Humans on Mars, e-voting, and flying cars; 2020 was certainly hailed by media and pop culture as the year technology would make our lives much easier. And some things have come to pass, like self-driving cars, drive-thru Starbucks, and blockchain technology. So why is the capture and proposal management industry, an industry dominated by Information Technology giants, still plagued by inefficient, labor-intensive processes?
We can’t offer you a flying car. But with just seven weeks left until the New Year, we can offer you a glimpse of what stress-free winning would look like for you and your team in 2020 - if you begin your preparations now.
Jump-Start Your Pursuit
Once your team identifies an opportunity, the amount of data that needs to be manually downloaded and emailed to your team is time-consuming and the process sketchy. You rely on your team to read the email to know about the bid, the team relies on the email to access the information, and much of the discussion occurs offline. Information is entered into one system, and then another, and meanwhile the precious time you have to respond is quickly consumed.
Don’t let manual, duplicate data entry processes slow down your pursuit. Prepare your team for a quick bid decision by automatically importing, centralizing, and sharing bid materials with your team. Instead of emailing documents to the team, bring them into your pipeline, then invite your team to visit the documents online, discuss the details, and jump-starts the pursuit.
Keep Your Team in Sync and on Deadline
Successful proposal management is all about effective communication. While that may seems as simple as transferring information from one place, person or group to another, proposal collaboration requires more than data transfer to be effective. For example, you might email a subject matter expert with their task and deadline, but did they get the message? Did they understand the context, or the importance? How many times will you have to repeat the message? And how much time will they spend hunting through their email on the weekend for that message?
Don’t let outdated serial communication strategies hijack your proposal schedule. Prepare your team for synchronicity; where task and deadline information are centralized, available anytime, anywhere, and automatically remind the team about looming deadlines. Your team will automatically know where and when to work, and you’ll know when they are done. With fewer, more effective communication tasks on your plate, you’ll actually have time to get your proposal assignments done.
Faster, More Efficient Review Cycles
Back in the day, coffee and donuts were enough to entice an independent review team into the big conference room for a proposal review cycle. Nowadays, if you’re tapped to review a proposal, you’re likely on the road, in an airport, at a conference, or on a client site. How is a proposal team to advance quality and hit the deadline without an effective and efficient review and feedback loop?
Don’t let the road separate you from your review team. Prepare your team for faster, more efficient proposal review cycles that are as on-the-go as your team. Review documents and graphics, have synchronous and asynchronous discussions, come to consensus, and curate comments and edits - all from your Smart Phone or Tablet, as well as Windows and MacOS, Chrome and other browsers. Access is critical, and email just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. Today’s proposal journey is mobile. Are you?
So you’ve had your kick-off meeting, emailed out task assignments and deadlines. Is the team writing? Are they reviewing? Are they done? Is there a bottleneck out there that will derail your schedule, or worse the deadline? How does a proposal manager guard the schedule against issues, and avoid last-minute sprints to the printer, without insight into what the team is doing?
Do not let a lack of visibility impact your schedule. Synchronize and monitor your team with real-time status reporting that helps you identify and address issues before they impact your schedule. Know who is working and when they are done and avoid time-consuming bottlenecks. Use the same information to analyze your process and performance for incremental improvements that drive even greater productivity.
The business of winning proposals is time-consuming and stressful. With a few short weeks left until the New Year, now’s the time to decide: will you proposal the same way you did this year? Or will you give your team the tools they need to be successful and stress-free in 2020?