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The Proposal People.

The stakes are high in the world of sales bids – winning strategic new business can translate to bottom-line growth…

The Proposal People

16th December 2019


The stakes are high in the world of sales bids – winning strategic new business can translate to bottom-line growth and market leadership. However, getting from the RFP stage to a winning proposal can overwhelm many sales and proposal teams, especially given the volume and complexity of requests under tight deadlines.

That’s where Expedience Software comes in. Its flexible and easy proposal automation solution – built for proposal teams by proposal veterans – streamlines the process while allowing for customized responses, full content control and data security. Following the firm’s recognition in CV’s Corporate Excellence programme, we took a closer look at Expedience Software to find out more.

Harnessing the power of Microsoft® Office, Expedience Software drives better proposal quality while accelerating the speed and effectiveness of bid and proposal teams globally.

Proposals are instrumental to the business development process, both as a way of raising capital and raising awareness of a company. At the end of the day, products and services require tailored messaging to present a winning bid, not just a quote sheet summarising line items and prices.

With a chronic understaffing problem and documents being passed pillar-to-post between multiple departments, it’s no surprise that by the end of the process, customers find themselves frustrated by their proposal documents’ lack of consistency and quality.

Automation solutions frequently go wasted with no one to manage the tool or solutions more complex than the problems needing to be solved. On the other hand, there are all the sunk-in costs of a manual proposal process. Companies cannot afford the compliance risk
and other liabilities associated with mistakes being made. This is where Expedience captures the market, thanks to its ease-ofuse and deliberate design.

Offering not just a program, but a complete solution, Expedience is built where proposal writers live, in Microsoft Word. From directly within Word, content may be selected, updated, and formatted without ever leaving the Word environment. Expedience can reduce proposal turnaround by 80% — with responses that are accurate, consistent and fast.

The company’s founders are pioneers in the RFP and bid software field, and more importantly, they understand the challenging work of proposal production faced by proposal people.

“We understand that proposal teams are pressed by deadlines and if the solution isn’t easy, they will create workarounds to meet their submission timelines,” notes Melissa Mabon, founder, CEO and president of Expedience Software.

Mabon, who has more than 20 years of RFP and bid software development experience, previously was co-founder and CTO of Pragmatech Software, Inc., creator of the RFP Machine®.

Former proposal writers and managers themselves, Expedience’s Client Services team has 20+ years of experience implementing proposal automation software.

The team provides personalized support and helps clients leverage the best content in order to create the most efficient and productive plan for the initial implementation. With a focus on continuous improvement, extensible design and client selfsufficiency, the Client Services team assists clients every step of the way to ensure success. All content strictly complies with the clients’ style and branding guidelines. That means when Expedience completes an implementation, end users can trust that all content is both consistent and accurate.

With major client footholds in countries like the United States, the UK and Germany to name a few, it’s no surprise that Expedience has thrived, with hundreds of clients spanning industries such as financial and asset management, healthcare, and manufacturing, amongst others.

Expedience’s success depends on working closely with clients to ensure success. With a depth of knowledge in proposal processes, best practice and an unmatched mastery of Microsoft Word, Expedience tailors its solution to match clients’ requirements, as these examples illustrate.

Travel, Tech Clients Leverage Expedience

Known for ‘Business travel made simple,’ Australiabased QBT specializes in intuitive booking technologies, strategic account management, reporting and cost savings for its corporate travel clients, including its No. 1 client: the Australian Government.

Despite embracing a seamless and stress-free travel experience for its clients, QBT struggled to find a seamless process for responding to RFPs and other bid opportunities. Expedience implemented the Proposal Automation suite, along with its specialized Excel RFP product. The Excel add-on package greatly simplifies Excel RFP responses by integrating them with Microsoft® Word.

Since going live, QBT reports that their bid and RFP response process is much more efficient and allows bid team members to focus on the things that “really matter in the business.”

Sara Nedelkoska, commercial bid writer, reports that the amount of time she and other team members save using Expedience has been significant.

Another client, Netherlandsbased cloud solution provider Open Line, operates in a complex sales environment. Serving clients in the healthcare, government, industry and enterprise business sectors, QBT had no ‘one-stop-shop’ solution that fits all the RFP requests it receives; instead, it must tailor each proposal.

“The fact that we have a library of content for our teams to go into and see is just excellent,” she adds.
Expedience created five different structured documents for Open Line in its “Assembler” tool, giving bid writers instant access to fully approved, pre-formatted content. This provided several advantages:

• Teams can create proactive proposals through guided checkboxes
• Proposal administrators can easily roll out solution to other departments
• Proposals are created in moments, not days, with rapid automated assembly

Integrated within the Microsoft Office suite, the Expedience platform takes the guesswork out of style issues and formatting. Open Line’s identity is guaranteed across different text-blocks with consistent treatment of bulleted lists, tables and headlines.

“We now can complete proposals much quicker than before,” says Sandra van de Mortel, Bid Desk manager. ‘The fact that it is integrated within the Microsoft Office suite gave us the assurance that it is easy to use and future-proofs our investment.’
Innovation Mindset Part of Expedience’s success hinges on the talent and collaborative spirit of its staff. Encouraging innovation and embracing a remote organisational model, employees are given the freedom, tools, and opportunity to help mould and shape the product road map.

In this spirit, it wasn’t an engineer, but the VP of Sales, Jason Anderson, who helped simplify a new product based on his own decade-long experience creating proposals as a sales consultant. Similarly, engineers work with customers – giving clients the benefit of their experience, while also gaining first-hand experiences of technical challenges. This intimacy keeps Expedience staff focused 100% on helping proposal clients succeed more easily.

New Software Update Looking forward, there’s an exciting update to Expedience coming out in early 2020. Logic-driven and attuned to the needs of today’s busy proposal administrators, Expedience 2020 drives greater convenience and utility and above all, visibility into teams’ proposal process.

With more flexibility, insights and proposal management options, Expedience 2020 is well positioned to take the RFP and proposal industry by storm.

Part of the release includes a new intuitive, flexible proposal management tool that helps organizations create an effective response framework and strategy. This tool, called Proposal Maestra, opens directly in an RFP Word file, allowing teams to dissect the RFP to make a bid/ no-bid decision, flag questions, identify win themes, assign SMEs and track their team’s progress throughout the proposal-creation process, ensuring compliance and version control.

It’s designed to allow the potentially disparate group of people engaged in the bid to collaborate together at the appropriate times and works like all Expedience software, directly in Microsoft Word.

It seems the only way is up for Expedience and its Word-based products. Expedience puts significant care into ensuring that their tools are both useful and used well by its clients, contributing to the software’s success worldwide. Saving time and energy in an already frantic workplace, Expedience allows proposal and sales teams to focus on what is important to their company and to get the most value out of the time they invest in bids and RFPs.

Made for the proposal world by proposal people, Expedience does a lot of the heavy lifting, so they don’t have to.

Why Microsoft
Expedience is betting on Microsoft as the foundation for its proposal automation software and with good reason. Not only is it the software everyone uses to craft proposals, but it also has new enhancements that allow teams to work in both the cloud and desktop environment.

The latest version of Microsoft Office – Office 365 (Business Premium) – builds on the real-time web collaboration of Microsoft 2016, expanding it to create a true seamless experience for users. It does this by closely integrating online and desktop versions of Word with other Microsoft products, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.

Sharing files, working remotely, collaborating in real time – all activities enabled in the cloud – are increasingly available alongside Microsoft’s feature-rich desktop applications. Expedience’s software embraces the cloud and will incorporate Microsoft’s new capabilities in cognitive services and ways of enhancing users’ experience both on the desktop and in the cloud.

“That’s the direction the market is headed – there will be this ever-seamless connection between the speed and ease of the desktop with the power and reach of the cloud,” says Expedience Founder, President and CEO Melissa Mabon.

Contact: Sharon Coddington
Company: Expedience Software

Categories: Advice, Articles

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