This is the second post in our series #StayConnected, introducing tips, tricks, tools, and features that help teams complete proposals quickly and efficiently, even when they’re not sharing a physical space. Read the first blog here: Keep Your Proposal Team Focused With These 5 Project Management Features.
Your proposal is due tomorrow morning—and here you are scouring through excel sheets to find the answer you know is in there somewhere.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. A McKinsey report found that employees spend nearly 20% of their time looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.
That’s why successful proposal managers focus on establishing an effective content management system—the less time you spend searching for content, the more time you have to craft compelling messages.
According to the 2019 RFPIO Responder Survey, 82% of proposal managers said the most important way they’ve improved their RFP response process is by managing response content all in one place—and 89% said that the Answer Library was their favorite feature.
We’ve gathered everything we know about how proposal managers use content management systems to successfully complete proposal projects with a fully remote team. Read on for insider advice and best practices for keeping your remote team productive and connected.
Empower your team to access content from collaboration tools they’re already using
To make the most out of your content management system, give as many people access to it as possible (RFPIO’s unlimited user licensing model makes this easy).
Giving your entire company access to your answer library not only opens a vast, searchable knowledge base to employees and external partners—but also makes it easy to bring in subject matter experts to answer technical questions about your products and services.
Take this one step further by integrating your knowledge library with collaboration tools your team is already using, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. Rather than logging into a separate application to search through your content library, empower your entire team to access a rich database with a few clicks of a button, from wherever in the world they are.
Enhance your content management system with intelligent search
After you’ve uploaded all your response content into your system, you may end up with several thousand question-and-answer pairs. Instead of asking your response team to comb through this massive amount of content using endless iterations of CTRL + F, expedite the process with intelligent search.
Similar to a Google Search, when you use intelligent search to locate an answer in your response library, the most relevant answers will appear first. Relevance is calculated based on a number of factors, including star rating, number of times used, and date updated.
Additionally—unlike a standard CTRL + F search in a document or spreadsheet—the results will include variations of your search term. For example, a search for “correspond” will return Q&A pairs containing “correspondence” and “corresponding”, as well.
Automate content auditing to keep your knowledgebase accurate and up-to-date
Maintaining an accurate library ensures the best version of your content is ready before the proposal arrives, empowering your remote team to quickly respond to RFPs under deadlines.
The best way to make sure your content stays accurate and up-to-date is through regular content audits.
The most productive proposal managers do this at least once a year, and usually every 3-6 months. Of course, each organization is unique—if you experience frequent changes with pricing or product specifications, you may need to audit your content bi-monthly, monthly, or even weekly.
These teams often lean on proposal automation software to automatically trigger these regular review cycles, sending out reminders to their organization’s specialists—including product management, sales, finance, legal, and IT teams—to double-check content they’re responsible for.
“Content management is the most important part of our RFP response process. We have processes and review cycles in place to make sure our content is always up-to-date. That way we can efficiently respond to RFPs when we have a deadline.”
Sr. Manager, Proposal Department, HALO Recogntion
In a recent article, McKinsey reported that employees who spend less time traveling or commuting and have a better work-life balance are likely to be happier, more motivated, and ready to mobilize in extreme situations.
At RFPIO, we’re helping proposal teams adapt to a fully from-home work environment, by looking at remote work as an opportunity to be taken advantage of, rather than as a challenge to be overcome.
Click here to learn more about how RFPIO can help you optimize the opportunity of working with a fully remote team—and help your team stay connected and productive.