Organizations pursuing external customer projects depend on proposals that – offer high value to customers and don’t compromise of project profitability to service providers. While organizations continue to develop proposals, their struggles center around proposal meticulousness, proposal creation efficiency, and proposal development speed. Yet, business leaders take a half-hearted approach to selecting and implementing proposal management software – they believe that they can manage without such software.
Let us bust the top five myths about proposal management software and in the process, throw light on the value of a top-class proposal management software.
MYTH # 1: ONE PROPOSAL MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR ANY INDUSTRY
Engineering. Automotive. Telecom. Pharma. Software Services. Consumer Durables. FMCG. Management Consulting. Infrastructure. Oil & Gas. Others.
When we review the above industries, the standout aspect is – diversity of industries. Would you sell the products and services from the above-mentioned industries the same way?
Absolutely not! The nature of the products and services and their life cycles are unique. The level of detailing and complexity involved during the proposal creation process is like chalk and cheese.
Myth busted: Top-rated proposal automation software are built on the strategic principle of industry & product-specific design. TouchBase Proposal Automation Software is based on this strategic design.
MYTH # 2 – ORGANIZATIONS MUST ADAPT TO THE SOFTWARE’S PROCESSES.
Irrespective of the industry, it is common knowledge that an organization’s ‘way of working’ is built on the foundation of their standards, values, methodologies, processes, workflows, decision-points, forms, templates, checklists, etc. Further, an organization’s way of working is also influenced by:
- Process maturity
- Employee capabilities and competencies, and
Proposal management software vendors expect their customers and end-users to adapt their practices to how the software works. RFP software vendors rely on ‘exorbitant customization’ to align solutions to organizational standards and processes.
Myth busted: Contemporary Proposal Automation Software are “configurable” swiftly to the organizational context.
MYTH # 3 – EVERY PROPOSAL MUST BE DEVELOPED FROM SCRATCH
Organizations pursue numerous RFPs (Request for Proposal), that are spread across a diverse spectrum of size, value, complexity, geographies, uncertainty, risks, and duration. In this backdrop, the meticulousness and granularity of the proposals vary significantly. Further, large proposals could run into hundreds of pages with numerous details embedded. Organizations struggle without standard ways to efficiently create proposals that are aligned appropriately – more importantly, they lead to significant negative impact on the business itself, not to speak of the management and leadership issues.
Proposal Management Software / RFP Software expect users to start proposal development from scratch.
- Templatize the proposal creation process based on diverse parameters.
- RFP response automation via Proposal Writing Software or Proposal Builder capabilities.
It is not uncommon for organizations to pursue million-dollar proposals that go through multiple iterations with a dedicated team that works for weeks and months! When organizational resources come at a premium, it is important that the principles of scheduling and resource management are applied and closely monitored – after all, the resources and time translates to financial costs!
The common myth is that Proposal Management Software are not designed to manage complex and large proposal development as a project – by incorporating capabilities of scheduling and resource management (planning, allocation, utilization, release, time & expense reporting, etc.).
Myth busted: Modern proposal management software come with superior capabilities of scheduling, resource management, timesheet management, etc.
MYTH # 5 – DISCONNECTED PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT DELIVERY
Proposal automation software stops at proposal creation or may go a step further to contract creation. But the real action begins after the contract is signed when the project teams plan and deliver the project. Business leaders struggle to connect the dots from proposal or contract to project delivery – reviewing whether the project is being delivered in line with the proposal is a nightmare. It is very common to see conflicts between proposal teams and project teams about the costs and profitability of the engagement. In this scenario does it really make sense to have separate systems for proposal management and project delivery – leading to potential data integrity issues and missing the ‘single version of truth’?
Myth busted: Contemporary proposal automation software come with far advanced capabilities that seamlessly connect (back and forth) from proposal development to project execution. Such proposal writing software offer extended functionalities of project planning including WBS & Schedules, Cost Estimates & Budgets, Resource Management, Risks & Issues, Meetings Management, etc. Both the proposal management and project management feel like a breeze to all the relevant stakeholders!