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        Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

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        Proposal Software Simplifies Key Aspects of Sales

        Sales proposals can determine whether a deal is booked or lost. In most organizations the process of creating and delivering a proposal is manual and one-off, with many potential places for mistakes. This lack of rigor and efficiency impairs many organizations’ ability to leverage their resources. Proposal Software helps sales organizations with an application called PMAPS that addresses sales management and operations. 

        PMAPS enables you to search and generate proposals and also to manage the overall process, from days to respond and time taken along with all the details related to communication and follow-up. Sales operations staff will find this Microsoft Windows-based application easy to use for reporting on the state of proposals. But as technologies change and with today’s focus on the Web and mobile applications, Proposal Software is migrating to a new platform for its applications, leaving the Windows application in a final stage of development. 

        The Web version of PMAPS adds flexibility in the management and creation of proposals. The software’s SalesDocBuilder and a wizard help managers and front-line sales professionals  use templates to assemble pitch books of presentations and documents for sales prospects. Users can also create pitch books through a mobile Web version. This helps address the problem of information scattered through an organization; our sales benchmark research found this problem to be the top impediment to sales performance in 51 percent of organizations. If your organization has to respond consistently to requests for information, proposals or quotes (RFI, RFP or RFQ), the PMAPS Assembly Center helps gather the right information for a thorough and professional response. No programming is required; everything is done through a user-driven application. 

        I like the way this small application that floats on the desktop lets you access sales information or jump into starting a pitch book or proposal. The software uses a role-based approach for proposal writers, sales, preview or review staff and administrators. Just as important is that the application is accessible via smartphone and tablets through PMAPS WebPro Mobile, which makes it easy to get to information and create documents for proposals while on the go. If you believe in building a sales knowledge base to improve the potential of your sales organization, the company’s Q&A Database can help significantly, and reduce the load on sales and presales operations. The latest release PMAPS WebPro 7.0 also facilitates making assignments and shredding outdated documents so they are not used again. 

        If you are not sure why you should tackle having a dedicated application for sales proposals, look at the detailed functionality provided. While many providers of sales force automation (SFA) have the ability to securely store and access content, they do not give you the ability to generate proposals. I noted in my analysis of Salesforce.com’s latest advancements to help sales that this is a gap in its product offerings. Proposal Software has used the Salesforce API to integrate with the company’s SFA, and it has done the same for other partners, too. 

        Proposal Software makes its application available for rent as secure software as a service (SaaS), operating 24-by-7 and eliminating the need to worry about internal resources to manage the applications and content. The company still offers an on-premises version also. 

        In this challenging economic environment every sales organization needs to be timely and thorough in response to sales opportunities. If your sales organization still manually copies and pastes content and selects stand-alone files to send to sales prospects, you risk falling behind. Proposal Software’s PMAPS WebPro is a robust package of all the functionality for managing proposals, pitches and the process of providing high-quality information to your prospects to close deals. Our benchmark research into sales analytics found that the average time to close is a key sales metrics, and Proposal Software can help address it. Building pitches and proposals in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat should not be difficult, and it is simple with Proposal Software. If you are in sales at any level and have not checked out Proposal’s offering, take a look at PMAPS as part of the way to fulfill the promise of sales force automation. 

        Regards,

        Mark Smith – CEO & Chief Research Officer

        Authors:

        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.

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