2022 Proposal Report

Insights to keep you winning

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1. Mobile-friendly is no longer optional

Year after year, the number of clients opening proposals on a PC has been decreasing, and so has the use of traditional, static proposals. Compared to last year’s 46%, as much as 58% of proposals are now opened on mobile devices.

Looking even further back at 2019, it’s an overall 24% increase in favor of mobile. This speaks volumes about the importance of sending web-based, responsive proposals that adapt to any screen your clients view them on.

Use proposal software to make your proposals look great on any device.

2. PDFs are less and less popular

In 2018, as much as 55% of proposals were downloaded as PDFs. This number has been dropping steadily over the years, ending up at only 12% in 2022. Growing sustainability concerns, the shift to remote work, and fewer households owning printers all contributed to the acceptance of green, digital options.

When given the choice, 88% of clients don’t want a PDF.

3. Focus on great presentation

Another trend we’ve been seeing for a while now is the importance of presentation. Focusing on facts is great, but what really gets a deal over the line is how you present them to the client.

From a client’s point of view, your proposals reflect the effort and the quality of work they can expect. That’s why carefully designed proposals containing visual elements such as images, cover pages, and video convert 82% better than plain text ones.

Visually appealing proposals have an 82% higher chance of conversion.

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4. Add an extra touch of professionalism

Speaking of presentation, first impressions still matter in 2022. With Better Proposals, you can add that extra touch of professionalism by sending proposals from your own domain.

Besides making your proposals look like they’re coming from your own website, our data says this also increases your conversion rates. Proposals sent from a custom domain converted 23.4% better than those that weren’t, which shows clients care about how professional you look.

Win your clients’ trust by looking as professional as possible.

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5. Keep it short and to the point

Every year, we get proof that more is not better when it comes to business proposals. Once again, concise proposals are the clients’ favorites, the perfect length for conversion being 6-7 sections.

Proposals with the best conversion rates contain 7 sections maximum.

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6. The first 24 hours are crucial

According to five years of data, playing hard to get is the worst thing you can do for your conversion rate. While it might be tempting to try to appear busy and wait a few days before sending a proposal, clients don’t want to wait.

Sending your proposal within 24 hours of meeting the client increases conversion rates by 42%. Compared to last year’s 27%, this is a huge jump that goes to show how important it is to act fast to gain a competitive advantage.

Send your proposal as soon as possible to increase your chances for conversion.

7. A great template goes a long way

Only 24 hours to create, design, and send a proposal is a big ask if you’re doing it all from scratch. However, using dedicated proposal software cuts that time down significantly.

Our data shows an average proposal creation time of 15 minutes or less thanks to ready-to-use templates.

Use templates to create proposals in minutes instead of hours.

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8. Speed up creation through automation

In 2021, Better Proposals’ CRM integrations contributed to an 84.8% faster proposal creation process. This year, the number has increased to just under 90% thanks to the introduction of custom merge tags - automatic fields that let you populate proposal data with even less manual entry than before.

Create and send your proposals 90% faster by leveraging automatic fields and CRM integrations.

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9. Pay extra attention to most popular sections

According to our analytics, there are two proposal sections clients spend the most time looking at: the introduction and the pricing. More specifically, these two sections account for 67% of the total time your client spends on reading your proposal, leaving only 33% for the other sections.

Seeing that clients look at these two as the most important sections of your proposal, invest extra effort into making them flawless.

Take time to perfect your introduction and pricing sections.

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10. Wording matters

Year in and year out, what you name your pricing section has had an impact on your conversion rate. Avoid expressions like:

  • Costs
  • Expenses
  • Fees

Instead, opt for positive alternatives that signal long-term business benefits. Going with “investment”, “ROI”, and similar variations is still the best way to get a signature.

Present your pricing as an investment, not a cost.

11. Give your clients a choice

When it comes to upselling, not being pushy has proven to be the best way to do it. The proposals with the highest upsell percentage had one thing in common - interactive pricing tables.

By offering your clients additional products or services that are closely connected to the main topic of your proposal, you can increase your revenue by up to 30%.

Use interactive pricing tables for subtle upselling.

12. Make the offer easy to accept

Another way to close deals faster is to make your offer easy to accept by using electronic signatures. This year, 47% of proposals with electronic signature options were signed in less than 24 hours from the clients opening them.

Electronic signatures significantly reduce the time it takes to close deals.

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13. Provide a great customer experience

The importance of customer experience has been growing steadily, and so have the conversion rates of proposals containing a live chat integration. This year, live chat has increased conversion rates by 21%, which is a 3% increase compared to 2021.

Integrating live chat increases your conversion rates by 21%.

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14. Make payments a breeze

Thanks to our integrations with Stripe, GoCardless, and PayPal, your clients can pay you directly from your proposals. Over the years, you’ve been getting paid faster, with the 2022 average being just over 5 hours.

What’s more, 76% of proposals sent in 2022 through Better Proposals got paid through the same platform. Compared to last year, this is a 5% increase.

Better Proposals makes it easy for clients to pay you.

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