While building SendQu, I’ve been talking to potential users of the app. And in one particular industry (copywriting), I received replies which threw me off a bit.
I know I can’t make any particular conclusion from speaking to just a few people, but still, it’s something worth exploring.
What they replied to me was simple – “Why do I need a proposal app? I can do everything on excel”.
Interesting. Because when I think about my consulting business, I would never send out a proposal as an excel file. Excel is ugly, it’s not convenient to put together proposals on excel, you can’t have your clients to sign the proposal online, can’t trigger any automated payments nor invoices, etc.
To be honest, I personally would use simple email before using excel. Google docs, PDF, anything goes before excel for me..so what the hell is going on?
But there’s an important lesson here – people use what they’ve accustomed to. There’s a “switching cost” that users have to be willing to pay in order to try out something new. And if the product is simple to use and benefits outweigh the switching cost AND the cost of using your app, then you have a chance of building a great business.
As the SendQu proposal app is still in the development stage, I will try to make a case for why using a proposal app makes sense.
Why Do You Need A Proposal App?
There are a couple of key reasons that I would like to highlight.
If you’re a one-man company or a small agency, there are TONS of things to do for each and everyone contributing to the business. And each activity has a monetary value.
For example, doing sales/discovery calls might be a key activity driving sales in your business. It has the highest monetary value for the business. But you also have to do the marketing, content creation, emails, agreements, proposals, invoicing, etc. And while each of these activities is important to keep the business running, there’s a hierarchy of impact.
And unless you can minimise your time spend on things with lesser impact, you won’t be able to spend the time on what matters most to drive sales. Putting together and sending proposals is an important activity, but it’s also a pretty mundane part of the sales process. And once someone accepts the proposal, you have the signing of the agreement, sending the invoice, etc – doing all these things adds up.
Merging different steps like these into one automated process is one of the keys to more time and better results. With SendQu proposal app, you’ll be able to replicate your old proposals or put together new ones, in less than 2-minutes. Your clients can accept the proposal online, check out via Stripe or receive a bank wire invoice to their email automatically. And last but not least, we will be adding a workspace which is generated to all clients who accept the invoice – to manage the project and communicate in one safe environment. To top it off, you will have a chance to request a testimonial from the client once the project is finished. Nothing works better than social proof to convert clients.
I know that many entrepreneurs don’t really think about how their proposals look. They just want to convey the necessary information and that’s it. While I understand this, I also think that anything that you send out to your client communicates a story about your brand.
That’s why I’ve been focusing a lot on the design of SendQu. It has to be modern, personalised, and easy to consume. And with the possibility to interact with the proposal, it gives a different vibe to the company compared to receiving an offer in excel file.
Metrics & Reminders
The benefit of metrics is unquestionable. If you can see the value of proposals you’re sending out, how much you’re making profit per the proposal, and how many proposals are actually accepted, you can start to work on improving the conversion rate.
Yes, you can have a different excel for that as well, but really, what’s wrong with you? It’s manual work to keep another document updated at all times. And a good proposal app will send out automated reminders in case the client hasn’t acted on the proposal. You can also add a timer to how long the proposal is actually valid to incentivize the client to act.
Metrics are one of the main reasons why I would recommend anyone to use a proposal app.
You’re still not sure about using a proposal app?
Let me list out some of the key features of SendQu, and if you’re still not convinced, I would still recommend to try out the beta product once we launch.
– Simple and intuitive UX to create proposals
– In-app video and audio recording to personalise the proposal for each client
– Replicate proposals and/or edit proposals upon request from the client
– Sent as an easily editable online link
– Clients can book a call or click to add you to Skype/Whatsapp/Telegram, etc to talk about the proposal
– Stripe checkout or bank wire
– Invoice is generated automatically once the proposal is accepted
– Proposals are accepted online, no need to print & scan
– Workspace is generated for clients to communicate and manage the project (feature coming later)
– Request a video or written testimonial which you can add to your future proposals as social proof (feature coming later)
– Dashboard to track the status and monetary value of created proposals
– Automated reminders and due dates for sent proposals
These are the planned features of SendQu which we will be rolling out in stages. If you’re interested in getting notified about the launch of the SendQu proposal app, don’t hesitate to join the waitlist.