Accelerate Proposals: Skip the Process Detours

We designed our proposal process to help us win by avoiding the missteps that can easily derail this critical step in the sales process. So, if a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, why are we making so many detours between kick-off and submission? Technology eliminated our access and communication issues and increased efficiency. Where technology was found lacking, however, we naturally created detours to get us around the gaps.

All of those extra turns and pit stops steal time away from our process and make for a longer “drive” to our submission destination. Here are four ways technology innovations are driving detours out of today’s proposal process.

Accelerate Kick-off

We wouldn’t head out on a road trip without a full tank of gas. And we wouldn’t head into a Kick-off meeting without analyzing requirements, building a timeline and creating  formatted “shells” for our contributors to write in. Time spent on compliance and deadlines is critical, but manually creating tens if not hundreds of “shells” is a time-consuming detour.

By leveraging our proposal outline, we skip several detours in the pre-writing process.

  • Creating “Shells”. When we import our outline, the technology automatically creates the documents and sections our team needs to collaborate on, while allowing us to provide and restrict access based on Tasks.
  • Consolidating “Shells”. When we’re ready to submit, the technology automatically serializes our documents and sections back into one document, automatically formatted and ready for production.
  • Accountability. Because Task assignments are "attached" to each document, we have a direct chain of content ownership from assignment to submission.

Because the technology automatically parses and serializes our proposal, we skip these process detours and accelerate our time to Kick-off.

Accelerate Writing

The last time we went on a road trip, did we bag up some snacks? Of course we did, it saves time not having to stop along the route. Our contributing contributors crave the same consideration; easy access to everything they need to make their route from Task assignment to Task completion faster and easier.

By improving contributor and content interaction, we skip several detours in the writing process.

  • What's my Task? Instead of trying to find a Task, our contributors receive an email with a link directly to the Task document - or visit their Dashboard where they can sort by urgency based on the deadline. 
  • Waiting to Write. Co-authoring collaboration allows our contributors to write when it's convenient for them. Gone is the Check-in/Check-out step - their work is automatically locked, unlocked and saved.
  • What to Write? Our contributors find important details at the top of the document – automatically hidden from the final submission. This can even include direct links to amendments and strategy documents.
  • Reusable Content. Our contributors search and filter content – and that content includes highlighted fields that require tailoring to the current proposal - and an expiry date to know when content needs updating before use.
When we skip these writing detours, we make it easier for contributors to balance their time - and invest it in analysis, thinking and writing so we get to our first quality draft faster.

Accelerate Reviews

We’re getting close to our destination now, but rush hour traffic is about to slow us down. I’m talking, of course, about reviews, where we evaluate our content and make course corrections. Although it’s important to make things easy for our review team, we must balance ease with the results the team needs; direction and a clear, quick roadmap for revisions. 

By improving executive and content interaction, we skip these review team detours.

  • File Wrangling. Instead of downloading a document, our executives click on a link, or visit their Dashboard to begin. The document automatically unlocks, locks and shares their comments. 
  • Redundant Comments. Instead of a silo, executives review together. They see each other’s comments, build on them, clarify them and eliminate redundant and confusing feedback.
  • Waiting to Revise. Instead of waiting for multiple review documents to be compiled, our contributors immediately return to writing. 

When we skip these review team detours, we make it easier for executives to provide faster, more productive feedback. They are focused on comment clarity and our contributors have more time for revisions so we get to our next review faster.

Accelerate Production

We can now see our destination, and we’re getting excited. Although we’ve made things easier for our experts and our executives, we’re faced with the monumental task of reformatting our entire proposal for submission. And time isn’t on our side.

By re-thinking the production process, we skip these production detours.

  • Reformatting. By establishing a Layout Template before writing begins, we automatically define our formatting throughout writing, reviewing and revising.
  • Broken Formatting. Instead of touching every word, sentence, paragraph, table and image corrupted during writing, reviewing and revising, we automatically enforced our formatting to reduce production time.

When we skip these production detours we eliminate the bulk of re-formatting time, buying more time to invest in another proposal. And there is always another proposal.

We designed our proposal process to drive efficiency. A new breed of collaboration tools is driving these time-consuming detours out of our proposal process and helping teams create and submit proposals 70% faster.

XaitPorter provides Honeywell UOP almost one year of savings

Topic(s): Best Practices