Most organizations pursuing external customer projects have a good pre-sales team that work on producing proposals. Yet their success is hardly visible. Reason – not having a topnotch Proposal Automation Software that fires up your pre-sales engine!
Proposal management is the gateway to business growth and profitability.
A best-in-class Business Proposal Automation Software is the key!
There are many reasons to use a proposal management software. Let us focus on the top five ways to use Business Proposal Automation Software to your advantage.
#1 Pick the right battles! (Right Opportunities)
Organizations are driven by their ‘purpose’ as well as their goals and strategies. Strategies must focus on two distinct dimensions:
- Markets where the company shall compete.
- Markets where the company shall not compete.
It is observed that the pre-sales and the proposal management teams do not always pursue potential deals that are linked to organizational strategies, leading to wasted efforts. Imagine if the organization’s goal is to win deals that are at least USD 250K and the team is ‘wasting’ their time following-up on deals in the range of USD 50-75K! The frustration of the senior leaders would not be surprising.
With capabilities to define deal ranking parameters, empower your team to filter out deals that are either not worth pursuing or don’t significantly contribute to business goals.
With an impeccable Business Proposal Writing Software, you can put an end to inefficient and unfocused deal pursuit.
#2 Proposal Management is a project in itself!
When organizations pursue client deals, there are three critical dimensions – meticulousness, accuracy, and speed.
Businesses are after medium to large size deals some of which could be multi-year with different elements of project scope such as software, hardware, implementation, and support or consulting, engineering design, prototype, and manufacturing.
Living in a globalized world, today’s projects are executed by team members from multiple geographies with diverse skill sets and cost profiles. With so much complexity involved, managing the end-to-end proposals involve cross-functional teams from multiple locations. Last but not the least, the proposal must be delivered within tight timelines and should be cost-competitive. What does all these mean?
Proposal management CAN’T be an ad hoc set of activities left to the whims and fancies of different teams.
Proposal managers must consider such deal pursuit as a ‘project’ with aspects such as deliverable definition, resource identification, work sequencing & allocation, cost estimation (yes, proposal management is a cost too!), tracking actual timelines, effort, and costs. Collaboration becomes vital – hence the need for a social platform! Not to forget, there could be elements of escalation before this ‘project’ or proposal is officially finalized and presented to the potential client.
Expect all the above and more from an industry-leading Business Proposal Automation Software like TouchBase!
#3 Estimation is no child’s play!
Most organizations win deals. Very few organizations win profitable deals.
For organizations to sustain growth, it is important that business leaders must ensure that not only win deals but win profitable deals. For deals to be profitable, the pre-sales teams must ensure an accurate estimation of revenue and costs across the life cycle of the project. Invariably, it is observed that pre-sales teams are still in the era of ‘Spreadsheet-based’ estimation where the chances of errors are very high along with difficult traceability and managing revisions.
It is high time that decision makers stop blaming the pre-sales teams for inaccurate estimates.
To transform the way your team performs estimation of revenue and costs on new deals, proposal management software is here to help. Business Proposal Writing Software such as TouchBase are designed to handle a very granular level of estimation of deal revenue across weeks, months, and years. Further, such Proposal Management Software are capable of supporting estimation of direct costs, indirect costs, fixed costs, variable costs, sunk costs, etc.
Your proposal management team’s efficiency, speed, and confidence are bound to multiply as also focus on high-value adding work – rather than struggling with data!
#4 A comprehensive proposal creation can be a hair-pulling experience!
While estimation is one aspect, putting together a comprehensive proposal in line with customer RFP (Request for Proposal) can get on anyone’s nerves. Depending on the size of the potential deal, proposal managers must meticulously create comprehensive proposal documents incorporating details such as–
- Executive Summary
- About the Project Delivery Organization (PDO)
- Customer Context and PDO’s Approach
- Product/Service Positioning
- Terms & Conditions
It is pertinent to highlight that each section could have many sub-sections. In general, for medium to large deals, we see proposal documents running from 50 to 100 pages! Do not forget that proposal documents undergo multiple reviews and revisions. Just putting together a proposal document could mean countless hours, avoidable checks, and reviews before freezing the same.
With the adoption of a leading RFP Response Automation or a Proposal Management Software, expect ‘proposal templates’ from which proposal teams could get a head-start.
With the flexibility to modify proposal content, and generate a well-formatted customer proposal, pre-sales teams would begin to wonder at the ‘magic’ of an automated Proposal Builder…as you would find in TouchBase Proposal Management Software (see screenshot below).
#5 Getting the transition from successful proposal to project delivery right
The hard work of the various cross-functional teams has paid off and your organization has won the customer deal!
Congratulations! Now what?
The tough part – transitioning from pre-sales to project delivery, with all the inputs from the proposal stage! Conflicts between pre-sales/proposal management and project delivery teams are very common – these relate to customer requirements, solution understanding, scope interpretation, constraints assumptions, and documentation. The proposal management team must ensure accurate documentation and complement it with proper handover to project teams. There is no point getting into a blame-game about who was right or wrong!
The plain fact is – this is not the way successful proposals should transition to project delivery teams.
An investment in TouchBase Proposal Management Software ensures–
- Comprehensive documentation associated with the proposal (solution, scope, timelines, financials, etc.)
- Transparency with cross-functional teams including the project delivery team.
- Zero data duplication – any information is recorded in one place and just once
- Smooth transition – all relevant data from proposal stage moves automatically to the project
- An environment of trust across the organization.
With the right Business Proposal Automation Software your business value include –
- A focused approach to pursue customer deals that matter.
- Manage complex and big proposals with the rigor of project management.
- Efficiency in the overall proposal estimation process.
- Creating the final proposal feels like a breeze.
- Smooth transition from proposal to project delivery.
The future of Business Proposal Automation Software is knocking at your doorstep! What are you waiting for?