Proposals

Overview

Proposals are estimates that sales representatives or business development agents send to their prospects to clearly define what your company can offer and at what price. Depending on the industry, a proposal can be a simple sales estimate that mimics an invoice, or it can be a detailed document that outlines the scope of work, project setup, billing rates and various phases of implementation. Throughout an opportunity, a proposal can be revised as the details are negotiated with a prospect. This means a single opportunity can have a proposal history. Core CRM allows different industries to generate proposals that best match their current standards. Click to watch this video on managing proposals in Core CRM.

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Commission is calculated for the sales team based on the service and expense line items that are part of the primary quote associated with the opportunities won. Proposals can inherit the quote amount if the quote is inserted into the proposal builder and the amount is immediately reflected in the proposal amount. You can change or set the proposal amount without inserting a quote. However, the commission calculation looks for quote amount. So, it is always the quote amount that is used to calculate the commission whether opportunity was closed at quote amount or proposal amount. Proposals are meant to be built around quotes.

Field Descriptions

Basic Tasks

Create Proposals from Scratch

Create Proposals from Templates

View Reports

Advanced Tasks

Use Proposal Builder

Add To-Dos

Add Notes

Email Proposals

Save Proposals as Templates

Clone Proposals

Add Follow-Ups

Submit Proposals

Approve Proposals

Show/Hide Columns in Grid

Export Proposals

Apply Filters

Mark Screen as Favorite

 

Field Descriptions

Field Name Field Description
Proposals > List View >
Submit Status Reflects the workflow status of the proposals, such as submitted or approved.
Proposals > Create Proposal > General >
Proposal Template Name of the template used to create the new proposal. It is available only if you choose Create Proposal: From Template.
Proposal Name This is the unique display name of a proposal. It can be numbers, letters or a combination of both.
Description Description or additional information about the proposal, such as the products or services offered, details about the customer's preferences, and so on.
Prospect This is the unique display name of a prospect associated with the proposal.
Opportunity Name of the opportunity associated with the proposal. This is useful for reporting and analytics. On selecting a prospect, the opportunity drop-down gets restricted to only those that are assigned to the selected prospect.
Proposal Amount Total amount quoted on a proposal, which includes services, expenses, subtotals, discounts and taxes. However, if a quote is inserted in the Proposal Builder, this proposal amount is taken as the quote amount.
Primary You can tag one of the proposals as the primary or main proposal for the prospect and opportunity. The primary proposal cannot be made inactive.
Proposal Date Date of the proposal. It is usually the same as the date of its creation.
Proposals > Create Proposal > Proposal Builder >
Add Smart Field Opens the Add Smart Field dialog from where you can insert a placeholder that Core automatically replaces with the actual value when sending out emails. The smart field can be the ID, Name, Company, etc. of the prospect.
Insert Quote Opens the Insert Quote dialog from where you can choose the quote you want to insert in the proposal. You can also create a new quote from here and then insert that instead. Core allows you to insert a quote in a summarized or detailed manner, and also customize it according to your requirements.
Insert Image You can insert any image or picture from your computer or other destination into the proposal.
Insert Table You can insert a table of any dimension into the proposal. This is useful if you want to present some numeric or analytical information in the proposal.
Proposals > Emails >
Email Status It indicates the status of the emails sent from this screen. It can be Sent, Read or Failed.

 

Create Proposals from Scratch

In Core, you can create proposals from scratch or from templates. If you are creating a first proposal for a prospect on an opportunity and the prospect disagrees on the quoted price or any clause, you can either choose to overwrite the first proposal (by editing its details) or make a copy of it (keep the history of the original quote) while you create a new one.

To create a proposal from scratch, watch this video or follow these steps:

  1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

  2. Click Create Proposal at the top-right and choose From Scratch.

  3. On the Create Proposal > General screen, enter the required information:

    • Proposal Name: This is the unique display name of a proposal. It can be numbers, letters or a combination of both.

    • Description: Description or additional information about the proposal, such as the products or services offered, details about the customer's preferences, and so on.

    • Prospect: This is the unique display name of a prospect associated with the proposal.

    • Opportunity: Name of the opportunity associated with the proposal. This is useful for reporting and analytics. On selecting a prospect, the opportunity drop-down gets restricted to only those that are assigned to the selected prospect.

  4. Enter other information about the proposal, if needed.

    • Proposal Amount: Total amount quoted on a proposal, which includes services, expenses, subtotals, discounts and taxes. However, if a quote is inserted in the Proposal Builder, this proposal amount is taken as the quote amount.

    • Primary: You can tag one of the proposals as the primary or main proposal for the prospect and opportunity. The primary proposal cannot be made inactive.

  5. Click Save & Done. It takes you to the detail view where you can add more information.

Create Proposals from Templates

In Core, you can create proposals from scratch or from templates. You can set up a few templates that outline the most common attributes or settings to speed up the process of creating and sending out proposals to your prospects or clients.

To create a proposal from a template, watch this video or follow these steps:

  1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.


  2. Click Create Proposal at the top-right and select From Template.

  3. On the Choose a Template dialog, select the relevant proposal template from the list.

  4. Click Continue.

  5. On the Create Proposal > General screen, enter or edit details about your new proposal:

    • Proposal Name: This is the unique display name of a proposal. It can be numbers, letters or a combination of both.

    • Description: Description or additional information about the proposal, such as the products or services offered, details about the customer's preferences, and so on.

    • Prospect: This is the unique display name of a prospect associated with the proposal.

    • Opportunity: Name of the opportunity associated with the proposal. This is useful for reporting and analytics. On selecting a prospect, the opportunity drop-down gets restricted to only those that are assigned to the selected prospect.

    • Proposal Amount: Total amount quoted on a proposal, which includes services, expenses, subtotals, discounts and taxes. However, if a quote is inserted in the Proposal Builder, this proposal amount is taken as the quote amount.

    • Primary: You can tag one of the proposals as the primary or main proposal for the prospect and opportunity. The primary proposal cannot be made inactive.

  6. Click Save & Done.

A new proposal is created based on the template. You can view its details and edit them as needed.

View Reports

To view a report:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, click More > View Reports.

    2. Select a report from the Report List dialog. It opens in the viewer.

    3. Preview the report and then choose to export or print it.

Use Proposal Builder

If you have created a sales quote or an estimate for your prospects, you have an option to insert it into the Proposal Builder. You can also write a covering sales letter here. Core offers a powerful proposal builder with document processing features including formatting text, adding and editing tables, inserting images, hyperlinks and including quotes as editable tables. You can also insert smart fields into the proposal as placeholders for the prospect's name, company, etc. Core automatically replaces them with the actual values when sending out emails.

Note: If a quote is inserted in the Proposal Builder, the proposal amount is taken as the quote amount.

To build a proposal, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    2. Click Create Proposal at the top-right and choose From Scratch.

    3. On the Create Proposal > General screen, enter the required information and click Save.


    4. Now go to the Proposal Builder tab and in the editor, type, insert or paste the proposal content as you want it using the toolbar.

    5. You can insert smart fields (Opens the Add Smart Field dialog from where you can insert a placeholder that Core automatically replaces with the actual value when sending out emails. The smart field can be the ID, Name, Company, etc. of the prospect.) into the proposal by clicking the relevant icon on the toolbar.

    6. If you have a quote already available for this proposal, you can insert it here. After inserting the quote (Opens the Insert Quote dialog from where you can choose the quote you want to insert in the proposal. You can also create a new quote from here and then insert that instead. Core allows you to insert a quote in a summarized or detailed manner, and also customize it according to your requirements.) into the editor, you can edit, format, or remove it.

    7. You can also insert images( You can insert any image or picture from your computer or other destination into the proposal.) and tables ( You can insert a table of any dimension into the proposal. This is useful if you want to present some numeric or analytical information in the proposal.) into the proposal, as needed.

    8. Click Preview Proposal if you want to view it before finalizing it.

    9. When your proposal is complete, click Save & Done.

You can send this to the prospect or client via email.

Add To-Dos

You can create and view the to-dos for your proposals on this screen. These to-dos can be tasks or action items for the proposals. Core allows you to add to-dos from the detail view as well as list view (row-action menu). The Type is pre-filled based on the screen where you are adding the to-do. The ID is pre-filled based on the record to which you are adding the to-do. Core allows you to create time entries from your to-dos.

To add a new to-do task for a proposal, follow the steps below:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    2. In the list view, select a proposal on the grid and click to select View Details. (Alternatively, you can select Add To-Do instead and quickly add a task from the dialog.)

    3. In the detail view, go to the To-Dos tab and click Add.

    4. Enter the required information in the top row of the grid:

      • Description

      • Start/End Date

      • Assigned To

      • Priority: level ranging from low to high

    1. Click Done.

Note: You can create time entries from the selected to-dos by clicking Actions > Create Time Entry. Core also prompts you to create time entries when you update the to-do status to Complete or mark % Complete to 100%.

Add Notes

You can add, review and edit notes for your proposals from the detail view. Core auto generates a note for any automated touch-points like when proposals are created, updated, or emailed, when follow-ups and to-dos are completed, etc. Core also allows you to quickly add and modify notes from the list view. It also displays a badge for the number of notes attached to the proposal. You can quickly preview the notes by hovering over the Notes link.

To add a new note for a proposal:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    2. In the list view, select a proposal on the grid and click Notes on that row for quick access.

    3. On the Add & Modify Notes dialog, enter or edit your notes and click Done.

    4. You can check out its details by clicking Detail on its row.

    5. Alternatively, click on the row to select View Details.

    6. In the detail view, go to the Notes tab and click Add.

    7. Enter the required information in the top row of the grid:

      • Category

      • Description

      • Status

    1. Click Done. After saving, you can click Detail to view the details of the notes.

Email Proposals

Core allows you to email the proposals to your prospects or clients.  Unapproved proposals can also be emailed.

To email a proposal, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    2. Select a proposal on the grid that you want to email and click to select Email. You can choose how you would like to email your proposal. You can either attach it as PDF or include it in the email message. You can also go to the detail view > Emails tab and click Compose Email.

    3. On the Compose Email screen, enter the required information: 

      • To: You can send an email to multiple recipients and also copy them using the CC and BCC options. You can click on the Choose Contact icon to open the Address Book and select multiple individuals or groups to email. However, if you are using a trial version of Core, it does not allow more than 3 distinct recipients at a time. For paid subscriptions, this limit is 50 recipients at a time.

      • Subject: Subject line of the email. You can also insert smart fields into it using the Add Smart Field option on the right. 

      • Template: You can select a predefined email template. It is pre-filled here if you have selected it previously for the campaign.

      • Message: It contains the proposal but can be edited using the formatting toolbar

    1. Click Add Attachments at the bottom if you want to attach any files to the proposal. You can also drag-and-drop any file into the Compose Email window from your desktop or email program.

    2. Click Preview Email if you want to view the email before sending it.

    3. When you have finished, click Send Message.

If the email is sent to an address that is no longer working, there is a bounce-back email sent to let you know about this. You can check the Email Status It indicates the status of the emails sent from this screen. It can be Sent, Read or Failed. in the Emails list view to know if they were read by the recipients.

Note: You cannot remove the default or system attachments. Only user-defined attachments can be added or removed. Core restricts the file size of the attachments to 10 MB and sends the attachments as a single zipped file.

Save Proposals as Templates

You can create proposals from templates and convert existing proposals to templates so as to use them again in future.

To save a proposal as a template, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.


    2. In the list view, select a proposal on the grid that you want to convert into a template and click  to select Save as Template.

    3. Check Proposal Templates for details (More > Proposal Templates).

The proposal is saved as a template and can be reused to create new proposals.

Clone Proposals

You can clone or duplicate existing proposals to save time in creating new ones. While cloning proposals, the details of the source proposal passes on to the cloned proposal. You can change some of the attributes or settings of the new proposal. The variations can be fine-tuned later.

To clone a proposal:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, select a proposal on the grid that you want to clone and click to select Clone.

    2. On the Proposal Clone dialog, enter the required information:

      • Clone From

      • Clone To

    3. Click Clone.

The newly cloned proposal displays in the grid.

Add Follow-Ups

Core allows you to follow up on the proposals sent to your prospects. Core allows you to create time entries from your follow-ups.

To add a follow-up to a proposal:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.


    2. In the list view, select a proposal on the grid that you want to follow up on and click Follow-Ups.

    3. On the Add & Modify Follow-Ups dialog, enter the required information:

      • Description: Name or description of the follow-up.

      • Follow-Up Date: Date of the follow-up deadline. This is the date by which the follow-up needs to be done.

      • Follow-Up Type: Type or category of to-dos in Core CRM, say email follow-up or phone call follow-up with a prospect about the proposal.

      • Assigned To: You can assign a follow-up to a sales person.

      • Priority: Indicates the priority of the follow-up, whether high, low, or medium.

      • Status: Indicates whether a follow-up is active, on hold, inactive, completed, etc. It gives the status of the follow-up.

    4. Click Done. The follow-up is attached to this proposal now.

    5. After saving it, you can click Detail to view the details of the follow-up. You can track all of them on the main Follow-Ups screen and receive notifications on them.

Note: Core prompts you to create time entries when you update the follow-up status to Complete.

Submit Proposals

As a part of the workflow, Core allows you to submit the selected proposals for approval using various options. When proposals are submitted, the supervisor or manager gets notified about these submissions. You cannot submit entries or items that are already approved. In case of email notifications, Core allows managers to quickly approve or reject the workflow entries or items submitted by employees directly from the emails.

To submit a proposal for approval:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.


    1. Select the proposals on the grid that you want to submit and click Actions > Workflow > Submit.

    2. On the Submit dialog, enter the required information:

      • Submit To: You can submit proposals to your manager or a specific person from the list.

      • Resource: This can be an employee or a vendor (contract employee or outside consultant). This option is available only if you choose Submit To: Specific.

      • Memo

    3. Click Submit.

After submitting the proposals, you have an option to un-submit them by clicking Actions > Workflow > Un-submit. You can view the entire workflow history in the detail mode.

Approve Proposals

As a part of the workflow, Core allows you to approve the proposals submitted to you. Approving proposals prevents modification by any user with limited security permissions. You can also reject the submitted proposals for any reason. However, only submitted or forwarded proposals can be rejected, not the approved ones. In case of email notifications, Core allows managers to quickly approve or reject the workflow entries or items submitted by employees directly from the emails.

To approve a proposal:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.


    1. In the list view, select the submitted proposals on the grid. (You might want to show the Submit Status column using More > Show/Hide Columns.)

    2. Click Actions > Workflow > Approve.

    3. On the Approve Proposals dialog, enter a memo, if needed.

    4. Click Done.

After approving the proposals, you have an option to un-approve them by clicking Actions > Workflow > Un-approve. You can view the entire workflow history in the detail mode.

Show/Hide Columns in Grid

You can configure the fields or columns that appear on the grid in the list view. You can hide or show columns, and sort the order of columns according to your requirements.

To do so, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, click More > Show/Hide Columns on the action bar.
    2. Select or un-select the column names in the drop-down list, say Status.
    3. Next, click the column name you want to sort the data by, say Amount.
    4. Click once for ascending order ( A-Z) and twice for descending order ( Z-A).

Note: You can resize the column widths on the grid and then reset them, if needed (More > Reset Column Widths).

Export Proposals

In Core, you can export proposals to the Comma Separated Values file format. Core exports data from all available columns and not just the columns visible in the grid.

To export proposal records to a .CSV file, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, click More > Export as CSV.

    2. A .csv export file is created and saved on your system at the default download location, say your desktop. Click to open the spreadsheet.

Apply Filters

Besides filtering data using the standard fields on a screen, you can also use the custom fields for that, if you have set them up.

To view selective data on the grid, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, click  on the right.

    2. On the Filters panel, select a filter from the drop-down and specify individual records or range.

    3. Click Add Filters to specify more filters.

    4. When you have finished, click Apply Filter. You can see selective data now.

    5. In the list view, you can remove the individual filters by clicking on each. To disable applied filters temporarily or remove all filters, click next to the Filters icon and select Disable Filters or Clear All, respectively.

Mark Screen as Favorite

You can mark or flag the most-often used and important screens in Core as your favorites up to a maximum of ten. These favorite screens then display separately on the side menu under the Favorites list.  You can manage all your favorite screens in Core from User Preferences.

To mark this screen as your favorite, watch this video or follow these steps:

    1. Open the Proposals screen from the side menu > CRM > Proposals.

    1. In the list view, click on the top-right.

    2. You can access this screen from the side menu under Favorites.

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