Once you send your proposal deck or RFP response to a potential client, how do you ensure that your follow-up is not only timely and relevant, but also that it’s adding value and helping that client determine whether you’re the right solution for them?
Those who send proposals as attachments via email are—at best—able to see that the email was opened. Beyond that, follow up becomes a guessing game. But, what if you could start to understand exactly what your client thought about your deck from the moment they set eyes on it? How would that impact the way you manage the relationship and ultimately close the deal?
There are myriad reasons why moving from traditional forms of communication (like PowerPoint decks) to digital proposals is becoming the standard, including increased security, efficiency, brand cohesion, and progressiveness. Perhaps even more important, is the data. It’s the ability to understand your audience that drives a deal forward, and reading between the lines can be the most valuable piece of the process.
Digital Proposals – Why PowerPoint Won’t Cut It
Know what matters, to who
In the world of sales, there’s nothing worse than walking into a meeting blind. You’re likely familiar with the adage “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Then again, what if you haven’t heard from your prospect between sending the initial proposal to the time of that first follow up meeting? You can’t know what to prepare, much less how.
If you’re using digital proposals, on the other hand, your microsite analytics enable you to see:
- Who looked at your proposal (and when)
- What they viewed or engaged with while there
- Whether they downloaded any documents
- How many minutes or seconds were spent on individual assets (e.g. videos, slide decks, and more)
- Where they exited the site
- Who they shared the microsite with
Even better is the ability to subscribe to real-time notifications, giving you insight into when your audience is viewing your materials so you follow up at the most opportune time.
How can you use this data? In the leadup to a follow-up meeting, perhaps you notice increased traffic or key stakeholders revisiting details of a particular product or service. That’s your cue to brush up your talking points. On the flip side, you’ll also know if your audience hasn’t found or reviewed any of your key materials. If that’s the case, you know to add it to the agenda next time you speak.
While PowerPoint decks remain static after you send them, microsites are dynamic — they can continue to evolve alongside the relationship with your clients. This makes your analytics all the more valuable, as you can add (or remove) supplementary materials depending on what your client gravitates toward.
Evolution of content strategy
Common feedback from sales leaders is “we know that we won a bid, but we don’t know why we won” (or lost). Microsite analytics create an immediate and constant feedback loop between those creating sales materials and those consuming it.
Whether you build your proposals off a robust or simple template, there are bound to be consistencies between the materials that are shared. Maybe there’s an “About Us” section where you incorporate case studies, company values, or awards. Perhaps there’s a “Team” section showcasing bios, or a highlight-video that you include when pitching to certain industries.
Microsite analytics can tell you how many views those assets are getting in aggregate and also what assets are not getting engagement. If you have documents—such as contracts or spreadsheets—hosted on your microsite, you can understand whether they’re getting downloaded or viewed more often.
A breakdown also happens on the subpage level, highlighting top subpages and content within them, as well as exit rate. Finally, you can see a breakdown of views by device: desktop, mobile, or tablet.
Overall, you’ll be able to leverage what you learn from patterns or consistencies between your deals to build better communications in the future.
When you have the ability to collect microsite analytics, from the moment your proposal is sent, your job is not only easier—it becomes fun. All you have to do is sit back and wait for visitors to engage with your content. Based on the information you glean from the data, you’ll be able to better define a roadmap for further personalization of the materials and, as a result, a more efficient path toward closing the deal.