Making the case for purchasing a new software platform internally can be difficult. The key is to be prepared with the use cases you expect your supervisors or colleagues will care about and have questions on.
Here we've outlined the eight most common objections that decision makers might have when considering an investment in proposal management software, along with our rebuttal and customer experience. Use this list as a tool for conversations with your greater team — we want to help our champions propel their proposal management efforts to get more work done efficiently and to win more bids!
Every company's first objection is the cost. The cost of another platform seems like it can always be avoided, but at a certain point the lack of a dedicated software platform for a need becomes an opportunity cost for your business. Consider what you are spending on the entire proposal creation process. How much time and money is focused on getting your team in the same room or on the same page to communicate over the proposal?
Proposal management software changes the way in which companies draft and deliver proposals in that the process is streamlined and communication avenues are made clear and easy to access — no matter where your team is in the country or the world. The cost of flying team members in to confer on the details of the proposal can become astronomical. Proposal management software enables teams to communicate in real time to ensure they are wasting no time or effort to accomplish the necessary collaboration to get a proposal finished.
The bottom line is that a proposal management software enables you to get more work done on a proposal, in less time, which means you'll be enabled to finish more proposals, consistently. This increased pace means you will submit more proposals and win more proposals due to better quality. The first proposal bid you win past your standard rate of production will be more than enough for the software to pay for itself.
2. Change Management
Introducing new processes and platforms to your team can prove difficult and teams often have change management concerns when implementing a new tool. The key to overcoming this issue is to have the right resources and support system in place to handle all questions. Privia enables this transition by offering support throughout the process, including training and a defined implementation program.
Change management can be helped by solidifying a secure champion for the capability. It is made easier when members from within the team help to train other members on the software to make it clear how each function enables them to better accomplish their work and do their job.
The Privia team starts with a kickoff to engage your entire team so everyone is on the same page starting out for success. We check in at regular intervals after initial training and touch base regularly to make sure everything is going smoothly and you are leveraging your investment.
Security is a paramount concern for every company as they expand their technology stack. Companies often are concerned about the level of security a new platform is able to maintain and if it will fit into their current technical, security architecture. Each company will have their own security requirements, especially within the RFP business. The different requirements between federal and local RFPs can be a cause for worry that a platform won't be up to snuff.
Privia works with each company to meet their unique security requirements. To start, the software can be deployed, on-premise, in the Cloud, or the Government Cloud. The Privia team works with each company to build the platform to fit in within the organization's architecture, including Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) and other classified and sensitive environments. The solution can secure information on various levels — from work areas and workspaces down to the individual documents.
The bottom line — well designed and implemented tools that you control are always more secure than the freeware and unauthorized tools your team will use if you don't provide them a platform to use.
4. Data Storage
Content storage for proposal teams is a big cause for concern. Secure data storage is important, but so is the ability to easily pull up information without searching for it in email threads and old folders. Privia enables content storage that is easily searchable. McKinsey & Company reports that workers spend 20% of their time looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help.
The key to efficiency and getting more proposals across the finish line is cutting out unnecessary methods and tactics before the RFI, RFP, RFQ or IDIQ drops. Spending too much time hunting for information is slowing your team down. Creating hurdles for your team to pull up old information and use it to their advantage is also an opportunity cost. You also want to ensure you give your team secure and sanctioned file sharing tools because they need to share files and you want to make sure you aren't driving them to use not secure and unsanctioned methods of file sharing.
Often, companies wonder why the capabilities of their current tech stack can't hold up and accomplish proposal management on their own. The simple answer is they might be able to accomplish bits and pieces of what software dedicated to proposal management might accomplish, but the need to compile information, communicate and collaborate across a multitude of platforms will set you back and defeat the process, making your job even more difficult, rather than streamlined. As one of our customers put it," as a document repository or shared drive ensuring version control, SharePoint is better. For proposal management and collaboration activities, Privia takes the cake."
Your current CRM is not built for managing a proposal throughout the creation process, to the finish line. Only a platform built and dedicated to the proposal management process will offer the benefits to justify its purchase. A CRM that imports opportunities and reduces duplicated data entry will save your salespeople some precious time. A streamlined process that gets more work done securely, quickly and efficiently requires a workspace for your team to come together to get work done. This is why Privia is integrated with CRMs like Salesforce and SugarCRM (and opportunity sites like GovWinIQ and FBO), to ensure your team has all the tools they need from start to finish.
6. What's Wrong With the Way We're Doing it?
If you've established a proposal process that works for your team, that's a good place to start. However, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself — how efficient is your process? If you don't have the answer, then the likelihood is that you're running on faith that your process is the best possible method to get a proposal across the finish line.
How many inefficiencies are cut out in your current process? If your team is still communicating via email, then the answer is not many. Often, companies start out with a repeatable process, but as time becomes short the process devolves into a loose guideline, until it is ignored altogether. It's a safe bet that your competition is looking for a more efficient method, so don't fall behind the competition.
Companies often ask — is this platform scalable? It's hard to invest in a platform that only does one thing. So choose a platform that is the best at the function but gives you room to take on other tasks that require collaboration, like HR, finance and contracts.
Privia can be used off-label for all other types of workplace collaboration needs. Other departments such as legal or contracts can use Privia to store content, collaborate in real time to make their processes more efficient and secure. For example one client reports, "the human resource department stores resumes and performance evaluation, the accounting department manages rates, the cost proposal, invoices and monthly reporting requirements, and the recruiting department uses Privia as a source to support future opportunities. All in one location. Priceless."
8. Will it Support Our Process?
Companies that have a strong process in place often worry that Privia can't support their unique way of doing things. However, with Privia, you can easily configure the solution to fit to your unique process.
Privia was built with this concern in mind and that's why it easily configures to mirror and support your process, whether that be Shipley standard or home grown, all without needing to call IT.
The workflow might be different, but the capabilities remain the same and enhance the way your team is able to communicate and pass work along for a higher quality proposal created with less time and effort.
When making the case for proposal management software to your higher ups, here is the bottom line: proposal management software will take your current process and enable you to do exponentially more quality work for each proposal and reduce headaches, frustrations and inefficiencies. The quality of every proposal will increase due to improved collaboration amongst team members and will save your business money.