Creating bid documents and sales presentations and RFPs is an essential part of the business development or sales role – but it can also be time-consuming and challenging. Getting it spot on is essential when producing a sales proposal. You need to demonstrate that you understand your prospect; you know their priorities and challenges; and can provide the solutions they need to tackle them. But all too often, pitches and bid documents can miss the mark. Common reasons for proposals failing to achieve their aims include:
- The proposal doesn’t address the prospective buyer’s specific needs and desires
- It doesn’t clearly outline the key benefits your product or service offers
- It misses out vital information – ‘failing to answer the question’, in the jargon of exam marking
- You miss the submission deadline
- The proposal isn’t engaging or compelling enough to capture the buyer’s interest
If you want to create a distinct advantage over your competitors and accelerate the sale, you need to produce clear, detailed, tailored bids and RFPs that successfully identify, and clearly respond to, prospective customers’ needs.
You need to leverage the power of personalised content, and you need to present it in a way that conveys your key messages in a captivating way. Achieve this, and you can ensure that prospective sales opportunities are realised to their full potential.
What are the key challenges when creating effective bids, proposals and RFPs?
A detailed, compelling bid document is therefore essential. But creating tailored, engaging proposals can be time-consuming, generating significant opportunity costs. Often, you might feel that you are reinventing the wheel every time, using the same or very similar content time and time again.
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
- You spend far too much bid-writing time hunting for correct compliance information, like disclaimers and regulated statements
- You continually need to check that the corporate data you’re using – assets under management; regulated office address; employee or company information – is up to date
- You know you’ve tailored some text specifically to this particular industry sector before…but have no idea where you’ve saved it
- You’re not sure where to find current corporate branded templates…so you dig out an old presentation and overwrite it
- As a result, your time and expertise are wasted on the basics of the proposal, rather than on adding the bespoke elements that will win you the work. And the result can lack the finesse of a professionally-designed document – not to mention risking compliance breaches if you’re a regulated business
If you could just speed up the creation of bids and proposals, you could respond to new leads so much faster – as well as creating a more professional end result. Importantly, you could spend more time on the area where you excel – really getting to know your clients and prospects – and less on drafting RFPs and pitch documents.
Ensuring compliance, creativity and efficiency
Speed isn’t everything, however. You also need to ensure that content is relevant, up-to-date and accurate. Facts and figures used in a previous document might now be out of date. Services you’ve referenced in another bid might not be relevant here.
Consistency and compliance are vital – your proposal needs to represent your brand, as well as fulfilling regulatory obligations. Particularly for regulated businesses, a balance between speed, creativity and compliance is essential.
Fortunately, there are tips and techniques that can ensure you achieve this balance.
- Simplify design by creating branded bid and proposal templates. Automatically taking care of formatting and layout, on-brand templates enable you to create a professional document far more quickly and easily. Lock in colours, fonts and logos; access brand-compliant imagery and you can create professional bids and proposals – no design expertise required.
- Build a library of approved and compliant data, branded charts, tables and other pre-approved content such as disclosures and disclaimers. This not only gives you reassurance that the most up-to-date information and brand assets are being used, but it will also save you considerable time – no more searching for the correct or most recent information.
- Ensure all content is reviewed and approved by your compliance team to avoid potential compliance slip-ups. Again, having pre-approved content saves time here; many bids and proposals re-use the same corporate information time and again. Save approved wording and data and give your entire business development team easy access to reduce the time spent hunting for accurate information and having it signed off. Save this company-confidential information securely to ensure your data remains safe.
Making the production of bids and proposals easier enables you to focus on what matters most: producing winning content tailored to the client and their needs.
Perivan’s Enable platform can be used by individuals with no design experience whatsoever, with smart fully customisable templates that can be used quickly and intuitively to update documents and either send them to print or publish digitally.
Ideal for bids and proposals, Enable allows you to create compliant and compelling documents quickly and simply. Find out more.