Proposal software: Is it worth the investment?
The quality of your pitches, proactive proposals and RFP responses can have a huge impact on the success of your sales activities but they always seem to take ages to create.
Proposal and RFP management software is designed to speed up the process by ensuring that the best content is readily available and by making it easy for users to put the right combination of content into branded templates and then merge it with CRM data to create a proposal that is personalised.
The idea is not that you can now send that proposal off to a prospect, but rather that, by saving a load of time by auto-generating a solid first draft of it, you can spend more time tailoring and adding context to it.
How do you know if a proposal generator is something that’s worth investing in?
Here are three questions that can help you decide:
1. How much time (and therefore) money is your team currently spending on proposals and presentations?
• Count up how many proposals, pitches or RFPs are produced on average each month.
• Multiply that number by the average number of hours expended on each one by everyone involved in the production process.
• Multiply that answer by the average hourly wage of those employees.
This will give you an estimate of what your proposal process is costing each month. If you are not seeing the return on these activities, or if your team is having to rewrite standard content every time, then proposal software would be worth investigating.
2. Do people complain about how difficult it is to find content to include in proposals?
This is a common complaint from sales teams who need to get information to a prospect immediately but are often either delayed because they have to wait for their colleagues over in marketing to send them the content, or tempted to use an old version they have had on their desktop for two years, or worse – to write their own content.
An easily searchable content library makes its quick and easy to find the right content without having to hassle colleagues or dig through old proposals and RFPs. The content stored in the library is pre-created, pre-approved and re-useable, so sales guys always know where to find the latest information and marketing guys can rest assured that the right content and template is being used.
3. Do people struggle to collaborate on a document?
When its crunch time, the last thing you want to hear is “oops you’ve been working on the wrong version.”
The ability to collaborate and co-author a document in real time can make a big difference to the quality of the final product.
It not only reduces the risk of old versions of content being used, it also simplifies things for whoever is managing the project and saves a lot of time.
4. Do looming deadlines often result in less time for customisation?
When the pressure’s on to get a document out the door, it can be tempting to send a ‘vanilla’ version that is only minimally customised.
A proposal generator that integrates with your CRM system and automatically merges customer information into the final document makes simple customisation as easy as a click of a button. It also vastly reduces the risk of embarrassing ‘copy and paste’ errors.
A word of advice
Like marketing automation and CRM systems, proposal software will only be as good as the people using it.
You need to sort out your content and proposal processes before you can streamline them. If you’re aware of this, then you won’t be disappointed when a solution isn’t an automatic fix. That said, sometimes implementing a solution like this is the catalyst you need to get your house in order.
If you are considering investing in a pitch and proposal generator, we recommend that you take a look at Qorus Software’s Website to help you know what to expect.
Author: Qorus Software