In this article, Shobhit Saxena, Associate Vice President, Products, shares some of the common challenges faced by business teams/ proposals managers and how Artificial Intelligence-driven technology solutions can help deliver high-quality proposals, increase efficiency, and save manhours.
What are some common challenges faced by a business development team w.r.t proposal creation?
With burgeoning competition, it has become imperative for proposal managers to create high-quality proposals each time. However, a common challenge faced by any business development team is to find relevant content quickly when responding to a proposal request (RFP, RFI, RFQ, TOR, etc.) as the required information is either siloed or the knowledge management (KM) system isn’t optimized with correct business taxonomy and tagging.
There are various other challenges that a proposal manager encounters:
- Often, proposal teams spend valuable manhours in creating existing content.
- Manual searching leads to delays in responding to RFPs, and proposal managers today need an automated system that can quickly identify and recommend relevant content.
- Lack of content centralization, updates, and refresh – even though business teams conduct a periodic exercise to have the best-in-class proposals/content available in one location, it often drifts into an endless loop – the struggle is with indexing, centralizing, and maintaining it an on-going basis
- A common in-house challenge is that the internal proposal teams don’t have the bandwidth to ensure continuous tagging and indexing of content. Also, incorrect tagging leads to difficulty in finding past content.
What if an organization does not have a centralized repository of past proposals and RFPs?
The first step is to onboard a team of content stewards who start with a discovery and setup phase to understand the documents' objectives and nature. Next, the content stewards work with relevant business stakeholders to identify best-in-class content, do content tagging and indexing, and establish a repository framework. It can be done within a smaller group in the organization and then extended further once a structure, taxonomy, and processes are in place. At Evalueserve, we have 20+ years of experience in KM consulting across various organizations. Our experts can work with the business development /proposals team to identify document taxonomy and content tagging gaps. In addition, we provide ongoing content stewardship to manage the entire content lifecycle.
How can automation enable proposal managers to reduce additional efforts in proposal creation?
Automation technologies like Marching Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Artificial Learning act as force multipliers – they can help you scale up quickly, increase efficiency, reduce manual efforts significantly, and streamline processes. Proposal managers have a pivotal role in business development; they must respond to multiple time-bound RFP requests quickly, ensure the quality of the proposal is paramount with the latest-greatest content, and update the proposals repository regularly so that new content is available for other team members. An automated content management platform can simplify and speed-up the proposal creation process by providing relevant content recommendations, enabling faster search, easy collaboration across teams, and quick access of new content
What is an AI-driven recommendation engine, and how does it help manage proposal requests?
A recommendation engine uses algorithms to predict a user’s choice and then offer suggestions to the user, helping them find the information of interest. As a result, these recommendations help optimize the user experience, so they get what they want faster. For proposal creation, an AI-based recommendation engine can do multiple levels of assessments and sorting and then recommend helpful information from past proposals. Evalueserve’s AI-powered Proposal Content Management Platform, Publishwise, leverages machine learning-based recommendation engines that read a new RFP, RFI, RFQ, TOR, etc., identify relevant content, and provide automated recommendations of past proposal content. In addition, the recommendation engines of the cloud-based platform are designed to improve with usage and feedback.
How can an AI-based platform like Publishwise empower proposal managers?
Business development or pre-sales teams (proposal managers, analysts, KM team members, etc.) need an organized, efficient, and robust Proposal Management platform that automates content recommendations and helps submit high-quality proposals in lesser time. Publishwise has been developed in tandem with business teams across industries to complement the proposal creation efforts - the platform helps save hours spent searching past proposals, uses AI and ML to provide intelligent recommendations, and enables the creation of early draft proposals faster.
Some of the key features of the platform are:
- Recommendation Engine – Helps discover useful content that you might otherwise overlook. The ML & NLP powered recommendation engines read a new RFP, RFI, RFQ, TOR etc., and provide automated recommendations of past proposal content.
- Intelligent Search - The intuitive search functionality helps find relevant content faster. It equips users with advanced functions such as Boolean operators, Fuzzy and Proximity search, Document Preview to narrow down results quickly.
- Flexible Filters and Taxonomy – The intuitive interface provides a variety of filters that can be customized to fit the nature of the content and your firm’s specific taxonomy. The platform equips users to refine and sift through the content quickly.
- Collaboration Features – Enables you to quickly create an early draft proposal in a PDF or Word format that can be downloaded, tagged, or distributed for inputs or execution with a broader team.
- Configuration Workbench – An intuitive UI and workflow to manage the upload & tagging of the proposal content, with connectors to your CRM and Document Libraries
What impact can a proposal automation platform like Publishwise deliver?
Publishwise is being leveraged by several consulting, advisory, and PS firms. The real impact is that it helps them create early draft of proposals faster (with prompt recommendations and intuitive search) and helps save ~50% time spent in delivering finalized proposals. The platform can help: