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How to Use Fewer Tools and Save More Time

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Cheryl Smith



4 min

The proposal creation process can be resource intensive as you work to craft a quality proposal that meets both your compliance matrix and the deadline. Not having the proper tools to enable your team's efforts can further complicate the process.

Without a dedicated proposal management tool, you might be relying on email for divvying up assignments and communicating updates. The in-progress proposal could be stored in a content management tool, sent via email or shared through a file-sharing software. On top of that, you might be utilizing a database of previous proposals to reference in the creation process. Everything is disconnected and disparate.

Instead of having your resources spread across multiple disconnected platforms, it's time to streamline the process from business development to proposal effort. Facilitate better proposal creation for your team by using a single integrated tool to accomplish every step of the process.

A Centralized Solution

A proposal management software is a type of content collaboration software designed specifically for proposal creators and managers. It consolidates all the resources and workflows required to take a proposal from opportunity to draft to revision to final version and puts them onto a single centralized platform. This software platform provides increased visibility to the proposal managers and saves time for everyone involved.

By consolidating the proposal creation process to a single platform, you enable the proposal manager to better track the status of each task. Instead of emailing out assignments and waiting on responses, hoping your initial email didn't get buried in the recipient's inbox, you can always see what's been completed and what's lingering: managers can address bottlenecks before they become delays.

Quality proposal management software also acts as a bridge between the pursuit and the proposal. Rather than jamming CRM or opportunity website data into another system by hand, just to watch that information quickly go out of date, you can use proposal management software to streamline the process, integrate your data and keep your database updated — all without manual data entry.

Additionally, instead of having to dig through various emails when it's their turn to work on the proposal, team members can go into proposal management tools and find the most up-to-date version — and anything else they need to complete their task, including reviewer comments and reusable content.

Proposal management tools also enable your team to store and access reference files that are too big to be sent via email, which not only saves your the team members the time they'd have to spend searching for the shared files, but also keeps your organization safe from the risks posed by free file sharing tools.

More Efficient Collaboration

Proposal management tools allow proposal managers to create automated workflows that seamlessly move assignments between different teammates while keeping them in sync and up to date on the deadlines automatically.

At the start of the proposal creation effort, the manager can build out the milestones leading up to the completed proposal and set actions based on each one. For example, when a writer is done, the software can notify the editor the document is ready to be reviewed, and when a set of edits is done, the manager can can be automatically updated.

These workflows allow collaborators in different geographic locations to work together without worrying that differing time zones can cause communications to get hidden. The workflow will track and show task progression, so if a notification does get buried, the collaborator can still see which step of the process the proposal is at.

Save Time Without Reducing Quality

If your team has recently written a similar proposal to the one you're working on now, you might want to save time by pulling sections of content from the previous document.

Having a database of previous proposals can help you out with this, but accessing those documents in a useful, timely manner can be difficult. Proposal management tools can allow you to tag previous proposals to make them easily searchable.

However, when using past documents to quickly draft new proposals, auto-build features can cause quality issues. While an auto-build tool can speed up parts of your process, that speed leads to people not taking the time to properly polish drafts. Auto-build tools also can't stand alone: they'll help you respond quickly to a questionnaire or pull together a draft, but they lack the task management tools that get your team from first draft to deadline.

A collaborative proposal management tool still allows you to save time by referencing previous documents, while keeping writers, editors and managers involved to prevent submission of a low-caliber proposal.

A proposal management software integrates all the content collaboration and resources your team needs to create a quality proposal into a single platform that facilitates collaboration and communication so your team can stay on deadline and accomplish all the requirements anytime, anywhere.

Ultimate Proposal Checklist

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Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.

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