2017


INTRODUCTION

The World's First

Never before has real data been amalgamated to produce a definitive answer as to what makes the perfect proposal.

This report analyses over $120,000,000 of closed deals won through Better Proposals across 4 industries: Web, Media, Professional Services and Other.

All data in this report is from 1st Jan 2017 to 31st December 2017. The study is across 6,000+ active and regular paying customers.

What is Better Proposals?

Better Proposals is an online proposal tool allowing you to create, send and track your proposals. Everything you're about to read in this report is not only possible, but dead easy to do in our platform. Try it free
01 COVERS

Should you put a cover on your proposals?

Covers on Better Proposals are easy to create, they look amazing and visually 'Wow' your clients. Without them, they skip straight to the meat of the proposal. It's no surprise they convert 44.7% better than not using a cover.

This is the first piece of evidence that design makes a huge difference to the conversion rate of your proposals.
02 VIDEO

What about embedding video?


Using video in your proposals doesn't make any real material difference to whether you win the job or not, so you could argue that it's not worth the hassle. But any time you send a proposal, it's a great opportunity to show what kind of company you are.

Consider that maybe, up against strong competition, a quality case study video or high production value welcome video would perform better than without.
03 LIVE CHAT

Be there when they have questions using Live Chat

It turns out that you're 10.4% more likely to win the deal if you use this.

It's not possible to do this on any other platform but within Better Proposals you can add Live Chat to your proposals which means your clients can ask questions while they're reading the proposal.

It would seem that making yourself available at this crucial point in the sales process is working in your favour.
04 PRINTING

Death of the PDF?

It turns out, if your proposal is saved/printed then you have a 45% less chance of converting the deal. Any thoughts on why this is the case is pure theory. One would be that it's being printed to be taken into a group meeting and being presented without you being there and that's why the conversion rate is lower.

There's no real way of knowing because any ability to track activity is gone the second they print/save the proposal. Our advice is to always send the web version in the first instance then let them download it if they want to.
05 PAGES

How many pages should your proposal have?

Looking across every signed proposal, the most common number of pages a signed proposal had was 6. What's interesting is all our templates follow an 8 page structure so it's taken a huge number of people getting 6 page proposals signed to knock 8 off top spot.

This could teach us that keeping the proposals more managable creates more engagement, more understanding and ultimately higher conversions.

Perhaps putting slightly more info in each page rather than splitting it up makes it look less daunting. A few suggestions here might be to not have a "testimonials" page, but instead drip feed them througout the proposal. Don't put your guarantee on a separate page but instead put it next to your price.
06 PRICING

Naming Your Pricing Page

Looking at all proposals that were signed, the most common name for the page with a pricing table on it contained the word 'Investment'.

This stands to reason. Words like 'cost', 'price', 'fees', 'rates' don't indicate any return. You could argue the word investment is over used and makes it seem more expensive but it's clear it's converting better than using any other words.
INVESTMENT
07 PRICING

Average Price in Your Industry

The average successful deal size across 3 main industries, converted to USD for simplicity. All of this seems incredibly low so our thoughts are that there must be a huge number of signed proposals for incredibly low amounts pulling down the averages.

If your prices are in and around this area and you are outstanding at what you do, consider increasing your prices.

Web and
Digital

PROJECT FEE

$2,054

MONTHLY

$501

Photo
and Video

PROJECT FEE

$3,371

MONTHLY

$74

Professional
Services

PROJECT FEE

$2,686

MONTHLY

$265

08 SENDING

How fast you should write and send your proposals


This looks at the time between the proposal being created in Better Proposals and the time it was first sent. Of course, we don't know what happened prior to the proposal being created but this still illustrates a powerful point.

Sending your proposals within 24 hours results in a 25.9% higher conversion rate and a 6 day time to sign compared to 10 days if you leave it just 48 hours.

This is a huge difference in getting deals over the line faster but it also makes a massive difference in getting deals signed. This might be the most important thing to take away from this report. In short, get your proposals sent as quickly as possible.
09 CHECKLIST

SO HERE'S THE DEFINITIVE LIST OF WHAT YOUR PROPOSALS SHOULD DO

Use a proposal cover
Use a video in your proposals if it is quality and adds value
Integrate Live Chat into your proposals
Send a web version and don't send PDFs
Split your proposal into 6 pages
Name your pricing page 'Investment'
Increase your prices. 2-3k is way below industry averages
Send your proposal within 24 hours
10 NEXT STEPS

Everything in the ultimate proposal comes as standard in Better Proposals.

Better Proposals is online proposal software designed to help you write winning proposals faster. With over 6,000 customers, it is the World's "Go to" choice for proposal software.
Try it free

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