Me and my team work on proposals that combine a specific set of products that our company manufactures and integrates, along with products from other companies, as well as the services needed to integrate and service them over the solution lifecycle. "Automating" such solutions proposals is therefore quite difficult, because the configuration of products and services is variable for each customer, and our sales teams customize each proposal to reflect the specific configuration that they have designed and are pricing.
seProposals' best and most salient characteristic is its focus. With it, our sales teams can pull content for the products and services that they are proposing, add content from third parties, modify our standard service content to ensure that each proposal is customized for the specific solution, and deliver it in an attractive, branded package--all without the help of a proposal manager or other proposal professional to help guide the process.
We've tried other proposal automation platforms in the past, and they've erred on the side of trying to do too much. Either they try to handle solicited RFPs and unsolicited sole-source proposals all at once (driving up tool complexity and user learning curves beyond tolerance), or they try to address the entire sales process, from opportunity identification through sales capture (requiring the entire company to shift processes to accommodate the tool).
seProposals focuses specifically on automating the content and format of unsolicited, sole-source proposals. This attention to a specific use case enables it to be slotted into an existing sales process without having a ripple effect on the rest of the organization, and enables sales teams to speed up their delivery of sole-source sales documents while leaving their RFP process unaffected. While seProposals can be modified to address RFP content as well (and we have plans in that area), we use it specifically for our large sole-source business, and it meets that need beautifully.
The other strength to seProposals is the company itself. SalesElement "gets" proposals. Their sales team anticipates issues, suggests solutions based on their experience with other customers, and proactively develops customizations and enhancements to address specific pain points. We've been able to work with them in an open and transparent partnership throughout our implementation of seProposals, and I've always found them to be responsive to our needs--often above and beyond our expectations.
We sell complex solutions-oriented proposals incorporating products and services that are integrated for each customer on a semi-customized design basis. Prior to seProposals, we were developing each proposal on an individual level, through a process that included non-standard proposal content, custom levels of proposal management support, and significant time spent reviewing content for accuracy and applicability.
seProposals has given us a platform to standardize that content, nearly eliminate the need for proposal management support, and significantly reduce the time needed for SME review of proposal content. In addition, it nearly eliminates the need for significant desktop publishing support by proposal professionals, while still turning out a professionally-branded document.