Tag Archives: proposal management

How to Make a Sales Proposal Fun to Read

How to Make a Sales Proposal Fun to Read

Every good sales proposal is informative, clear, concise, engaging – and even fun to read. We know the excitement of presenting your company’s capabilities on paper can lead to a content dump of your entire capability register into the request for proposal (RFP) response. Yet, it is possible to create a high-quality sales proposal that is effective, compliant, responsive, and won’t put your reader to sleep. Here’s how to make a sales proposal fun to read:

zbizlinkTell a StoryWrite a clear narrative that engages the reader, uses brand voice, and connects your solution to requirements. 1Use You” LanguageTalk about the buyer more than you talk about yourself and maintain second-person POV.2Use Armative StatementsUse armative statements and active voice to excite the reader and reinforce your sure-re solution.3Show and TellUse graphics to create eye-catching sales proposals that draw attention and make solutions easier to understand.4Add ValueBe creative and add value in your section titles, graphic captions, and response answers. 505 Ways to Make Your Sales Proposal Fun to Read

Tell a Story.

Sales proposals that create a chronological narrative of solution and events tend to grab more attention than over-selling content or irrelevant answers. To tell a story with your sales proposal:

  • Write your responses in a clear order narrative using the funnel approach
  • Connect successor responses to predecessor content
  • Write like you’re speaking to the decision-maker
  • Maintain brand voice throughout the document
  • Use conversational language

Answers can work together to make a clear narrative for an engaging story. When you endeavor to write your next sales proposal remember to set the stage for your reader with storytelling techniques that map to client requirements. Proposal management software or RFP software can help you map your story to RFP requirements.

Use “You” language.

What’s more fun than reading about yourself? We know you’re compelled to write about how wonderful you are and why you’re fit to win the contract. While you certainly are wonderful, try to talk about your company a little less and talk about the buyer more. Start your responses with “you” language and continue to use the same second-person POV throughout the sales proposal.

Simply pause when you feel compelled to mention your company and consider if that is a good opportunity to mention the buyer and use “you” language instead.

Use of “you” language helps the reader feel that your proposal is speaking to them and that your company is highly invested in solving their problem.

Use Affirmative Statements.

Your sales proposal is presenting a solution to the buyer’s problem. It should read as a positive document stuffed with affirmative statements that your company’s capabilities can support. Present your solution as a sure-fire answer to the current buyer’s pain points (remember not to overpromise). Use affirmative statements that reassure the reader of your proposed solution and avoid using negative wording like “not”, “unlike”, or “in the event”.

Show and Tell.

A visually appealing sales proposal is more effective as an attention-grabber than the most well-planned written document. Solutions and lengthy content can be uniquely explained with both text and graphics, especially when your proposal includes a complex solution.

Convenience of COTS

Graphics help show a solution, while content can support the graphic with an explanation. Show and tell to support your story narrative and to minimize confusion, particularly if you do not have a relationship with the buyer.

Add Value.

The most effective way to make a sales proposal fun to read is to add value throughout the entire document. Your proposal is speaking to someone – a reader. It is not a manifesto of your company’s every accomplishment, nor is it meant to be without creativity or relevance.

Add value with titles, graphics captions, and answers (of course) that state a benefit or reference a solution outcome. The best proposal management software will add value along the business development lifecycle for you.

Example:

Generic Title: “Solutions Overview”

Value-Based Title: “Solutions That Lead to a 33% Increase in Efficiency”  

Feel empowered to state the value of your solution in section titles instead of just stating the name of the section. Unless instructed differently in the RFP, it is okay to get creative in how you name and position content.

Templates Management

Build customized templates that autofill content and map to requirements.

Templates Management
05 Ways to Improve Your RFP Response Process in 2020

05 Ways to Improve Your RFP Response Process in 2020

Processes adapt as times change and, believe it or not, the RFP response process is the same way. We decided to think about how to take a structured and matter-of-fact process and refine it with innovation and creativity. After considering the many challenges proposal writers and proposal teams face, here we are with 05 ways to improve your RFP response process in 2020.

Whether it was inefficiency that brought you here or curiosity, picture your current process flow and how to use these 05 tips.

#1 Define Process Transparency

We can’t tell you how many times a proposal writer or business owner revealed that they did not have a “process” for responding to RFPs. There were no predefined steps – they just got it done.

While that is understandable and pretty common, it might not be the best way to get the results you want. A defined RFP response process backed with a quality RFP software helps you replicate repeatable solutions and swiftly onboard new teaming partners. It can even be unique to your organization and the way you do business.

RFP Response Process Visibility and Dashboards

Define process transparency for all stakeholders with:

  • Guidelines for sourcing new opportunities (Databases, Networks, etc)
  • Defined target markets and annual revenue per contract
  • Synced collaboration spaces with a shared repository
  • Reporting and timetable visibility during the proposal development lifecycle
  • Guidelines on role-specific requirements

You’ve written proposals. You know how it works, but maybe you were previously managing each component manually or your team worked in silos. Process transparency will keep everyone informed, especially with unexpected changes, and make your life easier. Use a proposal management software to track information and offer the team visualization tools.

#2 Plan for Opportunity Assessment

Avoid waiting to the last minute to make a Go or No-Go decision or responding to every RFP that comes your way. Plan for opportunity assessment in a strategic and time-worthy manner. Begin to build your pipeline once you have an inkling of information for an upcoming bid or opportunity. Just having a client name or market is good enough to begin the assessment.

When you gain more information along the way, by the time the RFP is released, you will have a clear understanding of how to respond and of the best partner matches. Planning ahead saves you time and loss of money from making the wrong decision.

#3 Fast Track Proposal Management

Proposal management is mission-critical to improving the RFP response process. It is the one factor that can make or break your chances for cutting response time in half and winning the next contract. New opportunities come up quickly and we don’t want you to be overwhelmed. We want you to win!

Fast-track proposal management with:

  • Clear segmentation of the RFP
  • Adaptive compliance matrices
  • Automated proposal management tools

Increased efficiency without a reduction in quality is a tricky business, but possible. In 2020, it is all about maximizing effort with the tools and processes that add value, which brings us to the next point…

#4 Leverage AI and Technology in the Right Places

Leverage AI and Technology in the Right Places

We are in the age of AI. Technology is leading the way we do business and orchestrating our daily lives. You are a writer and maybe could care less yet AI is driving your craft too. The same way that you don’t hesitate to power on your computer or pick up your cell phone, technology and AI are driving how we do everything – including managing the RFP response process.

Before you skip to the next point, take a look at some new ways to improve some old habits:

  • Use AI to make smarter decisions
  • Use SaaS solutions to connect worldwide
  • Maximize efficiency with multiple team members

You cannot be everywhere at once, or mentally note every single requirement in a 200-page RFP. These are things for technology. This is your year to embrace the power of technology and leverage it for better outcomes.

#5 Refine Collaboration

Remote and fast-moving proposal teams need to adopt well-oiled collaboration. Though we’re often skeptical of tools and software, and for good reason, the best proposal management software will help reduce the barriers to good teamwork. Evaluate what works best for your RFP response process and choose a software that allows you to gain 24/7 access, manage the entire process in one secure space, and implement project management.

Zbizlink links each of these tips into a single, SaaS solution. Request a demo.

 

Finding the Best Teaming Partners

04 Tips to Finding the Best Teaming Partners for Government Contracts

Finding the best teaming partners for government contracts gives you a competitive edge. Your capabilities are strong in one area, and it just makes sense to partner with another organization that is strong in another area. It even benefits you in the short term since the proposal development lifecycle is so comprehensive. Partner with an organization that will help deliver a quality proposal to the government buyer.

Here’s the math: One strong partnership + one strong proposal = closed-won government contract.

Seems like good odds, right?  Reference these 04 tips to finding the best teaming partners for government contracts as you pursue business with the federal, state, or local government:

#1 Be Attractive

It is your job to be a quality partner yourself. The best way to be attractive to other organizations open to partnership is to ensure that your capabilities are clearly defined, accessible for discovery and that you have a successful track record with previous partnerships.

A public profile portal or proposal management tool will allow you to find partners and be found for future opportunities.

Small business owners are reluctant to partner with larger organizations as prime or subcontractors if past performance reveals that contract wins have only benefitted the latter rather than all contractual parties. Yes, fulfilling MBE or other related requirements is important to win government contracts, but honoring the relationship secures a mutually beneficial partnership in the long term.

On the flip side, larger organizations are seeking small business partners that maintain certifications and great skills. Thus, whether the partnership will be small-to-small or small-to-large, your organization must make a good first impression – so be attractive.

#2 Streamline Search Based on Skill

Once you’ve determined your strengths as a partner, next understand your skill and capability deficiencies. It is okay. Specialization is a good thing, and it means that your organization is a great partner for that specialized capability. Your partner should do the same for you – add specialized skills to the partnership.

Identify skills deficiencies and categorize them under a NAICS code. Categorization will help target organizations and government segments so that you are not blindly selecting partners.

Next, select the best match for partners based on skill and past performance. Simply search for the skill in a shared database like Zbizlink’s proposal management software and qualify partner candidates.

#3 Leverage Your Network

Connecting with your network is one of the best sources for quick partner collaboration. You can reduce search time and eliminate the same headache for another organization. Everyone’s happy.

Happiness is a solid start to a partnership, don’t you think? Use social media channels and RFP software integrated with external portals to publicize the opportunity or connect with other business owners at bidder conferences and trade association meetings.

Your network is overflowing with businesses that want to win government contracts too.

#4 Partner with Competitors

It sounds crazy but consider it for just a second. Double your chances to win and team with a competing organization. You both are passionate about securing business with the government; thus you don’t have to worry about the organization not putting the best foot forward in collaboration.

The trick is deciding if you will be a prime, subcontractor, or explore a joint venture, but in truth, there is an opportunity in each. Iron out the terms and solidify a winning partnership.

Zbizlink will help you invite potential partners to a new opportunity, store partner profiles, and match skill with opportunity requirements for a quick and accurate solution to finding the best teaming partners for government contracts.

How to Shred the RFP in 03 Steps

How to Shred the RFP in 03 Steps

Proposal teams that understand how to shred the RFP with RFP software maximize efficiency for greater productivity and ultimately more proposal wins.

RFP review is one of the most critical steps in proposal management. It takes a lot of attention-to-detail to ensure that you don’t miss the requirements and cost your organization time or tons of money.

That’s why we wanted to share how to shred the RFP in 03 steps.

Ready. Go. Shred.

First, ensure that your organization is officially responding to the RFP prior to taking the time to shred its requirements. Just mosey on over to management’s office and double-check that this RFP is a Go.

Once approved, now you’re ready to leverage proposal management tools and shred the RFP. Make your life easier with an RFP Parser so you don’t have to do it manually and reduce the risk of missing requirements in complex documents.

Step One

Select your RFP in the most manageable format and upload the document into the RFP Parser.

Upload the RFP into the RFP Parser

Step Two

Double-check that all information in the Extracted RFP window is correct and in the right sections. If there are any updates needed, use your proposal management software to drag and drop contents per section.

Don’t worry there are only nine sections to glance over, and editing is a singular action.

Parse the RFP into Manageable Sections

Step Three

Publish the extracted RFP to create parsed sections available for team assignments.

Parsed and Manageable Sections for Team Assignment

You’re done. Three steps. Yes, it is that easy – with the best proposal management software. Zbizlink’s Parser technology reads the contents of each RFP page and AI takes over to map them to the correct section.

Unbelievable? Rest assured that it is real.

Happy Parsing!

 

Top 10 Tips to Write Short Yet Effective Proposals

Top 10 Tips to Write Short Yet Effective Proposals

Ever given thought to what it takes to write the perfect proposal? Well, contrary to what people believe, proposal writing is more about short yet effective proposals than it is about lengthy explanations. It’s more about writing to win with a clear and efficient strategy that derives from quality relationship building with potential clients. Your goal is to convince them to choose your company over competitors and you don’t have to go overboard to capture client attention.

With that said, let’s explore how to shorten your proposal right off the bat with 10 easy tips and tricks to create a short, yet effective proposal.

Ready to check them out?

Let’s jump right in!

#1 Quit Being Irrelevant

The very first tip to writing short yet effective proposals are to stick with what the customer wants to hear. There’s no point in writing about things they barely care about because they won’t read it and it can likely disqualify your proposal. You don’t have time to waste anyway. This is the most important tip, but of course, there’s more.

#2 Dumb Down Each Sentence

Next up, quit trying so hard to write the most scholarly sentences. You’re not writing for a group of nuclear engineers, and even if you are, make it simple, make it plain. For the most part, pay less attention to combining features and benefits and briefly address them so the entire piece will not be wordier than necessary.

#3 Get Straight to the Point

How do you see your proposal? Do you see it as a checklist or a strategic document? Well, if you’ve been thinking about it as the latter, we recommend that you stop right away. It’s a checklist. Just state the facts, qualifications, proof points, and benefits for your responses and you cannot fail. Always be direct – it’s the best way to ensure compliance.

An RFP software that segments requirements through checklists will help you visualize.

#4 Group Things

It’s an excellent idea to group things to get rid of connecting words. The big idea here is to consolidate responses and create a clear narrative. Just figure out what you want to say in each section, then map that into a succinct, engaging outline. The best proposal management software can maintain consistent section layouts to ease outline development.

#5 Use Lists

Another great tip for short, yet effective proposal writing is to write in lists. On top of gaining reader attention, lists are great space savers. One thing to avoid, however, is explaining every single function or related item in your list — just add the details that resonate with the reader.

#6 Tell a Simple Story

Here’s the thing: proposals are supposed to tell a story and that story does not have to be long and complicated. With that said, you won’t be wrong to tell your story with simple checklists — this will show clients just how easy it is to work with your company.

Introduce your story with how your organization will solve the client’s problem, narrate with value, and close strong just before the proposal gets too wordy.

#7 Forget Unnecessary Fluff

Now, you may think that clients are interested in your company history, industry background, or great universal principles that you hold. They are not. Unless specifically asked to provide – and many RFPs require brief versions – there is no need to go into vast detail about company background or irrelevant information. Just focus on your solution to the client’s problem and how your organization will manage it effectively.

#8 Do Not Overly Summarize

A summary for every single section is not a good idea — that only makes the proposal longer! Remember, our goal here is to make it short and effective; so outside of the Executive Summary, skip the summaries.

#9 Use Graphics Where Necessary

Graphics can simplify the message. If a process is complex or contains several steps that are very technical, it is highly recommended that you use graphics to depict the process. There’s no need to explain the illustration further when your content is already clear and concise— a caption and title is enough.

A quick bonus tip: For captions, message the value of the process instead of just restating the obvious.

#10 Skip Conclusions

Have you made a strong case in the proposal? Is the proposal clear and concise? If yes to both questions, pat yourself on the back because you’ve done a great job!

If you’re thinking about how to conclude the proposal, stop right there. Trust us, the reader may glance over a conclusion if they read it at all. Conclusions are not necessary because clients expect only relevant information. You’ve answered yes to the top two questions, right? That means you’ve made your point and the evaluator is clear on how to proceed.

So, there you have it! Your 10 tips to write short, yet effective proposals that can increase your chances of another win. Remember, the goal is to write once, limit error, and secure the contract. To employ these tips and improve accuracy, use proposal management software that makes it easy.

How to Manage the Proposal Development Lifecycle

The development lifecycle of a proposal starts way before the RFP is received and this article will help you discover how to manage the full proposal development lifecycle. Many proposal writers seldom seem to pay attention to this and most often, it is because the process takes a lot of support and even more time. Another reason is that proposal writers do not have the right proposal management tools to help them manage and curate this information throughout the proposal development lifecycle.

In this article, we want to stress what information you must collect, and where you must begin. Collecting information never ends, but at a bare minimum, this article will tell you what to gather during the proposal development lifecycle to make your proposal persuasive, informative, and intelligent.

It starts with the sales team identifying the right market segments. Your market research teams identify and explore target markets and assess your potential to succeed in the market. Then, the benchmark your capabilities and figure out if the market is already saturated with similar players offering similar solutions. Once they have figured that out, they define a clear strategy that reduces the impact of your competition’s strengths and increases the effectiveness of your organization’s strengths. It would be great to have a proposal management software that will track these parameters- as often, this critical information gets lost in a pile of irrelevant email threads.

It is critical for any proposal author or manager to be aware of the inputs derived from previous phases of the lifecycle. Otherwise, when they write the proposal, the proposal will be void of the vital win themes that can be obtained from market assessment and strategic targeting. Therefore a proposal management software that tracks all these elements is so essential to business success

Once the market penetration strategy is developed, the organization must market the product or services they specialize in. They must implement their marketing strategy as planned, lest the potential customer misunderstands what we have to offer. In this phase, the marketing agents must note and track the conversations with potential customers, what they have to say about their needs and requirements. A proposal management software with opportunity management and assessment tools will be a great addition here to pick the right opportunities to pursue. The collection of this information and its effective duration is essential, and yet oft-ignored part of the proposal development lifecycle.

At this point, the sales team needs to circle down on the right opportunities to pursue. They must pick the battles that they can win, lest they waste their resources and energy on dreams and mirages they cannot feasibly reach. They must keep records of the strategy using a proposal management software so that those who are working on the proposal will know the strategy to implement in the writing

Once the marketing has been completed and customers are aware, the opportunities available must be assessed and funneled out. For this, the proposal development team and the sales teams must participate together in industry briefings, customer intelligence reports, and gathering specific program intelligence. At this phase, the customer’s requirements must be understood, and an initial position with the customer must be cultivated. Competitor strategies and how to overcome them must be an essential part of the opportunity assessment phase. Once all this information is collected, preferably on a proposal management software/ platform, the opportunity pursuit decision (also called Go/ No-Go decision) must be taken. Usually, organizations do not consider this information and seldom pass it on to the next and more crucial stage of the proposal development lifecycle- where the business proposal is written and developed.

The Bid Decision must be based on the answers to the following questions at a minimum:

  • Does the opportunity fit within our capabilities?
  • Who is the incumbent? Can we partner with the incumbent?
  • Do we have a good relationship with the customer?
  • Do we know and understand the client’s needs, goals and the impact of the solution?
  • Do we possess the resources and commitment to pull this off?
  • Can we deliver the proposal within the right timeframe?

It is important not just to ask these questions but also to keep the outcome within a system that can be accessed by those who are working on the proposal. If we do not have a systematic way of preserving and obtaining this crucial information, it is very likely that our win rates will succumb to the pits. A proposal management software will help to save this information and allow relevant members to access it throughout the proposal development lifecycle

Once the opportunity assessment phase is completed, we arrive at the proposal development phase. In this scenario, we either get the RFP from the customer, or we write a proactive proposal. The proposal manager must study the RFP or the statement of client requests to thoroughly understand the customer’s stated and unstated needs. Inferences need to be made, but of course, within the confines of logic. Any clarifications required are to be duly noted and circulated within the teams that are authoring the proposal. Once this is done, the team responsible must initiate a kick-off call and progress towards the development of the proposal from thereon.

The average proposal has about 100 micro iterations and ten major iterations throughout its lifecycle. Having the proposal in a single location where teams work collaboratively is a key to bidding and proposal success. We recommend using software like Zbizlink which can help you throughout the proposal development lifecycle. From capture management to opportunity assessment. From proposal development to delivery – Zbizlink is the best proposal management software to help you navigate the proposal development lifecycle.

Find the winning 03 tips to federal proposal writing

03 Tips to Better Federal Proposal Writing

Federal government requests for proposal (RFPs) are in a different ball game no matter your experience as proposal writer. Federal government RFPs are usually always harder to read with complex jargon and legal terminology layered in nearly every single section. Proposal teams can use RFP software and the below federal proposal writing tips (and a bonus tip) to respond well to a federal government RFP and be compliant.

Tip 1: Know what is in each section

  • Section A contains the most basic information such as contact information, important addresses, solicitation number, guidelines and deadlines for submission, specific submission instructions, and even information on current incumbents.
  • Section B requires you to enter information on billing. You will need to enter in detail line by line on various billable expenses such as travel, labor, supplies, etc
  • Section C gives you the Statement of Work (SOW). The SOW forms the essence of what services are required and how they are expected to be delivered. It is crucial that this chapter must be thoroughly studied and analyzed by the delivery teams.
  • Section L gives you details on formatting, organizing and laying out of content. It may also contain additional submission requirements- such as a maximum page count, margin, spacing, font, etc.
  • Section M gives you details on how you will be scored and what are the scoring criteria. Focusing on this will help you evolve a strategy that will enable you to have a high likelihood of winning the deal. Reading section M and C together will enhance your ability to create a sound winning strategy and value proposition.
  • Section K has information on representations or certifications that you need to provide. This is especially important if the RFP requires only a specific type of a bidder, such as a US Firm, a minority bidder, a woman-led enterprise, etc.

Step 2: Ensure 100% compliance with a compliance matrix

Often, proposal writers and managers avoid creating compliance matrices because they may take much time to prepare. They feel that they would be more productive if they directly spend their time in responding to the RFP. However, industry studies have shown that creating a compliance matrix before writing an RFP response actually saves more time than they take to prepare.

Even if your font size does not match the compliance criteria mentioned in section L, your proposal will be instantly dismissed. It is crucial therefore that each compliance factor is captured well and adhered to by the proposal writers and contributors. We strongly recommend using a good capture management tool to auto-fetch the compliance factors, or to note down the compliance factors in a spreadsheet manually. Zbizlink provides a capture management tool that will fetch all relevant compliance factors for you so that you can focus on what is more important: strategy.

Tip 3: Read and Ask, Don’t Assume

Proposal writers who work on federal RFPs end up being either too complacent or too stressed while responding to a federal RFP. They either overthink of the RFP or too little. While you can use the above federal proposal writing tips to find the information you need, depending only on the above guidelines may cause you to miss out on some important guidelines that may be hidden in other sections of the RFP. Hence, it is a good practice to glance through the entire RFP once to ensure that you have not missed anything before the kick-off call. During the kickoff call, allocate specific chapters to be re-read by a specific date by specific accountable proposal contributors. Since federal RFPs have long response times, ensure that the entire RFP is read thoroughly before responding.

Just like how proposals contain much boilerplate content, RFPs also contain much boilerplate content. Contradictions and confusions are commonplace. If you are not sure what the RFP’s intention is in-regard-to a specific matter, ensure that you ask about it. You can usually find guidelines for queries on the RFP and how they can be addressed in section L of the federal RFP. Ensure that the RFP is thoroughly read, and all queries are noted and sent to the customer by the date mentioned in section L.

Bonus Tip: Use the best proposal management software.

Good proposal management software will help you organize the proposal and implement the 03 federal proposal writing tips above. Instead of wasting time on mundane tasks such as finding compliance factors, getting approvals and developing and maintaining proposal schedules, a good proposal management software will help you do the same, with a lot less effort.

Zbizlink is entirely online, ensuring that all communication regarding a proposal is available in one place. It also helps you with scheduling, getting approvals, ensuring compliance, finding resumes and teaming with partners who have relevant resources, among other things. Save time. Don’t bid to respond. Bid to win, with Zbizlink.

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 software 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 an RFP software or 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, evaluate the best proposal management software 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?

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