Oversight is an important part of any company's workflow. Here at Proposify, we recognize that knowing which documents are going out and whose sending them is a key element in the process.

If you’re wondering how to beef up oversight on your sales docs, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s what this article covers:

Set Up Approval Workflow

In your Navigation Bar, select the Users icon to reach the Users page. 

Click Roles and Permissions:

This will bring up a list of roles for users on your account. “Admin” is the default setting. It has access to every part of the account except billing and account management. 

To create a new user role, click Add Role:

Now you can decide what permissions to allow each user. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got a handy guide for roles here. For now, we’ll focus on Send Permissions, found at the bottom. 

First, enable Requires approval before sending documents.  

Next, select the approving role from the dropdown menu. You can select a secondary role to approve as well. We recommend adding a secondary role in the event your primary role is away.

NOTE: Selecting an approving role will only provide a list of people to notify that a document is ready for approval. Anyone in a role that can send a document without approval can review.

Extra Settings:

Approval Settings

If you only want to approve documents that reach a certain value, enter your threshold amount in Document Value:

Any document with a value equal to or above this threshold will require approval.

If your pricing strategy relies on optional fees, you can include approval workflows to any document that contains optional fees. To do this, enable Optional fees require approval:

NOTE: This setting will trigger the need for approval with any optional item in your table, regardless of document value.

Watermark unapproved documents

Select Watermark PDFs for unapproved documents to ensure roles requiring approval are showing that the document is still a work-in-progress.

If a user assigned to this role downloads a PDF of a document in Draft or Awaiting Approval state, a “DRAFT” watermark will appear on every page.

Allow Users to cancel approval requests

Select this option to allow the role to make edits to documents that are pending approval or have been approved. They will need to re-submit their document to approve the new changes.

If cleared, the role will be unable to make edits once approved.

Allow users to edit documents after sending.

Select this option to allow the role to make edits to a document sent to your prospect. If a user requiring approval makes edits to a sent document, though, they will need to re-submit for approval.

If this option is cleared, roles requiring approval will be unable to edit documents after they’ve been sent.

HEADS UP: If this option is selected, clients who’ve already received their Preview Link will be able to view all changes by refreshing their browser, regardless of whether they’re approved.

Once you’ve set your preferred approval workflow, select save role at the bottom of the menu to save these changes. All that’s left now is to assign users to these roles. You can read about how to assign roles to users here.

What An Approving Role Sees

When a document is in Draft State:

When a document is in a Draft or Awaiting Approval state, there’ll be no share links available for the user requiring approval. Here is the Snapshot page for a document created by a user named Lee. Lee requires approval before sending a document.

Lee has:

  • No links in signature recipients.

  • Clicking the send icon will bring up the request approval menu.

  • No ability to move the document to a new state (sent, won, lost)

What’s more, the copy url button in this document Preview will also be removed.

Here is the same snapshot from the account of Allan, who does not require approval before sending:

  • The links in signature recipients are present.

  • Selecting the send document icon will bring the user to the Send page.

  • The mark as menu will change, letting this user either approve/reject the document (if in Awaiting Approval) or move the document to another state.

In Client Preview mode, Client Preview Link in the preview mode banner will be present.

Finally, if Allan downloads a PDF copy of the document, no watermark will appear.
 

Submit A Document For Approval

To request approval from the snapshot, click Send Proposal:

You can also click Request Approval from the Proposal Editor:

A list of available approvers will appear with a list of available approvers.  

Choose who to notify, then click send to send an email to an approver. 

NOTE: Any user who can view this, and doesn’t require approval, can review this document. Selecting a user here won’t limit who can review your proposal. You’re just choosing who to notify.

When they send an approval request, the user will be returned to the Pipeline and see a confirmation banner. Their activity will be logged in both feeds. The proposal is now in Awaiting Approval state.

Awaiting approval

The Snapshot Activity Feed will keep track of approval progress. Lee can send a reminder to Allan at any time to let him know that this is still pending approval. 

HEADS UP: We want to keep a clear activity log of what happened to this document. Once a document is in Awaiting Approval state, all share links are disabled for all users, even if they don’t need approval to send. This will need to leave Awaiting Approval state, either by approving or rejecting it, in order to send this document again.

Similarly, on the Pipeline the [...] menu will show an option to request approval. This will pull the same request approval menu.

Review A Document

To review a document, select one currently in Awaiting Approvals state: 

If you’re confident about this document, you can approve or reject it from the Snapshot page. Select your option from the mark as menu: 

Otherwise, select Review to enter the Proposal Editor. 

Here, you’ll be able to make manual edits and comment on a page. To make reviewing easier, you’ll also be able to tell at a glance what pages have been edited: 

Review the document, make changes and comment, then select approve or reject:

We’ll notify the person who requested approval of your decision.

If rejected:

The person who requested approval will be  notified by email. The document will be returned to Draft state. The  activity feed will let them know who rejected the proposal, as well as  any comments left by the reviewer:

 

If approved:

The person requesting approval will be  notified by email. The activity feed will also show who approved the  propsosal. All share URLs will return and the user can send the proposal  as normal: 

NOTE: If an edit is made to this document by this user, they’ll need to re-submit the document for approval. 

Disable Approval Workflow On Your Templates

Not every document needs approval before going out. To activate approval workflow on your documents, head to the Template Editor. From there, select the notepad icon in the menu pane to open Template Settings:

From there, enable the checkbox next to Does not require approval:

This will disable approval workflow for this document.

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