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  • #973059
    Samot
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    • Total posts: 157
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    Hi guys,
    I am interested in hearing about ways people generate proposals/estimates for clients. My research thus far has shown me that most people just use a Word document template and just change keywords for each different client.

    I am working on a software tool at the moment for generating proposals to save time, build statistics and have a central location for managing leads.

    I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the matter or even my application if you wish to try out the beta version.

    You can see it in action at http://app.protosal.com

    Some of current features are

    • Reusable templates for quick proposal generation
    • Graphs of your accept/decline ratio
    • Populate your templates with variables that are automatically pulled in from your client data

    Really looking forward to building a product that is usable for everybody so any comments will be highly valued.

    Thanks for your time,
    Thomas

    #1059501
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi Thomas,

    I like your ideas as you’ve outlined them here, and would be keen to learn more about it, but is there a way to do that without creating a log-in?

    You might find you get more feedback from others in the community too if they don’t think they’re joining a mailing list in order to check things out.

    Good luck!
    Jayne

    #1059502
    Samot
    Member
    • Total posts: 157
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    Thanks, I created a test account. All emails will be kept private regardless and not assigned to a mailing list.

    Test User Account: [email protected]
    Test User Password: orange

    Thanks!

    #1059503
    Anonymous
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    Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for doing that.

    It’s very neat and tidy, and I wish my current system had some of the features that yours does.

    Things you may like to consider adding that I think would be handy:
    1. In the settings section, a field for tax (GST) and the percentage.
    2. Facility to send an auto-reminder email along the lines of: “We sent you an estimate on X date, and haven’t heard back from you, would you like to a) accept; b) have a chat about the details; c) come back to us at a later date; d) politely decline”

    Having said all that, what I really really want is to be able to convert an estimate directly into an invoice – but that would add a whole extra level of complexity to your project :P

    Thanks for sharing your work with us. It’s looking great.

    Jayne

    #1059504
    JohnSheppard
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    • Total posts: 940
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    Hi there,

    I agree with Jayne’s advice on the login…signing up is too much effort to do someone else a favour :)

    Some comments;
    – Where do I log in? I see the sign up, but no log in? Don’t make me look…(I’m overloaded with information and tired of reading just like everyone one else)
    – CoFounder Ryan looks like he is shirtless, and while he looks somewhat like a youngish Josh Homme, I’m pretty sure your target audience isn’t for female Kyuss/Queens of the stone age groupies :)
    – When I click ‘Fee Edit’ and choose save, I expect the window to close and return. I have to close as well. (hmm maybe this isn’t functional yet?)
    – A large selection of already developed templates/sections to begin with would add a lot of value. I want to be able to go in and be up and running in like 10 minutes. Then tweak my proposals for later.
    – As a new user evaluationg your software, I want to be able to see the end result very quickly. Again its an information overload thing. I need to feel confident that I can get something…Getting down into any nitty gritty comes later. Existing templates will go a long way to that end.
    – As Jayne also said, converting your proposal into an invoice would be pretty useful. Figuring out some way to integrate this with other softwares would be good. This is the problem with pretty much all software though. Integrations r a pain…. At minimum is there an import/export feature anywhere?

    Anyway, I haven’t looked closely. Just some thoughts. Hope they help.

    #1059505
    Samot
    Member
    • Total posts: 157
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    Thanks for the feedback John and Concierge, I took a lot of the feedback on board and we changed the landing page quite a bit.

    http://protosal.com

    We also added in some default data, so you can get a more clear idea of what the application does at first glance.

    Test User Account: [email protected]
    Test User Password: orange

    Still a fair way to go but we are giving out lifetime free subscriptions to anyone willing to beta test with us while we develop.

    So if your interested in saving time with proposal generation, leave a message here. We will be implementing features that beta testers require.

    Thanks again,
    Thomas

    #1059506
    Past-Member
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    I have tried using the sample login a couple of times and looked around.

    Tonight I have registered to login so will try it again. I can see you have made some changes.

    By the way, typo Practise should be Practice (as it’s a noun in this case). Code of Practice.

    And when you register, it would be good where the message says to check email for the link to activate to also check one’s spam folder.
    Yours (as with others) all go to the spam folder.

    Will be in touch. Cheers.

    NOTES: In the Account details for myself there is nowhere for a State or Postcode, just a City.

    In uploading a logo it would be helpful to have the approximate maximum dimensions in pixels.

    I just tried uploading an image and filling in all those details. I clicked SAVE and went straight to an error 404 page.

    I went back to the editing page and everything is blank again.

    Will try again tomorrow. Cheers.

    #1059507
    Samot
    Member
    • Total posts: 157
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    Thanks KarenC, making the application work across all computers and web browsers has been a challenge. Hopefully I will get some sleep tonight trying to fix this.

    Thanks again!

    #1059508
    BrettM33
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,372
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    Hi Thomas,

    I’ve tested out a few of these tools a bit in the past & wasn’t real happy with them because sometimes on the finalized PDF you would get a section of your report that starts at the bottom of page one & spans onto page 2; when you would prefer it to just start on page two. There was no options to add any spacing to avoid this so I stopped using them.

    Hopefully that is something you can keep in mind when developing this. :)

    #1059509
    Samot
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    • Total posts: 157
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    Thanks CondorCreative, it’s funny that you suggest that as I am working on it as we speak. Just a button to insert page breaks where ever you like.

    #1059510
    BrettM33
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,372
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    Samot, post: 76997 wrote:
    Thanks CondorCreative, it’s funny that you suggest that as I am working on it as we speak. Just a button to insert page breaks where ever you like.

    That’s great! I may end up using your service in the future then. ;)

    #1059511
    Past-Member
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    • Total posts: 1,815
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    Hi Samot, after trying again today, I think that your service has potential but as you already have said, needs tweaks and checking along the way.

    So far I have set up an account and a sample invoice with various terms of my own and other additions.

    I have found …

    In setting up a new proposal

    1. Add new

    2. Select sections to add

    3. Edit sections

    In all of these, after SAVEing, you have to click F5 or Refresh to view the changes. The changes are not immediate.

    And it would be very helpful to know what size pixels the image can be.

    Firefox, Mac 10.6.7

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