I used to live next door to a guy that owned a lawn care business. I was shocked. Not because I'd never met a business owner, but because his lawn was one of the worst-looking lawns on the block. His set up was impressive: He had several trailers full of mowers, tree trimmers, seeders and weedeaters at his disposal – the whole nine yards. Yet, he couldn't keep his own yard in line. It looked…neglected.
The same kind of thing happens to a busy marketing agency. The clients take precedent and one of the first things to start being neglected is the agency's website. The terribly troubling aspect of this trend is that a website is an agency's calling card. More than other industries perhaps, because it's what we do! We assess, design, and develop beautiful websites. For agency business development leaders, this becomes particularly troublesome when your agency site doesn't reflect the sophistication of your actual services. So, you rely HEAVILY on your proposals to do the lifting.
I felt these same growing pains and sought to improve our digital agency's proposals through testing various tools outside of the traditional Word, PowerPoint, and InDesign documents. I average seven proposals per month and with my growing team, I assist in more than I can keep up with. I needed a way to create documents for sales templates that were easy for my team to access, with easy design capabilities to save time and a way for us to track the results more effectively. I'm fortunate to have a Strategy Director at my agency that constantly fills ups my Slack channels with ideas and potential tools to test out. One of the tools I came across in an article he shared was Qwilr.
An Online Sales Proposal Solution
Ease of Use
Of the apps I've tested thus far, Qwilr provides the best simple, yet well-stocked, canvas to create proposals, case studies, and sales decks. While there aren't infinite possibilities within the toolset, the possibilities that are there have up-leveled our proposal game. The ability to stylize the proposal is a definite plus and there are plenty of stock photos and videos to choose from just in case.
The coolest part (for me) is that these proposals live online. How many times have I sent a PDF out to a client, only to look at it a moment later and realize I forgot a detail? (More times than I care to admit.) But because I can send a link to the proposal instead of a hard copy (which is still an available option), if I happen to catch something a moment after I hit the send button, I can simply edit it before it gets read. I know it gets read because Qwilr sends me a notification.
After it's read, I can jump into the analytics report and see which sections of the proposal the recipient spent the most time in. While the there is no deep-dive analytics reporting for data geeks, it serves my purpose of knowing whether or not the document was even looked at.
I believe the app is still in its early stages, so there are some bugs in the system still, although nothing that stopped us from creating close to 20 different proposals in the month we've been using it. I do receive emails with bug fixes and updated features fairly often, as well as feedback opportunities, so I know the company is trying to build a very intuitive and powerful tool over time.
It's Worth A Trial
So, if you're in the market for up-leveling your proposal game, give it a test drive and see if it fits your needs. You can start with a free trial, which is three proposals. After that, it's a matter of how customized you'd like your proposals and how many users you'll want. I'm currently testing out Pro Level and may roll it out to a larger team.