Still Sending PDF or Powerpoint Business Proposals? It's Time for a Change

authorToni Becker dateApril 19, 2021

In simple terms, a business proposal is a document that is sent to potential clients or suppliers in hopes of winning a new contract or project. 

This sales document should include standard content such as:

  • Project scope 
  • What you promise to deliver as a business
  • Cost
  • Timeline
  • Completion date

Some proposals may be more in-depth than others as they may be designed to win over unique or complicated jobs. Essentially, the proposal serves as a key management tool for the implementation of jobs or projects and should provide an adequate description of expected outputs to help in the implementation of the project. 

As the digital age has progressed and evolved, business proposals have gone from page upon page of printed paper to engaging PowerPoint presentations or creative PDFs. 


The Evolution of Business Proposal Tools & Tactics

About PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint was once at the forefront of digital transformation. This virtual presentation software was released in 1987 and was designed to facilitate visual demonstrations for business presentations. It was in 1992 that PowerPoint 3.0 became a sought-after business tool as people had more access to computers and software than before. In 2003 PowerPoint became essential to all businesses as Microsoft renamed the software Office PowerPoint and standardized the user interface and program functions across their suite of programs - making it more accessible.  

We all know that PowerPoint is made up of slides that contain images, text, animation and even short video clips which has made it a popular platform for business proposals. But as the digital age progresses and society continuously looks for more advanced and engaging business tools - is PowerPoint enough?

About PDF

The term “paperless office” was all the rage when computers and digital technology started becoming the norm across businesses and industries. PDF was developed based on the idea of the paperless office and was created by Adobe. The new file format was created to allow documents to be spread through a company without the use of printing or paper. 

PDF stands for "Portable Document Format" and is used by businesses worldwide. The format allows for documents to be shared or printed and today, almost everyone uses PDF for documentation.

PDF quickly became a popular format for business proposals and related documents as it could be sent to potential clients at the click of a button. Just like PowerPoint, PDF files allow room for creativity, imagery and text - however, this is less engaging and interactive than a PowerPoint presentation.

Just like PowerPoint, at its inception, PDF files were part of a worldwide digital transformation and set the standard for business proposals. But, just like PowerPoint - is PDF enough in this ever advancing digital age?

Introducing Video Business Proposals

We live in the digital age, an age of instant communication and instant gratification. With social media being a part of our lives, and information available at the click of a button, society has a shorter attention span and requires more personalized content to stay interested. This is why video is fast becoming the most popular and effective form of marketing. 

The stats speak for themselves:

  • 85% of marketers say that video is an effective way to get attention online. (Animoto)
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when obtained via video. (Social MeIs video content)
  • 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. (Wyzowl)
  • 78% of marketers say video has directly helped to increase sales. (Wyzowl)

With the above in mind, video is no longer limited to social media or website marketing. In fact, video is the way forward when it comes to business proposals. If you want to keep the attention of potential customers or investors, you need to do this using personalized, emotive content that builds trust. And video does just that - and more.

The Value of Video Business Proposals

A video business proposal is a 5 - 10 minute video that explains your business quote to a potential client or investor. Below, we outline 4 reasons why a video proposal is valuable to your business.

The Benefits of a Video Proposal:

  • Create an in-person and personable experience 

Currently, we are living through a pandemic and with social distancing rules in place, it is difficult to set up face to face meetings with clients. With that in mind, video proposals provide a way to create the illusion of an in-person meeting in a controlled environment. Your video proposal is able to recreate this in-person experience perfectly and does a better job than if you send through a stagnant PDF or typical PowerPoint presentation. When a prospect is able to see you, your team and your business offering on camera, they immediately feel more connected to you and this is how you build trust. 

  • Set yourself apart from your competitors

It is important you take on this form of digital transformation before your competitors. With personalized video proposals you are able to stand out from the crowd. It also shows your potential client that you believe in your business offering and value their business. 

  • Create a value-based conversation not simply a price-based conversation

Think about it like this: when a prospect receives a sales proposal or business proposal via PDF, they will immediately scroll through to your price page, ignoring the relevant information and value you can add as a business. Video proposals create a value-based conversation as you take the time to walk your prospect through the benefits of your business and of each quote. 

  • Learn more about your prospects

By sending through a video proposal you are also able to analyze your prospects interest in your business. Video allows for tracking and analytics and with the right tools in place you are able to view how long a prospect spent watching your video and what parts of your video were most important to them. This provides greater insight into each prospect and helps your sales teams figure out what they are looking for from your business.

Now that you have an understanding of the value a video proposal will add to your business, let’s take a look at what you should include in your video proposal. 

Tips for a Successful Video Business Proposal

  • Overly scripting your video, or simply reading out your written proposal on video is not the way to go. You want to create a more casual and conversational tone when it comes to your video. This does not mean that professionalism is thrown out the window - quite the opposite actually. Think about how you would act in a face to face meeting and how that can translate on film. Of course, you will require a script for guidance and a storyboard to guide the process, but make sure that you edit your script according to how you speak as opposed to how you write something out. 
  • In order to create a powerful video proposal, you need to review your previous sales proposals and identify key areas you need to focus on in your video. Take a look at what areas can be created through interviews or visuals. For example: You may have a head of department discuss their part in the business and their expertise or you can showcase your product or service in action. Ideally, both would be excellent! By introducing potential clients to your talent pool you also create a face for your business which results in a more personalised and trusting experience. 
  • Client testimonials are also an important part of business proposals or sales proposals. These are a great selling point and you should always include testimonials in your business proposal video. This is a significant way to build trust and credibility with your potential client. By having happy clients share their experience, you are evoking emotion and presenting real life success stories that will help drive a prospect to sign on the dotted line.

So, if you are still sending out PDF or PowerPoint proposals it is time to reconsider your tactic and create a unique, personalized experience for potential customers - before your competitors do the same. 

A professional video marketing and production agency can  help you create a unique brand voice that is authentic and trustworthy, ensuring your sales proposal resonates with your target audience.

How We Can Help

As digital marketing experts, our video production services deliver your brands message to your target audience.

From video marketing for social media through to video sales proposals, we believe that video is the best way to establish your brand as trustworthy and personable in 2021. Through our video production services you will be able to find your brand’s voice, express your message and proposals creatively and drive prospects to take action.

Contact Nexa today for all your video marketing needs.