If you’re new to the SpeakerFlow community and this is your first blog view, first of all, welcome! Before anything else, you should know that we’re all about pinpointing the latest and greatest technology and techniques for professionals in the speaking industry here. We’re also big believers in sharing that information anytime we can.
Whether it’s new sales tactics or a new mobile app, we’re there to tell you what’s great about it. We’re also big on staying candid and being honest about whether or not it’s worth your time. Because of that, we’ve partnered with a ton of awesome software companies since we launched in spring 2019. From Hubspot to Asana, we’ve covered most of the pieces of the speaker business puzzle. That is, most of them except for one: proposal software.
Enter our newest partner, Better Proposals. Designed to make payments and invoicing streamlined for all industries, Better Proposals is an affordable and elegant solution for any company that uses contracts, including speaking businesses. But, “What makes it easy to use?” you might be asking. What makes it elegant? How can I, as a speaker, use it? To that, I say “No worries!” We’ll cover all of those questions below. 👍
A Brief History of Better Proposals
But first, let’s break down what Better Proposals is like, as a company. A relatively new business, Better Proposals was founded in the United Kingdom by entrepreneur and web designer Adam Hempenstall. According to Hempenstall, their mission is to empower their customers in business and, in doing so, empower them personally. He, alone, has written a number of books on this mantra, including The Price of Freelancing, Automate Your Business, and Cocktails and Palm Trees. I don’t know about you, but the name alone on that last one has me hooked!
But, back to the business side of things. To hear Hempenstall tell it, Better Proposals is “a proposal management software that helps you close more sales, faster”. This is possible namely through their “professionally-written, well-designed templates [that] let you create beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes instead of hours.” Sounds pretty neat, right? We definitely thought so.
Additionally, their team isn’t strictly in the UK – it’s completely remote (like us!) with employees around the world. That said, although their reach is wide, their team is still relatively small, with only twelve employees total. For us, that demonstrated a few things, including employees that like to stick around and a tight-knit company structure. It also meant a company with a diverse set of skills and background knowledge, simply because of the diversity of its people.
However, besides the members of the company itself, let’s take a look at some of the features of Better Proposals that we love.
Top Five Features of Better Proposals
We already mentioned the templates at Better Proposals. However, we partnered with them for many other reasons on top of that. Below, we’ll break down these reasons and our five favorite features of their software. We’ll also touch on a few examples of how you, as a speaker, can use Better Proposals for your own business.
1. Their templates are amazing.
You knew this one was coming, but it’s really true. With a collection of over 100 templates, each Better Proposal account is fully equipped to get you started on Day 1. This means no worries about the legality of each proposal or about whether or not it looks true to your brand. In fact, each Better Proposals template is legally binding and highly designed. That way, all you have to do is plug in your information and you’re all set to get paid.
As a speaker, there are a few reasons that this feature is useful. First, many speakers reading this are solopreneurs. That means not only do you balance every task of the speaking business on your shoulders. You also likely don’t have a ton of spare change to throw at lawyers or designers every time you need to send a contract to a decision-maker. Second, many speakers simply don’t have the time to waste on making sure every detail of a proposal is up to code, even though they’re aware of how important it is to do so. Better Proposals solves each of these challenges, with proposals available in a few quick clicks.
2. Your domain can sync with Better Proposals, allowing for white-labeled proposals.
Now, the templates are amazing – I’m not going to lie there. But, what’s even more useful is the connection to your domain. Even on their lowest paid plan, Better Proposals can sync with your domain, allowing you to brand the entire proposal as if it’s coming straight from you. On top of the legal and design-related benefits we mentioned, this also means perfect branding. Because your prospective client will view the proposal on your domain, as far as they are concerned, it is custom-tailored to your deal with them, specifically. In this way, they also get additional exposure to your brand and your process. And, as they’re only going to see how organized and stress-free your process is, they’ll be even more likely to hire you again. What’s not to love about that?
3. You can collect payment directly through your Better Proposals account.
Continuing through the sales process, the next step is the best one: payment. On top of keeping you covered legally and keeping your brand consistent, Better Proposals also accepts payment internally. With over 50 integrations total, three of those (namely Stripe, PayPal, and GoCardless) allow collection of your speaking fee as soon as the recipient approves your proposal. To put it simply, having payment gateways integrated internally means more convenience for the client and a higher likelihood the sale will close right away.
If we look at an upcoming event, for example, this can make all of the difference. If you’re with the event planner – we’ll call her Amy – she likely has a ton of things on her plate for this event. She’s looking for guest speakers, planning the schedule, and juggling payments to vendors all at the same time. By outlining your requirements and fee and providing a spot to pay all in one place, you make it as easy on her as you possibly can. That makes her more likely to like you, as a business person, and more likely to book you. Period.
4. It connected to a ton of CRMs for easy tracking.
So, once you’ve booked a gig, how are you going to track it? How are you going to make sure to follow up with Amy so you can get a testimonial? Better Proposals has you covered there, too.
Among those integrations we touched on earlier are a ton of customer relationship management systems, or CRMs. With sixteen CRM integrations possible, you can quickly link to many of the more popular options, including Hubspot, Agile, and Pipedrive. By connecting your Better Proposals account to your CRM, you can easily encourage a client through your sales process, send them the proposal, and start prepping for the event. It also makes any after-event follow up or nurturing a breeze, so you can get a quick review and then move on to the next gig.
As a side note, if you haven’t used a CRM before or are unsure how you could use one in your existing workflow, check out our previous article, “CRMs For Speakers: The Beginner’s Guide”. Feel free to schedule a free, 30-minute call with us, too, if a more thorough strategy would be more helpful.
5. You can automate the whole process.
Finally, you can ultimately use Better Proposals to further automate your sales and booking process. In addition to integrating with CRMs and payment gateways, you can connect your account to hundreds of other apps using Zapier, the “app for connecting apps” as we like to call it, as well as your project management system.
If we jump back to Amy, let’s review our process with her one more time. You used your CRM to track conversations with Amy and make sure she knew how awesome you are. This led to her request for a proposal, which you sent via Better Proposals and she then paid for immediately. After she paid, tasks then automatically generated in your project manager, Asana, thanks to your automation. These reminded you to prep for the event, which you then crushed – no big deal. Then, lastly, you wrapped it all up with an automatically scheduled message to Amy, thanking her for the opportunity and asking her to give you a testimonial. The best part of all was that, with all of these systems connected, your technology took care of part of the work for you, giving you more time to relax and focus on your message.
Better Proposals Pricing
Now, awesome features are all well and good, but what if they break the bank? That’s our last bit of good news for you: Better Proposals won’t. All of the features we mentioned here (aside from the Zapier and project management integrations) are available on their least expensive “Starter” plan for an easy $19 per month. The Starter plan also comes with a boatload of neat features we’ll cover in another article, including analytics and notifications, digital signatures, and customizable ‘Thank you’ messages.
All in all, Better Proposals is a simple, affordable, and cost-effective way to put a professional face on proposals. Although the importance of the aesthetics of proposals and contracts can be downplayed, the importance of making sure they’re legally binding cannot. Thankfully, Better Proposals has the solution for both concerns and many others, on top of being easy to use and supported by an awesome team.
For more information about our partnership with Better Proposals, or to learn more about whether or not it’s a good fit for your speaking business, drop us a line! I mentioned at the beginning that we’re all about finding resources for professional speakers, and I know I speak for the whole SpeakerFlow team when I say we’d be happy to pass those resources on to you.