Super-smart resources to help you win
You’re probably an expert at writing business proposals and have spent several years discovering how to perfect your craft. Since you’ve been at it for some time, we’ll take a wild guess that you have used Microsoft Word as a tool to respond to a request for proposal (RFP). It’s a common thing of an old practice, and that is just what this article will touch on…why Microsoft Word is holding your business proposal back.
Sure, your whole team is skilled and well-versed in developing winning proposals, but if you are a part of an organization or team that is slow to advance, you are stuck in an outdated routine for RFP response.
We’re not going to make this a bashing session – far from it. After all, Microsoft Word is an untouchable word processor that is a staple in near every department and industry. It’s reliable, and reliability is good.
Yet, are you so reliant on one tool that you’re going to miss out on greater value? Hope not.
Let’s dive into Microsoft Word as a proposal writing software.
Writing proposals is a lengthy process that takes significant time and effort. It comes at the tail end of an even longer business development process, but if the process is done right the RFP response process goes smoother. Therein lies a gap for our coveted word processor.
Microsoft Word is usually a stand-alone application. Users are responsible for manually inputting information.
Thus, it is no surprise that your capture management lifecycle and other business development processes cannot be integrated with just a simple word processor. All of the informative data and components collected over time are separate unless your team is using an integrated solution.
Strike One against your beloved Microsoft Word.
Now, there are tools like SharePoint and other file sharing software available to help proposal teams share documents and work collaboratively. Great, that requires another instrument of manual tracking.
So far, it looks like we’ve got two tools working together to absorb the limitations of one. What about information and contacts from previous partnerships?
We suppose you’re thinking of your trusted CRM, and maybe even Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You will need a CRM to somehow keep track of your many customers, partners, employees, and notes on each of their wonderful interactions. If it sounds like a lot, it is.
Since Microsoft Word does not have similar capability we’ll not focus too deeply here, but therein lies another gap.
So, what have we gathered thus far? Microsoft Word is a great resource for all things word processor-related, but forget about integrated processes that improve proposal development.
Your business proposal must be developed manually with a variety of steps between collecting information from multiple places, analyzing it, and making sure it is added into the business proposal in its proper, compliant place.
The same is true for design.
A business proposal must be compliant to be successful. Business proposals with standardized designs that meet RFP requirements and organizational standards are more likely to be compliant.
Imagine establishing a standardized template for consistent use across your organization that is autofilled with the right information. No graphic designer needed. No misuse of organizational assets. Just simplicity and efficiency.
Microsoft Word gives the tools that a graphic designer, proposal coordinator, or desktop publisher need to design a business proposal for every single proposal submission.
But what if you didn’t have to recreate the wheel for every submission? What if your organization leveraged automation within a proposal writing software?
Before you get spooked by the fancy word “automation”, realize that RFP automation is here and brings many organizations measurable value. It is okay for you and your troupe to get onboard too.
The best proposal management software provides access to an unlimited library of templates that map to RFP requirements and engage dynamic variables to automate proposal development. You and several stakeholders can work on the same proposal and rest assured that content is populated into a template of your choice without extra steps.
It does the menial work for you.
In reality, Microsoft Word is a long-standing tool that provides great value for word processing needs. Your proposal management process needs a little more attention, however.
The best alternative to Microsoft Word for proposal management and writing an effective business proposal in response to an RFP is… you guessed it, a proposal management software that supports the full business development lifecycle. The benefits of an all-in-one solution offer you and your entire enterprise long-term value, while realizing short-term improvements in sales productivity and team collaboration. A good RFP proposal tool offers:
You may be reluctant to switch to a better proposal writing tool because you are not familiar with using it, or perhaps technology purchases are not within your decision-making routine.
Whatever the reason, we know that you want to drive more proposal wins. In that spirit, you owe your organization the opportunity to consider a better alternative to Microsoft Word for RFP response processes.