You probably already know that SDA (SalesDoc Architect) can generate outstanding, automated client facing documents. But did you know that there is another way to produce these documents that allows for more flexibility and customization?
Traditionally, SDA automates outputs using content set up by your Administrator. This allows users to automatically generate full proposals, SOWs, contracts and other documents dynamically based on the user’s selections in the SDA software. Now there is another way to generate those outputs that allows the user to customize the content before they generate an output. This is done using an Outline-Driven Tab.
Customized Proposals, SOWs and other Client Facing Docs
An Outline-Driven Tab allows users to decide what doc sections to include in their document outputs. Plus, they can easily add other content to the outline like documents from a network drive, sections from the SDA Library, PDFs, images, text paragraphs and bullets, etc. When the user generates their output document, all the content that the user has added to their outline is assembled into a single Word output document.
You can either provide your users with a blank Outline-Driven Tab and they can add all the content they want for their output or you can pre-populate the tab with standard content and users can select/unselect the content they want to include and also add new content. You might even want to create a pre-populated tab for each of your solution offerings.
Your Admin can also set up your content to auto-calculate content like in the example below. This formula turns the content on when the user chooses one or more leasing options in the Financing Tab.
Users can add the following content to an Outline-Driven Tab via the Insert Menu:
- Doc Sections from your personal drive, network drive, SharePoint, SDA Library or Builder Content Library (within the RFP Response Builder module)
- Image Files
- Pricing Schedule
- Excel named Range/Chart
Watch this Video to see this in action!
When to Use an Outline-Driven Approach
- Scenario 1: You want your users to have the ability to customize their sales documents.
- Scenario 2: Your vendor has PDF data sheets that you want to include in your proposal.
- Scenario 3: Your company has a new offering but you don’t want to take the time to add that content to the SDA Library. For example, you might want to quickly add a document that shows the value of the new offering and a different contract that needs to be signed for the new solution.
- Scenario 4: You are selling a cloud solution. The vendor has an online tool that generates a proposal that you want to embed in your own proposal that has your branding and includes other solutions you offer. You can easily insert the vendor’s proposal inside your proposal.
Benefits of Outline-Driven Docs
- Its quicker – generating an output from an Outline-Driven Tab is faster than the traditional approach.
- Easy for users to customize – the traditional method of generating an output is controlled by the way SDA is setup for your organization, with certain Doc Sections triggered to generate depending on user selections. By using the outline-driven approach, the output is controlled by the user. For example, a user can pull in a customer-specific PDF network diagram by inserting a reference to the file (stored in a shared location like SharePoint) within the outline.
- Easy to update content – Some customers do not have the time to update their documents in the SDA Library. Using the outline-driven approach allows an organization to update those documents outside the library so that, when an output is generated from the outline, the updated content is included.
- Calculated content – Admins can still use Excel formulas to turn content on/off in the outline based on user selections or other conditions.
- Easier to manage content – Admins can easily make changes to what content is generated by adding/deleting them from the outline templates. They don’t need to do this in the SDA Library.