Howdy! 👋 Does your company produce software, digital products & innovations? If so, you probably have quite many leads to process. Some of them never convert, some do. Read to find out how much does this cost you and how to reduce waste.
Ye olde ways
When you have started (hopefully not anymore) the process most likely looked like this: you had a look at the potential customer’s request and either ballparked a figure to get the deal fast (hey, new companies need money) or estimated a more-or-less accurate time needed for the project with some wiggle room, multiplied by your hourly rate.
Once your team scaled and more people joined, units emerged. Marketing. Sales, More developers. Requests from customers were passed to you or other devs and transformed into epics, tasks and subtasks. Each task was estimated by the developer who would actually code it (hopefully). Once you had all the info, a salesperson would multiply by your hourly rates and get a final quotation.
From our observations, the whole quoting process would take, depending on the project scope, at least 4 and up to 16 hours on average.
This should immediately ring your alarm bells. Processing prospects helps the company stay afloat, and it is the job of your salespeople to close deals (if not, why would you need them?). However, notice that the vast majority of work in the legacy model is done by developers. The same developers that charge you so much for their services and that you have trouble contracting. Let’s say a senior developer used 6 of his hours and your Head of tech another 2. On average, this will cost you around $1000 in man hours, all to estimate a single project which may never even happen.
The next day, another estimation is needed.
Once a full month ends, you’ve burned thousands of dollars in a crucial and seemingly simply process. It’s probably not the end of the world and most software companies function nicely despite this waste, but if you’re eager to optimize further and save some bucks for your next Corvette (you DO want one, right?), read on!
Enter the proposal software
You’re not alone. That’s why a whole market or category of tools emerged – proposal software. The scale of possible savings far outweight any tool burden or cost, and since 2017 these tools are viewed as much more than a CRUD or yet-another-web-app. They really work, and the market reflects this:
We’re not gonna lie – there’s a bunch of tools already on the market. They have different features and key selling points. As people who have worked in software houses as managers of sales and tech, we found them lacking. The vast majority are basically Canva clones: nice visual editors where you can draft a good-looking proposal and make the customer sign it online.
That’s not how software proposals go. Most often, the customer will get back to you for negotiations, questions and clarification. In software, it’s not the customer conversion where the problem lies: it’s in your developer’s hours. Doesn’t matter if they use Excel or a great WYSIWG editor, as long as they are still involved too heavily in the estimation process, you’re wasting money.
In the words of our CEO, Michael Grubka (previously 4 years as Head of BizDev at Gecko Dynamics):
I have spent the last decade elbows-deep in sales processes of software companies. Going through all the stages, from a regular salesman up to head and now CEO of Apropo, I am 100% confident of the value we provide to people just like you.
And the second founder, John Koziol, senior developer & consultant since 2007:
It’s ironic, but proposals are not just sales stuff. I have had way too many new project estimations on my hands. By creating Apropo, I have tried to save a lot of time of CTOs, senior developers and team heads even more so than the time of salespeople.
What is Apropo?
Again, full disclosure: 2 years down the road and with a dozen of people on our team, we still find describing what we do one of the hardest parts of the startup life.
Apropo is a proposal software tool specifically for software development & digital products companies. That’s why it was founded, that’s why people use it (actual, paying users with MRR!) and why our investors believe in us enough to give us a huge influx of cash.
We understand your problems, because we had them for years. We sweared, worked overtime and drank soda to cope with them. The whole point of Apropo is to reduce developer input from creating the proposal to just verifying it and quick, small corrections where needed.
This may not sound as sexy as some taglines out there – we don’t promise to boost your conversions by 50%. We do, however, promise that you will see a SUBSTANTIAL reduction in proposal creation time. Here’s some actual data from long-term customers, with and without Apropo implemented:
Company A: 20 min vs. ~2h = 6x faster
Company B: 36 min vs. ~5h = 8,33x faster
Company C: 40 min vs. ~2h = 3x faster
These values are not ballpark figures or wishes: they’re actual times measured by both parties and logged on our servers. We see and demonstrate the value, because it is here. It will most likely help your company. And we’re sure of it.
A deal for you
Apropo is free to trial and we offer help in implementation. Contact us below and let us get back to you. We will get you and running in as little time as possible, usually around 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you don’t see enough value, we will not charge you a cent and won’t pester you with marketing newsletters.
If you do end up contacting us, mention this article to us to get a 10% discount on any plan you may decide to purchase until the end of 2022.
Thank you for reading – see you soon?👋