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2021

Proposal report

4 years of data towards winning more business with your proposals

1. What devices do clients use to open my proposals?

Since 2019, the number of people who open proposals on a PC has been steadily decreasing. In 2021, it dropped by 5%.

Instead, more and more users choose mobile devices as their preferred way of reading proposals. Today, 46% of your proposals are opened on mobile first, which is a huge jump compared to 34% in 2019. So, if your proposal software isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it might be time for a change.

Make sure your proposal software supports mobile optimization.

2. How many proposal sections is too many?

Compared to last year's 7, the ideal number of sections has slightly decreased. This year, the proposals with the best conversion rates contained an average of 6 sections.

In the past four years, the ideal number of proposal sections has more or less remained the same, fluctuating between 6 and 7.

Proposals with the best conversions have 6 sections on average.

3. How does printing affect my proposals' conversion rate?

Over the years, printing has been the number one enemy to your proposal conversion rates.

In 2018, if your proposal was printed, your chances of conversion decreased by 45%. Fast forward to 2021, and printing your proposal decreases your conversion chances by a whopping 88%.

So, if you want to increase your conversion rate, make sure to use web-based proposals. That way, your clients can easily read, sign, and pay - no printing or scanning required.

If clients print your proposals, you decrease your chances of conversion by 88%.

4. Does my proposal need a cover page?

In 2018, 44.7% of all proposals who had a cover also had higher conversion rates. Since we jumped on that trend right away and included covers in all our proposal templates, this year's data shows a 4.6% increase.

If you include a cover in your proposal, you’re 4.6% more likely to seal the deal.

5. What's the best way to structure my pricing section?

One thing that's been steady for years is what you should name your pricing section. We highly recommend avoiding expressions like:

  • pricing
  • costs
  • expenses

Instead, try using "investment" and variations of this word, such as “return on investment” or “ROI”. This has been a sure-fire way to a signature for four years straight.

Call your pricing section “INVESTMENT” or a similar term.

6. Is it easier for clients to pay me when I use Better Proposals?

In short, yes. Thanks to our integrations with PayPal, Stripe, and GoCardless, your clients can pay you almost instantly. In 2021, 71% of all proposals sent through our system were also paid through Better Proposals. This is a 4% increase compared to last year and a staggering 19% increase compared to 2019.

71% of all proposals sent through better proposals got paid through our own system.

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7. Will I get paid faster with Better Proposals?

Over the course of only two years, we've cut the time it takes you to collect payment in half. Compared to just over 12 hours in 2019, this year's 6 hours proves that payment integrations are a crucial feature to look for in proposal software.

When you send out a proposal, you should get paid in an average of just 6 hours.

8. How long should I wait to send my proposal?

When it comes to business proposals, sending them to your client as soon as possible is the way to go. Looking at the past four years, the conversion rates of proposals sent in the first 24 hours have seen a steady rise. From 14% in 2019 and 19% in 2020 to today’s 23%, proposals convert better - the sooner you send them.

Proposals sent within 24 hours from talking to a client convert 23% better.

9. How long does it take for my proposal to get signed?

The sooner you send the proposal, the sooner your clients will sign it. For example, in 2021, proposals sent within the first 24 hours from a meeting were signed in 5 days on average. Waiting 3-4 days, on the other hand, sets you back for more than a week, with the average wait being 13 days.

If you send the proposal within 24 hours from meeting with a client, it will get signed within 5 days on average.

10. What day is the best for sending my proposals?

When it comes to the days of the week, Monday still has a slight advantage with 1.2% increase in conversion chances.

However, sending proposals on Fridays will negatively impact the time it takes to get that signature. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Since everyone is trying to wrap things up at the end of the week, their focus is only on urgent items that need attention before Monday. So, if you don't want your proposal to be put on hold, avoid sending them on Fridays.

Avoid sending proposals on Fridays if you don’t want them to be put on hold.

11. Does including video increase my conversion rates?

Overall, proposals with embedded video saw a 4.5% higher conversion rate than the ones without it this year. While this is only a 3.4% increase compared to 2019, it does indicate the growing importance of video in web-based proposals.

Adding video to your business proposals won’t contribute to your conversion rates significantly.

Hi John,
I have a question for you.

Sure, what can I do for you?

I was wondering if it were possible for us to pay over 6 months instead of 12?

Of course! Let me just adjust the proposal for you. It will take less than a minute.

Thank you, that's perfect.

Is there anything else I can do for you?

No, this would be all, thank you.

12. How does the live chat integration affect my proposals?

When it comes to integrations, live chat is definitely a good one to consider. This year, proposals that used this feature converted 18.2% better than the ones that didn't.

In fact, live chat increases conversions by just over 2% each year. Compared to 2018, that is an overall 8% increase, proving that a high service level and customer relationships are more important than ever.

This year, proposals with integrated live chat converted 18.2% better than those without them.

13. How important is branding?

With Better Proposals, you can make your proposals look like they are hosted on your own website. Besides ensuring consistent branding, this feature also has a positive impact on conversions.

In 2021, proposals sent using a custom domain converted 19.3% better than the ones that were not. Looking back at the 7.2% increase in 2018, this is a significant bump that shows how important it is to look professional.

Use consistent branding to look as professional as you are.

14. Can I create and send proposals faster with my CRM integrated?

In 2021, Better Proposals' CRM integrations allowed you to create and send proposals 84.8% faster compared to filling them out manually. In fact, this percentage hasn't changed much over the past four years, meaning that the feature is still as important as ever. So, if you want to spend only a fraction of your time doing administrative work, make sure to choose proposal software that connects to your CRM.

Integrating your CRM means creating and sending proposals 84.8% faster.

In a nutshell

make sure to:

Make your proposals look great on mobile

Stick to around 6 sections

Stay away from PDFs

Include a cover

Call your pricing page "Investment"

Use Better Proposals' Instant Payments

Send your proposals within the first 24 hours

Avoid sending on Fridays

Include video if it makes sense

Integrate Better Proposals' Live Chat

Use a branded proposal URL

Connect your CRM with Better Proposals

Start sending Better Proposals today

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