If you’ve sent out business proposals at some point, you’ve most likely used Microsoft Word.
However, Word business proposals are a horrible idea – and we’re here to explain why. Here’s why you should never send your proposals as Word docs and what to do instead.
Limited design options
Microsoft Word is merely a text processor. You can add some visual elements, such as backgrounds, headers and footers, different fonts, but it lacks the capability of an advanced design tool such as InDesign. For the average Word user, creating anything but a basic Word document is pretty difficult. You can try downloading a template and editing it, but as you’ve probably witnessed yourself, editing a design in Word can be a proper nightmare.
Better Proposals lets you create beautiful proposals at the click of a button. You don’t have to be a design expert – simply choose a template, edit some elements to make it personalized and you’re good to go.
The formats are limited
When creating a proposal in Word, you basically have two choices – saving as A4 or letter size. If you take a look at the finished proposal on your PC or Mac, you probably like the way it looks finished. Trouble is, your client is likely to open it on anything but these two devices. According to our latest research, 34% of all proposals are opened on mobile devices first.
When a client opens your Word proposal on their phone, they’ll get a stretched-out document they can’t properly read. They’ll have to zoom in and out to capture all of the data and spend more time juggling with the format than understanding your offer.
Instead, you can use Better Proposals and make sure that all your proposals are optimized for different devices. No more embarrassment and unreadable Word files.
At the end of the day, it’s just a Word document
Besides having a great offer, another thing to make your clients convinced to sign is treating them properly and giving them special attention. By creating a Word doc, you probably won’t give the impression that you care too much. Ultimately, anyone can create a document in Word, so what makes your proposal special?
By sending a personalized proposal through Better Proposals, you’re showing the client that A) you care for them and B) you have a high professional standard and do everything it takes to win their business.
You’re stuck with plain text and images
Sometimes, words are not enough. If you want to go the extra mile and impress your clients by adding a video to your proposals, it’s not such an easy task in Word. At best, you can insert a link which will take the client to a video page in their browser. Not a giant waste of time, but it still directs their attention from where you want it to be – the proposal and your offer.
With a proposal software, you can embed videos and images easily so they can be viewed from within the proposal. Once they’re done viewing, the client can just scroll down and sign away.
No option of tracking
Even the most beautiful of Word documents are just that – documents. Once you send out a proposal created in Word, all you can do is twiddle your thumbs wondering what happened with it. At most, you can see whether the client opened the email or not.
On the other hand, modern proposal software such as Better Proposals lets you take a sneak peek at what happens after you hit the send button. You can see when the proposal was opened and how many times, how much of the proposal was read, the total time spent reading and much more. It’s a super easy way to see if a client is really interested or not. You will also receive a notification when your proposal is e-signed.
Word proposals are not easy to sign
Suppose that all went well and the client fell in love with your Word proposal for some odd reason. They liked your offer and they’re ready to pull the trigger and sign and now, you have a problem on your hands.
They cannot sign directly in Word so option #1 is to send them to an external website to sign, which adds more friction and extra time to the process. Option #2 is using an external software like DocuSign or DocuSign alternatives. Option #3 is even more complicated – have the client print out a page, sign it and scan it and email it back. Either way just adds more unnecessary steps to the process and pushes them further away from signing. Instead, you can have clients sign directly through Better Proposals in a matter of seconds.
If you really want to impress your clients and show them that you care, stop using Microsoft Word for your business proposals. It’s slow, ineffective, impractical, poorly optimized and finally, it just shows your clients that you don’t care enough.