture is ruined. That's why every detail you put in has to be perfect.
From visuals and wording to data accuracy, there are a lot of opportunities to get something wrong. Take the pressure off your team and start using professional proposal software.

Admitting you need help is the first step

The second one is signing up for Better Proposals. The first 14 days are on us.

Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.