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Fresh Proposals

May 14, 2019

What is Proposal Management Software?

proposal management software

Proposal Management Software

Have a look at the below scenario,

John and Ryan run two separate yet similar IT companies and both companies bid for Government contracts. John’s company has a very high win rate on the proposals they bid on and makes a lot of money from contracts while Ryan’s company often loses more proposals than they win and ultimately makes less profits in return. John’s company completes their proposals even in a shorter period of time, on the other hand, Ryan’s takes a much longer time to complete.

John’s proposals are

  • Polished
  • Accurate
  • Well-formatted
  • Compliant
  • Compelling

While Ryan’s proposals are

  • Inaccurate
  • Poorly formatted,
  • Lack of compliance
  • Not at all compelling

So, what exactly is John’s big secret?

Well, it’s the right proposal making process that matters – how one collects information (RFP, RFI, RFQ), how qualification is done whether to bid for it or not, which appropriate content, pricing should be written / used for proposal response, who will review, who will approve, how collaboration will happen etc.

The process that is dependent on people can make appear chaotic and may deliver inconsistent outcome. The process should be made less dependent on the individuals involved. Software can bring such consistency and predictability. It doesn’t mean proposal making will be entirely automated by software and no people will be involved. No. Finally, it is the responsible person (decision maker) who can sense opportunity or risks better than anyone else (including software).

What is a proposal software?

The large part of the sales proposal creating-reviewing-sending-signing process is streamline with the use of software that makes things easier as counting 1,2,3 that’s right it is called Proposal Management Software. So, why suffer like Ryan when you can be like John.

The automation of customer journey right from identification of opportunity/lead to creating/ sending proposals, getting approval for proposal, turning proposal into invoice and onboarding customer for product/servicing is a mega trend in last few years, There are numerous ways to use proposal software  to grow your sales. And that’s why sales proposal software has gained a lot of popularity. Let’s see how proposal management software can be beneficial for you.

Benefits of Proposal Management Software

1. Save The Amount of Time it Takes to Draft Proposals

It’s really frustrating to spend time in formatting, reformatting, copying, pasting and renaming things in the proposal document. Business Proposal management software lets you create proposals easily and quickly by reusing the content and design and you can save your productive time in other useful work. 

2. Avoid Making Mistakes While Proposals Are Written or Sent

There are certain proposal writing mistakes you should be wary of and avoid. Use of pre-defined proposal templates in proposal management software will ensure, every component is in place and you are not missing out. Plus seamless collaboration & approval will help you figure out that everything is included and nothing is missed out.

3. Send Professional Looking Proposals 

As you know, the first impression is what matters. It is more crucial, especially when the client gets hundreds of proposals to shortlist. With stunning, professional-looking proposals, you can keep yourself at the top of the shortlist/league.

4. Collaborate With Team, Managers & Get Approvals Online, Faster

With proposal creation software, everyone refers to one single copy of the proposal. Everyone invited can add their comments, update the proposal directly. There is no confusing email trail or file exchange. You can invite colleagues to collaborate online, precisely know their feedback/review comments, contribution to the proposal and incorporate changes to one single-online version of the proposal.

5. Know the Real Status of Your Sales Proposals

Proposal automation software will provide precise intelligence to help you, track whether/how the client is interacting with your proposal. You will know exactly when your client has opened the proposal, how many times s/he has opened it, which section s/he has spent more time on. These intelligent inputs will put your sales team in an advantageous position. The sales team will be in a better position to communicate with the client.

6. Get Quick Acceptance Using E- Signature

Get rid of emailing, printing, scanning, shipping or faxing the proposals and with proposal management software you can get the proposal signed immediately with eSignature. This will allow you to seal the deal faster.

Now that you know why you should use proposal software, let’s take a look at the features of proposal software.

Features of Proposal Management Software

1. Proposal Management and Automation

Proposal management software can boost your sales productivity by automating the entire sales process right from developing proposals based on email obtained to securing approval from particular stakeholders, reminding them about pending approvals or even pushing clients about sent proposals and sending smart notifications whenever clients interact with the proposal.

2. Content Library, Proposal Templates

Content library and business proposal templates are two of the main reasons why the sales team would use proposal management software. Proposal templates not only helps you get started very quickly but also offer comfort. You do not have to keep copy-pasting or editing information such as client name, customer name, address, etc from one proposal to another. Organizing proposal content such as a best copy of ‘Company Profile for Healthcare’, ‘About Company for Engineering Services’, ‘Pricing Table for Retail Distribution Services’ can save your time tremendously.

3. Proposal Dashboard, Analytics

Proposal managers along with senior management keep track of proposal deal flow at any time. Dashboard offered in proposal software gives a clear picture of how many proposals are live, how many of them won/ lost this month, last month/quarter/year.

As additional features, you may be notified with the information whenever the client opens the proposal, engages with the proposal, linger over the specific section, etc. This information can be very useful that any smart manager can leverage to convert the client by engaging with him/her appropriately — i.e. knowing the most opportune time.

Then there are other features to look at in a proposal software that helps you create, edit, track proposals such as

  1. Integration with CRM tools
  2. Proposal Editor
  3. Proposal Content Import
  4. Placeholder Variables
  5. Fees/pricing table
  6. Fees Library
  7. Proposal Styling, Formatting, Design
  8. Collaboration – commenting, follow up, review
  9. Proposal emailer
  10. PDF export of proposal
  11. Integration with invoicing and accounting tools

Quite often the business users involved in deciding software tools for their firm, emphasize heavily on features and look-n-feel aspects of the tools. Non-feature aspects of any tool are equally important. So make sure you don’t get missed out on the non-feature aspects while evaluating the proposal software,

Wrap Up

You can’t afford to waste time hunting for content or chasing subject matter experts, proposal management software takes away the challenges your sales teams face in managing the proposal and empowers teams to create proposals quickly and accurately. Because

Speed + Accuracy = More Opportunity

So while your competitors are still struggling like Ryan you can be like John. Polish your proposals and make them sound compelling with any type of proposal management software.

Explore the list of proposal software for your sector/industry.

Best proposal software for your industry:

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