If you haven’t signed up yet, make sure to register for our upcoming webcast on Thursday.  We’re talking Quotes and Proposals, and this blog is a bit of a teaser.

When you write a proposal, do you find yourself re-creating a new Word document each time?  Maybe you’re copying and pasting from a previous proposal you sent out.  You might even find yourself scrambling to find content for the proposal to really wow your prospect.  You might also find that you’re spending countless hours re-creating the wheel each time you have a new prospect.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just have a consistent template to make life easy?  Maybe you’ll make some tweaks to the proposal and maybe you’ll put different products in the quote portion of the proposal but ultimately, you create consistency.  This is why Sugar’s PDF Manager is so powerful and robust.  It makes PDF’s a piece of cake.

Now, as of right now, PDF Manager is only available in Version 6.6 of SugarCRM which is only available On Demand.  The on-premise version won’t see the PDF Manager until Sugar 7 is released later this year.  For those on-premise users, don’t despair, we have solutions available for you too.  Just give us a call.

For now let’s focus on the On Demand edition of SugarCRM.

The type of clients I deal with are typically small to medium sized businesses who expect to see a proposal that is well polished and defined for them.  They want to have something that can stand out from the rest but also easy to create.

Here are a few tips to use the PDF Manager functionality of SugarCRM:

1. Create your proposal in Word, then convert to HTML

Using Word or any other word processor, come up with a spectacular template.  You need to make sure you include a spot for images, content and a great overview of your business.  You need to sell your business to your prospects.

2. Import HTML into the PDF Manager

As an administrator inside of SugarCRM you can access the PDF Manager.  Once you access the PDF Manager feature you can create a new template and import your template.  Keep in mind this isn’t a super easy task and it will take some trial and error to get the formatting right.

3. Create custom fields

If you have sections in your proposal such as “Our Recommendations” or things like “Project Objective” or whatever it might be, you know these fields will change regularly.  How we approach is is that we will create a custom text area field inside of Studio.  We create those fields in either the Opportunity or Quote module (or any module depending on how you’re creating your PDF Manager) so that they can be accessed by the PDF Manager.  So let’s say we create the two text area fields and we then create a default text value as the “copy write” of the proposal we typically use.

By creating these fields you give flexibility to your sales people to update verbiage for the proposal on the fly without ever having to edit the actual PDF Manager template.

4. Update PDF Manager Template

Once you’ve created the custom fields you can then go back to the PDF Manager template that you created in Step 2.  Simply go ahead and add the variables to the PDF template that you created in Step 3.

5. Done and done

Just like that we created a very simply proposal outline.  You can take these ideas and manipulate it anyway you want.  The goal here is to create variables from the fields you create inside of Studio and make them accessible inside of the PDF Manager.  You can now reduce time spent on creating forms and templates while focusing on the sales.

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