Is collaborative proposal writing slowing your sales process?

By Jesse Dukes

The sales process is in a constant cycle of optimisation, made possible by a host of new technologies designed to accelerate the time to close. While many processes are being automated, proposal writing is still proving to be a challenging area. Why is this a problem? Well because it involves working on a complex document, with multiple contributors, from multiple departments, with multiple roles and often totally remotely.

The process of creating a proposal, through review, to completion is still a significant headache for a lot of businesses. It’s a pressure point with the potential for significant wastage of resource and effort if the established process is inefficient. All the historic challenges of digital document collaboration are much unchanged, but the quickening of the pace of the surrounding processes and technologies are making the problems more pronounced.

Ineffective solutions

We know the solution to this problem isn’t to cut people out of the process or try to restrict it too much - neither of these approaches tend to produce quality results. With the requirements for businesses becoming ever more complex and skillsets of individuals becoming more specialised, involving a broad range of people often becomes unavoidable.

Much more than that, involving a diverse group of subject experts is often very beneficial. Indeed, where innovation is critical to winning business this diversity of contributions is key. In fact, proposal creation is the point at which great ideas are brought to the fore. So, it would be fair to conclude that reducing the number of people involved in the process isn’t a solution.

People are essential, we can’t really cut team sizes but perhaps if we just changed the attitudes and approaches of those contributing, we could solve some of the problems? An openness to collaboration and a certain degree of ‘tolerance’ is required to help the process run smoothly but this still doesn’t solve the problems inherent in digital collaboration.

The next solution might be to streamline the document itself. While this is undoubtedly a good idea, for lots of businesses it is often impossible to simplify the document to the point that it would make a significant difference without jeopardising the document’s effectiveness. Incremental improvements are possible across the process but none of these are likely to provide a real revolution in efficiency.

The magic bullet

There is a solution which doesn’t require cutting contribution or aggressive trimming of the document, it doesn’t even require a change in attitude (although it still helps). A solution that, when deployed properly, can provide this revolution in efficiency and time savings that help proposal creation keep pace with the rest of the sales process.

And the solution is…

…document collaboration software.

What these document collaboration tools do is re-establish control and confidence in the proposal writing process. They make working together on digital documents simple, easy and efficient by providing the document owner with total control, and contributors with clarity, visibility and confidence.

PleaseReview is one example of such a tool - it provides robust functionality that makes working with large teams on complex documents easy. Your whole team can work on a single version, in real-time, with visibility of all comments and changes. The software allows you to pre-allocate areas for contribution, pre-define contributor capabilities, automate reminders and includes in-built progress tracking that provides transparency of comments and changes with no duplication of effort. All backed by an audit trail for a significant reduction in oversights.

All these benefits combine to deliver huge time and cost savings in the creation of proposals, not to mention the very real morale boost provided by such significant improvements in the process. PleaseReview can help you optimise your proposal creation process and make winning business more efficient.

The sales funnel does not have to be slowed by the problems of digital content collaboration and proposal writing doesn’t have to be a bottleneck or pressure point in your sales process. With a document collaboration software solution, this pressure can be relieved, and the focus can return to great ideas instead of time pressure and frustrations. 

Find out more about how PleaseReview can help you collaborate effectively on proposals.

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