How Using Our Own Proposal Software Saved Us 231 Hours Last Month
Like most technology providers, we respond to a lot of RFPs. But unlike most providers we get to use our own product to make the proposal writing process easier.
Just how much easier does it make it?
Well in our case, we saved 231 hours last month alone.
The beauty of effective proposal software is it not only manages your tasks (assigning who is writing and reviewing each response), but it also stores every approved response.
This is especially handy when you hire new Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who are still learning your product, like Rachel. Rachel Priest is our brilliant new Customer Success Manager, who joined our team just a couple of months ago.
Her first assignment was to learn our software top to bottom and on our team that means helping issue and respond to RFPs.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
The image below shows our proposal analytics for this past month. In August we responded to 3 RFPs, spent 11 hours and 42 minutes writing our proposals, and saved 231 hours reusing previous responses.
How do we know how much time we saved? We track how long it takes to write each response, and therefore how time is "saved" when that response is reused.
Not surprisingly, of all our SMEs Rachel saved the most time last month because she reused the most responses.
Our reuse process looks like this:
Intrigued? Learn more about how proposal management software works.
Because the first step to faster proposal writing is being able to effectively store past content and regulate versioning, conventional weapons like email, Microsoft Word & Excel, can get sticky quickly.
While such traditional tools can work very well for small teams (2 members or fewer) writing straightforward proposals, they often mean a filing nightmare for larger teams with more complex content. Versions are muddled, files are scattered, and no one one knows who authored what.
We find many of the proposal writers we talk to aren't using status quo proposal writing methods because they actually work, but because they don't think they have any other options.
So whatever system you choose to use just make sure it's searchable, and allows you to store everything in one place and make changes while maintaining a clear historical record of who edited what when.
Check the expiration date
Another trick to faster proposals is knowing when you need to update your content.
In our system we simply set a review date (as shown below), but you can also set a calendar reminder or schedule content reviews as part of your team meetings.
We recommend reviewing frequently used content monthly, or at least quarterly to make sure it stays relevant.
Because at the end of the day, if you want to write quality proposals faster, you need to be able to find what you need quickly; meaning spot-on responses are that are easy to find.
So if you can't find what you're looking for within a couple of minutes, it may be time to rethink your proposal management methods.
**Feature image credit: Veri Ivanova, Unsplash