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Proposal Management for Professional Services Series: Who Uses Proposal Automation Tools?

As an accompaniment to our Proposal Management Software for Professional Services video series, this blog series explores how professional services firms are using proposal management software to simplify and accelerate the response process—while increasing the quality, accuracy, and efficacy of proposal documents and, ultimately, driving client acquisition rates higher. 

This second post in the series explores how different teams and stakeholders within professional services organizations are using proposal management tools to optimize the response process. 

[Check out Part 1 of the blog series to discover which features and capabilities of proposal management software are must-haves when evaluating and selecting an automated tool for your organization.]  

Boost productivity

Many professional services organizations—legal, accounting, human resources, management consulting, financial advisers—are embracing automated, AI-powered proposal management software to uplevel their response process across the enterprise.  

Whether producing customized pitches and proposals, generating RFx responses, or completing various questionnaires at the behest of clients, AI-driven proposal automation tools eliminate time-consuming, error-prone manual processes to create a streamlined workflow. 

By increasing operational efficiency and improving the quality of responses, proposal management software enables fee-earners to spend more time with clients, minimize non-billable hours (and increase billable hours), and stay on top of complex, multi-level projects—a win for both the firm and the client. 

Who uses proposal management software in professional services? 

Various groups and stakeholders within professional services organizations take advantage of proposal management software to simplify their workflow and consistently generate winning results. Referred to as core users, this primary cohort actively uses proposal automation tools on a daily or hourly basis. This specialized team, typically the bid or proposal team, produces the bulk of response documents in the firm, especially the more complex proposals and RFP responses. 

In support of bid and proposal teams’ activities, the content team is also a heavy active user of proposal management software, playing a key role in making sure the content that goes into the system is valid content. These individuals ensure the content is reusable, reviewed, and has successfully passed through the approval cycles. 

Business development and sales  

The business development team (or sales team, depending on how the organization is structured) is another group that takes advantage of the benefits of proposal management software to simplify its workflow and increase productivity to secure more client business. 

These teams may use automated proposal tools to produce their own pitches, proposals, and RFx responses without relying on input from the specialized bid or proposal team. They're able to work in the system to produce response documents themselves and pass them on to their clients.  

Self-service trend 

An emerging trend we’ve noticed in the market is a move to self-service, a shift that ensures no one in the organization is left out of the pitch or proposal process. We’re seeing professional services firms extend the use of proposal management tools beyond bid and proposal teams, beyond sales teams, to all groups and individuals who need access to create their own documents to further the business development process. For example, an attorney at a law firm may use a proposal management tool to put together a pitch for a prospective client or update their bio for a client presentation.   

This drive towards firm-wide adoption provides an opportunity for multiple teams and individuals across the organization to use proposal management software at different levels or different active usage stages as they're moving through the proposal journey. And with a self-serve capability alleviating some of the burden of producing high volumes of response documents, bid and proposal teams can focus on the highly-complex, highly-strategic deals that require more in-depth attention and take longer to produce.  

To gain additional insights into how professional services firms are using AI-powered proposal management software to transform their response process—and how you can reap the rewards in your organization—check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Proposal Management for Professional Services video series.

Published by Jennifer Tomlinson January 30, 2024
Jennifer Tomlinson