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23
Aug

07 Quick Tips to Find the Best Proposal Management Tool

Every single seller will tell you that their proposal management tool is undisputed, unequivocally, unmistakably the best proposal management software in the whole wide world. The fact is that you are the decision-maker and have the power to truly define what is the right proposal management tool for you.

When there are so many proposal management tools out there, how do you select something that really solves your problems instead of making them worse, or at the least, does what it claims to do?

Consider these 07 quick tips to find the best proposal management tool:

#1. Relevance over aesthetics:

We’ve been given this advice since childhood: don’t fall for the shiny new thing. Yet, the human brain falls victim to how things look before full assessment takes place. Aesthetic is for date night and house warmings, not software selection. Beware of tools in the market that look great but don’t serve the purposes that matter. Aesthetics come only second to effectiveness and relevance to your problem.

#2. What exactly are your requirements?

We’ve noticed that quite often, organizations do not have a good set of requirements when they are procuring a proposal management tool. Usually, out of frustration, money is thrown at the first thing that seems to give a solution.

It is a good practice to have a well-thought-out and realistic set of requirements when seeking a proposal management software. For instance, if one of your requirements is to improve communication between team members, it makes less sense to purchase a popular tool that does not offer native team collaboration features.

Focus on your key needs and priorities and seek a tool that solves the biggest problems best.

#3. The best tools can be used for free:

Vendors should offer their tool for a free trial period, or at least allow you to make the request (bet you never considered that). Take the opportunity to test and use the free version of the tool. You’re not under commitment and you have full control over your choice. During the trial, see if you are comfortable using the tool and make notes on the features and benefits to be able to reference later or show management.

#4. Does it save time and effort?

Ever chopped down a tree? If you have, you know using a chainsaw is more effective than using an ax, because it takes less time to chop a tree with a chain saw than an ax. It also reduces the effort needed to do so. Not that we recommend chopping down trees.

The point is the same logic goes for proposal management tools. Ask the following questions when making your decision:

  • Does it save time and effort in proposal development?
  • Can you quantify the time and effort saved by using the tool?
  • Will you save money or an equivalent amount of time using this tool?

Answering yes to all the above questions is a good justification for purchasing the tool, but there are more questions to be asked.

#5. Can it help you win?

Some proposal management tools save time, and some complicate things for the worse, but time is only one aspect to consider. The more important question that you must ask is if it will increase your likelihood of winning contracts. It will not matter if you save all the time and effort in the world if you end up losing the bid. So, ask the following questions too:

  • What strategic output will the tool generate that will enhance your likelihood of winning?
  • Will you be able to generate a better proposal by using this tool?
  • Will you be able to develop a competitive edge by using this tool?

Again, if the answer is yes to the above three questions, you’re probably getting closer to the right decision.

#6. Can potential risks be mitigated?

Proposal development already takes too much effort. You should not also have to worry about your proposal management tool increasing risks. No, it should do the exact opposite on top of providing a solution for your initial problems. Ask the following questions about risk:

  • Will the tool mitigate your risk of non-compliance?
  • Will the tool reduce your likelihood of losing?
  • Does the tool track past performance and wins and losses to provide analysis for future strategy?

At this point, you get the idea of which option is the best choice.

#7. What are the perks?

In addition to the 07 quick tips, strengthen your final decision with a few more questions:

  • Are there features in the tool that may be relevant in the future?
  • Does the vendor offer after-sales support?
  • Does the tool help you manage your pipeline?
  • Do the price and functionality justify the purchase?
  • Will there be a price hike after a specific period?
  • What are the future plans for the tool?
  • Do they want to learn your suggestions for improvements?

Making any purchasing decision is tricky business, but these 07 quick tips to find the best proposal management tool will ease your decision. It would not be right to end this checklist without telling you about the proposal management tool that answers yes to each of the above questions.

Zbizlink saves time, helps manage the proposal requirements, and collaborate with several team members in remote locations. Even more exciting for us, it parses resumes and RFPs.

Zbizlink does all of these things and more. Interested in learning more?

REQUEST A DEMO

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