Today’s post is by Kae Kronthaler-Williams, VP of marketing at Qvidian.
Writing RFPs and proposals has long been considered a tedious and manual process. Thanks to advances in technology, though, this is changing.
Businesses are embracing proposal automation software due to its proven ability to speed up the RFP and proposal process – by at least 50 percent, according to a recent Qvidian-commissioned, independent survey.
The survey was distributed to individuals who work on RFP and proposal writing teams – in sales operations, management, and enablement at large companies. It explored the link between proposal automation and the sales win rate, the role of collaboration, and top pain points within the RFP and proposal response creation process. Findings pointed to a widespread use of data analytics to inform the RFP and proposal creation process, and showed that effective collaboration is the key to success.
The data also drew a clear connection between RFP and proposal automation and win rates. Specifically, more than one-third of survey respondents said their win rate had substantially improved since they automated their RFP process – with more than half finding the win rate had improved at least moderately.
The Answers Are in the Data
The benefits of proposal automation software go beyond document creation efficiency. In fact, survey respondents cited a top benefit associated with automating the RFP and proposal process is the software’s ability to deliver valuable data insights on the process.
Companies are seeing the value in extracting data insights from their proposal automation software and applying it to their businesses, with 88 percent of survey respondents doing so to inform their internal processes and strategies.
Additionally, companies no longer need to rely on a gut feeling to decide which RFPs to answer. Knowing that it’s no longer cost effective to answer every RFP that comes in the door, 65 percent of respondents consider win/loss data from previous efforts at least most of the time when determining whether to bid on a specific RFP. Being more selective about which RFP a company responds to increases its chances of winning the right ones.
The Power of Collaboration Is Real
For RFPs and proposals, it takes a village to complete one document, and it’s impossible to complete the process without cooperation and buy-in from all the necessary players in the organization.
According to the survey, 75 percent of respondents typically work with at least four other people on a single RFP or proposal, with 78 percent collaborating with product teams and SMEs across multiple departments and remote office locations. With that many people involved, the process can hit time-consuming bottlenecks – a major pain point for proposal teams that usually face tight turnaround times and deadlines.
To help solve these problems, all members of the process must collaborate effectively – which, until recently, was difficult to do. But, with proposal automation software, collaboration bottlenecks are removed – allowing multiple individuals to weigh in on documents in near-real time. This eliminates multiple emails and phone calls, which can drag out the process and delay submission times – putting companies at risk of losing deals.
When collaborating effectively, the process is much simpler and easier, giving organizations the opportunity to secure more deals – a win for everyone involved.
It’s no secret that the RFP and proposal process can be a challenging and tedious one for many individuals across organizations. The research findings show progress against mitigating these challenges, with many businesses taking advantage of proposal automation and the data insights the software delivers. As a result, companies are experiencing significant gains in terms of win rate, ease of collaboration, and document turnaround time – which is having a measurable impact on the bottom line.