Proposal Improvements that Stick with Contributors

To remain competitive, today’s government contractors are changing their proposal management tactics. They are looking beyond centralized files, version control and online reviews to capitalize on new, innovative time-saving features. A move to database-driven solutions and features such as co-authoring, workflow and dashboards and layout templates are streamlining their process; saving time and helping teams deliver high quality documents up to 70% faster.

When it comes to expert contributors, however, change is very personal. For them, what is the same, or similar, is often far more compelling than new features. Taking time to acknowledge how they work now and what will remain the same, or similar, after the change will raise their comfort level. Mapping how change will improve how they work on proposals in the new solution will help get them on board with improvements that stick.

So, expert contributors please take heart; some things do remain the same, and new things only build on what works best for you.

Expert Contributor: Writers

Proposal writing is a team sport, tasking experts from across your organization to collaborate and bring a compelling and persuasive capture strategy to life in the proposal. Together, their knowledge and experience is greater than the sum of their parts; together their writing establishes authority, demonstrates empathy, validates proficiency, and exhibits commitment.

Writing as a proposal team, however, presents a challenge; with more minds comes conflicting ideas, information and formatting. A lack of writing time due to expert’s conflicting priorities and constantly shifting schedules drives the need for improvement. Improving how expert writers interact with the proposal and their colleagues saves time.

Expert Writers will still… Now they are going to save time by…
Be assigned writing tasks with an email notification, including a link to the current version of the document. Monitoring their writing tasks with their personalized Dashboard, including a link to the current version of the document, plus the option to sort tasks by proposal and urgency.
Search and filter content by proposal, using words or phrases and Boolean logic. Targeting a search for content vs pictures or attachments by proposal or content library.
Copy and paste content from the search results. Adding content to the document or replace the document’s content with the click of a button.
Write and tailor content to strategy. Skipping the check-in/check-out process and writing in parallel with other expert writers.
Use formatting styles to help structure and organize content. Avoiding a confusing clutter of styles by leveraging established formatting styles that adhere to compliance and branding requirements.
Save their work. Automatically saving their work, about every 30 seconds.
Review Reviewer comments for clarity and understanding. Reviewing just the comments they are responsible for, assigned to them, in the original content.
Revise content based on Reviewer comments and instructions. Viewing content and comment instructions side-by-side. Bonus: Have a question for the Reviewer? Reply to the comment to start a dialogue with the review and secure clarification.

New proposal management tactics and technology find expert writers saving precious time by working when it’s convenient for them, without being blocked by locked files and frustrated by cluttered formatting styles. Plus, they all work at the same time, in parallel, so they can see what comes before and after their portion and tailor for accuracy, flow, voice, and tone - and avoid those types of comments during review.

Expert Contributor: Reviewers

Proposal reviews are a crossroads for your team; where the writing revisits the win strategy, compliance is confirmed, competition is ghosted, scoring is tested and story and narrative are evaluated. Get it right, and your expert writers have a clear roadmap of insights and instructions that lead to the final destination - - a compliant and compelling proposal evaluators want to read, understand and defend to decision-makers.

Reviewing a proposal, however, still presents a challenge for many teams. They are time-consuming, energy-intensive, take precious time away from writing, and don’t always yield the results the team needs to advance proposal maturity and quality. A lack of review time, combined with a lack of comment clarity, drives the need for improvement. Improving how expert reviewers interact with the proposal, each other and expert writers saves time.

Expert Reviewers will still… Now they are going to save time by…
Be assigned reviewing tasks with an email notification, including a link to the current version of the document. Monitoring their reviewing tasks with their personalized Dashboard, including a link to the current version of the document, plus the option to sort tasks by proposal and urgency.
Review the proposal. Reviewing the proposal content exactly how it will be laid out for submission according to compliance and branding requirements.
Comment and provide instructions on how to improve proposal compliance and quality. Assigning comments and instructions to the specific expert writer bringing their expertise to the proposal.
Edit proposal content, when permitted. Editing content, when permitted, in parallel with expert writers.
Target specific content with comments and instructions. Embedding comments in the specific content, making it easier to track and incorporate comments into proposal content.
Save their work. Automatically saving their work, about every 30 seconds.
Clarify their comments and instructions. Clarifying review instructions in the original comment, making it easier to track and incorporate comments into proposal content. Bonus: Plus, as comments are applied, they can view and track the comment status.

New proposal management tactics and technology find expert reviewers saving time and improving review clarity with easier access to proposal content and expert writers, as well as a clearer picture of what the final proposal will look like. Plus, now teams can more easily tailor their process to the needs of the bid by choosing whether to conduct review cycles or write and review in parallel, or both.

For proposal expert writers and reviewers, the proposal management process can often feel overwhelming, tasking too much of their time as well as their expertise. While new proposal management tactics and technology bring time-saving opportunities for improvement, as well as competitive advantage, they also bring change to already over-tasked proposal contributors. Taking time to communicate the need for change and demonstrating how it will save them time is the first step towards managing change for long-lasting improvements that stick.

How Proposal Management Software Helps Your Tech Company Be More Competitive

Subscribe to our Blog!

Topic(s): Best Practices