The Step-By-Step Guide to Accelerating Your Proposal Sending Process With Proposify

 
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Proposify, one of the most popular proposal automation softwares available, is chock full of efficiency-boosting features that help you generate complex documents for clients in a matter of minutes — so are you using them to their full potential?

As with many apps, users tend to ignore some of Proposify's most powerful tools because they simply don't realize that they're there, or don't know how to use them. Our goal in this step-by-step guide is to acquaint you with the best practices for saving time in Proposify and get you set up to seal the deal faster than ever before.

We're going to cover the entire gamut of features, from automating content to automating reminders, so buckle in.

 

Keep Your Proposals Organized with Proposify Sections

One of Proposify's most powerful features is also one of the most fundamental: the ability to break up your proposal into sections.

A section is just what is sounds like: a chunk of pages that all relate to each other, like a chapter of a book. They can be as long as you like - maybe a "Terms & Conditions" section that's 40 pages long - or as brief - maybe only a single "About Us" page.

The power comes in Proposify's ability to swap these sections in and out, or rearrange them inside your document, with basically a single click.

Here's how you get started: Inside your template's editor, mouse over to the bar on the left and click the big "+" button. This will bring up the dialog to create a new section.

Hitting the + in the Proposify editor's left-hand "section menu" will create a new section.

Hitting the + in the Proposify editor's left-hand "section menu" will create a new section.

Most of these options should be self-explanatory, but there's one you should pay attention to, since you can't change it later: whether to make your section a Page Flow, or Static section.

The first, Page Flow, means the section will behave like Microsoft Word: there'll be a big text box in the middle of the page, determined by your page margins, and when it fills up the text will wrap to the next page.

In Page Flow sections, text runs forever, without you having to manually create new pages.

In Page Flow sections, text runs forever, without you having to manually create new pages.

The second, Static, acts a little bit more like a designing program like Publisher or InDesign. Instead of having one text box that flows continuously, each page in a Static section can have a different layout, and pages are added manually.

Static sections are must better for intricate or unique layouts. Also pictured: Static section pages can be added or rearranged manually from the section menu.

Static sections are must better for intricate or unique layouts. Also pictured: Static section pages can be added or rearranged manually from the section menu.

Neither type of section is better than the other. Page Flows, for instance, are handy when you have a huge chunk of text that you might want to edit, like your fee table, while Static sections are best if you want fixed designs with more visual variety.

Once you've created a few sections, you can easily rearrange them by dragging and dropping their headings in the section menu.

Rearranging sections is a quick way to experiment with the most effective structure for your proposal.

Rearranging sections is a quick way to experiment with the most effective structure for your proposal.

What if your proposal is already all built as one big section? Don't worry - it’s easy to break it up. Just create a new section and copy/paste your content onto the new page.

The Power of Reusing Sections

Just quickly restructuring your proposal isn't the most powerful part of sections, however. You can also create duplicate versions of a section with slightly different content, and change which version you're using based on what client you're talking to.

What do I mean? Well, let's say you're a software provider who, somehow, has found yourself servicing two wildly different markets: hospitals and produce stands. While you want most of your proposal to stay the same, you've got a section of testimonials that you'd like to swap out based on what type of client you're talking to.

Instead of having to rewrite that section every time, you can create two different copies, one for hospitals and one for produce stands, and drop in the appropriate one while you're writing a proposal.

To create a duplicate, hover over a section's name, click the dot menu, and select "Duplicate."

You can also edit a section's setting or remove it from your proposal entirely in the section flyout menu.

You can also edit a section's setting or remove it from your proposal entirely in the section flyout menu.

Now, since this is a different section, you can make your changes without affecting the original.

Changing headings, images, body text, or the entire page will leave the original unaffected, so you can create several versions of a section for different products, audiences, or situations.

Changing headings, images, body text, or the entire page will leave the original unaffected, so you can create several versions of a section for different products, audiences, or situations.

Proposify keeps copies of every section you make in the Content Library, so you can even delete the duplicates you're not using and drag them in again later. Just hit the drawer button in the left-hand pane and pull in what you need.

Open the section library with the drawer button, and drag whichever sections you'd like into the section menu. They'll automatically assume the styling of the rest of your proposal so everything looks consistent.

Open the section library with the drawer button, and drag whichever sections you'd like into the section menu. They'll automatically assume the styling of the rest of your proposal so everything looks consistent.

A side note: sometimes, when you make a new duplicate of a section, it will still be named after the original in the Content Library. When you're making new duplicates of sections, always check in the Content Library to make sure you can tell them apart.

To rename a section in Proposify's Content Library, hover over its name and click the pencil icon.

To rename a section in Proposify's Content Library, hover over its name and click the pencil icon.

By breaking your proposal into sections and creating duplicates for special circumstances, you'll already be well on your way to writing proposals faster than ever before.

Instantly Customize Your Proposal with Proposify Variables

Worrying about details is one of the more sure-fire ways to slow down your proposal delivery speed. Instead of having to say, "Wait, where was every time I mentioned the client's name?", why don't you have Proposify keep track of it for you?

Known in other programs as "merge fields" or "short codes," Proposify's variables will automatically update with data about your company, you client, and the proposal itself, so you don't have to manually replace them.

To pull up a list of allowed variables, place your cursor in a text box and click the <> button in the Properties pane. From there you can easily insert a variable by clicking on an entry in the list.

Proposify variables can also be typed manually into a text box. I think I've heard there's a cheat sheet for that.

Proposify variables can also be typed manually into a text box. I think I've heard there's a cheat sheet for that.

Once you create a new proposal to send, the appropriate names, addresses, and totals will be inserted automatically.

Quickly Place Content in Proposals with the Proposify Content Library

Creating a proposal requires synthesizing pricing, graphical, and written information from a variety of sources so you can make a customized, persuasive pitch to your client, and assembling all that data can take a lot of time. Fortunately, you can store everything you need in Proposify's Content Library so finding a certain quote or price point is a cinch.

Proposify can store four different types of content: images, snippets, fees, and sections. We'll talk about how to store and use sections in a bit, so let's focus on the other three.

Image Library

Like every other kind of content, you can upload images directly to your Content Library just by navigating to the Image tab and hitting the big green "+Image" button.

By default, you should always a high-quality version of your company's logo—and any other vital branding assets—uploaded here so they're always accessible. If you don't, do that now.

Images, as well as fees, snippets, and sections, can be added to Proposify's Content Library by navigating to the appropriate tab and clicking the green + button.

Images, as well as fees, snippets, and sections, can be added to Proposify's Content Library by navigating to the appropriate tab and clicking the green + button.

Besides logos, however, I find that most often I want to add a new image while I'm actually working on a proposal. Fortunately, you can add them to the Content Library from the editor, too.

Just click on the image tool and drag your files into the pane that opens. Once they're finished uploading, you can add them to your proposal like any other image.

Pro tip: If you already have an image selected, the Image tool will replace it with what you select, instead of adding a new one. This can save a lot of time when you're customizing lots of similar pages, like product sell sheets.

Pro tip: If you already have an image selected, the Image tool will replace it with what you select, instead of adding a new one. This can save a lot of time when you're customizing lots of similar pages, like product sell sheets.

Snippet Library

Snippets are little bits of text, usually a sentence or two, that you can bring in from your Content Library while you're writing.

Snippets are most useful for storing simple phrases, quotes, or product descriptions. You shouldn't try to swap out entire pages of your proposal with snippets - for that, I'd recommend creating a duplicate section instead (see above).

To insert or create a snippet, place your cursor in a text box and hit the "Snippet" button in the Properties pane. Snippets can also be created from the Content Library.

Fee Library

Like snippets, you can store fees in your Content Library and import them into a fee table. This can save a tremendous amount of time by eliminating the need to look up, re-enter, and double-check the prices for every single product you propose.

To import fees, place your cursor in the body of a fee table, open up the "Fee Library Actions" dropdown in the Properties pane, and click "Import Fees." Simply check the fees you'd like to bring in and click "Add to Table."

If you'd like to add a new fee to the Content Library, you can either highlight a row of a fee table and click "Copy to Fee Library" in the Properties pane, or enter it from the Content Library itself.

Fee library actions are accessible from inside Proposify's editor by selecting a fee and navigating to the Properties pane. The snippet library is there, too.

Fee library actions are accessible from inside Proposify's editor by selecting a fee and navigating to the Properties pane. The snippet library is there, too.

Once you've broken your proposal into sections and filled out your content library, proposal writing should start to feel less like weaving a overwhelming, over-complicated tapestry, and more like sticking LEGOs together—and that's much faster!

How to Automatically Send Reminders to Your Clients

So, using these tips, you've saved a lot of time creating and sending your proposal. In fact, you've managed to send out twice as many as usual, and now you're feeling a little overwhelmed with trying to follow up on everything.

Fortunately, Proposify can save you time there, too, by automatically sending reminders to clients who haven't signed yet.

To set this up, before you send a proposal, open up the "Reminder Email" tab on the Send screen, tick on the "Send my client a reminder" option, and choose the email template you'd like. After the number of days specified, Proposify will automatically send out your reminder to the client, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of everything.

You can also turn off or on a thank you email from this screen, which is another way to save time.

You can also turn off or on a thank you email from this screen, which is another way to save time.

Already sent a proposal? Don't worry. Just go to the proposal snapshot and click the stopwatch near the signee's name. That'll open up a window where you can choose your email template, make edits to your message, and send the reminder off.

Right next to a stopwatch you can also get a signee-specific link to the proposal, in case you want to send them a reminder through a different channel.

Right next to a stopwatch you can also get a signee-specific link to the proposal, in case you want to send them a reminder through a different channel.

Those are our top tips for accelerating your proposal sending process in Proposify. Having trouble with something specific? Don’t hesitate to reach out, and we’d be happy to chat about how we can help you achieve your goals.