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Web Proposals: More Effective than PDFs for Making a Sale?

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Coralie Beelen



4 min

Sales organizations today must operate differently than they did just a few years ago. Last-century techniques are no longer adequate to compete, especially when new market competition and evolving customer expectations make it essential to remove friction from every customer interaction. Unfortunately, despite trends toward digital transformation and e-commerce, many sales teams work as if it were still 1999, using email, spreadsheets, and PDF attachments to present sales proposals and tenders. While once table-stakes for sales teams, these techniques now often miss the mark.

Take it to the Web

Web proposals or microsites provide a superior approach to closing the sale. Rather than asking a prospective customer to download (and likely print) a PDF attachment, leading organizations use web proposals to put their best foot forward. Quotes and specifications are provided, but also any variety of custom videos, data sheets, and cost and configure calculators that work to make the buying decision easy.

The approach provides the ability to build a customized landing page that is tailored for each individual customer interaction. This curated website does more than just deliver the quote requested, it is specifically designed to strengthen and extend the customer conversation and position the organization as a trusted knowledge leader and resource. Sales teams benefit when a potential (or existing) customer sees all of the most relevant features in one place and is exposed to additional products or services that they may not have considered or purchased in the past.

Customers Do Their Own Research Online

This is an important trend since most customers do their own online research long before engaging with a sales team. In the past, buyers relied on a familiar sales rep to help them understand their options and determine what equipment or products they needed. Drawing on what he or she knew or could quickly deduce about the buyer's need, reps would locate the perfect product or service and, often, suggest additional items the customer hadn’t even thought of. But today that’s all changed. Over 80% of buyers conduct their own online research before making a purchase making the typical back and forth dialogue using email and PDF’s a woefully antiquated scenario.

Microsites Deliver Maximum Results

Advances in web technology, data gathering, and analytics make it possible to deliver something better. Using tools like XaitCPQ sales teams gain the ability to put together a microsite for each customer interaction that helps remove friction from the sales process, build trust, and extend the value of each sale. The customer can see exactly what they want on every quote while becoming exposed to the best features and scenarios available. Meanwhile, tools like a dynamic ROI calculator and 3D visualization help customers more easily evaluate their return on investment and construct different configuration scenarios by simply changing the specifications and terms in real-time.

A Web of Collaboration

Web proposals also facilitate increased collaboration between sales and marketing teams. In the past, marketing teams worked hard to attract customers, but often lost connection during the actual response and negotiation phases of the sale. Web proposals, as an approach, link the two related disciplines and increase the likelihood of improved market penetration and expansion of sales revenue overall.

Advanced Benefits

What are some of the advanced capabilities and benefits that web proposals can provide to your team? Here are a few to consider.

  • Maximize every customer interaction – Unlike PDF, web proposals make it easy for sales teams to quickly present any combination of relevant marketing content, increasing the likelihood of making the sale.

  • Leverage buyer / visitor data - Know when and how frequently buyers click on your proposal. Track which aspects appeal most, and follow-up with timely and relevant information to progress the sale.

  • Demonstrate the ROI – Most customers will ask “What is the ROI?” before making any decision. What if they could easily calculate their ROI right within your quote microsite?

  • Utilize 3D Visualization – It is one thing to talk about a solution, it’s another to see it. 3D visualization gives customers a means to instantly visualize what is being configured or built.

  • Remove Friction from the Sale - What if your sales teams could sell more without doing more? The e-commerce capabilities embedded into web proposals allow customers to place an order directly on their own.

Organizations that continue to rely on spreadsheets and email attachments risk being left behind by their more modern and more agile competitors. This is especially true for large organizations with multiple product offerings, advanced service offerings and programs, across multiple countries.

It’s time to consider how web proposals can enable your sales teams to sell more, and sell in more ways. XaitCPQ makes it easy to run multiple pricing models at once and present them online to customers. With just a few clicks customers can configure various scenarios, calculate their ROI, and engage in marketing and sales support resources in real-time. The result is you’ll build trust with customers who are already doing research online. You’ll build a more robust and agile sales proposal process that increases the chance of landing the deal, landing it ahead of the competition, and closing with higher revenue than ever before.

Related articles: CPQ Implementation: 5 Ways To Reduce Time to Value

Digital Sales Enablement

Author picture

Coralie Beelen

Coralie is an experienced Business Developer Manager at Xait. She studied Business Administrations in Germany with a focus on International Affair and has worked in Tech directly after her graduation. Her interests vary from painting, to literature, technological innovations, and cuisine.

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