A lot of businesses consider responding to requests for proposals a regular occurrence. After all, each and every RFP is a sales opportunity that can help your business grow. However, let’s not forget that the success of any proposal relies on the execution, meaning that the practice of proposal management can have a significant impact on the final outcome.
If you’ve responded to at least one RFP, you are aware of the fact that proposal management involves a specific set of skills. And identifying each of them can be considered vital, as it helps you improve not just the overall proposal process, but also the close rate.
In most cases, organizations have their very own dedicated proposal team, led by a proposal manager. And this is not everything since they work alongside proposal coordinators, as well as graphic designers and writers, focusing just on producing the best proposals, able to win everything.
Not every company can afford this though, even though the results can be impressive: 77% of high performing projects rely on project management software, while 97% of organizations are convinced that project management is essential for performing.
Mid-sized and smaller companies usually delegate the entire process of supporting a proposal management team to an individual, who covers many departments. Basically, they are a salesperson, a marketing team member, but also in charge of business operations, at the same time. And managing a team can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming. But not impossible.
How to support your proposal management team
If you find yourself in a similar situation, let’s take a few moments and discuss some tips on how to support your team and deliver the best RFPs, shall we?
1. Focus on training and developing their skills
When it comes to attending training, more than a third of companies who have a proposal management team say there’s just no budget for this. Also, half of them don’t offer any in-house training either. In contrast, companies that offer such facilities, do it in the form of workshops and tutorials, as well as informal mentorships.
As a manager or owner, you should be aware of the approaches to team training you can take advantage of, according to its size, skill level, and budget.
We’re talking about both formal and informal training. This can include hands-on education and certification, access to content from industry leaders and inspiring keynotes. But also invest in mentorship programs, where employees are able to leverage your most experienced team members. And this list could go on.
The possibilities exist and it shouldn’t only rely on training costs, even for smaller companies, considering the outcome.
2. Give your team access to the right content
If you have the right people in your proposal management team, your mission is to make sure that they have access to the information they need. In most cases, it comes from sources like a content database, your sales team or, of course, subject matter experts.
Still, the content database – or knowledge base – can be considered as the most important source of information as, when set up and managed properly, it can turn into a really powerful efficiency driver.
Why are we such big fans of it? Well, it’s actually simple.
A proper knowledge base has a logical content categorization, with search filters, and allows creating workflows. This way you and your team can make sure that all content is up to date and approved. And you really need one!
3. Get the best tools. Always.
Ok, so you have the team and the skills needed to excel at any proposal out there. But these are in vain without some great tools. After all, it’s no secret that the appropriate proposal technology also makes a difference in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
Having everything needed to save, manage, and control your proposal content in one place will make it easy to find information. This helps the bid and sales team to create first draft pitches, proposals, and RFP responses on time. By doing this, your team can focus more on developing strategies, personalizing, and reviewing content in the knowledge base.
No matter the solution you choose, you want to make sure it’s something the entire proposal management team will use. This will enable knowledge sharing and collaboration, and will also support your entire array of processes.
4. Breaking information silos is the way
There’s no doubt that information silos are, for many organizations, a real point of weakness. Why? Because when teams don’t have equal access to content, it can lead to a very inefficient RFP response process.
And this is something nobody wants. But the solution is relatively simple: using an RFP automation software.
This promotes a culture of knowledge sharing while strengthening communication across the entire company. Not to mention that an RFP content library basically eliminates the need for document silos.
Just imagine all the content in the company, organized in one place, where everybody can access it with ease. This will also help you to constantly improve the quality of all the information.
It’s safe to say that the times with no proposal management tools are now history. Some manual processes are gone, and gone are also the spreadsheets and documents affecting organizations. The long hours wasted to complete deadlines, due to following inefficient procedures can now be used on more productive activities. Or at least, they could be. All thanks to RFP automation software.
With full visibility into the RFP project, you will know exactly which subject matter experts are dealing with specific sections, thus allowing you to keep track of all tasks and task owners. Also, thanks to the overview dashboard RFP management solutions offer, you will see the exact status of the project and own those deadlines.
Sounds just right, don’t you think? This is why using an RFP automation tool, like Kaito, can be just what you and your proposal management team need to make your work easier.