It’s a brand-new year, and you’re ready to take your business to a whole other level in 2020. To increase your profits, you need to pitch your business to as many prospects as possible—and fast track your sales process to stand head and shoulders above the competition.

InkSoft Proposals helps decorators and other branded merchandise marketing pros close deals even faster with beautifully designed proposals—and flip your cash flow by getting paid up front. Since you can customize each proposal for each unique client, you seal the deal faster with personal, visual products and easy production-ready art approval.

Here are five big ways for you to navigate and streamline your sales process. We’re confident you’ll turn prospects into happy repeat customers, while increasing your profits.


1Win new accounts and customers with proactive selling

There are two kinds of sales processes: reactive and proactive. Reactive selling includes taking inbound calls from potential clients and following up on internet inquiries from your social media marketing, such as your Facebook ads. This type of client is usually looking for a decorated-apparel provider to satisfy their organization’s needs.

On the other hand, proactive selling is when you get in front of customers who may have a vague (or no) idea how much their organizations could benefit from your brand-building decorated products. When you sell proactively (and consistently), you greatly expand your prospect pipeline and the chances of scoring new jobs, and then repeat customers for life.

Consider this: 2020 has 53 weeks and 252 working days to hit your sales numbers. Let’s say your sales team offers three proactive sales presentations (either in person or virtual) each day  to potential clients–you’ll add 756 touches this year. (Hot tip: Always show prospects real or virtual samples with their logo so they can visualize exactly what they’ll be getting.) If your team closes only 10% of these deals, you’ll enjoy 75 new customers this year. 

Just think about your revenue gain from starting to be proactive in your sales process! It’s actually irresponsible to not do this.

How InkSoft Proposals Helps: Let’s say you decided to create professional sales presentations with traditional software. Unfortunately, sending out three presentations each day to prospects would be unrealistic because you’d need to get your art department involved (on spec) to create virtual product mockups using conventional, outmoded, graphic software.

Inksoft Proposals eliminates these roadblocks in the sales process. Your sales team can access your entire catalog of blank goods and easily upload the prospect’s logo or production-ready artwork to create the virtual products of their dreams. Proposals also provides cost estimates in no time, so your potential buyer knows exactly what their merchandise will look like and exactly what they will pay.

Want to show a prospect a shirt with a two-color front with one-color back? Need one SKU in three different styles? You can mock them all up, seamlessly in one online workspace. Creating a proposal with virtual samples makes you a visual storyteller, showcasing your products. Customers are much more likely to buy what they can accurately see what they’re buying.

2. Use speed and immediacy as your secret weapons

Consumers want a quick response. They have a need for speed and fast access to their products. We call this  “The Amazon Effect.” You go online, place an order, and if it’s in stock, that product is at your door in a day or two. 

Since Amazon provides an immediate response to our needs, the decorated-apparel industry can no longer take days to respond to an inquiry or wait for ideas from the art department. Really think about what your shop’s time lag is from a prospect’s inquiry until you get a presentation back to them. Three days? Maybe four?

A good rule of thumb is to prioritize responding to requests for proposals, and use a system that allows you to deliver a fully customized presentation to prospects the same day–likely in a matter of hours.

How InkSoft Proposals Helps: InkSoft Proposals allows you to respond to your client’s needs fast and with a professional presentation that’s more likely to win the business even if you’re the highest priced. People will pay for convenience because we live in an age where customers expect what they need, fast. 

Proposals allows you to quickly add customer logos or other production-ready art to specific products. That way, you get a stellar presentation in front of customers within a matter of minutes, giving your team a huge advantage over your competitors. You’ll be the first to respond with a higher-quality presentation that accurately shows customers exactly what they’d be getting.

3. Increase your average order size through suggestive selling

McDonald’s pioneered the concept of suggestive selling. In other words, you’re selling more to the same client in the same transaction. You’ve heard it from the drive-through speaker: “Would you like to Supersize that?” It’s a simple question that enhances the customer’s experience. The question also acts as an opportunity for McDonald’s to extract another dollar or two from a customer who’s already in the act of purchasing.

There are two ways to structure your  suggestions:

1. Upsell (“Supersize?”): Showcase why your customer should upgrade from an economy T-shirt to a premium one. Give them good-better-best options via your sales presentation.

2. Cross-sell (“Fries with that?”): Bundle companion or complementary products to what your customer already wants. What can you pair with a hoodie? Maybe a beanie for cold weather. Or suggest a tote bag with your client’s logo or event message.

When you have access to all the blanks you offer via your sales presentation, it’s easy to show your client their logo on additional items that will complement their intended purchase.

How InkSoft Proposals Helps: Inside your customized e-proposals, you can add as many sections as you’d like. One idea? Include “Popular Add-Ons.” These are items that complement your client’s marketing objectives. Your sales team can showcase different logoed product ideas that the client never even considered, but would probably love. Remember, the easiest sales you make come from existing customers. Your sales reps are industry experts, so shift your team toward marketing consulting in addition to taking orders.

4. Revolutionize your shop’s cash flow by getting paid upfront

You can’t scale your sales growth by financing every customer. 

Isn’t it time to break the mold of how your shop gets paid? 

When you buy from Amazon, you pay for your products before they get delivered. That’s the upside of e-commerce. Most consumers expect to pay before they receive their goods. You can define and set new 100% upfront payment terms, with payment due when your customer orders. 

If you do decide to change your payment terms, post them online and display them publicly, if you have a brick-and-mortar shop. Educate your salespeople on the new terms. This allows you to get paid before you incur overhead.

How InkSoft Proposals Helps: You can also set your payment plans to match your shop’s cash flow goals. You can specify payment terms on each personalized InkSoft Proposal whether it’s no deposit required, a certain percentage (say 80%) deposit required upon ordering, or paid in full upfront. You can set a fixed due date or make the payment due a certain number of days after the customer approves the proposal. InkSoft Proposals seamlessly allows your customers to pay 100% upfront online before you start the job. Even better? We’ve added a simple way to access shareable links directly to invoices created in InkSoft Proposals. This allows you to quickly copy a direct invoice link so you can send it manually using your email.

5. Beat your competitors with the best possible first impression

It’s a hard lesson to learn: There are no second chances when it comes to first impressions. Everything you put out into the public makes a lasting impression including your website, emails, and especially your sales proposals and creative collaboration process. You wouldn’t want poorly written copy or a spelling mistake on your website or on a Facebook ad, would you? How your sales presentations and invoices appear—and are delivered—is just as important.

Imagine the optics of your response to a customer inquiry. First, let’s say it takes you four days to respond. That’s an eon for a prospect who’s looking for a solution. Then, let’s say you send your prospect an email with attachments and screenshots. You’ll look both clunky and outdated. 

Customer perceptions and impressions of your business are directly related to the “presence” you share with potential clients. That’s why it’s vitally important to send a prospect a polished e-presentation quickly to beat out competitors who are still limping through presentations the old school way.

How InkSoft Proposals Helps: You can quickly organize and send accurate, customized proposals to your prospects in a streamlined process. Along with customized product mocks, you can add your client’s branding to your proposal document so they know you’re paying attention to their specific situation. Then, send a stunning presentation to your client via email. Finally,  your client can comment, collaborate, approve and pay all in your proposal.  

When you view yourself as a “marketer” in addition to being an expert “maker,” you’ll immediately see the value in sending beautiful, accurate, and effective e-proposals that give your prospects and repeat customers options tailored exactly to their situation, goals, and needs.

Stay ahead of the competition and close deals faster with custom e-proposals. Take prospects intuitively through your sales process with your designed-to-impress Inksoft proposals. Set yourself apart by creating a better customer experience and start increasing your business by sending three inspired InkSoft proposals every day.

Take a virtual tour of InkSoft Proposals.

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1. Request a personalized tour with one of our experts.
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