Chances are you’ve picked up on the buzz around proposal management software, but you might not know exactly what it is, what it does, who uses it, or how it can help you.
We get it! You’ve been drowning in proposal production, creating proposals and responses to RFPs from scratch, searching for content, and chasing subject matter experts (SMEs) for their input, so you hardly have time to enjoy your evenings or weekends, let alone to sift through the reams of information available on all kinds of software solutions.
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve completely lightened the load for you and put together an all-you-need-to-know piece on what proposal management software is and who would benefit from using it.
So, let’s dive in…
What is proposal management software?
Very simply, proposal management software automates the proposal or RFP process, making it more efficient for you.
This means that whether you are preparing a proactive proposal for a prospect or creating a response to an RFP for an existing customer looking for new products or services, proposal management software reduces the time you take to put those documents together.
- Content management capability: Great proposal management solutions have content management capability. In other words, the software provides you with a central way to manage your content (like your value proposition, product information, or biographies) that needs to be included in your proposals or responses to RFPs. It allows you to store content that you can trust and that you know is accurate, correct, and approved.
- Collaboration features: Since proposals or RFP responses often require input from SMEs, sophisticated proposal management solutions enable collaboration. Remote-friendly, cloud-based software for proposals and responses to RFPs lets your SMEs contribute to the construction of that response document to ensure accuracy, no matter where they’re based.
- Branded templates: Today, it’s very difficult for sales teams to be in front of prospects, in person, so the documents you produce need to reflect your organization’s personality. Proposal automation equips you to create professional-looking proposals or responses to RFPs with pre-approved, branded content. You can apply that brand into templates, making it quick and easy to showcase your organization’s personality in the document itself.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): With sophisticated proposal management software, AI comes into the picture in that it’s able to identify the questions in an RFP document and pass it to natural language processing technology to interpret those questions and to find the best answers to them. It lets you insert the answers into the document in the right spot, and ultimately reduces the number of manual steps that you need to take to produce the document.
- Robust analytics: Once you’ve produced a proposal and sent it out, you want to know whether anybody is actually engaging with your document. Modern proposal management software gives you that insight, allowing you to see whether the recipient has actually looked at your proposal and to understand what content within your document they’re most interested in, and ultimately, what content is most valuable.
Essentially, using proposal management software frees up more time for you to really personalize documents and focus your attention on the high-value elements that are going to win!
Want more info? Watch our quick video on what proposal management software is.
Who uses proposal management software?
Anybody who is involved in the sales process has to produce a proposal at some point in time, so would very likely benefit from proposal management software. But they’re not the only ones!
As you might know from your own processes, sales teams often drive the process around the creation of proposal documents, but the responsibility really extends to just about every part of the organization. In some cases, specialized bid or proposal teams respond to RFPs and produce high-value proposals.
You might also like: Our 2020/2021 State of Proposal and RFP Management Report, in which we talk more about which teams are responsible for developing sales and proposal content.
And, because the responsible party often has to loop in marketing gurus, product teams, and financial representatives, among others, to compile all the elements of a proposal or response to RFP, proposal management software needs to have the capability to span the entire organization to produce a winning document!
Let’s take a look at how a handful of different industries use proposal management software:
- Legal: At times, lawyers need to write formal proposals to deliver their work or have to respond to RFPs in a competitive situation against other law firms. Proposal management software enables them to quickly compile responses to RFPs and produce business critical documents.
- Manufacturing: In this industry, organizations need to be able to define and describe their product and talk about the value proposition around that product, as well apply pricing to that. With proposal management software, they can access pre-approved, branded content to create professional-looking documents in a snap.
- Tech: These companies are being asked on a more frequent basis to respond to questionnaires like RFP documents and infosec questionnaires. While that is ordinarily a tedious task, sophisticated proposal management software suggests content with the highest engagement rate, helping teams quickly respond with great content.
- Financial services: Firms selling financial products are also sometimes required to complete due diligence questionnaires or to produce some kind of proposal that represents the portfolio that they are currently managing. Proposal management software streamlines the process of creating personalized documents and enables firms to create smart, speedy proposals.
Intrigued? Check out our quick video on who uses proposal management software.
Look out for our next blog for more on why you should consider using proposal management software to speed up the proposal or RFP process.
Or try out our demo below to see our proposal management software in action: Qorus is intuitive, award-winning cloud-based proposal management software that streamlines the RFP process and automates proposal creation.