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Five proposal insights that will change the way you close deals

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You’ve read them all - the countless online tips on how to create a winning proposal. But which best practices will really set you up for success and make your offers stand out from the rest?

You’ve read your share of online advice on creating winning proposals.

But you still feel like you could do better, like your conversion rate could be higher.

The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to achieve your goals.

If you take the following five insights to heart, you’re already ahead of most of your competitors.

The best thing about these five points? They’re straightforward and have a massive impact on your guest experience and conversion rate.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to dive into the five insights that will help you level up your proposal game for good.

Response time matters – a LOT

Respond to RFPs as quickly as possible. The faster you are, the better. This insight isn’t new. But it’s one of the most important ones. Why? Because research has shown that the first five respondents win a whopping 75% of RFPs. That doesn’t leave a lot of business for stragglers.

Of course, responding within hours rather than days is easier said than done. You probably have many other tasks apart from handling RFPs and sometimes an inquiry can fall through the cracks.

This is why you need a quick, streamlined RFP response process. It’ll help you win more business because you’ll get in front of your potential client faster. Creating and sending a proposal quickly is the main factor here. If this still takes you hours (or even days), it’s time to revisit your workflow or implement a tool to speed up the creation process.

Following up is YOUR job

What do you do after sending your proposal? You probably wait because you want to give potential clients time to review your offer. But don’t wait too long before you follow up. It’s your job to go after the guest, not the other way around.

Event planners have many things to do, so your proposal may not be their top priority. Maybe it even slipped to the bottom of their inbox. A gentle reminder brings your offer back onto their radar and shows your interest in their business.

And if they still don’t sign after you check in? Data shows that 80% of sales are made after five or more contacts. That means every email exchange is a step in the right direction. Make your follow-up even more successful by including an action step. Give your prospect options for what to do next, such as asking questions, editing or accepting the proposal.

Managing communication around several proposals can quickly become confusing. Track your progress and set yourself reminders to avoid missing anything. A project or proposal management system can help you keep an overview or even automate the process.

VIDEO works

You’ve probably experienced this yourself: when you see a video of a product or place, it comes alive to you in a whole new way. Your potential guests feel the same when you include a video in your event proposal. This doesn’t have to be a feature film. A short intro to your property, your venues, style and concept is enough.

Marketers have found that video can lift conversion rates by up to 80%. That’s because video increases the time readers spend on your proposal. Video also grabs your guest’s attention and makes your offer more memorable. This puts you at the front of people’s minds when they’re making decisions.

So, how do you include a video in your proposal? If you send PDF proposals, embed a thumbnail which links out to a video. Even better: read our post about why it’s time to retire the PDF and what to do instead.

INTERACTIVE proposals are the future

Here’s a hard truth to keep in mind: your guests are busy and don’t spend a lot of time actively reading your proposal. The best way to keep them engaged is to make your proposal short, concise and interactive. Allow readers to adjust certain elements themselves such as the attendee count, optional add-ons or the menu selection.

This can boost your conversion rate for several reasons. First, it reduces the back-and-forth communication and makes the proposal review process faster and smoother. Second, clients feel like they’re more in control of the planning process because they can adjust the proposal to match their needs. Finally, this approach lets you offer a variety of attractive add-ons. They can both add value to your guest’s experience and boost your revenue.

Make YES the obvious answer

Having a streamlined, easy RFP process will make you the perfect partner for event planners. The more complicated the process, the more people (and business opportunities) you’ll lose along the way.

This also goes for the final step - approving and signing your offers. Guests should be able to do this fast and without too many manual steps. Move on from the print-sign-scan-email process and embrace e-signatures. According to Aberdeen Strategy & Research, this simple change makes a big difference: companies that use e-signature close 17% more deals than those who don’t.

And that’s a wrap of the five insights that will help you step up your proposal game. Which one surprised you the most? And which one are you going to act on first?

Our advice: pick the one that’s easiest for you and start with that. That’ll give you a quick win before you progress to the next area you want to optimize.

Not sure where to start and how to go about it? Our team of proposal experts is happy to support you and suggest solutions that’ll save you hours on proposal creation and follow-up and drastically boost your conversion rate.

Just give us a shout!

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