After working on your proposal for days or even weeks, your sales pitch is finally ready to present to your prospective customer. But behind the scenes, you’ve arrived at the 300th version in your cloud drive, and it’s been a challenge to maintain consistency and data integrity with every team member adding and modifying content along the way.
And although you've spent hours and days on the proposal, the final document looks choppy and disjointed and lacks the professional, on-brand finish you were aiming for. And while trying to appear customized, the proposal ends up stale and generic in the eyes of the reader—definitely not personalized to the unique needs of the prospect. Does this scenario sound familiar?
If you've experienced the frustration of a manual, disconnected proposal and RFP response process, you're not alone. We've witnessed the struggles businesses of all sizes and across all industries face as they rely on inadequate tools to keep pace with increasing volumes of sales opportunities and RFPs.
Teams struggle with content spread across the enterprise, languishing in multiple folders and drives, and they lack insight into which content is resonating with prospects and driving wins. Collaborating with subject matter experts (SMEs) to contribute the content needed to complete the document can also be challenging, threatening proposal deadlines and causing undue stress.
As you participate in the bidding process, you'll quickly realize that starting the proposal process from scratch each time—or simply copy-and-pasting from existing proposals without personalizing for the next client—is a frustrating, time-consuming, and error-prone practice. Without an automated, streamlined process that can scale easily to accommodate increasing volumes of proposals and RFPs, you're holding your company back from winning new business.
Automation drives efficiency
Bid proposal software transforms the process of creating a proposal for a potential client—eliminating collaboration headaches, reducing time-consuming and error-prone manual effort, and ensuring content is personalized to each prospect's needs to boost wins. The right proposal software can even help businesses save hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
While you recognize that automating your proposal process can increase your win rate and save you time and money, selecting the right bid proposal software for your business can be a daunting task. Which features and benefits should you be looking for in a proposal automation tool?
According to leading software review site Capterra.com, when searching for a proposal management solution for your business, you should consider the following features: content library, the capacity for collaborative work, the ability to store and categorize previous proposals and other documents, reusable templates, and electronic signature capability.
Typical features of proposal management software
- Content library: Store and organize proposals in a centralized repository.
- Document management: Create, store, share, and categorize proposals and related documents.
- Templates: Create proposals using editable templates that can be reused.
- Electronic signature: Enable customers to sign documents with a legally-binding digital signature
Implementing an automated proposal management solution can transform your proposal process. Here are the top five benefits of using bid proposal software:
- Increase your win rate
You'll be able to consistently create personalized, on-brand proposals and RFP responses that impress prospects. A recent survey suggests that organizations increase their RFP win rate by 59% on average when using proposal management software.
- Boost efficiency and productivity
Create proposals quickly and efficiently—saving hours on every proposal—by automating the process with bid proposal software. Templates, a content library, and integration with existing tools (e.g., Microsoft 365, CRM, sales enablement tools, CMS) save time and effort.
- Reduce or eliminate team stress
Did you know 72% of proposal management software users report greater ease of collaboration, and far less repetitive work? Bid proposal software reduces the amount of time it takes to create a proposal, enabling users to easily connect with SMEs to pull in content and collaborate with team members across multiple departments and geographical locations.
- Scale response production
Bid proposal software with an AI-powered engine automatically suggests content with the highest engagement rates, accelerating the sales cycle to help you scale growth. By spending less time creating and managing content, you'll be able to increase pitch output with less effort. Indeed, a survey of bid proposal software users found that 70% of respondents were able to process an average of 54% higher volume of requests.
- Gain insight into what works—and what doesn't
Bid proposal software provides a hyper-detailed view of your proposal performance to gain a competitive advantage. You'll be able to track prospect engagement within your proposals using built-in measurement tools for smarter, more relevant follow-up activities and communication.
Of course, these are just five of the many benefits of using the top bid proposal management systems out there. In the end, your unique needs will dictate the features—and the accompanying benefits—that your company should prioritize. By pinning down the gaps, friction points, and frequent bottlenecks plaguing your proposal creation process, you'll be able to select vendors and software with the specific features to help bridge those gaps and address your challenges.
For additional guidance on how to select the best bid proposal software for your business, check out this list of some of the most important factors to consider when evaluating proposal management software.