Proposal management software makes submitting high-quality, stand-out proposals faster and easier. What’s so unique about proposals and proposal teams that make writing a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) so challenging it requires specific software?
We'll begin with the proposal team.
Let’s start with your proposal team. The majority of your proposal team has a full-time job. They are individuals, drawn from across the organization, working together for a period of time. For the proposal manager this presents a coordination challenge; what is the team working on and when are they done?
Let’s keep the proposal team in sync. Your proposal process was established for a reason; keep the team up-to-date with what they need to do and when it’s due to avoid missteps that derail the schedule. When your team is out of sync, hairline cracks begin to appear in your process. Under pressure, these hairline cracks grow, creating gaps between what is needed and what is provided.
Let’s see what the proposal team is working on. Proposal managers may not “manage” the people on their team, but they are responsible for leading them through the process. When they lack visibility into what their team is working on and when they are done, they can’t step in, clarify assignments, redistribute workload, and keep bottlenecks from becoming delays.
So, what makes proposal management software unique to the challenge?
What makes proposal management software unique are the integrated tools necessary for taking control of the process, synchronizing the team, and empowering proposal quality for the win.
At its core, proposal management is a centralized, secure document management platform, complete with access permissions, version control and accessible audit trail. Documents are organized into discrete Workspaces, including folders containing the current document version and reusable content. Team’s access documents based on view or edit permission. When accessed for editing, the document is locked to avoid overwriting. When the document is published, the version advances, with previous versions available for view and roll-back. Because all published documents are indexed, all information is automatically available for search and reuse, helping teams create their first draft quickly.
Team and Time Management
The team and time management layer includes the information the team needs to do their proposal job; assignments so their time is focused on execution, the current document version, saving a lot of hassle, solution and strategy discussions for better writing clarity, notifications to keep them on track, and schedule updates that also appear in their personal calendar. Together they harness their collaborative mindshare for the common goal.
The collaboration layer empowers real-time document and graphic reviews and discussions. The team reviews synchronously or asynchronously, viewing each other’s work in real-time. They tag the original document with revision instructions, what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve it. They toggle between document versions to clarify their comments. They chat with experts to validate solution or strategy comments. They reply to each other’s comments, countering and conferring, and coming to consensus on how to improve the proposal. Once the review is complete, the proposal manager evaluates, clarifies, sorts, filters, and prioritizes review instructions before the team takes action. Because reviews are conducted centrally, proposal managers skip the multi-document “merge” step, gifting your team with more hours to work on quality revisions.
The workflow layer standardizes and automates your proposal process to keep the team in sync. This means everyone on the team is automatically up-to-date with what they need to be working on and when it’s due. They avoid the missteps that can easily derail the written portion of the sales cycle. Together they act in a coordinated fashion toward a common goal, saving time, and advancing the quality of your proposal for the win.
The reporting layer captures time and task performance for real-time reporting and performance analysis. Proposal managers know who is working and when they are done. They see bottlenecks, and step-in to redistribute workload before they become delays. They analyze how well the process is working. With proposal management reporting, proposal managers know where process change will improve efficiency, how to better budget for the next proposal, and a historical record of the team’s activities and performance.
Proposal management software integrates all of these tools into a time-saving, team driving platform for submitting high-quality, stand-out proposals faster and easier. The proposal team has everything they need to be successful at their fingertips; assignments and deadlines to focus their time, reusable content and team mindshare to expedite their writing, productive reviews that drive proposal quality, notifications and reminders for staying in sync and on track, time-saving automatic version control and reporting for real-time status and process improvement analysis.
As businesses revisit their sales goals, look ahead, and define the shape of this new business reality, they are looking to proposal management-specific tools to improve the efficiency and quality they need to compete and ultimately win more awards than before. Teams who adopt a more accessible, integrated proposal management software platform will submit high-quality, stand-out proposals faster and easier.