Every business person understands the importance of a business proposal in getting new clients, but not everyone knows how to write one properly.
Business proposals have the potential to make or ruin your small business, so always put your best foot forward.
Proposal management is required to guarantee that a strong proposal is delivered to a potential client.
What is Proposal Management?
The process of managing and assisting the completion of a proposal is known as proposal management. It involves everything from establishing the timeframe to submitting the final proposal and everything in between.
Proposal management is an important stage in getting business from a potential buyer. A proposal would typically include, but not be limited to, information about the vendor, demonstrated knowledge of the business requirements and implementable solutions to address them, solution methodology, team structure, pricing structure, and quality processes for high-quality deliverables that require collaboration across multiple departments.
A proposal manager's job is to organise and generate a proposal response (RFI, PPQ, ITT, RFP, etc.) while also building a proposal team with the necessary expertise to prepare and submit a winning proposal.
Introduction and implementation of the relevant proposal procedures and governance are among the responsibilities. This is a highly connected position that necessitates the ability to perform under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
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Importance of Proposal Management
In a highly competitive industry, the service provider that can provide a high-quality proposal first and on schedule is frequently ahead of the competition.
With multiple interdependent teams participating in the bid process, such as sales, marketing, project delivery, quality, operations, and senior management, it's critical to cooperate effectively and efficiently so that all stakeholders understand the objectives and deliverables.
Key business problems addressed are:
Collaboration on proposals is automated, and teams and sub-teams are seamlessly integrated.
Workflows, process optimization, and the removal of possible bottlenecks all contribute to a faster response time.
To avoid any deception to the customer, use standardised and up-to-date company-approved proposal templates.
Throughout the proposal lifetime, management dashboards and online reviews are available.
The software has resulted in increased productivity and quality. A 65% reduction in review and approval time has been noticed.
Access to price data, reference materials, proposal papers, and any other information you wish to safeguard is controlled via role-based security.
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Trends in Proposal Management Industry
Trends in proposal management industry
RFPs go hand in hand with good functioning
According to Loopio's 2021 RFP Response Trends & Benchmark Report, 75% of organisations predict RFPs in their sector to stay the same or rise in 2021, while only 6% foresee a reduction.
On several levels, the rise in projected RFPs makes sense. To begin with, as revenues improve, governments will want to stimulate their areas by implementing additional projects.
Second, companies expect to make more money this year than they did last year, so they'll be eager to buy tools, services, and solutions they couldn't get last year.
These two patterns indicate a rise in total demand for new services and products, as seen by the number of RFPs submitted.
Governments and corporations will be forced to justify their expenditures to a greater extent than they did before the crisis.
As a result, businesses can expect an increase in the number of proposals they get, not only for new services or products, but also for the retention of existing services or goods.
Companies will need to be disciplined to ensure they have adequate capacity to develop compelling proposals to keep their existing clients, even as they chase new capture possibilities, given the rush of prospects.
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Customisation is the key
In 2021, suggestions will not only be provided at a faster rate, but they will also be more difficult to collect than in the past.
Proposal and capture teams are getting more sophisticated, and proposal quality has improved dramatically as they grow and polish their operations.
As a result, clients anticipate more knowledge and customisation than they have in the past. The average number of persons that contribute to a proposal has climbed from 7 to 9 in the last year.
The time spent on a proposal has grown by two hours on average (despite more widespread adoption of technology).
Companies are also throwing their hat in the ring more frequently, with an average of 2% more bids received each year. Winning a proposal will grow increasingly challenging as more firms enhance their proposal and capture teams.
Companies must respond by enhancing internal procedures to focus on the proposals with the best chances of succeeding and continue to invest in high-quality proposal production.
As a result of this increase, businesses will turn to automation and hiring more people.
With the increased activity, the way teams have built up their proposal response procedures (together with the anticipated layoffs earlier this year) may become unscalable in the future.
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However, just adding a point solution to your IT stack or increasing manpower will not scale well.
Teams will need to define what success looks like for their proposal teams in order to properly leverage the potential of new technology or expertise.
How do you keep track of the efficacy and efficiency of a solution you've implemented?
"People-centric workflows—requiring abilities like empathy, decision-making, and so on—make up a big fraction of corporate procedures," Sagi Eliyahu writes in a Crunchbase piece from earlier this year.
As a result, the value of automation solutions must be judged in terms of how well they improve the people who are guided and informed by your workflows."
As you enter a year of increasing replies, understanding fundamental processes and what parts of those processes can be readily streamlined can set your team apart from the competition and help you determine what manpower is genuinely required.
In the new year, you're likely to encounter more due diligence questionnaires, security checks, and renewal RFPs if you're not a basic, subscription-based service.
When the CFO gets his hands on your contract, good client relationships will only go you so far. The sales funnel is less of a "funnel" and more of a circle these days, and budget inspection and justification are of the highest significance right now.
As a result, both sellers and proposal professionals will need to use their persuasion skills in order to keep business through discussions and written proposals.
"Most value accrues over time as customers profit from their purchase and continue and extend purchasing," according to a recent post on Winning The Business.
As a result, sellers must shift their thinking from "winning the customer" to "showing the consumer the road to value."
Proposal experts are seeing a return to their real purpose: writing, thanks to the advent of proposal and content automation technologies. Project managers and cat-herders are (hopefully) a thing of the past.
Because there are so many solutions on the market to automate that portion of the work, proposal teams will be able to devote more time and resources to attaining the degree of personalisation that the customer experienced in their first prospecting interaction.
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To conclude, we're seeing more people make this a profession in the sector. Nobody went to school with the goal of one day becoming a proposal manager. But, for whatever reason, people end up in this career and find it to be quite gratifying.
Because of the freedom and autonomy, as well as the fact that proposal managers and authors make a significant impact, I believe this trend will continue.
They provide energy to businesses and divisions, which speaks to the entering generation's desire to know that what they do for a living counts.