How to create and send Proposals

Giving clients a quote is a crucial first step for many jobs, and getting new work into your business. But, it can be time consuming  particularly when there’s back-and-forth with the client to help them understand what they’re looking at, the value they’ll get, and what options they have.  

Proposals are like next-level quotes, letting you provide an elevated quote experience, with richer formatting, imagery, and multiple choice options, to give clients more detail, choice and control in the buying process.

Proposals is an add-on. To get started, log in to the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard on your computer and activate Proposals in Settings > ServiceM8 Add-ons: 

If you turn on Proposals, it doesn’t replace standard quotes in ServiceM8  depending on the job & client you’re quoting for, you can choose whether you want to create a proposal, or a standard quote i.e. the Proposals Add-on co-exists with the standard quoting functionality in ServiceM8, to suit the job.

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How to create a Proposal

1. Proposals are created and sent in the Online Dashboard. After activating the Proposals Add-on, go to your Dispatch Board, open a job with a ‘Quote’ status, then click ‘Proposal’ in the job actions menu:

2. You can start a proposal from a blank template, or from a proposal recently sent from another job. Click through the options in the left pane to browse prior proposal templates, and once you’ve decided on your starting point, click Start:

3. Start building! The Proposal builder works on a “what you see is what you get” basis, so you can see the proposal the way your client will see it, as you build it out:

4. To give your proposal a title, click the title text and start typing:

5. To drag and reorder sections above and below, click and hold the grab handles:

6. To add Text, Materials and Gallery sections, click the plus (+) button:

7. To remove a section, click the cross (x) button on the far right:

8. To undo an action or edit you made by mistake, hold Control + Z (Windows computers) or Command + Z (Mac computers).

9. To maximise the Proposal window to get a full-screen and focused view for building your proposal, click the Maximise button:

10. To maximise the job card and Proposal windows together, click the ‘Side-by-side’ button:

11. Note that new changes and edits are automatically saved as you go. If you’ve drafted some of your proposal and want to come back to it later, you can safely close the window with the top-right cross (x) button. To reopen a proposal, click ‘Proposal’ in the job actions menu, or open it from the job’s Diary:

12. Note that the Proposals Add-on supports collaboration, so two or more team members can work on the same proposal, at the same time. You can see which team members have the proposal open, and where they’re working:

How to use Text sections

13. Text sections have a title (in bold) and a main body of text. To add a Text section, click the plus (+) button > Text Section. To edit the title or paragraph text, simply click it, and start typing:

 14. You can also click the Smart Writing Helper button to Auto-Write, Improve Writing, Shorten or Lengthen your text:

15. You can add as many separate Text sections to your proposal as needed. You can use the plus icon (+) to insert them, or the grab handles to drag them into position.

How to use Material sections

 16. To add a Materials section, click the plus (+) button > Materials Section:

17. Materials sections have a title (in bold) and a main table in which items and bundles can be searched and added:

18. Click ‘Search or Add New’ and start typing to search your items database, or create a new item on the spot, just as you would in a the standard quote builder:

19. Click the Item Name field to edit (as normal), noting that the first line of text in the Item Name is formatted in bold:

20. Click the Qty, Cost, Markup, Price & Tax fields to edit (as normal).

21. Use the grab handles to drag and reorder line items above/below one another:

How to make materials/services Multiple Choice, Optional, or Fixed

22. Each separate Materials section of your proposal can be set as Fixed, Multiple Choice, or Optional:

23. Fixed. New Materials sections are set to Fixed by default, meaning all line items within the section are included:

24. Multiple Choice. Setting a Materials section to Multiple Choice means “multiple choice, single answer”  the client can choose ONE of all the line items included in the section.

Use Multiple Choice sections for aspects of your proposal where you want to give the client choice between different qualities, colours, styles, or scopes of a particular product or service:

25. Optional. Setting a Materials section to Optional means the client can choose some, all, or none of the line items included in the section.

Use Optional sections for aspects of your proposal where you want to include completely optional and standalone extras on top of the core service being quoted, and let the client decide to opt in to get more work and value:

How to add Photos, Videos & File attachments

26. To add a Gallery section, click the plus (+) button > Gallery Section:

27. To give the Gallery section a title, click the section title text and start typing:

28. To add media, click ‘Add Photos, Videos & Files’:

29. You can choose from Photos & Videos saved in the job card, or those you’ve Favourited in other jobs:

30. To favourite a photo or video, open it from the job’s Diary, and click Actions > Add to Favourites:

31. Use the grab handles to drag and reorder a Gallery above/below other sections.

How to send a Proposal to a client

32. Once you’re happy with a proposal, sending it to the client is very similar to the process for sending a standard quote. Simply click Email or SMS in the top-left corner, ensuring your message template includes the special {document} merge field which generates the unique link for the client to view their proposal online:

33. When the client follows the link, they’ll be able to view their proposal online:

34. When emailing your proposal, note that you can add your proposal as a Smart Attachment  this adds a ‘View’ button in the body of your email for a better customer experience:

35. Clients can then ‘Accept’ your proposal, similar to a standard online quote acceptance.

36. Accepting the proposal online will change the job’s status to Work Order, add a note to the job’s Diary, and apply the client’s selection of materials/services to the Quotes & Invoicing tab, ready for invoicing:

37. If a client accepts the proposal over the phone, or via an email or text message, click the dropdown arrow next to the proposal in the job’s Diary, and select ‘Apply to Job’:

How to make changes to an accepted Proposal

38. If a client accepts your proposal, then reconsiders and wants to make changes, it’s straightforward to revert the proposal  simply change the job’s status back to Quote, update your proposal as required, and send the proposal to the client again via email and/or SMS.

How to manage live Proposals

39. Proposals are “live” and visible to clients as soon as you send it to them via email and/or SMS. Any changes you make to an unaccepted proposal after it’s been sent, will update the client’s view of the proposal. So, if the client requests some changes, you can simply make the required changes in ServiceM8, which will update the client’s online proposal straight away (they may need to reopen or refresh the page) i.e. you don’t need to resend a proposal after making changes.

How to view Proposals on the ServiceM8 app

40. While proposals can only be created and edited in the Online Dashboard, you can still view proposals in the ServiceM8 app  simply tap to open the proposal from the job’s Diary, and you can view it the same way the client would see it.

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