How to Make Your B2B Sales Proposals Frictionless - The right tools and mindset for success
In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Mark Tanner, Co-Founder of Qwlir, a document design and automation tool for sales teams.
They will explain different ways to improve the sales process by going through the right tools and processes to create more efficient proposals. Join them while they discuss how to bring creative and data present in your processes to achieve success.
This episode’s guest:
Mark Tanner, Co-Founder of Qwilr
Mark's professional journey took him from working with eBooks, joining Google to finally co-founding his own company.Now, with Qwilr, he wants to provide the most effective way for businesses to communicate with their clients, by helping them integrate sales and marketing collateral into their processes.
He is always delighted to discuss all about Sales and SaaS and the startup universe.
Conversation segments on this episode:
- [01:10] Mark's professional journey from eBooks to co-founding Qwilr
- [04:33] The right mindset for preparing and submitting a proposal
- [09:15] The importance of Creative and Analytics in proposals
- [13:49] The importance of social proof
- [17:26] The right tools for modernising sales processes
- [20:12] Document automation for B2B campaigns
- [23:24] Tricks that help the Sales process
- [29:18] How to use video in Sales
- [34:47] Mark’s final reflection about the current scenario
Resources mentioned on this episode:
About the Growth Colony Podcast:
On this podcast you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.
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Episode Full Transcript:
[00:23] Shahin Hoda Hello, everyone. Thanks again for listening to another episode of Growth Colony, Australia's B2B podcast. My name is Shahin from xGrowth and today I'm joined by Mark Tanner, the Co-founder of Qwilr, a document design and automation tool for salespeople.
[00:45] Shahin Hoda Now today we're going to be talking about a very interesting topic. We're going to be exploring what and how can salespeople reduce the friction during the process of submitting proposals and getting approvals in their B2B buying journey. So on that note, please welcome Mark. Mark, Thanks. Thanks a lot for being on the show.
[01:08] Mark Tanner My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[01:10] Shahin Hoda No, no, thank you. So, Mark, I gave a quick introduction but for those who are not maybe familiar with what the company does or yourself, can you give us a quick background?
[01:23] Mark Tanner Yeah, for sure. So, um, to start with me, so I left uni, went into consulting land very briefly, but wonderfully ended up at an ebook startup back in sort of 2008-2009 range. When ebooks were exploding, the Kindle have just come out, the iPhone just came out, and had a lot of fun there for a couple of years. That startup exploded with growth in diversity and then kind of didn't have such an awesome following year, which was an interesting ride to be on.
[01:49] Mark Tanner Then went and joined Google, got poached by them to lead what became like the partnerships team for Google Play. So doing basically, initially very much ebook-focused around getting ebook content onto the Google Play Store. And then magazines and newsstands and apps and whatever else. And also did a few sort of deals around search like, you know, Google Scholar, Google News, Google Book Search, etc. which was really fun to do two years in Sydney and in Southeast Asia, and then moved to New York with that team. And so did that work for a few more years, but was really at that stage very eager to come back and sort of get involved in startups again.
[02:26] Mark Tanner You know, I think that kind of thing that we all are familiar with is like do your pricing in Excel, do your copy in Word, do your design and InDesign, mash it all together to try to make something nice, sent to a client, had them rip it all apart, you then need to split it up again into the separate functions to redo it all. It's very clunky, painful thing. And his big thing, being a developer was also like, you know, I live and breathe digital things, what I make for my clients is digital products, like, why am I sending this, this paper file that's like, dominant nerd and I can't do anything sort of modern and whatever else.
[02:26] Mark Tanner And I was lucky enough to be reconnected by amazing series of chance with my now co-founder, we sort of repeated the wedding, we've been friends since we were teenagers. And he'd been working on this problem which he had for a while, and he actually you know, basically had a his own little you know, agency that he'd been running as a software developer and designer. You know, he just had this huge pain point around proposals for a long time.
[03:19] Mark Tanner And so, that's where the core idea from Qwilr came from. And really all Qwilr is is a way, you know, our core sort of belief is that files suck in the age of the internet. And our core belief is that, you know, when the web can make it better. And so, you know, all Qwilr is is a way for anyone to create their, their external like customer facing documents that will be mainly specialised in sales, but also can be used for like, you know, marketing and success and internal stuff as well, where it makes sense to create them really quickly and easily as beautiful web pages.
[03:51] Mark Tanner And because it's the web, you know, all the stuff you get from the web you get for free so you can have like analytics, like has it been open, how many times what's actually look at you can have it buttons that do things. So the experience, you know, of a B2B proposal can look much more akin to like, what it is in ecommerce or what it is in a sort of a marketplace online where you can, you know, select things, say, hey, I want 14 of that, and three of these and whatever. And again, it can be as configurable or not, as you would like. And then they come up, see, you know, except, you know, a sign and pay all online and that'll sync up with HubSpot, or sync up with Salesforce or sync up with Zero or sync up with all that sort of tools that you use to run your business. And so that's what we did.
[04:33] Shahin Hoda That's amazing. Thanks for that intro. very comprehensive. Now, obviously, as you mentioned, one of the main areas that you focus or the main area that you and the team focused on is on proposals, right? And making that process as seamless and as frictionless as possible. I guess the first question that I want to ask you is, what are some of the common issues that you see salespeople and organisations in general make when in the process of preparing a proposal and submitting a proposal?
[05:08] Mark Tanner Yeah. So, I mean, there's a lot. But I think like, one of the big ones that we think about a lot, just generally, it's like, you know, the proposal is, it's the end of the funnel, right? Like, I think you have this, you've had this whole process of trying to attract leads in and to have them go through this part. And then this is the part where you're trying to get them to sign off and agree to pay you money and sign the contract and all that sort of stuff.
[05:31] Mark Tanner There's this sort of they tend to be this interesting tension that happens here, between do I get a proposal out quickly to them and therefore have it look a bit shit, but you know, like, I'm going to reuse some old template we've got or whatever else? Or do I take the time to make it look excellent? And I think that's sort of the first like false choice. I think I would say on that side, is this an issue of like, speed versus beauty? I think you can definitely have them sort of have them both.
[05:57] Mark Tanner I think the other part of it is and you know, you and I have talked before in the past, but like this other part, which is like, how much time do we spend, like thinking about optimizing, like intelligently optimizing landing pages? And what makes things convert on a landing page through to becoming a lead? And how do you sort of design them and structure them in different ways? And there's a lot of art on that side. But it also loves science.
[06:19] Mark Tanner I think when you look at proposals, like and we've, you know, converted. I mean, hundreds of thousands of them at this stage into cooler pages. Like when you sort of look at that sort of side, like, the caliber, the quality of, you know, there's literally no science behind it, because no one knows what converts with a proposal, like there's no sophisticated or not at all. There's also like, very little art. There's actually served the vast majority, I really are, you know, quite ugly into the corporate and sort of a bit bland, to be honest.
[06:49] Mark Tanner And so I think that, you know, really from our side, the way I would state, encourage your audience to think about this is, when you're bringing the principles, it's like what converts on a landing page or other sort of parts of the website? Or how have you think about that sort of part there? All those sort of lessons can be applied across proposal. So a classic one that we always talk to our clients about is trust.
[07:13] Mark Tanner You know, I think that when you come to a thing, where you're asking people for money, if you're asking them for, you know, for 10 grand to go, you know, work on a project with you, like, that's a real amount of money, that's a real, real thing and yet, too often we'll see proposals where it's just like, an exact summary of some stuff, you talked about, you know, some information about what's going to happen, and then the price and then a signature block.
[07:36] Mark Tanner And I think that, you know, it's very easy just to add a few little bits and pieces around there where you sort of say, like, you know, whether it's a testimonial from a client, or a quote, or some sort of like, you know, maybe there's a, you know, you're a HubSpot partner and you're like, you know, you're a certain tier of that or it's some certification or like, whatever it is, there's all these little things that exist, that you can use to reinforce the fact that like, hey, you should move ahead here, because actually, it's, you know, it's a moment of real, you know, decision and you want to help push them towards saying yes, as much as possible.
[08:11] Mark Tanner And I think that, you know, again, having it go out to them relatively quickly, having it be very impressive. But then also, I think leveraging those sort of things we know work with regards to human psychology around like, trust. And you know, for us, we have a big thing about trust should be before you see the price and after you see the price that there should be, there should be some asset there. And it also should be, you know, there's another interesting thing as well, which is like, you know, what else do you do, if they don't, if they're not ready to convert yet?
[08:39] Mark Tanner And so I think, ultimately, proposal, you have this thing, it's like, there's only one path and that path is to accept, which is kind of what you want to prioritize, obviously. But there are times where you know, you want they might have a few more questions, and how do you sort of allow that to be handled easily as well? So I think just generally though, if you think about it, that principle of all of the rigor and All of the blog posts, the millions of blog posts out there about how you think about other parts of like, websites for conversion, I think if you sort of start to have some of that same level of thoughtfulness around the proposal, I think that's a good mindset to start to think about it.
[09:15] Shahin Hoda Yeah, that's very interesting that you say that, because you say there's a lot of art and science in other parts of the funnel or the wheel, whatever you want to call it.
[09:26] Mark Tanner Yeah.
[09:27] Shahin Hoda And you see the presence of design in businesses usually come from Marketing department, right?
[09:33] Mark Tanner Yeah.
[09:34] Shahin Hoda And then at the proposal, when you know, somebody's trying to solve sign a proposal that's a heavily sales focus role, where you don't have marketers involved, right?
[09:45] Mark Tanner Yeah.
[09:45] Shahin Hoda And you're absolutely right. I've seen proposals or SOWs that you look at it. And you know, if you want to kind of dive into it, it will feel like you're chewing on a piece of concrete, right? And it's extremely really hard to digest. And it's very interesting to, for organizations to start thinking about, you know, we optimize this the sales funnel so well, we have to also put the same amount of focus. Do we bring some of the designers and some of the copywriters and so on and so forth and focus on that last part of the funnel. Now, how do you look at the proposal stage that's maybe different from how others see it, right? So we talked about the design component, is there anything else that come to mind?
[10:34] Mark Tanner Yeah, I mean, I think that for us, you know, there's another part in here, which would just be around the analytics, which is it's just a small thing, to be honest, but, but it's a very powerful thing. So, you know, when you work with Qwilr, and just generally with the web, right, you know, you can know when someone's viewed a page, and so I think that, you know, for us, let's imagine you're a salesperson and you've had, you send out 10 proposals last week. And you come in and it's Monday morning.
[11:06] Mark Tanner Well, if you're able to quickly look and see, hey, have these like live proposals that are out there? Well, three of them haven't been opened yet. So okay, well, you know, there's one sort of be like, Okay, well, I should shoot a follow up email, like, hey, just wanted to check in blah blah. Maybe there's another like three or four, where they've opened it. But it's only been the only weapon once it was like, you know, you can see from the timestamps was a pretty quick one, they were in and out in a minute. They said they had a quick little look on their file on the weekend or whatever, but it wasn't really detailed thing.
[11:36] Mark Tanner And that's, you can sort of bucket them in a mentally mentally a different group. And then maybe there's, there's a handful of them where it's where they've, you know, that they've opened it multiple times. You can see it from different IP addresses different devices. So it's been passed around the office or like, different people are looking at it. And like, you know, you had these 10 proposals that previously, you were like, hey, I have 10 client's proposal stage, no, no, there's like, there's actually like quite distinct different buckets, where those are in in the way you should be having conversations, how should we prioritize them?
[12:09] Mark Tanner That sort of thing, I think is also another lens to bring to this, which is like, how do you, I think often in sales cycles, you know, if you go in, if you go, the dirty secret every sales leader knows is if you go and look at a pipeline, there's like, you know, something like opportunity at the start and closed one at the end. And then there's a few stages along the way of different things. But there's always some bucket there called like, engagement or proposal sent or whatever else. It's just like completely meaningless, like, what's going on here?
[12:36] Mark Tanner Well, we've done a demo and the demo was good, or we had to first chat and that was good. And we sent some stuff to them. And I have literally no idea what's going on now. And I think that, you know, it's not like we provide a mystic ball or a perfect answer, but it is, I think, having some degree of insight into how they're interacting with your proposal, and even then, you know, you can on each view level, you can Say, if you look with Qwilr, you can get as granular as you want, you can say, you can force them to login to view the page.
[13:05] Mark Tanner I can be like, hey, I know that Shahin has like, logged in exactly three times. And the first time he just jumped straight to the price and did nothing else. And then the second time, he read it for 20 minutes, and you know, seems to have looked at most sections of the thing and whatever else. And then the third time, again, was very quick and just jump to the implementation part. And it made me like, okay, cool.
[13:25] Mark Tanner Well, now I know that there's possibly some questions on implementation. He's taking it seriously. He's a very, very hot lead, I should give him a call this second, and be prepared to talk in some depth that implementation. If I think like that, that part of it is an important part. There's a whole bunch of other things we could dive into. But I would say that, to be honest, that simple piece of having some analytics around your proposals does add so much value to the process.
[13:49] Mark Tanner Yeah, that makes sense. And you're right, then salespeople would change the way that they would approach a potential deal, knowing the engagement that they've seen from that account. The other thing that I wanted to ask you is with real with regards to advice for salespeople, especially at the proposal stage, right? And one of the things that you mentioned earlier was social proof, or how important that is. And I'd love to dig a little bit deeper in there. What do you mean by you know, salespeople need to think about social proof even at the proposal stage, you know, hey, hasn't marketing done that? Hasn't marketing, you know, showing them enough case studies and, and testimonials, or do I need to worry about that? What is your advice on that?
[14:38] Mark Tanner I think there are certain things we know to be true in human psychology and I think one of them is like, is that in an uncertain world, the more certainty you can give someone, the easier you can make it for them to go down a certain path, the more likely it is that they'll go down there and i think that you know, if you know like, I think if you know that there is a default, you know, those lines, like no one ever got fired for purchasing IBM, you know, that's sort of that's an old school thing of like, if you know that this is the default out there, well then okay, that that kind of makes sense to sort of take that default path.
[15:12] Mark Tanner And I think the more that you can sort of, you know, imbue that degree of trust, and sort of, like, standardness. And like, this is definitely gonna work out. And this has worked out before, for people who sort of look like me, and in similar situations, similar businesses or whatever else. I think the more that you have there, the more power there is, the better. And so I think that, look, yeah, marketing should have done that, hopefully, done that job as well. But what marketing's done is provide you a lead and what you're trying to do is turn that lead into actual revenue for your business.
[15:47] Mark Tanner And I think that, you know, no tricks that work for marketing, like magically don't work the sales and like every sales person I know. Is like keen for every trick they can have. And so I really do think that while you do need to be protective of your proposal, because I do think that there's a, like, we know from data, there's a real issue around length of proposals, that proposals over about a certain length and you know, to be honest, it's, it's actually it's basically about 10 pages, you start to see a decrease in conversion rate on a general basis. Now, like, there are some interesting ways you can get around that blah blah.
[16:23] Mark Tanner And so you don't want to like you don't want to sort of drop in a whole like thousand word case study into your into, I think you might, you might link to it, there could be a separate Qwlr page or a separate web page or whatever. But I think, you know, again, having some degree of trust in there, especially if you can speak to someone, like say, a quote or a testimonial or whatever, something that speaks to that particular person's thing.
[16:42] Mark Tanner So I come in as the owner of a SaaS business, and I see a testimonial from someone else, at who is a SaaS business owner. I'm like, I've heard of that company. Oh, that's a good quote. Like that's just makes me feel so much more comfortable and so much more likely to press the accept button and sign and pay that then if I don't sort see it. I think again, you know, it's an uncertain world, especially now I think the more you can just make that path a bit easier. Even if it's a deal, you would have already closed anyway, why not? Like make it easy for them to close today versus in two or three days time again, like the speed of sales cycle is another really important part of this. So I think, again, all the tips and tricks I think are worthwhile.
[17:26] Shahin Hoda Let's talk about modernisation of your process. If somebody wants to go about and modernise their sales process and their organisation right now, especially, you know, towards the proposal stage or you know, there are definitely other stages as well. What is your advice to them? Where should they start?
[18:40] Mark Tanner So, I think, I mean, the first thing you have to have is just a modern CRM that you and your team like using. Like, that's, to me, that's just the first basic thing and look, there are so many companies out there who are still kind of like trying to like hack together a weird ERP solution to sort of work like a CRM and to sort of you know, instead of doing some weird internal customer stuff, which sometimes can be great, it'd be perfect. But there are others who are, you know, on old suites that were bought ages ago, that kind of rubbish. I had to, for a brief period with a nonprofit, I work with us SugarCRM, particularly old version of it, and it was truly horrendous experience. And maybe I got new versions that are great, but that version sucked.
[19:24] Shahin Hoda Look, they've completely rebranded because I thought it was the realize that it was, but anyway, yeah, please.
[19:30] Mark Tanner No, no, that's amazing. So I don't I didn't like that. But that's the first step, right, because you've got to have your data in a place that it's modern, and it's online, it's able to be sort of, you know, do interesting stuff with and I think like, companies, you know, like like Qwilr and others in the space. They all look to those leaders in that space, whether that's HubSpot, Salesforce PipeDrive, you know, Dynamics, there's a whole host of others that are out there that are good as well. But you know, I think like, those are the tools there. Now some of those will be more optimised for up for certain things and whatever else but like and different sizes of company as well, like obviously, if you're 1000 plus seat deal, probably looking more like either a custom piece or something from Salesforce, you know, in reality.
[20:12] Mark Tanner But yeah, you know, as the first part of it I think the second part of it as far as proposals go is really look, I've drunk the Kool Aid and believe it on the Qwilr part,. But I do think that like, at least trying something in what the space that we're in which is around design automation and around document automation. So being able to say hey, now we've got that data in a good zone, you know, how can I come into a tool like Qwilr and say, here are my brand rules right like here my brand colors here my brand fonts?
[20:20] Mark Tanner No one on the sales team, that you can design things and all you want and you can use you know, maybe certain shades of blacks and grays as well. But that's it like this is you. These are the brand colours and when you use yellow, though you can't use canary yellow, you can use our yellow and you know, here are brands fonts, you know, which would typically match the web fonts that they use on a website. And again, that's, that's what it is. And maybe there's some differentiation between like h1 and h2, and certain things or whatever else. But like, basically, those are the fonts that you're able to use.
[21:12] Mark Tanner And again, that just is a default rule across every document. And then you might do the same thing for like, logos and image collateral and whatever else. But then, you know, we I think, once you should have a few templates that are set up, and you know, you have a few tokens in them, that link to that HubSpot instance, or Salesforce instance, whatever else, all of a sudden, you've got this little widget inside the CRM, that your team can go, hey, I need to create a quick proposal. I can go and be like, you know, go to the widget, create proposal, choose which template I want, okay, I want a template B, do that, pulls in the data from that, that instance, that particular record, creates the page in a second can review that can edit it if you want or not, and then just like send it out from there.
[21:51] Mark Tanner And then all of that data that we have, you know, obviously pokes back and so you'll notice how it's not like hey, it's been viewed or Hey, it's been accepted or whatever else. One that we're sort of, we're thinking about at the moment, it's like an abandoned cart notification, but we haven't quite built yet. But like, if you start the e-sign flow, that you don't finish it, like, I want to be notified. So like, that's the fun little thing of like, all they thought about accepting it, but they didn't accept it. I'm like, Oh, I should call that person right now.
[22:18] Mark Tanner So coming through into a Qwilr near you, but I think like, you know, I think you know, all of those sorts of things. And there are other tools out there that do some level of this, you know, obviously DocuSign has interesting esign, automation and whatever else. But I think that the space right now, there is so much time wasted on busy work that can be automated in this process. And I think that how you think about design automation, and document automation is going to be more and more critical as we move forward.
[22:48] Shahin Hoda Yeah, no, I totally understand that. You know, first First of all, CRM is the mother of all information and it's the it's the, you know, it's that source of truth and you're Right, like, you know, through our agency, we we've, we go into companies and we look at and they're like, so what kind of CRM use and we get, you know not to name any but we get some of those names and you're like, Oh, this is not going to be a fun project. Or sorry, you use a CRM, you use an Excel file for a track. You know, those are some of the answers you get.
[23:23] Mark Tanner Google Sheets, baby.
[23:24] Shahin Hoda Yeah, exactly. And we just baseball ourselves and we don't always walk away, but we try to continue to change. And then document management is obviously a big, big piece. Obviously, you work quite heavily in the proposal space, as we've discussed elaborately, and you see a lot of new developments in that space. You see a lot of things that companies would implement, and it would improve their chances of closing a client. What is your advice for some of those tips and tricks that you've seen companies use and you're like, wow, that's pretty smart. That's pretty cool. And I didn't realize that you know, you do some like this you look at the data and you see improves the clothes right? What are some of the those tips and tricks that you would have for salespeople for closing more deals faster?
[24:18] Mark Tanner Yeah, for sure. I think like some of the emerging ones that we're seeing on Qwilr that I think are fascinating. There's two I'll dive into that are just again, you can kind of only things you can do in the web, but the web makes it special and it's really interesting way. Look, I think for a lot of companies look so if you're a larger company, and you're you've got it, you can have a relatively templated sales process. Look, you should be a testing stuff, right?
[24:43] Mark Tanner Like, you know, just like have a version and be like, okay, we've sent this out 100 times, the conversion rate was X. Now, like, let's try a slightly different version of this and we send it out, you know, get one 200 times and the conversion that was Y. Now look, if those of, you do need to appreciate to score significance and whatever else and, you know, we've got some customers who are sending out, you know, 10 to 20,000 proposals a month, they can do much more interesting stuff than those who are doing only a few hundred.
[25:08] Mark Tanner But even with a few hundred, you can often see some pretty clear signs in the data around conversion rates and also cell cycle time and things like that with trying a few different things. And I think that that's obviously like, you know, one path. But to be perfectly honest, most businesses don't like most SMB businesses don't have that level of volume. And some industry just generally aren't that, you know, so bespoke, saying like, you know, advertising, you know, it's so bespoke to each individual proposal that you don't have the ability to really do that level of testing.
[25:41] Mark Tanner And one that we've sort of loved of late has just been people just using a session recorders likeHotJar and FullStory and tools like this. Look, plugging into Qwilr is it's incredibly simple integration pricing is dropping a little we use dropping a little snippet of code into the page and that links up to your full story account in your HotJar account. Or like, you know, Crazy Egg, or whatever else you use, and like, you can then, so you might send out a few proposals, and then you can see your clients opening them and how they interact with them. Much like a user testing flow, right?
[26:12] Mark Tanner And I think in that same way that you would think about this for a landing page, or think about this for a product flow experience, you only need to do it really, like maybe 5-6-7 times and you'll be like, ah, no one ever watches the video, you know, blah, we should have that lower, or everyone just wants this thing or, you know, blah, blah, blah. Whatever it is, like everyone skips over this part, we should maybe we should keep, we should make it a foldable thing so that it's hidden behind the button and if they want to read it, they can click on it and expand it but otherwise it's a little bit hidden away.
[26:46] Mark Tanner And so like, again, just those little things of being able to actually see those things as love that like a quick it's actually like, what does it take you like you know, you can always watch those on one and a half speed as well as recording so like you can go through there and and watch it few times I think that this much, you can learn from that. The other one have a similar sort of note that I love. We got asked about this about two years ago by a customer being like, hey, can I put in a retargeting pixel on the page? And just like, you're like, oh, that's such an obviously amazing idea.
[27:22] Mark Tanner And so, you know, now you can have a little whether you're using ad roll, or Google or Facebook, you can turn on any of those. And again, it's a web page, right? So it gets sent out. And now all of a sudden, I can know not just that you viewed my website, but I can know that you've viewed proposal. And the level of like retargeting or the messaging that I should be hitting you with that stage, which again, in my opinion, I think it's still pretty heavily around trust, like just showing experience of people who look like them who've had unbelievably great experiences, you know, five stars and no, you know, whatever, blah, blah, but like it or even just like a simple one is to keep you top of mind. Go go send that proposal. Again this time, retargeting costs, not much.
[28:05] Mark Tanner And that's such a fascinating little wrinkle of habits that are proven that suicide. Again, the kind of things that you can just that with the web, right? And like, you know, we do it. And we spend, like, you know, we spend, like, honestly, it's like, you know, maybe 10, I haven't looked at for a while, but I mean, it's like 10 to 15 bucks a month on those ads, because no one really clicks and very know your product is but it's like, it's this very interesting way to sort of keep your thing you know, top of mind. And it's, again to set and forget the pretty easy way of sort of doing that sort of stuff. So I think those are sort of interesting sort of modern tricks that we're seeing that evolve from the sort of, you know, from the really elite power users of Qwilr.
[28:43] Shahin Hoda I love that. The concept of retargeting the concept of saying that this person has looked at my proposal, and therefore I want to follow them across the web and want to show them an ad now whatever that ad is, it could be as he said, Could be a case study. It could be a Do further social proof or a YouTube video that's amazing. You know, one of the things that we often do with our clients, especially in the enterprise level, where they're, you know, submit a tender and they're waiting for approval, what we do is we do a lot of IP targeted ads, right?
[29:18] Shahin Hoda Which is not as specific as your, you know, as a retargeting where you kind of put a cookie on someone, say this person, I want to show that ad to them. But it is based on the IP of the company, and we kind of track that company across the web and show them ads, that is all about social proof. It's all about you know, showing further through the validation. But the fact that you can even further customize that to the person that actually looked at the proposal is absolutely fascinating. What is your experience with video? What is how you found that because that's another topic that a lot of people talk about, hey, use video in your sales process, what has been your experience with that?
[29:59] Mark Tanner Look at If I want to get the most in the most used features inside Qwilr but this is a generic thing when people come across people are like, oh, wow, I can do this. I like video. I'd say video, to be honest video calendars and maps and forms would be the four big ones. You know, obviously, embedding on a map can be very relevant certain businesses in getting a form whatever form you like, whether it's a Google form or a type form, or a survey monkey or blah, blah, but again, but honestly, more often than not just simple lead gen form earlier on and that sort of piece and look, HubSpot meeting calendar, or calendly, or whatever else. It's just that perfect, perfect thing to end a proposal with, or any other sort of pre-sales material of like, hey, if you still got more questions, let's have a chat.
[30:45] Mark Tanner You don't have to click on a link or you don't have to send me an email. Here are the times and you can see you know, let you know, here's a 15 minute slot or whatever else. And I think that like that is just so powerful. But video you know, video is interesting, one for us. So there's two sides of video for us. We have one side of video is that informational and one side is designed. So the first is, you know, when you open so we're a big believer and we try to teach everybody this because it again just has amazing conversion rates.
[31:12] Mark Tanner But the first, the first page that loads up in the web should be a pretty, you know, beautiful and impressive splash page. Just a nice, big, beautiful splash. And obviously, you partner with unsplash and a bunch of others. There's a whole you know, there's millions of free photos on there for you to use. But the video stock splash is like, it's early for us on that side. But we've got a few hundred options in there. But that is I just truly think that it's so impressive to come in and look at it and just have this like this nice simple sort of, you know, video again, just often it's for design purposes, but it just all of a sudden it changes the nature of what you think his proposal is you're like, Wow, there is like a beautiful looping video of like some forests. You had the start of this proposal like it's just this creates a different field for what you're sort of expecting on that side.
[32:02] Shahin Hoda And to clarify this, is these are videos in the background right there, like a cover the whole page in the background is.
[32:10] Mark Tanner Yeah, and you'll have text in front of virtue saying, you know, this is the proposal, you know, you know, for client X on date, you know why or whatever else, but it's just, it's just a rolling background, you know, much like you see, you know, you see him all across the web. And, and I think that just, is it just, it gets that sort of immediate wow factor of this is something different, you know, just can come look very nice and clean. The video for informational purposes, stuff is like, it's amazing, because, like, all these marketing teams have this amazing collateral out there, but they have but the sales team never uses.
[32:43] Mark Tanner I think that the ability to have, whether it's like case studies or testimonials or product overviews, or like or or whatever it is, I think having the ability to sort of have that video piece is just wonderful. Being able to sort of have that day just part of the document you know, whether it's a side by sight image with text or it's a whole video, you know, section or whatever else can be quite powerful. One thing that we're seeing more and more of and we have an integration with Loom, and we're doing some more integrations on this side is, is around, you know, to safely recording videos as they send them.
[33:17] Mark Tanner And so instead of being like, hey, Shahin, really great to chat to you today, I just want to have a quick video, the topless proposal to sort of talk you through it. So we've got a little section below, blah, blah, blah. And it's just them, you know, having that sort of base, I think when you're doing a lot of remote selling, rather than face to face selling as we all are, these days, we've seen a huge rise in the use of this integration plate, you know, that ability to try to personalise it a bit, try to add a bit of your own sort of feel here. And loom videos are so quick and easy to record. It's a free web plug in, they do fantastic work.
[33:51] Mark Tanner They're a great company. And I think like you know, the ability sort of have that little video up top, that sort of, you know, gives it a bit of like, hey, here's who we are. We're real people. You know. We're human. Yeah, I think there's a bit of trust on that side a bit of relatability. Maybe you don't use that every single time, to be honest. But again, having a little bit of that can be can be very powerful as well. So look, I think video is like really important
[34:14] Shahin Hoda Personal touch. Absolutely. Absolutely. This has been amazing. And we've talked a lot about the proposal and everything around that. Do you think there was anything that maybe I haven't covered that you think it's important for us to chat about?
[34:27] Mark Tanner I think we've touched on a lot of it, I suppose the whenever I come back to it, when we talk about things, I always think about dumb, ugly and slow as what files are, and I think to be honest, I think No, I think I think we've talked about the dumb part. And we've talked about the ugly part. And we've talked about the slow parts, I think we've probably covered most of them.
[34:47] Mark Tanner I suppose that the main thing I would say though, is just look at the moment. A lot of people are out there with lower, like lower pipelines and they used to, you know, they're sort of they used to having 50 or 100 you know, leads come in a month through various sources, whether it's channel or inbound or whatever word of mouth or outbound blah, and they're sort of seeing, you know, 10-20-30% drops on that side. And you know, when you're in that zone, I really do think it's like, this is the time to think about, you know, how you are converting and what you can do to improve those conversion rates. And obviously, I'm saying that because I'm self serving, and I run a company that does that.
[35:24] Mark Tanner But I do think that, you know, we're a tool that's been built for remote work, half our companies remote, obviously, all our companies remote right now, but we've always been remote first. And I think that, you know, I think that there are tools out there that allow you to sort of become much, much better at this and truly the B2B sales space, like the way the proposals are done is just amazing, because every other part of the business lives in the cloud. And it's like, interactive and can speak to each other. And it's like, quite nicely designed and I think quite thoughtful.
[35:53] Mark Tanner And it's amazing when you look at like the buying experience across ecommerce or across marketplaces or in SAS or whatever else. versus what it is in most B2B stuff where it's PowerPoints and PDFs and pretty trashed, I would say that like now might be a moment. So take a time, have a look around and see if there's a solution like Qwilr, that might sort of really help you improve your conversion rates but also just I think, be a solid foundation for making proposals dramatically better over the long time as well.
[36:19] Shahin Hoda Yeah, be where your sales process is about to get a massive upgrade. Now that's, that's awesome. I love it. Now if listeners have more questions for you, or they want to know more about cooler, what is the best way that they could, they could hit you up or they could find out more?
[36:35] Mark Tanner Yep, so I'm MarkETanner on Twitter. So shoot me a note there. I check my DMS in my random DMS and Reb chat there. I'm on LinkedIn obviously and I'm relatively active there. Although I will say that we now series a funding a little while ago and I got 500 requests to join so, I'm a bit of a backlog on that side. But I am on Online Mirror as well. a fair bit, obviously like Qwilr.com we've got a blog we've got a bunch of webinars and talks on there as well if you want to hear me stouts and more bullshit you can come over there and and I'm at the regular webinar that I'm on with which we sort of tend to leave a large q&a session as well so people can pick me with questions about anything to do with a lot of talking sales. I love talking SAS, I love talking startups, you know anything like that aside? I'm always very happy to chat about
[37:25] Shahin Hoda Fantastic. Well, I really appreciate you joining us for this episode. I definitely think that a lot of our listeners will gain a lot of insight and value from our conversation. So on that note, thank you so much.
[37:46] Mark Tanner Thank you
[38:11] Shahin Hoda Cheers