Organization is the Key to Opportunity

 

Posted By Kathy Kliskey | Jul 27, 2016

 

Starting a new job can be overwhelming. For proposal managers, coming into a new job AND learning a new proposal automation process? It could be a lot to handle if one weren't organized, but organization is the key to opportunity.

I recently had a conversation with a young professional who joined her current company just six months ago. She was hired to help manage their content for RFPs (requests for proposals) and proposals. Her company had already implemented Qvidian, but the system wasn’t being utilized properly. She and her newly formed team would take care of that.

Fortunately, for her and anyone else new to Qvidian, Qvidian offers multiple ways to learn the system from on-site training to the online Qvidian University, weekly open Q&A calls, on-demand webinars to the annual Qvidian Connect Conference that provides over 40 hands-on training sessions and opportunities to learn from fellow customers. Qvidian is one of those rare companies that is completely committed to its customers’ success. For newbies just entering the field, this can be tremendously comforting. In addition to providing many ways to learn the system, the depth of the functionality supports pretty much anything you want to do with your content.

When she started with her company, they had about 2,500 pieces of content in their library.  The biggest issue, however, was the writing itself.  With a variety of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) contributing material and no one overseeing it, their content had multiple voices instead of the sound of a single, consistent author. On top of that, grammar was a huge concern; some of the content in the library had never been proofed. Everyone had meant to do it, but since the company didn’t have a full-time content manager, there were too many things on too many people’s plates for it to get done. It was up to her to take care of this, but with the support of Qvidian, there was no doubt she would succeed.

Because the company had started using Qvidian, their content was already organized into folders inside their Qvidian library. This made keeping track of what was and was not reviewed significantly easier. It was also the perfect time to make sure that branding issues were addressed. Qvidian made this simple as well with the use of the style templates they had already created inside the system. She just needed to make sure they were applied. Completing the content overhaul took time, but was straightforward because of Qvidian; no hunting and pecking, no searching shared drives, no emailing colleagues for content that could be living on their desktops.


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Two months passed and the content overhaul was complete. As they moved along, they quickly realized that with over 150 RFPs each year, each one varying in size and complexity and only the 6 of them on the team, they wanted ALL the efficiency that Qvidian could provide in and beyond their content library.

The team is actively pursuing the use of Qvidian’s proposal automation features. In addition to proposal automation, Qvidian provides multiple supports for collaboration within the system. It delivers visibility into the entire RFP and proposal process tracking the progress of all collaborators to help ensure deadlines are met. In addition, Qvidian even provides training on best practices in writing proposals. That’s a step not taken by many technology providers. Qvidian teaches RFP, bid and proposal writers the value of letting their customers know, upfront, that they truly understand their needs and then demonstrating to them why theirs is the solution they seek.

Qvidian offers a complete proposal solution and enables its customers to achieve huge efficiencies and high quality that is driven by consistency in messaging, accuracy in content, and proper branding needed to make RFPs and proposals rise to the top. This young professional told me, “We know that utilizing Qvidian to its fullest will benefit not only our team, but also our company as a whole by helping us achieve as many wins as possible.”

I remember what it can be like to start a new job, the uncertainties of your surroundings, the pressure to perform, and the desire to excel. I think about the horror stories others have shared with me about life in proposals without a system like Qvidian. Put those two together, and the pressure could be unbearable.

I can’t help but wonder if this young woman realizes what her start in this field could have been like. Qvidian is not unlike other disruptive technologies; streamlining processes and adding so much efficiency that it’s hard to imagine life without it. It’s almost like the difference between life with or without cell phones. How did we ever survive without them? How do RFP, proposal and bid managers survive without Qvidian?