How to Save Time and Bid More: A Guide for Decision Makers
Time is your bid team’s most valued resource. It’s also the most limited. The proposal lifecycle is, in essence, a race against time, with the clock ticking toward the deadline.
Are you managing your proposal projects with word processing tools? Or other applications that were never intended to handle large, complex business documents? Then the clock ticks faster.
Your subject matter experts spend more time figuring out what tasks to work on and when they are due than actually working on their proposal tasks. And coordinating these tasks takes even more away from the limited time (and resources) you have to create your proposal.
In 2023, you don’t have to let time-consuming manual processes, coordination, and communication slow down your sales cycle and reduce your win rate.
Position yourself for success with these three time-saving tactics. And start investing in how to win instead of how to deliver.
Enterprise-level document creation is complicated by four main issues that consume your time, slow you down and cause unnecessary stress:
This "traditional" approach to creating large, complex, bids or proposals is the serial approach, and for your business goals, it is neither optimal nor efficient.
Government contractors designate proposal managers, yet these proposal managers rarely manage the people who write and review the proposals they manage. This often causes a dangerous miscommunication gap between “what is asked for” and “what is delivered”. One that can’t be bridged with phone calls, voicemails and emails.
How do you give your proposal manager the insights they need to bridge the gap? To keep proposal projects moving forward and unlock time and cost-savings? Dynamic, real-time visibility into status and progress keeps the team in sync and on track with content milestones, and accountable.
Don’t risk missed deadlines, poor quality issues and lousy win rates. Develop responsible, can-do proposal leaders with real-time visibility into your process, progress and status.
Here are three tactics for updating your approach, saving time and bidding more winning bids and proposals.
Co-authoring allows you to create large, complex, business-critical documents much faster. This means you will be able to complete each proposal well before the deadline and have time to invest in other proposals.
“Real-time co-writing is a huge time saver,” says Cheryl Smith, an APMP-NCA Board Member with 20+ years of experience in proposal and knowledge management. “Especially when you consider that teams are billable experts and executives whose time is definitely at a premium.”
Each week, your team spends at least three to four hours just fixing formatting, layout, and numbering. This kind of activity slows you down, delays your progress, and seriously impacts your business’s ability to deliver.
A secure, customized layout layer eliminates this problem. By automatically formatting and numbering your proposal for you, regardless of document size, your proposal is always ready for action.
“That’s valuable time your team can invest in thinking and reviewing, and working to advance strategy and proposal maturity and quality,” says Smith.
Your proposal is fundamentally a sales document. Its purpose is to persuade decision makers and move the sales process to closure in your favor. If your proposal doesn’t lead to an agreement to do work together, your proposal has failed.
How do you persuade evaluators over to your line of reasoning, that you are the best solution to the problem?
“I like to picture a proposal as a bridge,” says Smith. “Your prospect is standing on this side of the bridge, in today’s reality, with their pains and needs. And over there, on the other side of the bridge, is their future reality, the goals they want to achieve. When your proposal walks evaluators across that bridge, section by section, you earn their support, and their vote.”
The time you need to build that compelling bridge is short. By adopting these three tactics, you save the time you need to invest in how to win, instead of how to deliver. It’s a strategic decision, one designed to optimize your resources, empower your team, and ultimately generate more revenue.
Related article: A Conversation with Proposal Professional: Neal Levene
Jeremy have 11 years of experience in the solution software space ranging from customer success to sales to consulting. I believe strongly in relationship building and working with customers as partners. Optimizing use of solution software and leveraging success with the relationship to build growth and expand value.