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How to Choose a Proposal Tool

This blog is all about setting down what you should be looking at when you are ready to pick a proposal software.

Before we set down the list, let’s go back to the basics real quick.

What is it you plan to achieve by your proposal?

Before you roll your eyes at the question, take a moment and think about it. The aim of a good proposal is to persuade the client, convince them that you are the person they are looking for. Out of the heaps and heaps of proposals on their desk, the evaluators must see yours as the one proposal that they want to put their money on. And that is worth every penny you invest in this tool.

So do you Google “the best proposal tool” and click the first one that answers your query? Well, we know it is a lot more than that. So here are some features that you should look out for when choosing a proposal tool:

Automation

What makes a proposal tool different from a Word document? Automation for starters. A good proposal software will make it easy to get out proposals that are perfect to the T. What kind of automation are we talking about? Ready templates, automatic formatting, automatic bulleting and numbering and so on are things that can make a huge difference to the proposal creation. The tool should be able to gather information and templates from integrated CRMs.

Real Time Collaboration Capabilities

The creation of the document and the writing is all well and good but a good proposal software has to have more than that. The major benefit you should be looking focusing on is real time collaboration capabilities. Edits and changes to the document need to be done in real time if you are really looking to get the proposal done and dusted asap without compromising on quality. In a  good tool, portions of the document can be locked for editing and the creation of the rest of document can go on, approvals on other portions sought, all the while being under the control of the PM.

Security

The importance of the security of your confidential information cannot be overemphasised. So pay a LOT of attention to the security measures that the tool offers. Ensure there is a secure database where the information and data is stored and can only be accessed by that particular software. Access is allowed only to those who are authorized to access it.

Versioning

Look out for a tool that gives you a revision history and a trail audit so you always know who made which edit and when and if you really want that edit. So you get to focus on the quality without having to deal with versioning issues.

Single Source Repository

This feature is enabled by a database-based proposal tool.  Here is where all your content will be managed.  All the documents you need will be housed in this repository. Anyone who is working on the document at any stage of the creation process will have access (if permission is granted) to all the tables, macros, and forms that are features of the database.

Composite Content Management

Through this feature the same content can be used and updated in different documents. It helps maintain consistency in all the documents and proposals you send out.

The things you have to really check out when choosing a proposal tool is quality, speed, security and reliability. We may have a suggestion but contact us if you have any questions.

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