5 More Must-Know Proposal Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools of 2020
A few weeks ago, I posted an article that highlighted ten must-know proposal automation and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including: Zbizlink, Patri Bid Score™, Loopio, VisibleThread, reDock, RFPIO, DraftSpark™, Privia, VirtualProposal Center (VPC), and UplandQvidian. The article sparked great conversation and brought to light some additional proposal tools that should be highlighted. In this week’s article, I provide an overview of five additional proposal automation and/or AI tools available, including their major features and benefits.
RFP360. RFP360 improves proposal response efficiency through better knowledge management, collaboration, and automation. Users can centralize all of their latest and greatest RFP answers in a knowledge library, streamlining their access to reuse content. Users can also save time and effort by importing RFPs, using answer intelligence to suggest responses, and exporting proposals in key Microsoft Office formats. Proposal Managers can use RFP360 built-in functionality to assign tasks, manage deadlines, collaborate on copy, and approve responses. Dashboards and reporting functions enable users to evaluate time spent and saved working on proposals. Additionally, RFP360 integrates with Salesforce, Microsoft Office files, as well as online questionnaires and forms.
Xait. XaitPorteris a cloud-based team co-authoring and automation software solution that provides complete control over the document production. The co-authoring and automation capabilities support critical efficiencies and savings in proposal development time. Key features include built-in workflow, easy content reuse, and automatic formatting, layout, and pagination. With every proposal response, the cloud-based corporate content library is enlarged and refined, making the next proposal even easier and faster to develop.
FedSelect. FedSelect is a dynamic software tool that guides capture teams through electronic evaluation forms where proposal strengths and weaknesses can be documented easily and efficiently. FedSelect adds a critical component to color team reviews by isolating and mapping proposal content against the requirements and evaluation criteria for streamlined and more objective evaluation. Leveraging FedSelect, color team reviewers can document ratings and rationales that reflect unique evaluation criteria. Because contributors work collaboratively and online, their documented findings are instantly accessible to key stakeholders.
Bidhive. Bidhive’s end-to-end process enables business development teams to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their bid process. Bidhive’s pre-bid phase lays the foundation for success with tools that help to build capability in strategic opportunity pursuit. Pre-bid functionality includes opportunity registration, capture planning, and bid/no-bid decision making. Bidhive’s bid phase supports critical time-saving steps in the bid and proposal management process, including planning the proposal, holding the kick-off meeting, and developing the proposal. Their post-bid phase provides hindsight into key insights on success records and compounds the value of resources and knowledge. Lessons learned/debrief tracking capabilities provide insights for implementing targeted change. Further, by tracking win/loss data, teams can uncover key trends to improve outcomes by conducting win/loss analysis to identify correlating factors that help teams make informed strategic and tactical decisions.
What is the Future for Automation and AI in Proposals?
As I mentioned in my original article, although automation and AI tools have already started to impact existing proposal processes, we have only begun to scratch the surface of their true potential in the field. Because of their unemotional capabilities to make predictions, these tools have huge potential in further supporting bid/no-bid decision so companies can more effectively target the opportunities with the highest probabilities of win. In addition, with their capability to quickly analyze massive amounts of data to make predictions and decisions, these technologies can likely help improve price analysis, price-to-win, and price development processes. What's more, these tools also seem to have huge potential to support the selection of proposed products and solutions.
Will automation tools and AI eventually replace all of us and independently write the proposals for our companies? I think most of us agree that this will never happen in our lifetimes. However, I do believe that enhanced versions of these AI and proposal automation tools of will ultimately empower our proposal teams to focus our efforts on tailoring content to meet the needs of individual customers and other critical tasks. But to be more effective, these tools must become a seamless part of our established processes—they must be flexible and integrate with our existing tools and workflows while providing critical functionality that teams have become used to leveraging, including version control. And I think we are getting there. Leveraging these tools effectively in the future, I believe we will increase the efficiency of our business development and proposal process by automating some of the most time-consuming pieces of the process and helping us to make smarter, more-strategic decisions on the opportunities we pursue.
Written by Ashley Kayes, CP APMP
Senior Proposal Consultant, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI)LinkedIn