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Proposal writing is a critical aspect of obtaining funding for private and public business ventures. However, many business owners and managers struggle with executing the proposal management process. It can become maddening and may increase the likelihood of abandoning it altogether.
Don’t give up! The only tools you require to make the proposal writing process easier are two-fold:
- A Scalable Strategy: A scalable strategy allows you to repeat the same process repeatedly while still allowing for customizations. Doing so takes away a ton of stress and gives you space to create efficiencies.
- Proposal Automation Software: Proposal automation software is the golden child of the Web 2.0 era. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s going to be a game-changer. Instead of using manual templates, you allow automation software to generate a fantastic proposal in a fraction of the time.
Let’s examine these aspects more closely:
A Scalable Strategy: A scalable strategy for any proposal writer must be able to meet the needs of your target audience while being simple enough for you to manage regularly. Here is an excellent example of a good proposal writing process:
- Carefully review the Request for Proposal (RFP) sheets for instructions
- Develop your proposal outline to address the needs of your audience
- Begin filling in your proposal section by section
- Proofread your document for accuracy and clarity
- Submit to the proposal requesting organization
You can then mirror this process when you implement proposal automation software.
How to Automate Your Sales Proposals: You can cut down on the amount of time you spend generating sales proposals by using a proposal automation solution, like Proposable. No longer do business managers have to spend countless hours pulling information into a template manually. Proposal automation software will change your approach to business funding.
A good proposal generation definition starts with the purpose of proposal writing in the first place. Ultimately, it’s the goal of your bid to secure funding or obtain a contract for a project or position. Therefore, it’s essential to supply your business with a proposal generator that can achieve the following efficiencies for your business:
Centralized Location for Needs
First, your proposal generation software must offer a central location for all of your content. After all, what’s the point if you have to log into and integrate multiple systems? Make sure you find a system that uses an all-in-one location for your files and templates.
Second, your proposal generator needs to create efficiencies in how it auto-fills information. For instance, after you enter your customer information into your contacts, the system should have features, like merge fields, to automatically insert their contact information uniformly throughout the document.
Easy to Use and Implement
And finally, a good proposal generator is easy to use. Find a solution with a simple user interface that is intuitive. It can help make the proposal writing management process for your marketing and sales teams. Bonus points if your proposal generator offers a robust help center.
Proposal Management Software
The hallmark of a decent proposal management software program is found in its ability to help your business generate new business, not hinder it. So, instead of dealing with the underlying problems of proposal writing, you can deploy a free proposal management software solution or an open-source proposal management software program to help you manage the following issues related to it:
Proposal Tracking and Evaluation
A good proposal generator is not only able to generate documents, but it can also track proposals as well as your team’s progress. At a glance, you can tell which templates are more effective at producing the desired results. Plus, you can also see where your team is at throughout the entire sales process.
A Central Point of Reference
The central point of reference for your sales proposal writing software is what makes using these types of programs so efficient. There are many sales teams that still use manual templates, separate invoicing software, and then a project management tracking app on top of it all. That just seemed highly inefficient to the Proposable team in its early development stages. Find a proposal management software program that accommodates this need.
Microsoft Proposal Manager
The Microsoft Proposal Manager application attempts to address a historic problem associated with proposal writing process. Microsoft proposal software aims to:
- Combine decentralized data sources
- Automate manual tasks
- Collaborate across teams
The program also boasts an Office 365 proposal template library that is comprehensive enough for every business using the Microsoft 365 Proposal Manager interface. It’s a solution the Microsoft team built on the existing suite of Office 365 software it currently offers.
A Solution for Professional Service Companies
It’s a popular option for professional service companies since it’s synonymous with the Microsoft brand. Teams enjoy the ease of access when it comes to generating winning proposals and streamlining the sales process facilitated by teamwork and productivity.
The Drawbacks of Microsoft Proposal Manager
However, it may not be the right solution for every company, particularly small business owners, since it’s a professional level add-on the might not be worth the added expense. Also, Microsoft Office’s more advanced features have a steep learning curve. If you don’t want to dedicate at least 5 hours or more learning a new system, then find a more simple option.